Georgia Tech offensive line coach Errin Joe stopped by GMTM's Crafting Lineman show recently to talk about some of the consistent trends he’s noticed with young linemen in the high school and college ranks. As someone who was part of an 11-3 Yellow Jackets 2014 season that culminated in an Orange Bowl victory, and later evolved into a graduate assistant coach with the team, Joe has a unique perspective of both being in the trenches at the college level, and relating to younger players who are trying to establish themselves throughout the country.
Speaking with GMTM’s Torrian Wilson, the young coach discussed the marketing aspect of getting noticed by a college football program. More than any other point in time, it has never been easier for players, parents, coaches, or individuals invested in a prospect’s success to compile and edit a highlight tape for a young athlete. This access to footage and various social media platforms can be beneficial to get a kid exposure, but Joe and Wilson alluded to the fact that sometimes, less is more when it comes to these highlight packages.
“They(prospects) send me their highlight tape, and it’s like ten minutes long,” Wilson noted. “I know I’m not about to sit there and watch ten minute highlight tapes.”
“You know within those first few minutes what kind of player you have. You can put your best plays in those first three or four minutes,” Joe added.
Ironically enough, regardless of the type of flash plays shown early or late in the highlight reel, Joe mentioned that the best scouts will often bypass these carefully crafted media clips and head straight for the game film. While it never hurts to produce something a puff piece video, the true value of the player will be determined based on their consistent effort and production play in and play out.
“He made these plays the first two drives, but on that third drive…he’s bending over, lack of technique,” Joe commented.
Later in the segment, Wilson and Joe pressed the fast forward button on the development timeline, and touched on what happens to a young lineman once they actually reach the collegiate level. As one might expect, there’s a whole new learning curve that resets for a player after high school. There were a few common themes Joe has observed over the years when addressing what aspects incoming freshman struggle with the most initially.
The Speed Of The Game
Even if high school players were in great shape relative to their completion, they need to train at a whole new level at the college ranks.
Many players will play on their toes, which doesn’t allow them to establish the sturdy leverage base they need to drive defenders backwards.
Mastering The Intent Of The Play
Joe addresses the notion that the best linemen usually know exactly what everyone’s job is on each play, and how their role fits into the overall blueprint of the play design. When linemen begin to see outside of their own responsibilities, and understand the angles they need to block to best help their running back, that’s when the physical and mental part of the game start to work together in lockstep.
That last hurdle is something Joe takes pride in helping his players overcome. Whenever one of his guys can speak to the responsibility or the overall schematic of a play call, Joe takes pride in knowing that he played a small part in helping them see the bigger picture in the consummate team game.-