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2508, 2016

Coach Longo’s Road to Success Part II of IV – Recruiting

By |August 25th, 2016|Football, Sports|Comments Off on Coach Longo’s Road to Success Part II of IV – Recruiting

Recipe Football: Coach Longo’s Road to Success
To continue the series with Coach Longo, we will learn about recruiting at the FCS and Division II level before learning about the Air Raid in Part III.

Recruiting in Division II

The big difference from Division II football to Division I football is that we give nothing but full rides. Most schools in Division II have to break up the money. Some guys get quarters, others get halves, and so on based upon need and value. You have to make the money go further because you have scholarships in the mid-thirties while the FCS schools have above 60 and the FBS have 85. When you are competing with a bigger school in Division II, you don’t have the money to offer that the other schools do. But at Sam Houston State we offer what everybody else does, a full ride.

Recruiting in FCS

The challenges of the FCS-level are different. Here, we recruit FBS-level athletes. Two years ago we had a receiver choose us over Iowa State. He started as a true freshman and gained over 100 yards against Texas Tech. Sometimes when you have an FBS offer you will wait on the depth chart to play, but here we have fifteen games a year and that’s great exposure. We have played and won more games than anybody else except North Dakota State in the past five years. Here, you are going to play early and a lot, and win early and a lot. We usually compete against the mid-level FBS teams (commonly known as the “Group of Five” schools), and we beat them with fewer resources than they have. The receiver I talked about earlier was interested in playing and winning; […]

908, 2016

LONGO’S ROAD TO SUCCESS (PART I of IV)

By |August 9th, 2016|Football, Sports, State, Texas|Comments Off on LONGO’S ROAD TO SUCCESS (PART I of IV)

23 YEARS OF COORDINATING THE
AIR RAID THROUGHOUT THE NATION
Introduction
Over the past year, I have been privileged to study the Air Raid offense through various experiences – observing the Eastside Eagles and Rich Hargitt, reading books, watching coaching videos, and talking with coaches on twitter as well as one on one. I had the chance to interview the Offensive Coordinator at Sam Houston State, Phil Longo. Located in Texas, SHSU is one of the premier FCS programs in the country and has both played and won more games in the last five years except for North Dakota State. Coach Longo is an excellent coach who has enjoyed many successes as a coach in both well known and less known places. In order to understand his successes, we must understand his coaching history.
Before Sam Houston State – The Beginning
Before arriving at Sam Houston State, he has coached at the FCS non-scholarship level, Division III, and Division II levels. His break into coaching came when he received an internship with the Philadelphia Eagles. His head coaches as college players were John Bunting and KC Keeler. John Bunting was the defensive coordinator for the Super Bowl Champion Rams, and Bunting helped him obtain the internship with the Eagles. KC Keeler is now the head coach at Sam Houston State and has helped Longo throughout the years.

Longo was the most successful coach in Parsippany Hills High School’s history for four years and then became the offensive coordinator at William Patterson University, a Division III school in New Jersey.
‘One of the Best Coaching Jobs We Ever Did’
His career then took a different turn as he moved up to a unique level of football – the FCS non-scholarship level. This is a […]

308, 2016

Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III of III

By |August 3rd, 2016|Football, Real Deep, South Carolina, Sports, State|Comments Off on Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III of III

Clemson Tigers: Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III
The final ingredient to a recipe of champions is the players that choose to come to Clemson University. As the well-known football saying goes, “It’s about Jimmies and Joes, not X’s and O’s”. Any college football team needs depth and talent in order to compete for conference and national championships, and recruiting is how the players are acquired. Since there is no draft, it is up to coaches to convince teenagers into playing for their program for the next few years. Once the players are on campus, the coaches must help the players develop to the best of their ability. While rankings don’t matter once you are on campus, the talent base a team draws in has a correlation to their level of success. Regardless, recruiting is the lifeblood college football and if you can’t recruit, you can’t coach.

In order to fully appreciate how far Clemson football has come, lets take a look at the recruiting classes from 2002 onwards (when data was consistently available). It is worth noting that in 2001, Clemson signed the third best player in the country in WR Roscoe Crosby whom had a mental breakdown and did not pan out. Here is a chart of the recruiting classes from 2002 until 2008, when Coach Tommy Bowden was fired. The data is drawn from 247Sports Composite Rankings:

Year
National
ACC
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
Total

2002
29
5
0
3
13
21

2003
43
9
0
2
14
18

2004
46
10
0
3
9
22

2005
18
4
0
2
18
25

2006
13
3
2
4
13
22

2007
17
5
0
4
14
24

2008
10
2
1
8
12
23

Swinney first came to Clemson in 2003 and was the WR coach and recruiting coordinator. It is obvious that it took some adjustment for him to get the hang of the job because the 2003 and 2004 classes were mediocre. It appears that in 2005 he finally found his niche, because he pulled in top […]

2507, 2016

Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part II of III

By |July 25th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part II of III

Coaching:

