• Brent Brennan to Gary Andersen: “Are you trying to put together the best group you can or not?”

    Brent Brennan

    Brent Brennan was in a precarious position. His old boss, Mike Riley, had left for Nebraska and left the rest of his staff in limbo. The new boss, Gary Andersen, was getting his old band back together.

    Brennan had an interview with Andersen for his old job, but he was up against two other coaches. Andersen wanted to talk with the other candidates first before making a decision.

    “I said, ‘How do you know they’re better than me?'” Brennan told Gina Mizell of the Oregonian. “And (Andersen) smiled and was like, ‘I like that.’ I was like, ‘Well they’re not (better), so are you trying to put together the best group you can or not?’

    “He just kept laughing. I just went for it. I was like, ‘What do I have to lose?'”

    In reality, Brennan had proven his worth before to Andersen before he was even hired, recruiting for Oregon State, making the new staff aware of recruiting inroads the previous staff had established, and breaking down film of the returning players.

    “I didn’t know what choice I had,” Brennan said. “What, I’d go home and just sit on my (butt) and not do anything? I just felt silly doing that.”

    So he got to work preparing for 2015 whether his new boss was aware of his plans or not.

  • The FootballScoop Spring Tour


    Next week we’re rolling out on the annual Spring Tour. Yes, that means @OT_Software and myself popping up at 10 or so of your favorite programs.

    You might recall a few years back we traversed the Pac-12…and then we did Notre Dame & a good slug of the Big Ten programs. There are stories…for days. Always a great time visiting programs with Mike from OT.

    This year, we’re leaving Monday, heading up to Oklahoma first and then making way across the great state of Texas. Some of our stops will include Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Texas, Baylor, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M & Houston; but there will be others. Follow along the next two weeks on Twitter & on the site as we visit with coaches & support staff here there and everywhere and help tell their stories. Should be a great ride.

    Michigan native @Coach_Samz did the Big Ten tour last time. This year, he’s snowed in and will remain up in Michigan with the keys to the site.

    FootballScoop’s resident Texan, @Zach_Barnett will hitch a ride this year, serving as backseat driver / navigator / trip scribe.

    We’ll have pictures, stories and some video from each program with visit.

    If anyone has any food, drink or other required stops along our path, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re going to have some fun. Hope you guys enjoy following along.

  • Where are your players hanging out on social media? Probably not Twitter

    social media

    On Wednesday we heard from a recruiting director that Twitter is no longer the preferred social media outlet of today’s high school and college athlete. Today the athletes themselves have confirmed it.

    Our friends at Fieldhouse Media conducted a survey of 927 college athletes (80 percent of whom participate in Division I) on the lay of the land – as it stands this second – on social media for today’s young person. What they said? Among the Big Four platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – the typical college athlete is least likely to possess a Twitter account and least likely use Twitter as his or her primary social medium.

    Social Platform Presence
    94% are on Facebook
    89% are on Snapchat
    81% are on Instagram
    73% are on Twitter

    Most Used Social Media Platform
    33% said Instagram
    29% said Facebook
    21% said Snapchat
    13% said Twitter

    Arizona’s Matt Dudek told us yesterday Twitter is still the preferred outlet for recruiters, and we agree. Facebook has been taken over by the aunt you see twice a year, Snapchat is still viewed as the Wild West of social media, and Instagram requires a photo to be sent in any private conversation. Twitter isn’t perfect, but it’s the simplest, cleanest outlet for disseminating information. Today’s athletes, apparently, don’t agree.

    Some other fun stuff:

    43% spend more than an hour a day on social media
    3% have posted to social media during a game
    22% have responded to hateful tweets from fans
    20% have tweeted something inappropriate
    45% say they’ve received no social media training

    It’s an interesting survey. Check it out.

  • “It comes down to you”: Inside the dream (and nightmare) of kickers


    Back in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, all eyes were on Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson as he lined up for a field goal at the end of regulation against Oklahoma State with the score tied at 38 a piece.

    The first attempt came from the middle of the field and the 35-yard attempt would have won the game…but it sailed wide left. Then, in overtime, Williamson had a shot at redemption with a 43-yard try, but he missed that as well.

    Oklahoma State went on to kick the game winning field goal in overtime to win 38-35, and when  an emotional Williamson got to the locker room and pulled out his phone, he had over 100 texts and nearly 2,000 Facebook friend requests (mostly from Oklahoma State fans) along with countless Facebook messages that said everything from “I hope they pull your scholarship” and “I hope you die,” to “I hope the team ties you up in the locker room and beats you,” in much more colorful language

    In the video below, Williamson says that after returning to campus he didn’t go to class for two weeks, and opted to stay secluded in his room trying to sleep the day away and later turning to alcohol to numb his pain. When he did eventually venture out of he tried to fly under the radar by not wearing any Stanford gear, for fear of being recognized.

    The turning point for him was months down the road, during November of the 2012 regular season against #2 ranked Oregon up in Eugene. After missing a pivotal 42-yard field goal in regulation that would have sent the Cardinal to the Pac-12 title game, Williamson jogged off the field and looked at David Shaw who told him, in the simplest of terms, “You need to grow up and start making those kicks.”

    Instead of being upset at the straightforward approach from his head coach, Williamson realized he was right, and returned the the field in overtime tied at 14 for another field goal attempt…and nailed this one

    This video chronicles the story of Williamson’s mindset and journey from lining up for the game winner in that Fiesta Bowl, to the implications it had on his life in the months afterwards, and finally to his return to the field and legendary status after nailing that kick in OT against the Ducks.

    It’s not just kickers, this is a great reminder that there are players, people, and coaches behind some of the biggest tragedies and triumphs in college football, and sports in general.

  • “Either we develop players really well, or those recruiting rankings are way off”

    At Mississippi State’s campus Pro Day yesterday, Dan Mullen was asked about the guys participating in the Bulldogs Pro Day that weren’t necessarily highly recruited guys, some of whom have blossomed into potential first round picks, and NFL caliber players.

    His response provided an alternative perspective that many may have never considered before around draft time.

    “One of two things is happening. Either we develop players really well, or those recruiting rankings are way off. I don’t know, there’s probably a little bit of both in there.” Mullen noted.

    As coaches, oftentimes when we look at programs that are winning at a high level without the four and five star recruits, we chalk it up to the coaching and support staffs really developing their players better than anyone else because most coaches say that the recruiting rankings don’t matter to them.

    But as Mullen says, maybe the initial recruiting and star rankings are just way off…or maybe it’s a mix of both.