Coach Bicknell, who flew Weyman into Ruston back in March for an official visit told Emfinger, he was convinced that Brett could play and excel in their pass-oriented offense. Emfinger, who discovered Weyman on film after his junior year, has closely followed Weyman's recruiting story. Emfinger is convinced if coaches had of seen Weyman's new film vs. Virginia Tech, Colgate, and a host of other college Jayvee teams, Weyman would have had 30 offers.
That's right I said colleges. Last year, Weyman was the only undergraduate quarterback in the nation to play at the college level. During his senior year, he skipped regular prep ball, and tried out and made the Fork Union team, who plays college jayvee teams with players who have already graduated from high school. Weyman was the only high school kid on the team. The last Fork Union quarterback to do this was Vinny Testeverde.
Fortunately, I had the occasion to see Brett Weyman at the Stanford Nike camp last year, where he impressed all of us with his strong arm and quickness. At that camp, which was loaded with West Coast all world players, including Kyle Wright and Dennis Dixson, two who had the reputation for the strongest arms in the west, Weyman blew them away in every category.
His performance at Stanford against 5 of the Elite 11 quarterbacks, earned Weyman a national name, as he dominated the quarterback field, although he was never given credit, because of the West Coast coaches and scouts who were hesitant to give an East Coast player any real credit.
After Stanford, Weyman was top ranked by almost every recruiting analyst. Student Sports/Sporting News named him Number two quarterback in the East. Athlon placed Him in their top 25. He was among the "Fab 50," and Insiders had him as high as 13. He was the "Recruiting Discovery of the year" in USAToday.com. At Fork Union, he completed 72 per cent of his passes and led his team to an 8-2 season.
Max Emfinger who stays convinced he is one of the nation's best, placed Weyman on his 2003 All-American Team, as the number 10 best pro style QB in the USA. It is absurd that Weyman was by-passed by so many high Division 1 schools, but he bloomed late and was by-passed by many schools who had early commits. Heck, most of the big schools had their minds made up before Weyman appeared on the scene at Stanford, after his junior year. Remarkably, his recruiting is still going on. A fact that now bodes well for either Tennessee or pass happy Louisiana Tech.
Of course, now that Louisiana Tech has offered Weyman, I think that he has to change the dynamics of his status at Tennessee. Because there's more here than meets the eye. Louisiana Tech may not be a Tennessee, a Notre Dame, or a Texas, but for a quarterback, they are the Harvard of D-1 schools. Like Texas Tech who runs the same offense, they offer a PHD in The Art of the Forward Pass.
Louisiana Tech is a quarterback's dream. And I think Weyman has to consider this offer, very seriously. Why? Three letters--for a football player--the most beautiful three letters in the English language... NFL.
Everyone knows Weyman lived a recruiting nightmare. No film. Then bad film. A new school, a new team every year in a different state at boarding schools, where he played baseball not football until his junior year. But everyone also knows he is one of the nation's top high school athletes at 6-3 and 226 pounds, a legit 4.6 in the forty and with 5.6 per cent body fat.
He also benches 300 pounds, squats 415, dead-lifts 550, does 13 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and and ran a 4.12 shuttle at the Stanford Nike camp. He also can throw a football 80 yards from a standup position. Those are pro stats now, my friends.
And he already looks the part. If someone told you he was the new rookie NFL quarterback for Pittsburgh, or San Diego, and you didn't know any better, you'd believe them. This is no skinny high school kid, having been trained by noted NFL trainer, Stacey Dove, for 4 summers in Weyman's hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
But filling the bill as a pro, might not be such a charade if Weyman makes the right moves, now. Just look at the past NFL draft. Un-athletic quarterbacks with big numbers like Ken Dorsey and Kliff Kingsbury had a tough time. And unheralded, but athletic quarterbacks like Cal's Kyle Boller, who Weyman looks like now, as a high school senior, caught the pro's eye. Frankly, I think Weyman is a shoe-in for pro draft interest, if someone wants to develop him. But who?
Louisiana Tech is a passing factory--a greased skid to the NFL, with an offense that moves the ball down field so fast--you better not blink.