Tommy Bowden helped to resurrect Clemson from the dark ages, but Coach Swinney is a perfect fit for Clemson’s football program. Coach Swinney is a hard worker and excellent coach, but he is not a ‘villain’ like Saban, nor is he a statue on the sideline. Swinney is an enthusiastic man whom has a passion for building excellent men and winning football games. Swinney’s personality is a perfect fit for Clemson (and despite speculations, not a good fit at Alabama). Some places have to engineer slogans to make fans feel good, but at Clemson they come naturally. People in Clemson testify that the ‘Clemson Family’ is real – letter-men and fans alike. ‘All In’ is one of Coach Swinney’s signature phrases that was so catchy that other programs would occasionally ‘borrow’ it.   People sometimes get the perception that Swinney does not know schematics because of his expressive personality. Opposing fans often call him a ‘cheerleader’ in order to degrade his coaching skills.

This is far from the case – in fact he has ascended into a higher order of coaching. New head coaches (and coaches in general) feel the need to micromanage and to have their fingertips on everything. If they are going down, at least they outworked everybody until they have heart attacks. Swinney has football knowledge – he played college football for Alabama, was a graduate assistant, and finally a wide receivers coach. But Coach Swinney is the opposite of a stereotypical head coach who spends hours poring over schematics. He focuses on maximizing people’s potential and using this to create a winning culture. I don’t know if he knows it, but he is carrying out this Ronald Reagan quote to a ‘T’: “Surround […]

2007, 2016

Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part I of III

By |July 20th, 2016|Football, South Carolina, Sports, State|Comments Off on Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part I of III

Throughout the years, Clemson football has varied between average, good, and great. Clemson has had excellent coaches such as John Heisman, Frank Howard, and Danny Ford; and won the national championship with the young Ford in 1981. Clemson is not a traditional blue blood in the vein of Michigan, Alabama, Texas, USC, or Notre Dame; instead the Tigers reside in the next tier down. This tier is the schools that have storied football programs in their own rights, but not the schools that dominated the twentieth century. This is not to put down Clemson’s incredible achievements, but instead to give an accurate historical context of where the Tigers stand.

Currently Clemson is in a golden age of football, playing at possibly the highest level the Tigers ever have. The Tigers are certainly the most consistent they have ever been in their history under Coach Swinney, so how has Clemson created a recipe of Champions?

Branding

Clemson has always loved football, but support from administration has varied throughout certain decades. Ever since Coach Bowden took over and was embarrassed to show the locker room to recruits, so much has changed. Death Valley has had facelifts, the press box was changed from below average to enjoyable, the locker room has been remodeled and the West Zone was born. A new indoor practice facility was built, and now an over-the-top football operations facility (complete with a new weight room) will be completed within a year. While throwing money at something doesn’t solve all problems, it certainly helps in the facilities department. Facilities are so finicky and ever changing that a school does not need to have the absolute best ones, they just don’t need to be sub par.

Outside of facilities, Clemson […]

507, 2016

To Play and To Serve – English Chooses Air Force

By |July 5th, 2016|Football, Maryland, Sports|Comments Off on To Play and To Serve – English Chooses Air Force

One of the most patriotic signing decisions
of all time can be credited to Beau English,
a 2017 two star quarterback
from DeMatha Catholic.
DeMatha is the three time defending state champion (two championships behind the arm of Beau English) in Hyattsville, Maryland. On July the 4th he revealed his final school from a list of three finalists – Army, Air Force, and Navy. English chose to go to Air Force which is his father’s Alma mater. Within the neat story, it must be clarified that he was not pressured from his father as he chose to follow his footsteps.

Beau started playing football when he was five as he played both quarterback and defense. He eventually specialized as a quarterback, but he strives to keep a balance in his play style. English prides himself on being an all-around quarterback who is able to run and pass with equal ability; as the first play in his highlight reel shows:

While English is not a highly ranked recruit, he looks to transition seamlessly in the Air Force offense. While Air Force uses the flexbone a la Georgia Tech, they also have more diversity in their offense and will use different formations at times.

He started receiving interest once he became the starting quarterback as a sophomore. Navy gave him his first offer and then he acquired offers from Army and Air Force. Headlines from earlier in the process predicted him staying in Maryland to attend Maryland, or attending Army. English investigated all three schools and he visited all three service academies. His father helped him and presented him with facts, but he did not pressure or influence him in his decision.

English had positive words to say about all of the academies. He loved […]

1806, 2016

Seven Must-Visit Fishing Tournaments In The US

By |June 18th, 2016|Fishing, Sports|Comments Off on Seven Must-Visit Fishing Tournaments In The US

Every year, fishing tournaments attract anglers from all over the US, trying to catch the biggest fish. And every year, more and more people want to get involved in this fascinating sport. Most people don’t realize, however, how popular fishing tournaments are. But the truth is that most anglers can probably find a fishing tournament right on their doorstep. Here are seven awesome fishing tournaments you can find in the US.

Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament

The Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament is a very special tournament held each year off the docks in Miami. It was set up over thirty years ago to attract fishermen who wanted to catch deep sea fish. Since then the tournament has grown to epic proportions. Now the prize stand at a quarter of a million dollars, making the tournament one of the biggest.

www.flickr.com

But the Miami Billfish Tournament isn’t just about the fish. There’s live music, food and entertainment too, as well as fishing tournament equipment.

Lake Havasu City Striper Derby

The Lake Havasu City Striper Derby centers on the famous Lake Havasu. The tournament is a little lower key than the Yamaha Contender. It’s not as focused on the top end professionals. In fact, there are opportunities for people of all skills levels to compete. Anglers compete over a total prize fund of an impressive $100,000. And the event attracts competitors from all over the US, and often from further afield.

Each entrant to the tournament can expect to get a goodie bag including a branded hat and t-shirt. And when the fishing is done, there’s an opportunity to eat BBQed food and party with the other anglers. After the rewards have been handed out, that is.

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

The organizers of […]

606, 2016

What Does The Job Of An NFL Scout Entail?

By |June 6th, 2016|Sports, XPC|Comments Off on What Does The Job Of An NFL Scout Entail?

Whether you’re interested in becoming a scout or you’re simply interested in the sport, it’s time to find out about what scouts do. They have one of the most important roles in the NFL machine. Here’s what their jobs entail.

Looking for New Talent

The primary focus of any scout is to search for new talent in the sport. This is a tricky thing to do, and it’s what makes so important. Every team wants to know who the rising stars in the sport are. If they don’t have this information, it can be impossible for the team to grow in the future. It’s up to the scout to keep on top of the latest breaking talents in the sport and then report their findings to the coach. These reports will help the coaches and board members decide what moves to make in future. Scouts have to be able to make predictions on the future of players and how they will progress too.

Tracking Statistics

Statistics play a big part in the job of a modern scout. Therefore, you have to be good with numbers and figures if you’re going to make it in this job. Click here to find out more about what it takes to become a scout. But if you can’t track player stats and spot patterns, then you won’t get very far as a scout. Being able to deduce insights and advice from the performance stats of players is what the job is all about. It’s these stats that could help decide whether a team signs a player up or moves on to another prospect.

Image Source

Signing Players

Scouts are also part of the process through which teams sign players. A scout is often the first point […]

506, 2016

Essential Attributes You’ll Need to be Successful at Fishing

By |June 5th, 2016|Fishing, Sports|Comments Off on Essential Attributes You’ll Need to be Successful at Fishing

Fishing is a great hobby to take up because it is relaxing and enjoyable. In fact, a quick visit to dgif.virginia.gov will show you plenty of reasons why fishing is so great. It helps you pit your will against nature, and you get to enjoy wonderful landscapes while doing it. But, you have to understand that there are certain attributes you’re going to need in order to be successful at fishing and get the best out of it. Take a look at the suggestions on this list, and try to use them to help you.

Patience

Don’t forget that fishing is an endurance sport; it’s all about playing the waiting game. You have to have an amazing amount of patience in order to succeed at fishing. You will spend a lot of time sat there in silence waiting and having nothing happen. So, you have to make sure you are patient enough to that you can wait until something happens. If you also want to catch the world record freshwater fish you’re going to need to have patience! People with no patience will not be good at fishing, and won’t get enjoyment out of it.

A Will to Win

You have to understand that fishing is not easy. It’s one of the more challenging and complex pastimes you can do. That’s why you have to be determined and have the will to win at all times. There are so many things you need to remember about the process of fishing. And you may well find that you become frustrated. It can be hours without catching anything, or, you might get a bite that doesn’t lead to anything. But, you have to have that will to win and succeed at […]

2005, 2016

Want To Travel To A Sports Event? Read This

By |May 20th, 2016|Sports, Travel|Comments Off on Want To Travel To A Sports Event? Read This

There is no denying how amazing sporting events can be. From rally racing to football, the atmosphere at these events is electric and infectious. But nothing is quite like traveling to see your favorite team or sports star compete. Whether it’s overseas or over state lines, it brings added excitement to the event while also giving you the chance to visit a new place. While it can be tempting only to think about the main event, traveling for a sports event requires planning. So to give you a helping hand, here are some excellent planning tips and tricks you can use.

Picture link

Look out for contests beforehand

With the rise of social media, stadiums, TV shows and even sports teams will hold contests in the run-up to the main event. A contest like this from GOGO Charters can offer tickets, accommodation and transport to fans. You might have to write about your favorite sports team or take a funny picture. These contests could potentially save you some money on your trip, so keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter. If you are traveling in a group, make sure everyone enters to increase your chances. Even though you cannot guarantee you will win, there is no harm in trying. You might also want to look out for volunteer positions at the stadium which could get you free access and accommodation too.

Be smart with your belongings

No matter where you go to watch your sporting event, there will be thieves who will target tourists. If they manage to steal your wallet or passport, this could put a downer on your entire trip. So it’s crucial that you stay smart at all times. Keep your belongings hidden and somewhere they […]