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Three Phases of a Football Program (Player Development)

Jimbo has stated on numerous occasions that you should breakup a program into three phases Recruiting/Scouting, Development and Coaching.  I wanted to compare where I thought FSU was in these phases with the rest of the ACC.  The rankings below are simply my opinion but I thought this would be good time to look at the program from our head coach's vantage point.  

Phase II

Player development in my mind ranges from physical development to mastering technique required to play a position.  To gauge where a program is on the development front you have to look at both the Strength and Conditioning Staff and the Coaching Staff.  Certain Coaches may be great at Xs and Os but lack the ability to teach technique.  Part of the issue with college football teams hiring assistants out of the NFL is the lack of focus in the NFL on teaching sound fundamentals (NFL players should be pretty advanced when comes to technique).  The best indicator of a great development program is how a player transforms from his first year to his final year.  Jimbo has broadened the scope of development by introducing Nutrition and Sports Psychology into the formula as well.

What makes a team great at developing players? 

  • World Class Strength Program - Geared toward Football. 
    • Are players at their physical peak?
    • Do players lift in a manner to avoid injuries?
  • Coaches that are teachers of great technique and are willing to invest the time and energy required.
    • Are players fundamentally sound?
  •  Nutrition Program
    • Do players have the fuel required to compete at the highest level?
  • Sports Psychology focused on an winning attitude and teaching sound life skills
    • Are players mentally prepared to face adversity? 
    • Do they have the skills necessary to stay eligible?  (Stay out of trouble and Stay on academic course)
      • If a player is ruled ineligible, all the other pieces no longer matter?
  • World Class Speed Training
    • Are players flexible enough in their hips to run at their maximum capacity?
  1. FSU - This could be a bit premature but due to the resources FSU uses in development, we are now the class of the conference.  During most of the lost decade, we would be in the bottom half of the conference.  

                       a. We hired a student of the legendary hatch formula (SC Staff)

                       b. We hired a Speed Coach from IMG

                       c. We use the same sports psychologists that are employed by the University of Alabama

                       d. FSU coaching staff has an unbelievable track record of developing players

 i.Odell has developed numerous NFL players

ii. Fisher's Starting QB with the exception of Weatherford has made an NFL roster since his days at LSU. If you go back to his time at Auburn, only four QBs didn't make an NFL rosters. One played major league baseball and another became a BCS QB coach.

iii.Trickett has placed numerous players in the NFL but his stint at FSU maybe his most impressive to date. In 2009, FSU had one of the best OL in the country but started 3 True SO and 2 JR with only one player rated as a 4 Star player.

iv. Numerous running backs coached by Gran have gone on to star in the NFL

v. Coach Stoops coached and developed maybe the best Defensive Backfield in college football history

vi. Coach Eliot turned Markus White from a guy to a possible late round pick.

  1. NC State
    1. Coach O'Brien has a history dating back to BC of developing football players.  Rarely does O'Brien recruit well but his players are fundamentally sound and physically tough especially on the offensive line.
  2. Wake Forest
    1. Wake's program of redshirting everyone and having an elite strength program has elevated their program beyond the level of recruiting they have preformed. After last year's result, I am not sure Wake will be able to maintain this ranking.
  3. North Carolina
    1. Butch Davis has proved that he can develop NFL players on both sides of the ball at every position except QB. 
  4. Virginia Tech
    1. VT doesn't develop top tier NFL players but they have been incredibly successful at developing good college players.  If you look at VT's roster, it's full of solid to good players.  To win consistently it requires a team to have a ton of good players.
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