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Inside the Gameplan: QB senior film

Cam Rising. (Will Gallagher/IT)
Cam Rising. (Will Gallagher/IT)

One of the craziest things about modern recruiting is the fact that it’s driven off early identification from sophomore and junior film but the results on the field are typically driven by seniors. Most young men are still learning and growing heading into their senior seasons, both in terms of their literal bodies as well as their skills and techniques. However, sheer athleticism stands out early and teams have to get out ahead on the elite talents to avoid missing the boat.

That has some big ramifications on the world of recruiting. One is that some of the best looks you can have of a player come when he’s already made his decision and interest in his recruitment is pretty low. The reason many guys like to shut down their recruitments after the junior season is so they can focus on their senior year when a lifetime’s worth of memories are made on and off the field. Meanwhile, the senior film is where you get your best look at what kind of player the guy really is. Will he go all out on a last hurrah for his friends and community or will he take his foot off the gas figuring he has things made? How much growth, physically, technically, or mentally does he make in his game?

Another is that there are lots of players that emerge as seniors who weren’t well known and perhaps didn’t play much until then. For instance, Casey Thompson’s top target this year was a 5’9” speedy wideout that followed him to Newcastle from Southmoore who had 111 catches for 2011 yards and 22 touchdowns. That kid (Jacob Morris) doesn’t even have a page at 247 and didn’t play until he was a senior, stuck behind other D1 WR talents like Gervarrius Owens. Some smaller school will get a steal with that kid.

Anyways, I set out to find full game senior film on some of Texas’ 2018 commits to see what kinds of players these future Longhorns are becoming now that the focus is on winning football games rather than impressing coaches and scouts. Today we’ll focus on the players for whom full game film is essential to the evaluation, the quarterbacks.

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History major, football theorist.