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 Post subject: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:29 am 
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Purveyor of Truth & Justice
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T-minus 9 days until college football kicks off!

I'm posting this to let people know that I will continue to watch hours of college football this fall and scout players for next year's draft.

The past 3 years I've scouted roughly 375+ players each year. This year, I think I'm going to condense that number down some because I want to be a bit more in-depth with some of the top prospects. Going to try and incorporate more statistical analysis in this year's scout.

I'll probably be shooting for around 225-250 prospects being scouted instead.

Curious to know if anybody else plans on contributing next spring with scouting reports?...

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:41 am 
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With all the games going on, how can you possibly scout all those guys. I wanna know because I don't get in to College Football much because I don't know any of the players so I don't know what to look for besides a good game.

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:22 pm 
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As for knowing what to look for, for someone like me that did not play football in HS or pee wee, the internet has been a great resource over the years in educating me about the game of football. There hundreds if not thousands of instructional coaching videos you can find on YouTube and stuff that show you various techniques. This particularly has been helpful with teaching me what to look for with offensive and defensive linemen.

Also experience is important. I've been a wannabe scout since 2001, and I've learned so much since then. Every year you get smarter because you see players that you like that wound up doing nothing int he pros, and players you didn't like become all-pros. And so you get smarter as you work out how that came to be.

As for figuring out what games to watch, my process consists of going to CBS Sports.com's Draft season (formerly NFLDraftScout.com), copying their Top 500 or so senior prospects and Top 100 or so draft-elgible underclassman databases into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I break them down by team and conference to see which schools have the most/best players.

Then early each week during the season (usually Tuesday and Wednesday), I go onto a site like TVGuide.com's tv listings to see which games are going to be aired in my area, and then based off that Excel spreadsheet figure out which games feature the most pro prospects and then set up my DVR. On a typical Saturday, I'll tape between 4-6 games. Usually I'll also tape the games that air on ESPN during the weeknights. I'll usually watch the night games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday live, and during the day on Saturday if Pitt is playing I'll watch that game live.

And then in the subsequent weeks I'll try and watch those taped games to clear additional space on my DVR as the season goes on. Which usually results in me seeing games 2 or 3 weeks after the fact. As I watch the games, I take copious notes on the prospect I'm scouting so that at the end of the year, I can look back over those notes and write up a profile despite the fact that much of that information will have been long forgotten by that point. I'm writing something down if not for every play, at least every series that player is in the game for. It's hard to do on TV, particularly when it comes to watching DBs, but you make the best of it.

My experience tells me that it's best to see at least 3 games per prospect. Because if you only see 2, then you sometimes run into the problem of seeing that prospect play well in one, but poorly in the other. And that 3rd game usually tells you which of those two performances is typical. Ideally, you'll see 4 or 5. But it's been my experience that you rarely need to see more than that because it's rare that you're seeing anything drastically new that you didn't already see in the first 3 or 4 games.

And by the end of the year, I'll pretty much see every team in one of the Big 6 conferences play. I think last year, Duke and Vanderbilt were the only teams that I didn't see play. And usually I'll see about half of the teams in the lesser conferences like the MAC, Mountain West, etc. play typically the ones that have legit NFL prospects.

This year because I'm going to focus more on the upper prospects, I'll probably watch less of the MAC or Mountain West schools.

But the beauty of having access to ESPN3.com is that I can always go back at the end of the year and watch some of the lesser schools if need be.

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Here's an example of the notes I took on Julio Jones last year:

vs. Penn State
Will work in the slot as well as outside. Seems to double catch the ball at times, but will go up for it and has the body control to make the catch in the air. Works on punts as well, bobbled it when a teammate ran into him, but was able to quickly recover it in the air flashing good concentration. Will block downfield and can be effective due to his size. Can be a physical runner after the catch. Needs to improve his concentration, not securing the ball firmly on screens before turning upfield. Has the size and speed combo with the athleticism to be a big time playmaker at the next level. Could be limited somewhat by the fact that he plays in a run-first offense, but he is not as consistently dominant as you would expect. But has all the physical tools to be a go-to weapon. (9/11)

vs. LSU
Laid out for a ball, but perhaps because he was trying to avoid the hit as opposed to making the catch in traffic. Shows good burst off the line to quickly get into the route. Got after [Patrick] Peterson as a run blocker at times, able to lock on and redirect him in space. Shows some quickness and burst with the ball in his hands on the fly sweep. Has the burst to separate on the short out routes. Even when he can't lock on to Peterson down field, does a nice job getting in the way and redirecting. Didn't seem too enthusiastic about getting out on a block on a WR screen. Did a great job adjusting to the throw on a back shoulder sideline throw. Gets position on the slant. Often they run behind him, and he is a capable blocker downfield. Has quick first step on the quick screen. Shows good straight-line speed and burst on kickoffs. Will go up and get the ball, showing strong hands and uses his size and length well. You like his size, toughness, length, and burst. Has all the skills to be a go-to No. 1 target at the next level. Really stepped up his game vs. Peterson and you like his effort and potential, particularly as a run blocker. You like his range. (12/2)

vs. Auburn
Very quick first step and burst as a kickoff returner. Plays with a bit of an edge. Will lower shoulder and not afraid of contact. Is not that explosive out of his cuts on kickoffs. Dangerous on WR screens when he can get north and south. Won't always make the grab in traffic. Is like a combination of Roddy White in Michael Jenkins body. Might need to get that passion under control at times. He has all the tools you're looking for in a go-to No. 1 target that can be the top weapon on an offense. (12/2)

vs. Michigan State
Hard to jam and has the speed to run by press coverage. Shows a nice stiff arm on the end-around with decent speed, but not a guy that is going to beat most defenders to the corner with blazing speed. Can line up in the slot, and shows good speed and quickness on the slant. Smooth runner after the catch that can make guys miss in space. Can work the sideline with nice footwork. Uses his size well to shield the defender over the middle. Will let the ball get into his body at times. Can make the crackback block against the linebacker on the outside run. Made a nice touchdown run on an end-around, following his blocks and showing nice speed and footwork. Big, physical target that can be a good blocker when he wants to be. Has good speed and burst as a receiver to be a factor all over the field. (2/25)

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:36 pm 
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nope :snooty: :snooty: :snooty:

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:59 am 
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@Pudge that sounds exhausting. The things we do for the love of the sport.

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 Post subject: Re: Anybody else excited about college football?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:12 pm 
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It only is bad when you have a bad draft class. 3 out of the 4 years I have enjoyed it. But for whatever reason the 2010 draft class ('09 college season) seemed to be grinding and it felt like a job.

I don't think this year will be like that because we have a potentially outstanding QB class, and the QBs are always the most fun to scout...

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