AFM RSS Feed Follow Us on Twitter       

   User Name    Password 
      Password Help

Article Categories

AFM Magazine

AFM Magazine

Letter from the Editor

Many Diamonds in the Rough
by: Rex Lardner
© More from this issue

Click for Printer Friendly Version          

The stories seem to be endless about football players that – when finally given a chance – blossom into becoming stars. On the high school, college, and professional levels, each year there are the second, third, and fourth stringers that, finally given a chance, perform almost heroically.

A few weeks ago that’s what happened in Baton Rouge. Tennessee’s back-up quarterback, Rick Clausen, came into the game midway through the second quarter and led the Volunteers to an improbable come from behind win over LSU, 30-27, in overtime. To make it even more incredible, Clausen – a few years ago – was a back-up quarterback for the Tigers. Without any playing time foreseen in the near future, he transferred to Tennessee. Even then, he was a third stringer and finally got his chance last year, primarily because of injury. A backup earlier in the year, the Vols rallied behind Clausen to beat the Tigers after having been down 21-0 at half.

On the high school and professional level, there are many examples:

Tom Brady was a sixth round pick of the New England Patriots. He finally got his chance when Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury. The result: three Super Bowl wins in the last four years for the Patriots.

Kurt Warner played one year of college football at Northern Iowa. He finally got a legitimate chance years later—after playing in both the Arena Football League and NFL Europe. When, as a backup to Trent Green of the Rams in 1999, the starter got hurt, Kurt finally got a shot at starting quarterback. The result: two MVP’s and a Super Bowl win.

Barry Sanders, believe it or not, did not play any offense until his senior year of high school in Wichita. As a defensive back, he led his team in interceptions and, because of some injuries, finally got to play running back. After an outstanding second half of his senior season, he still wasn’t offered a D-I scholarship and was headed for junior college. That summer a scholarship at Oklahoma State opened up and, even then, he played second string to Thurman Thomas for two years. Finally, his junior year, he became the starter for the Cowboys. The result: an NCAA record-setting 2,628 yards and the 1988 Heisman Trophy.

Recruiting is certainly not an exact science. No matter how much homework is done, tape is seen, the number of times the potential recruit is interviewed, the results are still unknown. How a particular player fits in, his attitude, work ethic, and adjustments to the situation, are sometimes hard to measure.

This issue of American Football Monthly includes a feature on a relatively new form of recruiting: email recruiting. Now, in this electronic age, there is more communication than ever before with recruits. Colleges can keep in touch with high school seniors on almost a daily basis, monitoring their senior season and keeping them informed of what’s going on at that respective college. The more informal aspect of email recruiting is, often times, less jarring than the one-on-one telephone call. It also lets a university keep up to date with a much larger base of athletes.

No matter what level of communication there is, however, an element of risk is almost always involved in the process. This happens on just about every level of football. After all, many coaches and general managers felt Ryan Leaf was, potentially, a better pro quarterback than Peyton Manning. Enough said.

We hope you enjoy this issue of American Football Monthly and welcome your comments and feedback.


Rex Lardner
Managing Editor
American Football Monthly


AFM Videos Streaming Memberships Now Available Digital Download - 304 Pages of Football Forms for the Winning Coach


Copyright 2024,
All Rights Reserved