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Evaluating Football Athletes Part V: Two Different Paths to Freak

The Evaluating Football Athletes series illustrates the physical attributes competent evaluators should be looking to feed into their development process. It's also a caution to focus on what players CAN BE. Film can be self-evident - it doesn't take many clips of Adrian Peterson or Shaun Rogers in high school to understand what you're seeing - but they're exceptional athletes with floors already higher at age 18 than most athlete's ceilings at age 25. That's why you recruit them.
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The Scaaary Recruiting/Depth Discussion We Should Be Having: Linebacker

Much of our consternation about defensive recruiting has been focused on the Defensive Line. For good reason. It's always crucial to get yours there every year. But even after Herman's purging and our inability to secure 2018 DEs, the youth on our roster is more promising than the conventional wisdom holds. Holdovers like Nelson, Roach and Omenihu are proven assets. And I can make a pretty compelling argument that we'll have good depth behind them (barring multiple injuries and bad luck) with players like Cummins, Fitzgerald, Wilbon and Graham on developmental schedule. Holes start to show up in 2019 (which is why the 2018 DL matter), but we have to trust the development process.
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Scouting the Baylor Bears

The 0-7 Bears have had a dubious start under new head coach Matt Rhule. Early season non-conference losses to Liberty, UTSA and Duke suggested Bear football the likes of which we hadn't seen since Kevin Steele and Dirty Dave Roberts, but the Bears have slowly turned the corner from laughing stock to scrappers in the space of a few weeks.