FNF Coaches Talk — Recruiting Preferences, LSU’s Updated Offense, Viral Camp Videos

Happy Friday, Coaches. We hope you enjoy the weekend. Here are three stories to read when you have time.

1. Georgia high school coaches share their perspective on an overlooked relationship of recruiting process (The Athletic)

This idea actually came up yesterday in an interview I did with a strength coach of a big-time college football program.

The point that coach made was that he has begun to see common strength training problems with players from specific high schools. In other words, certain high schools are developing reputations for either preparing their players very well for the rigors of a college football strength program, or those high schools are developing bad reputations.

This article makes the case that the same can be said for recruiting.

Right in the middle of the national conversation about recruiting is the state of Georgia. In terms of the talent high school football programs are churning out year in and year out, Georgia is among the tops in the country. That means that a lot of eyes are on high school programs from the top of the state to the bottom and everywhere in between.

And the focus is typically on 1) the student-athletes, wondering constantly where they will play next; and 2) the college programs, wondering just who they’re going after and what they may have up their sleeves during a season that holds its share of secrets.

What often gets overlooked during the recruiting season are the high school programs, specifically the coaches. During the heat of the recruiting process, these coaches provide the first line of defense for the recruits while still coaching these players, whose sights are set on something in the future. These high school coaches assist, direct and bend the ears of the players and of the college coaches and recruiting coordinators coming by their schools, fields and offices.

A major part of that organization is communication. If a coach or coordinator wants to come by, by all means, do so because the door is always open, and high school coaches want their players to be seen. But in saying that, Glisson would like a heads up that a coach will be dropping in.

“We have a saying in our program that the most valuable thing someone can ever give you is their time,” he said. “So, if we are going to spend our time, let’s be productive with that time.”


What is one thing you’d like college recruiters to do differently?

2. How LSU’s Lethal New Spread Attack Was Built (Sports Illustrated)

With LSU’s national championship still fresh in our memories, it’s interesting to look back at this story from earlier in the season when the Tigers’ offense was just taking off. The feature dives into how the offense was constructed and the differences in scheme from some of the LSU offenses in previous seasons under Les Miles.

To understand the significance of LSU’s recent offensive transformation, you must understand its checkered past. There were serious problems in the passing game, from scheme to personnel. LSU had six different starting quarterbacks in six seasons (2011–16), and up until last season it had not cracked the top 80 in passing since 2013, a season in which the Tigers had future NFL stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Even then, they finished 45th nationally in passing.

Through three games this year, 128 of LSU’s 134 snaps in their first two games were out of the shotgun, a 95.5% clip. In 2017, 39.7% percent of LSU’s snaps were out of the shotgun, the 12th-lowest rate in the FBS and the second lowest in the SEC. During Les Miles’s last five years as coach, from 2012 to 2016, 33.2% of snaps came out of the shotgun.

The personnel use dramatically changed, too. LSU used more wide receivers and fewer tight ends. The Tigers operated from formations with three or more receivers on all but two plays through the first two weeks. In Miles’s last five years, just one-fifth of the Tigers’ snaps were from a formation with three or more receivers.

How LSU got from a notoriously outdated ground-based offense to this juggernaut is a winding journey with two essential events: the acquisition of a transfer quarterback from Ohio State, Joe Burrow, and a gutsy decision by Orgeron to hire a 29-year-old, low-level NFL staffer to overhaul an offense that was consistently winning double-digit games every year.

That coach, Joe Brady, the team’s passing game coordinator and receivers coach, does not lack in confidence when asked about the risk it took to hire him. “If you ask me, I think it was a pretty damn good decision,” says Brady, who was hired away from the Saints last January. “It might be something that could rub people the wrong way, and they could sit there and say, ‘Why this or that?’ But Coach had a clear-cut vision of what he was looking for. We were looking for the exact same thing. Our visions matched.”


What does taking snaps out of the shotgun add to your offense?

3. Another viral video from a high school football select camp (Hunter Kelly)

High school coaches across the country have been taking issue with 1-on-1 drills that have been shared by video on social media. Here’s another one to add to the list.

What do you think of linemen 1 on 1s without pads?

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