How Tall Should you be to Play NCAA Football
Big Impact Comes in Small Packages
When football fans and analysts talk about “short” players, they often draw upon NFL greats such as Doug Flutie and Darren Sproles. While both are celebrated athletes, their success on the field is commonly framed as impressive “for their size.” In reality, athletes with lower centers of gravity have a huge advantage in contact sports. It may sound cliché but in football, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” In fact, even “recruiting services” will tell college football prospects that you should be at least a certain height to play at a certain position.
In researching these exceptional athletes, I found that programs unwilling to recruit athletes shorter or lighter than their rigid standards are often the ones who have suffered losing records year after year. However, consistent powerhouses like Alabama, Georgia and Clemson, and even some teams on the rise like FAU, UCF, South Carolina, and Miami utilize offensive and defensive weapons under 5’10 for their punch and agility.
In my experience speaking with both NFL and CFB players under 5'10, they are often confused by various heights they are listed as by different teams and sports reports. For whatever reason, coaches, athletic directors, communications directors, and sports reporters feel the need to add an inch or two when listing players under 6-foot. The truth is there is a huge advantage to having a smaller frame or being closer to the ground and it is absolutely ridiculous that anybody feels the need to do this.
The list below is made up some the top performers in the entire FBS division that are listed under 5'10. Some might be under the radar now because of their size, but very well could be on their way to being first round picks and future NFL sleepers.
DB Jamyest Williams (South Carolina) - 5’8, 182
BleacherReport referred to him as 5’9 when suggesting he was "the next honey badger." I guess he's gotten shorter since high school.
2017 Freshman Season
RB Devin Singletary (FAU) - 5’9
2017 Junior Season
RB J.J. Taylor (Arizona) - 5’6, 180
2017 Sophomore Season
RB D'Andre Swift (Georgia) - 5’9, 215
2017 Freshman Season
RB Adrian Killins Jr. (UCF) - 5’8, 159
2017 Sophomore Season
CB Avery Williams (Boise State) - 5'9, 197
Mountain West 50 Best Football Players & Preseason Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year (2018)
2017 RS Freshman Season
RB James Gilbert (Ball State) - 5’9, 191
2017 Junior Season
RB DJ Knox (Purdue) -5’7, 210
2017 Senior Season
RB Kenny Young (Miami (OH)) - 5’7, 182
2017 RS Junior Season
RB Adam Choice (Clemson) - 5’8, 220 (listed as 5’9 on 247Sports)
2017 RS Senior Season
CB Trajan Bandy (Miami) - 5’9, 175
2017 Freshman Season
WR Evan Johnson (North Texas) - 5’6, 175
2017 Freshman Season
RB Jabir Daughtry-Frye (Troy) - 5’7, 170
*Spent 2017 Sophomore Season recovering from ACL injury
2016 Freshman Season
If you are a college football prospect under 5'10 and would like a chance to compete like the players on this list, you can get the exposure you need at Scout Trout.
Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa
Today we spoke about the Heisman Trophy "Watch List" and our Maxwell Award "Watch List", where we feature the players we believe have the most legitimate chance to win these prestigious college football awards. We will have our own awards at the end of the season for each level of play in collegiate football, including the NAIA level. We will announce our "watch lists" for each college football award from each division and start to announce our College Football Today awards for the 2018 season soon.
Alabama is Favored to Win in Every Game This Season.
Stephen A. Smith on Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts
Just like Lane Kiffin stated that Kyler Murray should stick to baseball, Stephen A. Smith should stick to covering basketball for ESPN. Just because he was at the national championship, as were many, does not give him any credibility as all he does is raise his voice and make preposterous assessments that he knows nothing about. Has anyone pointed to the fact that Coach Kirby Smart may have game planned very strategically against Jalen Hurts' skill-set and was completely unaware of what Tagovailoa brought to the playing field? No, because they are to quick to jump on the most "trending" team in America because people like Stephen A. Smith need something to get loud and obnoxious about. They prey on Alabama fans because they are the most loyal and winning fans in America and causing any turbulence in that close-knit inner circle they see as needed. That being said, Coach Saban has stated on numerous occasions that we could wind up seeing both players on the field for the Crimson Tide. Which brought me to a offense that I personally developed for two quarterbacks to play at once. One of the two quarterbacks or both would have to be a "dual-threat" style QB in order to run this offense and both be able to throw the football. Having a left and right handed QB in the game at one time that could both make plays would be very hard to game plan against, but normally the QB position is a solo job. Both QB's are capable of leading a team that is projected to win every game to the national championship and both will get the opportunity to compete. Both QB's have made comments over the off-season and this quote by Tagovailoa would make me question where his head was at heading into the fall.
“I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available,” Tagovailoa said via Hawaii News Now. “I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it’d be easier for me and wouldn’t challenge me so much.”
Jalen Hurts Transferring
Averion stops mid-sentence because the idea of his son not playing for Alabama isn’t one he takes lightly. What if Jalen doesn’t win the job, he is asked?
He shakes his head slowly, answers begrudgingly, “Well, he’d be the biggest free agent in college football history.”
The Grass is Not Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence.
Jalen Hurts is only 15 credits away from graduating from the University of Alabama and does not appear to be transferring in his recent interview. That being said, If I were the media, I would just let the chips fall where they may and stop speculating on Coach Saban and the Dynasty he has created through hard work and learning from past mistakes. With all of the hardware that Coach Nick Saban has accumulated through-out his storied career, I think he can handle the situation better than anyone in all of football today. So shut the hell up and lets play football. Maybe you will get to sit at another Alabama National Championship victory again or you will be laid off like your other friends at ESPN Stephen A. Smith.
