Football

Gameplan: What to do with B.J. Foster?

Tom Herman’s first complete recruiting class in 2018 was nearly an ideal group for competing in the Big 12. There were multiple promising athletes on the offensive line, weapons like Keaontay Ingram and Brennan Eagles, edge-rusher Joseph Ossai, and a horde of impressive defensive backs that included 5-star safeties Caden Sterns and B.J. Foster.
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Herman didn’t sacrifice recruiting for development

In the Newbery Medal winning short story, Recruiting for Dummies, I mentioned the myth of the rainmaker recruiter. These supposed rainmakers are in much shorter supply than Dummies realize. Most recruiters are beholden to circumstances that are largely out of their control, namely program perception. This excludes head coaches, of course. A position coach killing it on the trail for Ohio State isn’t going to be the same recruiter at other schools, even if he was selling a good and somewhat similar product like Michigan. Or even Notre Dame.
Football

Gameplan: Longhorns DC Chris Ash versus RPOs

Chris Ash is entering a brutal world taking on Big 12 offenses. The conference is a graveyard for defensive coaches that has laid low many a rising star who’d shown so much promise in stopping the run at previous stops. Coach after coach has fallen into the trap of thinking that the crucial point of conflict with these offenses is at the line of scrimmage only to see their schemes undone when former 3-star quarterbacks have repeatedly chucked it over their heads and dropped 40 points on the scoreboard.
Football

Inside the Gameplan: Spring depth charts

Normally spring would bring practices and the orange and white game, offering up a lot of clarity on the depth chart and pecking order on the team. Assuming they didn't do another of those terrible drafts, a spring game would have been fascinating this year for revealing how well the defense was trading off routes in the new quarters scheme. They could have just thrown everyone off the scent by playing mostly cover 1 for the spring game but there’s a good chance we would have seen Chris Ash’s revamped defensive backfield executing the base coverages that will define the defense this season.
Football

Inside the Gameplan: Building a base pass rush

In Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers nearly took down Pat Mahomes’ Chiefs thanks to a dominant base pass rush that allowed them to restrain the lethal Kansas City passing game. Nick Bosa looked like the MVP of the game up until the 4th quarter, when KC started employing tempo and Mahomes made a few plays, leading to the sapping of energy from the pass rush and the inevitable avalanche of Chief scores.