Well, it's been a busy spring. Breaking in about 30 new football players, and by new, I don't mean new to our program I mean new to the game! Lots of work to do before the fall. The lack of posts reflect this, especially over at Football Is Life and my posts about defending 3x1 sets. I promise, once spring dies down into the lulls of summer, I'll get back to finishing my posts. Well, this is Volume 13 of the Triple Option posts on the 12th Man Blog, so without further adieu, let's chop this shit up!
We all saw it. Some of us cringed, some of us grimaced, some even grinned, or secretly said "that's what you get". Last Thursday night football fans watched as Johnny Manziel slipped to the 22nd pick overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sure, for many it was painful, and for others it was exactly what they wanted to see happen. My take on all of it is, you reap what you sow. Manziel, is without a doubt, one of the most exciting football players to ever play the collegiate version of our favorite game. However, he's his own worst nightmare. The money sign, the folks he hangs out with, the cockiness, I think it got to some folks. Not to mention his diminutive stature, lack of a pocket presence and his "run first" mentality have scared off many an NFL coach. The fact is nobody can predict the future, they can only take the data at hand, and make an educated guess. Many see Manziel as a liability, who, that when all that NFL money is poured into him, won't pan out. I tend to lean this way too, but there's part of me that enjoys the way he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He's a guy who feels slighted, or short-changed, which dates back to his time in high school, and the fact that the University of Texas failed to recruit him. I like that in a player, and I think it is the one upside to Manziel's game. I think it is the only thing that will help keep him humble enough to succeed. I just don't know, if I had to bet my job on Manziel, I don't think I would have picked him much higher either. He's just a bit too risky for my taste, but you never know, and with a guy that can create like he can, the NFL game may take on an even different look if he gets behind the wheel of some body's creative offensive genius. Best of luck to Johnny Football, I really hope he does do well in the NFL. For more information on the drafting of the "big three" QB's in this year's draft, take a look at this Grantland piece by Smart Football.
Speaking of the Texas Longhorns, for the first time since 1937, the University of Texas had zero, yes ZERO draft picks in this year's NFL draft. I will gloat here a bit, but that makes me smile. I'll tell you why. Now I'm sure there are some nice folks in Texas, however, I've met very few of whom that know what the word humble means. "Everything is bigger in Texas", is not just a catchy phrase, it's the state's motto. Sure, Texas is huge, and does produce some great football talent, but it should. It's run like a damn meat processing factory. When you look at the money that is poured into Texas football, from youth leagues all the way to the professional level, there shouldn't be a player in the NFL that isn't from Texas. In my opinion, the book "Friday Night Lights" shed the light on just how abhorrent the money flow and corruption that stands behind Texas high school football. Sure, corruption is everywhere, however Texas takes things to an all new level. To have the state of Florida lead the nation this year with over 40 picks in the NFL draft is a statement to the absolute pure talent the state has to offer. The money put into Florida's talent is a dramatic difference to that of California or Texas (numbers two and three in draft picks this year). Florida high school coaches make in a year what many Texas coaches make in one month, yet somehow get over 40 picks into the draft. Amazing. So yes, I do like to gloat some when it comes to this topic. It makes me happy to see all those folks from Texas in such a hushed state.
I am so happy to see that Trey Burton, of the University of Florida got picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately he did not get drafted. This is a complete shame, because I really feel Trey Burton was the most misused football player in the history of Florida Gator football. He started as a QB, and would've fit quite well if it weren't for the fact that two mis-guided idiots named Steve Addazzio and Urban Meyer thinking that John Brantley was a spread QB. Enter in Will Muschamp and his revolving door of offensive coordinators, and you have yourself the case of a guy who got lost in the shuffle. It's a miracle Burton didn't transfer, which just proves how loyal he was to UF from the get-go. Burton was moved from position to position, where even there he was misused. Under Brent Pease he became known as a wildcat QB who EVERYONE in the stadium knew was going to carry the football once he went in. Burton has a tremendous upside in that despite all the tinkering, position changing, and coordinator changes, he stayed true to his work ethic and has now ended up in the league. I can only wish him good luck as he embarks on the next phase of his football journey, hopefully he'll get a chance to showcase many of his talents that those at Florida tried so hard to squash. Good luck Burton, and thanks for all the memories as a Gator.