There are big-time recruits and then there are no-brainer recruits, the kind of player that anyone can look at in street clothes and say, “Yeah, everybody must want him.”
Joakum, Texas, wide receiver Joshua Moore is one of those — 6-3, 4-stars, 50-plus offers. Out of all those offers, Moore seems to be down to a final group of three: Nebraska, Florida State and Texas A&M.
He’s had a commitment date of June 18 set for a while now, but the Huskers got what should be considered good news ahead of that announcement.
No word yet on when exactly Moore will be in Lincoln, but for the Huskers’ staff that probably matters less than that he’s coming. To be frank, that’s not a spot Nebraska has been in very often over the past decade or so with recruits with this much attention.
These things are always hard to parse, but it feels like Nebraska is right in the mix here. Obviously, this close to the commitment date, this isn’t a courtesy visit. The staff saw Moore on Sunday at Texas A&M’s satellite camp, and Bookie Radley-Hiles, who spent time with Moore this spring while Moore was at IMG Academy, is also on the case.
I’ll never really get tired of watching the collision between science — what is designed to be an objective pursuit — and football coaching, which, as much as any enterprise, clings to the value of subjective experience. And I’m not saying experience doesn’t matter — it does — but they’re just so often opposing poles. For the coach willing to dabble in sports science, what happens when the science is showing the exact opposite of something the coach has always believed? Is that a threat or is it the reason that coach wanted a sports-science department in the first place?
Seems like a simple question, but it’s a big one in an era where football programs, thanks to an influx of TV money, can basically have every bell and whistle they could possibly want. For some schools, that’s a sports scientist, but how are those people being utilized?
I linked this story from ESPN in yesterday’s post, but I’ve continued to think about it over the past day and wanted to highlight what I think is the key idea to this evolution. It starts with a quote from Dave Hamilton, who has been working at Penn State since September as the school’s assistant AD for applied health and performance science.
“The whole idea is that people currently work in silos and we’re not maximizing their skill sets or the practice that supports a program,” he said. “It takes technology and collaboration, but collaboration is the most important piece.”
For example, let’s say a football team has a habit of giving away leads in the fourth quarter. The strength coach sees a group that is not in good enough shape. The nutritionist sees an inefficient system for replenishing fluids at halftime. The sports psychologist sees a mental block in high-pressure situations. Hammer. Nail.
Perhaps a heart rate-variability monitor shows the boys are in fine shape and more conditioning during the week would actually be hurting their ability to recover to full strength by game day. Instead, the GPS tracker shows that in games in which they blow a late lead, the players are traveling much farther than usual in the second and third quarters. The game film confirms that they are getting caught out of position in those spots and that’s what is making them expend too much energy.
Neat and tidy example, but the key point is really in the second graf where each individual department views the problem differently and has its own solution. If a school doesn’t have someone pulling all of that information together to create a comprehensive view, all of those bells and whistles are just that.
And bells and whistles don’t win football games.
The Grab Bag
- The NCAA may be tightening up its graduate-transfer rules.
- Bill Bender of The Sporting News has Nebraska playing Georgia in the Outback Bowl.
- Here is a detailing of the Memorial Stadium upgrades that will be in place for the 2017 season.
- Michigan State dismissed three players from the team who were charged with sexual assault this week.
- ICYMI: Jacob Padilla stopped by the Locker Room Jamboree Camp at Bellevue West yesterday for a report and caught up with 2019 linebacker Nick Henrich. (Premium)
Today’s Song of Today