Measuring Tulane Recruiting: Physical Rankings

The percentile rankings that are mentioned in parenthesis are rankings for high school players at their respective positions from the book 'Complete Conditioning for Football' (1998) by Mike Arthur and Bryan Bailey

The percentile rankings that are mentioned in parenthesis are rankings for high school players at their respective positions from the book 'Complete Conditioning for Football' (1998) by Mike Arthur and Bryan Bailey.

Arthur and Bailey were assistant strength coaches under Boyd Eppley at Nebraska. One of the more interesting things in the book is that they provide tables ranking performances of both high school and college football players for their respective positions for 40-yard dash, short shuttle (20-yard shuttle, 5-10-5, pro agility, whatever you want to call it), vertical jump, and 10-yard dash. The high school tables were used since the combine performances where they were physically tested were in the spring of their junior year.

The higher the percentile, the more impressive the performance.

Let's take a look at a signee who participated in one of the combines produced by Scout.cm and MSL Combines last spring.

Please remember that the data on which this interpretation is based is nearly a year old.

Let's take a look at James Dillard who attended the MSL Miami combine.
Height.............6-0
Weight.............212
40.................5.02 (80)
Short shuttle......4.66( 50)
Bench reps (185#)..13
Vertical jump......33" (100)

Decent size. It's surprising that his 40 time is in the 80th percentile for outside linebackers and his short shuttle was very average.

His 13 reps translates to about a 285-290 pound max on bench. His vertical is excellent. In fact, It's surprising that his 40 was as slow as it was given his vertical. One thing to keep in mind about Dillard is that he did not "train" much before going to Pace. He was still at MacArthur when he went to the combine, so he may be a much different athlete by the time he gets here, given his reported work ethic. It is very easy to take an "untrained" subject (even when he obviously wasn't a horrible athlete) and create substantial improvements with virtually any training. Although it's doubtful that he went from a 5.02 to a (legit)4.62 from the combine to January as reported by Coach Joe Zaccheo, but who knows. Bottom line is, Dillard may not be to far away from contributing, at least speaking of the physical side of things.

As much as we can we're going to try and rank some Green Wave signees in the various combine testing categories and indicate where there presumed ranking put's them in the percentile rankings.

Jordan Ellis:

40............................. (90)
Short shuttle.............(70)
Bench reps...............14
Vertical jump............(70)

Doesn't have elite size for an inside backer. Given hamstring situation back when he ran for the clock, the 40 time is very good. Short shuttle isn't bad, but doesn't jump out at you. Vertical isn't bad. From the number of reps, Jordan's max bench press should be a hair under 300. Bottom line, needs to get stronger and faster but may physically be ready to contribute early.

Chris Dunn:

40..................90)
Short shuttle.......(10)
Bench reps.........8
Vertical jump.......(70)

Good size for position. Athletically, did not perform well. 40 time is not what you want, despite being in the 90th percentile. Short shuttle is down-right horrible and very confusing. It's doubtful whether Dunn had ever done a short shuttle before attending a combine, but even so that time is terrible.

Max on bench press should be around 240-250, which is good upper body strength for position. Vertical isn't great, an indication that he has a ways to go to develop the explosion that is the basis of quickness.

Athletically, very average for a D-IA signee, but decent upper body strength. Bottom line, Chris seems to be more of a possession-type receiver in college, despite averaging 17 yards per catch in high school.

Brian King:
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40..................(90)
Short shuttle.......(90)
Bench reps..........2

Physical build is somewhat slight side, but with good height. 40 isn't great, but not terrible. Short shuttle indicates he is "cat-quick". Definitely needs to get stronger, the number of reps indicates that he barely benches 200 pounds.

Dunn and King are going to be expected to contribute early. However, their athleticism isn't going to do them any favors. They're going to have to make up for their athletic shortcomings with football sense, toughness, and heart. None of these tests indicate either how well they'll catch the ball or block.

Travis Olexa

40....................(70)
Short shuttle.........(10)
Bench.................18
Vertical jump.........(65)

Good size. His 40 time would not be exceptional, despite being in the 70th percentile. Ideally you would want 5.30 or less. A legitimate 5.20 would be considered exceptional for a high school prospect. Travis probably runs a 5.5 or worse.

Moving on, his short shuttle is not good, by any standard. He probably needs extensive work on his footwork. 18 reps translates to a 310-320 pound bench press. Bottom line is that Travis is a project athletically, Good size, but needs work. His vertical is not completely terrible and that seems to indicate that he has the potential for some explosiveness.

Justin Kessler:

40...................(100)
Short shuttle........(65)
Bench.................21
Vertical jump........(85)

Tall, strong, but needs to add bulk; which means he should get even stronger. The number of reps indicates that he benches around 330 pounds.

Excellent 40 time for his position.

It appears that he had never run a short shuttle before, given that his 40 time was faster than his short shuttle.

However, his shuttle ranking is hardly terrible for a tight end. And his vertical is not bad. Physically, other than Slocum, Kessler is probably the most ready to play. The bottom line is thathe tested very well for a tight end, especially in the bench and the 40.

Sean Carney:

40...................(90)
Short shuttle........(85)
Bench................18
Vertical jump........(90)

He's somewhat small, but Carney tested well. Needs to add bulk; which like Kessler means he should get even stronger, which is a very good prospect forn Tulane, since the 310-320# that the number of reps indicate on the bench is not even average for a D-IA defensive end. 40 time is good, short shuttle is good for his position. Vertical is not bad either. Should really be ready to contribute after a redshirt, but he's not bad now athletically.

Matt Slocum:

40....................(100)
Short shuttle.........(100)
Bench.................18
Vertical jump.........(100)

Tulane isn't supposed to get an athlete like this. Self reported 40 time is unbelievable for a guy his size coming out of high school. Carney's short shuttle is good, but Slocum's is exceptional. Carney's vertical is good, but Slocum's is very good. Still needs to add bulk and strength, but overall Slocum displays exceptional raw physical abilities.


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