They are one of about 5 teams who run an all-pass, spread offense that makes the quarterback the central key figure, thus manufacturing astronomical passing stats for that gunslinger... And the pros do take notice.
No wonder quarterbacks, who come from these systems in recent times, seem to get automatically drafted into the pros. Who you say? Let's name a few. John Rattay, Louisiana Tech; Patrick Ramsey, Tulane; Shawn King, Tulane; Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech; David Carr, Fresno State. And there are others. Why are more QB's coming from these schools than the national powerhouses. Because it's an offensive system that translates very well to the NFL. Dubbed the West Coast Offense as designed by Bill Walsh, it's the answer to run stopping defenses. And QB's who learn to perfect this system, get drafted if they have any size and athleticism at all.
Luke McCowan, the current senior quarterback at Louisiana Tech, is the current active NCAA passing leader. He was a Hiesman candidate last season and will be again going into, this, his final year. He is also projected to be one of the top three candidates for next year's NFL draft, as well. All this thanks to an offense so pass friendly, it makes Steve Spurrier's, "Fun and Gun" offense look like a gray flannel pin strip suit.
I remember Luke McCowan from high school. He was good. But he wasn't great. And he wasn't even ranked in the top 25 in the nation. This just shows you what Jack Bicknell and his system can do. This is why I think Brett Weyman needs to weigh this offer very heavily. For a kid who already has an NFL pro body, and an arm to match, what he could do over the next four or five years in Jack Bicknell's system at Louisiana Tech just outweighs anything he might possibly do anywhere else, in my opinion. It's just a function of the numbers.
Consider this! Louisiana Tech passed nearly 600 times last year as compared to Tennessee's 325. A QB, who plays there, will pass the equivalent of two seasons for every one at a Tennessee. So his experience is doubled every year.
By this methodology, a QB at La Tech gains four years experience in two years, and an astounding eight years experience, as a four-year starter. This is what makes La Tech so special. Brett Weyman, are you listening.
This is your chance to even the score. This is your chance to entertain those college recruiters who passed on you, as they watch you on Sundays. This is what Jack Bicknell is offering you.
So the decision Brett Weyman needs to make is not about college, it's about the next level. Few, kids have the ability to think this way so early in their career. But I think Weyman can muster his vaunted 132 IQ and figure it out real quick. If not, I guarantee you his dad can.
And let's be honest. Tennessee has not offered Weyman a scholarship. So really, he is just a try-out. I happen to think Tennessee has got the cream of the crop in head Coach Philip Fulmer. There is not a finer gentlemen than Phil Fulmer. He is quality. So, I believe he would be the first one to understand why a walk-on QB in his program, could not turn down a chance to go into a program, where he would get a chance to start early, throw on every down, open the season each year on national television against the University of Miami, and along the way play Penn State, LSU, plus a tough WAC schedule with top contenders, like Boise State, No. 15 last year, Fresno State, who pounded Georgia Tech in their bowl game, and Hawaii, who is another phenomenal passing machine lead by June Jones. At La Tech, Weyman, like Luke McCowan, could become a Heisman candidate, as well.
I know it's not Tennessee with all its game day celebrity, its Vol Walk, its Vol Navy and 107,000 fans in the stands. Few schools, save Notre Dame, can come close to Tennessee, for fanfare, but the likely hood of Weyman enjoying all of this from the center field, is unrealistic anyway.
I know Brett is a "preferred" walk-on, at Tennessee, but really, the recruiting deck is stacked against him there. Remember coach Fulmer did not recruit Brett or ask him to come to Tennessee. It is my understanding, that the Weyman family made this decision on their own. So, really, what reason does Tennessee have to offer him now or in the future? Furthermore, there is so much walk-on quarterback clutter at UT, I think QB's are going to have great difficulty getting reps in practice. Anyone could get lost in that shuffle. In fact, Tennessee has so many walk-on QB's, they are going to have to hire a special Walkon Quarterback coach just to direct traffic.
