Now that we have wrapped up and put a pretty little bow on Spring football we want to turn our focus to the high school football recruiting process and one of the many variables in that process:
The measurables (size, weight, strength, speed) for players who will be high school Seniors in 2012 and will be part of the 2013 recruiting class.
So let's pretend for just a moment that you are a college football coach at a major BCS conference school. You are well aware of the fact that recruiting is the life blood of your football program.
Now fast forward to early January, only a month before the annual fiasco know as Hat Picking Day, I mean National Signing Day, as you find yourself on the road somewhere in Florida on the recruiting trail and in hot pursuit of "Joe Stud" high school football player.
Stud you see is one of most highly rated linebackers in the State and he not only has scholarship offers from ever major college in the State but also in the entire Country.
So you check out Joe's high school career statistics along with his academic qualifications and character references and find out that Stud is a player that meets all of your criteria and a player you desperately want on your team.
You quickly discover that the "Big Three" recruiting services, Rivals, Scout and ESPN, all have Joe Stud rated as one of the top 100 players in the Nation.
But something is just not right. Something is simply not adding up.
One recruiting service has Joe listed at 5-11, 215 and running a 4.4 forty.
Another has Stud listed at 6-1, 225 and running a 4.6 forty.
Still another web site has Joe checking in at 6-0, 220 and 4.5 in the forty.
If you have been around a while and have been paying attention then you know that this is how the game is played on every level of football. The facts are surprisingly hard to find in an area that should be very evidence based and not subjective at all.
Is someone out there at Rivals, Scout or ESPN just guessing about these critical measurements? Do they stand next to each other on the sidelines at football camps and say: "Well he looks about 6' and 220 to me, what about to you?" or "That guy wearing #5 just seems really fast to us!"
From high school, to college and all the way up to the NFL, recruiting services and coaches often stretch the truth or in some cases even intentionally provide false and misleading information about the real measurables - the size, weight, strength and speed - of the players who are on their teams or who are being hotly recruited by the major college teams each year.
The fact of the matter is that these measurables of the individual players matter greatly during the recruiting process as college coaches try to determine which of these young people have the best current measurables and also try to estimate which ones have the greatest potential to grow and develop their bodies as they mature into young adults.
What seems to be the case is that certain high school players may have reached their personal peak performance levels too soon. Coaches can sometimes be fooled by players who are extreme weight room junkies and look the part or those who have been playing football for basically their entire lives from Pee Wee to Pop Warner leagues and have matured early.
Some of these players have very possibly already reached their maximum potential and hit the proverbial performance ceiling or wall with no more room to go or grow.
In addition, on the college and professional levels these measurables matter even more so as teams specifically game plan to attack what they see as potential weaknesses on another team with the perceived strengths of their players based on advantages in size, weight, strength or speed at key positions.
The problem is that unless you are actually standing there during the actual measuring process the average fan has no clue about what is or is not true and/or accurate when it comes to a specific players measurables. In fact, the facts may not be known until the public NFL combine when the real truth comes out.
The bottom line is that the measurables - size, weight and speed - matter.
Yet it appears to this fan that sometimes size can be relative and that the true measurables may only be in the eye of the beholder.