Happy Thursday, Coaches. One more day! Here are three stories for you.

1. New Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule on why he accepted an NFL job (Pro Football Focus)

Is anyone else enjoying these press conference to introduce new coaching hires? You can absolutely see why they won over ownership in their interviews.

These are motivational for all coaches, and we really enjoyed this speech from newly hired Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule.

What would be the biggest draw for you to consider a job coaching at the next level (i.e. college or pro)?

2. Enrolling early becomes the norm in college football (The Toledo Blade)

We’re all familiar with this trend — high school seniors reporting to college football programs during what would be their final semester. On one hand, it gets the ball rolling on their college careers and gives them a headstart. On the other, they’re missing out on a lot of fun experiences.

It’s become such the norm that it’s not even considered a headstart anymore for big-time recruits.

On Monday, 14 members of Ohio State’s 24-man, third-ranked 2020 recruiting class began their academic lives in Columbus. Winter workouts aren’t far behind.

“They’ll get going with Mick [Marotti] on the mat drills and everything else, and then before you know it, we’re in spring ball and we go from there,” OSU coach Ryan Day said in December. “We’re excited to get these guys in here and get to work.”

The Buckeyes’ 14 early enrollees are a program record. In the past three seasons, they’ve had 25 combined — seven in 2019 and nine in 2018 and 2017. Any stigma attached to foregoing the final months of high school for college football has passed.

The sport is built on coaching and procuring talent. If there’s an advantage to having players on campus early to learn the offense or defense, coaches will pounce on it.

“From an advantage end, there’s no question,” BGSU coach Scot Loeffler said. “You’re able to walk into that locker room, you’re able to train all winter long, you’re able to go through all the prelims before spring practice and start running the offense or defense. Then you have the ability to go practice 15 times, gain 12 credit hours you would’ve never had, go home for a little bit, and come back in the summer and have 18 credit hours before training camp. You’re able to get ahead and graduate early and you can really develop as a college football player. When you’re around for a spring and a summer, it’s really not their freshman year, they are almost at the point where they’re sophomores.”

What do you think of the trend of most big-time recruits skipping the final semester of high school to report to the college football programs?

3. The first school in New Jersey to use personal training app for students (CentralJersey.com)

This is an interesting one. We’ve heard of the Seattle Seahawks sponsoring this for schools in Washington, but this is the first time we’ve heard of a school paying for it on its own.

To encourage students at North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS) to live a healthier, more fit lifestyle, the school has employed the use of Volt software with app to track students’ progress.

Dean Petrillo, a teacher and coach at NBTHS, wanted athletes to use the weight room at the school more. So, he and Athletic Director Shaun Morrell looked at four different apps, ultimately choosing Volt.

NBTHS is the first school in New Jersey to receive Volt training since the company received its vendor license to sell in New Jersey.

A panel of individuals at Volt create personalized workouts for student athletes, per position per sport per on/off season – for example, a soccer goalie vs. a football linebacker vs. a football running back. There are warm ups and cool downs, stretching, conditioning drills and footwork drills in addition to weight training exercises.
When the user opens the app, he/she can see each program with each exercise, read training tips and techniques, and watch a video demonstration of each suggestion. He/she will do a pre-assessment on which to base the individualized program, and then a daily check in on soreness, stress and energy levels before beginning the day’s program.

Morrell said sometimes an athlete is strong but needs to be faster, and conditioning drills account for that.

The app also offers a timer for rest periods. At the end, there is a workout summary that breaks down the day and week.

“It’s like having a personal trainer going to the gym with you, without having a personal trainer,” Morrell said. “A lot of times students don’t want to go into the weight room because they don’t know the moves or they are uncomfortable … but if you show them how to do it, they are more likely to do it.”

How do you keep your strength program organized for your players?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk

About the author

Dan Guttenplan