The Long Snapper (2/1/10)

La Grange (La Grange, GA) quarterback Jamius Gunsby made it official this weekend.  He will sign with USF on National Signing Day.  Gunsby had previously mentioned if all went well on his official visit to Tampa, he would most likely commit to the Bulls.  The QB had a great time at USF and said he felt extremely comfortable with the school and the coaching staff.  If Evan Landi does indeed move to wide receiver full-time as rumors suggest, Gunsby could find himself as the primary backup to starting quarterback B.J. Daniels from day one.  Go back and take a look at Gunsby’s highlight video and get excited. Despite not receiving a lot of national attention, he looks like he could end up being a great player for the Bulls.
USF also picked up a commitment from Thomas County Central (Thomasville, GA) safety Reshard Cliett over the weekend.  Cliett is considering a diamond in the rough and had been recruited by Skip Holtz while he was still the head coach at ECU.  Although not highly recruited, Bulls’ coaches believe they have something of a project in Cliett.  With his speed and height (6’2”), USF may look to bulk him up and move him to outside linebacker.
Big time prospect Todd Chandler may be back in the mix for the Bulls.  After committing to Miami early in the process, Chandler made the switch to USF back in December.  Following the commitment, Chandler started to waiver.  He mentioned taking a number of official visits, but also said he remained committed at times.  Eventually, the defensive tackle dropped off of USF’s list and Louisville was rumored to be the leader.  Now Chandler appears to be done.  He has mentioned the recruiting process is over for him and on National Signing Day he will decided between USF, Colorado State, Louisville, and Syracuse.  Good money says the Bulls and Cardinals lead the pack.
The Senior Bowl didn’t give us the best picture of Tim Tebow the NFL quarterback: 8-of-12 for 50 yards with one carry for four yards and two fumbles.  After that “ehh” performance, we might as well do our best to talk up the former Florida star.  To many pro scouts, the actual game doesn’t matter.  It’s the week of practice they look at.  And while there were those teams that shied away from Tebow after seeing him in person, there were also those that noted he improved over the course of the week.  Not tremendously, but enough to make them think at the very least.  Tebow may never be a star quarterback in the NFL, but he could be turned into a contributor and someone who plays a large role in the offense.  It’ll be a long process, but Tebow showed he can learn.  20 years from now, we may not remember him as an All-Pro, Hall of Fame quarterback, but we may remember him as a solid force that helped his team do the most important thing.  Win.
For those of you who aren’t as obsessed as the rest of us, but still want updates, I’ll be typing away feverously throughout National Signing Day, but you have to do a little work to get it.  I’ll be providing updates as fast as my fingers allow on both The Bull Gator’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day.  So become a fan or follow me and get updates on who ends up where.  For those of you not so inclined, the Twitter widget in the left of the two menu bars provides my last five updates, so make sure you come back here often.  I’m sure they’ll be a story or two posted afterwards as well.  And definitely make sure to come back throughout the week after National Signing Day as I profile each and every recruit who signs with Florida and USF.

About The Bull Gator

I like orange and blue things.
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7 Responses to The Long Snapper (2/1/10)

  1. V. Money says:

    I'm amazed at how the NFL Combine, only the most important and most well-known venue for helping or hurting a player's draft stock, hasn't even happened yet, but Todd McShay and Co. are still penciling Tim Tebow in as 3rd-round material. What gives?

    Even if he doesn't belong that high, he at least deserves a chance to ace his "interview" like everybody else invited to Indy. Do people really have *that* much of a vendetta against him?

  2. The Bull Gator says:

    I have no idea whether Tebow will end up being successful or not, but you are right in that right now it seems as if the draft "experts" have written him off completely. More so than most people they've disliked in the past.

    I wonder if it's part ratings and part going against the Tebow love. McShay took some heat a while back for his love affair with Andre Woodson. He said all this stuff about how great Woodson will be and how any team that passes on him will be sorry. Well obviously that didn't pan out. Maybe this time he's taking the easy route and amplifying what the majority of the other guys are saying. That way he can say "I told you so" if it doesn't work out. While he's coming off as nothing more than a discontent, he is pushing the intrigue of the draft even higher because now Florida fans despise him and can't wait to watch.

    It may be the orange and blue glasses, but it does seem like he's being harder on Tebow than anyone else in recent memory. He might as well be saying no team should draft him period. I will say he did lighten up a little on Saturday morning in his comments, but you'd think Tebow never touched a football the way McShay talks for the most part. I'm just not sure why he can't just say "look, Tebow's mechanics are flawed and he has a lot of work cut out for him. I'm not sure if he projects well, but let's see which team he goes to and how they plan to bring him along" instead of just saying "nope, he can't do it." Of course what he's been saying has definitely created even more of a buzz surrounding the whole thing.

  3. The Bull Gator says:

    And, like you stated, the combine holds much more weight in the eyes of the scouts. What everyone has to remember is McShay and the like aren't scouts, they are entertainers essentially. For every team that seemed to agree with his assessment, there was another that did see that he improved over the course of the week.

  4. V. Money says:

    There's more subtle media nuances here. Granted, Tebow took every meaningful snap in the shotgun, and his mechanics aren't quite up to par. I'll give him that much.

    But first off, you could tell that the guy obviously put in a lot of work towards modifying his mechanics, and it had an impact (temporarily negative) on his Senior Bowl game. The exact same thing will happen to a golf player who adjusts his shot for accuracy and/or power, a basketball player who changes his release, or a baseball player who changes his swing. I wouldn't be surprised if Tebow showed clear improvement in throwing the football at Indy, aced the one-on-one interviews he has with teams, and puts up very good combine numbers (although he may suffer a decline because of all the hits he absorbed in college and because high school combines tend to inflate numbers).

    And second, while he did take every snap in the shotgun, it's not exactly a foreign formation to the NFL. Tom Brady, in particular, has used it extensively in New England, including the 2007 season where he won the MVP and the Pats nearly won it all. Other teams use it to varying degrees as well. Granted, the offense might be a little goofier, but why are they treating the shotgun time like it'll hurt his NFL career?

    In fact, if I'm a coach or general manager, I'd put some serious into the thought of drafting Tebow and adjusting the offense accordingly.

  5. The Bull Gator says:

    The most interesting thing about the shotgun debate (aside from what you mentioned that…gasp…NFL teams do use it too!) is that many of these other QBs did too. McCoy, Bradford, Pike. Apparently the shotgun didn't hurt their development, but it absolutely destroyed Tebow's.

  6. V. Money says:

    Heck, Peyton Manning (Peyton Manning!) uses the shotgun with the Colts, and he's the man in charge as far as running the offense is concerned.

    Somebody get McShay to knock some sense into Manning. He's destroying his own NFL career by running college-style plays that buy him time to make reads and avoid sacks instead of only using dropback plays that take some time to develop and make the offensive formations more predticable.

  7. V. Money says:

    What is probably the key difference is in how the QB carries out the offense rather than the offense himself.

    For example, Tebow usually looked for Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez and ran when both were covered. But in the NFL, good QBs know to avoid running and look for their third or fourth reads. So eye discipline would come in very handy for Tim at the next level.

    Also, I never saw him pump fake in a college game. Not once. While it's probably more of a luxury, some good QBs in the game can use it to buy separation.

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