Coaches look for more than just on-field talent (Houston Nutt)
A 40-yard dash time defines speed. Bench press reps show strength. Vertical jump indicates explosiveness.
All offer tantalizing hints of a football player’s potential, but still only reveals just so much.
Sometimes learning about the motor requires peering under the hood.
“Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” is an old and oft-repeated criticism of a physical specimen who isn’t an intense competitor. Athletic ability without desire is a recipe for disappointment and helps explains why some four- and five-star recruits never distinguish themselves in college football.
Competitiveness cannot be measured by exercise or drill, but many coaches feel that intangible quality is just as valuable as speed and strength. Indeed, it can make a player seem faster or stronger. In turn, it can make a good player great, which explains why some two- and three-star prospects develop into legends.