October 23, 2009

In the film room: Cole Stoudt

Dublin Coffman High School in suburban Columbus has been no stranger to outstanding quarterback prospects in recent years and the next in line for the Shamrocks is class of 2011 prospect Cole Stoudt. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder has great bloodlines. Stoudt's father, Cliff, played in the NFL for more than a decade and his older brother Zack is currently a redshirt freshman at Louisville.

Stoudt first jumped into the starting lineup in 2008 as a sophomore, leading Coffman to a 7-3 record. As a junior, Stoudt really picked up his play as he led the 'Rocks to a 7-0 start to the season. Unfortunately, Stoudt's junior season was cut short due to a fractured bone in his leg but that hasn't kept him from jumping on the radar of some of the top programs in all of college football. At the time of the injury, Stoudt had thrown 16 touchdown passes and just one interception.

Currently, Stoudt's lone offer is from Cincinnati but that will almost surely change sooner rather than later. Among the other schools showing interest in Stoudt are Boston College, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA, and Virginia Tech.

In this edition of 'In the Film Room' we take a look at Stoudt's performance in Week 1 against Olentangy Liberty. Included are highlight clips from the game shot from both traditional and end zone angles.

What he does well…

  • The first thing that stands out with Stoudt are his mechanics. A smooth, effortless release allows him to deliver the football accurately and makes for a very catchable ball. Not only that, but he doesn't use a lot of arm in his motion, particularly when his feet are set in the pocket. Being able to generate velocity by using other areas of the body and without putting a lot of strain on the arm is a huge plus and also bodes well for long term health of the shoulder area.

  • The most impressive thing that I came across while watching Stoudt's game film was his ability to read and manipulate the opposing defense. This is without a doubt the number one adjustment that quarterbacks have to make when moving up a level whether it's high school to college or college to the pros. There are two glaring examples of this ability on the film clip provided. First, on the second play of the clip, the defense brings a linebacker from the outside on a blitz. Stoudt recognizes the blitz and throws to his slot receiver right in the area that was vacated by the blitzing linebacker. Next, on the fourth play of the clip, Stoudt fakes the handoff and looks the defense off to his left before turning back to his right and hitting the open receiver on a post down the seam. The glance to his left was enough to freeze both the underneath linebacker and the deep safety. Not only did he open that space up for his receiver by doing that, he also dropped the ball in over two linebackers and in front of a safety. Just a tremendous play from start to finish.

  • Another impressive attribute that stands out when watching the game film is Stoudt's attention to detail. He shows great patience in setting up screen passes (a staple of Coffman's offense) and never seems to get sloppy in terms of selling his fakes.

  • A lot is made about measurables at the quarterback position and Stoudt certainly passes that test. At nearly 6-foot-4 and possibly still growing, Stoudt has the ideal size and arm strength that college coaches covet.

  • Also a varsity basketball player as a sophomore, Stoudt isn't a statue in the pocket, he's a very good athlete. He's never going to rush for 1,000 yards in a season but if the defense doesn't respect his legs, he has the ability to keep the football and pick up decent chunks of yardage on the ground.

  • Experience, experience, experience. No position on the football field relies as heavily on experience as the quarterback position and when Stoudt hits a college campus he will have plenty of it. Despite the injury this season, Stoudt will likely be in the ballpark of 30 career starts when he leaves Coffman. With that many starts, Stoudt will have been put in a variety of challenging positions which should help speed up the adjustment to the college game.

  • An invaluable tool that shouldn't get overlooked is Stoudt's support system. Having access to a former NFL quarterback as a Father for film study and to work on his mechanics as well as a brother that can lend advice on what to expect when making the adjustment to the college level is something that a lot of prospects just don't have.

  • Areas for improvement…

  • An obvious area of concern for any high school quarterback is adjusting to the speed of the college game and the much more complex defensive schemes. Stoudt already shows a sound understanding for reading coverages and will need to continue to progress in that area and avoid locking in on a single receiver. For the most part, he avoids this but does telegraph a few throws. With the college game being much faster, this won't go unpunished very often like it does at the High School level.

  • Another issue that could arise is a lack of reps from under center. Stoudt is operating out of the shotgun on a pretty heavy majority of Coffman's offensive snaps. The quarterback position is a position that relies heavily on repetition so there may be an adjustment period in terms of taking snaps from under center and getting comfortable with his drops.

  • Outlook:

    There isn't much that Stoudt doesn't bring to the table when it comes to being a big time pro-style quarterback prospect. The bloodlines, mechanics, size, and arm strength are all there as well as an advanced grasp of the game.

    Overall, Stoudt's talent level is right up there with any pro-style quarterback that has come out of Ohio the last few years. When it comes time to make a decision on his college future, Stoudt should certainly have his pick from a group of outstanding football programs.

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