So, Is this the place to become developed? To be groomed? Plus, we all know UT coaches are going to bring in two, maybe three all world prospects this year, to fill the void that the Chris Leak situation created. I can just hear their pitch to top ranked national prospects now, "Son, all we have is a bunch of walk-ons."
And when those scholarship prospects arrive, all the pressure will be on Tennessee to develop and play one of these kids early, just like they did with Casey Clausen. This is where their incentive will be. Showing the Vol Nation that they have picked a winner--and that their recruiting prowess is back on track. Now more than ever--after Chris Leak, Tennessee must attract a top QB. They need a recruiting win. And even though they have one in Weyman, it's not good enough, because he came in the side door, on his own. They didn't even offer him an official visit. He paid his own way, and he still is. So no one can take credit for recruiting him. He's just their wild card.
And when they get their all-world prospects, and they will, they need to develop those prospects to prove the recruiting system works. If two prospects are equal, but one has the state of Tennessee's money invested in him, and the other is there on his own dime, which one do you think is expendable? That's the unfortunate difference between a walk-on and a scholarship player.
So where does this leave Brett Weyman? I think it leaves him in the middle, again. Between a rock and a hard place. Once again, he is caught up in the mix of a recruiting politics, agendas, and hell bent competition, where it will be hard to find a level playing field. It is no one's fault. It is just the situation. But it may not bode well for Brett Weyman's future at UT. He's a gift horse. And we know how people look at gift horses.
I discussed this same logic with Brett's father, and asked him this same question. He said, "Brett is committed 100 per cent in his mind to Tennessee. He will be there May 30th, and he sees himself playing there. They have been great and the Vol Coaches have done everything that they said they would do. They have already put him into the football athletic dorm at Gibbs," said Mr. Weyman.
"So, we are comfortable and excited about the prospects at Tennessee for Brett. At the moment besides Louisiana Tech, there are 4 or 5 other schools who still need quarterbacks and have asked for this new film. But we are sending it out as an after thought. I guess, if the coaches at UT don't want Brett after seeing him work out this summer, or if he doesn't make the roster, he could go to one of these other schools, this fall, without loosing any eligibility, but that's not where Brett's heart is. His heart is at UT right now. So, the La Tech scholarship offer is flattering, but for now, Brett's putting 100 per cent of his effort into Tennessee. So, we will let it play out from there," said Mr. Weyman.
That's a nice statement. But both UT and Weyman may be better off looking deeply into the controlling issues surrounding them. I hope they both will be honest with each other. Brett's career is at stake. And frankly, I think this scenario may be as unfair to Brett, as it is unlikely for UT given their situation.
It's too bad, though, becuase Brett Weyman looks like a Tennessee quarterback. Their quarterbacks's have always had a great image. Peyton Manning had a great attitude, but he also was a great giver, and he still is to this day. Tee Martin was a real gem. He was a beloved Vol and he deserves to be. Casey Clausen has always represented the Vols well. He is sophisticated as you would expect a kid from Los Angeles to be, and he handles the media and pressure very, very well. Brett Weyman has the classic All-American good looks like one of those models from that trendy teen store, Abercrombie & Fitch.
I remember Weyman giving an interview out at the Nike Stanford. He was very polished and quite well spoken. He is a musician and a student pilot. His dad said he's quite the accomplished artist as well. In fact, the first class Brett will take at UT this summer, according to his father, is an architectural drawing course.
Brett presented some of his drawings to the Dean of the school, and got special permission to take the class, which is restricted to those who possess talent. In short, as you can, Brett is a real class act who will represent any school that he goes to in a first class manner.
Brett's dad said, "Brett wants to be an architect if he doesn't play pro football."
And speaking of professional football, if I were the Weyman family I would treat Brett's summer at Tennessee as a summer quarterback camp. I would go up there meet the guys, practice with Casey, maybe run into Peyton, and "Tee", get a few tips or two, then, come July, pack up and drive south to Ruston, Louisiana which begins on I-85 South...it's just a highway to most, but for Brett Weyman, it's could be the road to the NFL.
And, oh, I forgot to mention they have a school of architecture too.