Prediction: 11-1 Birth to the College Football BCS Playoffs
First things first: that Lincoln riley comment
I am going to address Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley's dig at Georgia's offense very briefly to get it out of the way. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy celebrity feuds from time to time. However, seeing that the Sooners do not match up against the Bulldogs in the 2018 regular season, Riley's comment seems less like a weighted shot the Dawgs' SEC defense and more like a Jack Russell Terrier barking at a Labrador from the other side of a metal fence–neither will have to face repercussions for their words in the near, foreseeable future. Let me be clear, I'm not saying Lincoln Riley is a Jack Russell Terrier, but when it doesn't serve to preface a showdown between bitter rivals, trash talk, regardless of its validity, is merely noise that belongs in gossip columns. In fact, Georgia does not have single Big 10 or Big 12 match-up in their regular season.
While the Sooners did manage to put up 48 points against their defense in the 2018 Rose Bowl, the Dawgs still pulled off a 54-48 W in overtime, thanks to the effectiveness of their coaches' game-planning and the dominance of their weaponized offense.
QB Jake Fromm (So.) - Recently injured his non-throwing hand in a wake-boarding accident, but there is little evidence that Kirby Smart will replace him with Justin Fields (Fr.). Fromm's timing with his explosiveness receivers looked off in the spring. This will improve with more reps moving into the fall, as timing with your receivers in the passing game is pivotal for success.
OC Lamont Gaillard (Sr.) - After making an effective transition from the defensive line, Gaillard has been instrumental in leading this highly productive offense,
allowing for the Dawg's running game to rush for 3,876 yards in the 2017 season (1,390 more than in 2016), and has recently been named to the watchlist for the Remington Award. A Dawg Nation favorite for his humility and football IQ, this 6'2", 300-pound Center will undoubtedly be a revered veteran and leader that the Bulldogs will lean on.
RB D'Andre Swift (So.) - As a freshman tailback/all-purpose back, Swift ran for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns on 7.6 yards per carry, not to mention 153 receiving yards and a touchdown on 17 total receptions. Named the No. 10 Running Back in college football by USA Today, the five-foot-nine powerhouse* is expected to be an unstoppable force for the Dawgs.
WR Mecole Hardman Jr (Jr.) - Hardman became a big time play maker and one of Kirby's strongest offensive weapons his Sophomore year in some of UGA's most competitive match-ups. Following his 80-yard TD catch during the 2018 CFB National Championship against Alabama, the 20 year-old receiver is expected to be a top performer this Fall.
WR Terry Godwin (Sr.) - This past year, Georgia lost a number of its star players to the NFL, such as ILB Roquan Smith and DT Trenton Thompson. Luckily, Godwin, remembered this season for his one-handed leaping catch at Notre Dame, will be returning for his senior year, joining several other returning starters to solidify Georgia's receiving core as a dynamic force this season.
CB Deandre Baker (Sr.) - For this lock-down corner, who didn't allow a single touchdown to his receiver throughout the 2017 season, returning to Athens for his senior year is about more than honing his skills and improving his secondary before entering the league. Since the National Championship loss to Alabama this past January, Baker has been highly motivated "to come back and do something great with [his] teammates" by helping to mold much of the young talent of the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs.
DT Tyler Clark (Jr.) - In the 12 games Tyler started this past season, this 6'4", 300-pound D-Tackle from a tiny town in the South of Georgia managed 41 tackles and was also a disruptive force as a pass-blocker. With several top defensive performers lost to the NFL and a cavalry of green athletes in need of solid leadership, there's a lot of pressure on Clark and other returning defensive players to pick up the extra slack against other SEC systems.
S J.R. Reed (Sr.) - Recently named in Athlon's 50 Most Underrated Players, Reed, a Tulsa transfer/redshirt sophomore with little to no name recognition for himself made big waves in his 2017 season with 40 solo tackles (79 total), 5 pass breakups, 6 quarterback pressures, 2 interceptions, a forced fumble and 2 recovered fumbles. As the son of former NFL Receiver Jake Reed, resiliency and a hunger for success run in this ascendant defensive back's blood. Georgia fans should sleep well putting their trust in Reed to lead the Dawgs in the secondary.
K Rodrigo Blankenship (Jr.) - Nicknamed "Hot Rod," Blankenship won hearts across the nation during the postseason for nailing a 55-yard field goal while memorably wearing goggle behind his helmet. Blankenship however, is more than just a fan favorite, as Hot Rod's ability to consistently 30 to 50-yard game-winning field goals will end up being one of Georgia's most solid weapons.
Despite the setback of losing a number of instrumental starters on both sides of the football, Georgia will continue to dominate in their SEC match-ups, which are their primary competition for the regular season.
In fact, many opinion leaders in college football including Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer agree that Georgia is up to par with Alabama, and it's difficult to imagine a CFB Playoff without these to two SEC power houses.
With the amount of both offensive and defensive (and Hot Rod, too) that Kirby Smart has in his artillery, Georgia's regular season will be exciting for fans to watch. However, if the Bulldogs are aiming to claim a National Championship, they will need to focus considerable energy in developing their underclassmen.
In the long run, the UGA football program under Head Coach Kirby Smart has laid a foundation that will separate itself from the rest of the SEC East. It's likely that we will be seeing a lot of the Bulldogs in post-season match-ups for many years to come.
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