Colorado Mines Coach Bob Stitt on Brian Sump

The San Diego Chargers signed dynamo Brian Sump from the Colorado School of Mines the day after the 2003 NFL draft. Sump is polished as a returner and was the primary receiver during his junior and senior seasons. Sump is an early favorite to make the squad by the members of Chargers Update and Coach Stitt joined us to explain why he would be a solid addition to San Diego.

Since the departure of Ronney Jenkins this offseason there are glaring holes in the return game. Steve Crosby, special teams coach for the Chargers, is hoping for a sparkplug to ignite the unit week in and week out. Brian Sump, a Harlon Hill Trophy Finalist, would be a jumpstart to the anemic unit.

"We were hoping it would be the San Diego Chargers," said Head Coach Bob Stitt, "because they have the strongest need for a punt or kickoff returner and possibly wide receiver."

A lot of teams have holes that need to be filled by undrafted free agents, but what makes a player stick, or go to a particular team is in the roster makeup.

"I talked to a few scouts, one with the Chargers," said Stitt. "We felt the best way to make a roster spot would be on special teams and the Chargers had the biggest need."

In 2000, Sump set school records with 38 kickoff returns and 1,082 kickoff return yards, as well as 19 punt returns netting 294 yards, good for a 15.5 average. As his prowess as a receiver progressed, his duties in the return game slowed down, but not to a halt. He still managed 22 returns as a senior. In total Sump set 23 school records at Colorado Mines. What separates him from the field of players trying to earn a spot on the team?

"If you like him on film as a player, you will like him even more as a person. Being an Engineering School it has gruesome academics, they are in school all day and it is very difficult. No classes to hide in here, geometry, physics and chemical engineering.

"Brian brings the intangibles, just a great worker."

When asked how long he had been coaching Brian Sump, Coach Stitt started to salivate at the thought of having him one more year.

"It is my 4th season as coach; I have been here with Brian for 3 seasons, he had one season here without me. He should have red-shirted as a freshman that year, and then I would have him back this year!"

We can see he has the makeup to be a quality return man, but does he offer anything in the receiving game?

"He is a guy people always had to double team. Someone was always bumping him and then there was a guy over the top to lend support. I told my quarterbacks if they ever saw Brian in single coverage to always go back to Brian."

That is confidence. Now we see why Coach Stitt does not easily want to part with Brian Sump.

"When scouts look at the film, they always know where Brian is. I tell them if they can't see you it will not help you and they know who Brian Sump is.

"He was timed 4.46. One thing is he is that fast on the field as well. Some people start tiptoeing on the field, not Brian; he is the same speed on the field. He plays with passion and is willing to take a lick. He is not gun shy."

With the way the Chargers special teams have played, taking a hit may be a mandatory requirement.

"Something people don't realize is he played only 5 years of organized football. He played baseball in high school and some of his friends played football and he thought it would be fun. He didn't even start as a freshman as a walk-on. He didn't get recruited at all. He should have been a senior this season after red-shirting."

"Brian was the only senior on the team, we are building something here. Everyone else is returning juniors and red-shirts."

A few years from now Sump may be the guy who paved the way for Colorado Mines to the NFL.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage

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