Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Topeka Hayden QB Dallas Crittenden transfers to Lawrence Free State

Dallas Crittenden; 5'10''; 175 lbs
The Lawrence Free State Firebirds are suddenly not hurting for an experienced quarterback despite the graduation of All-Sunflower League QB (and All-State CB) Bryce Torneden, who will be joining the Kansas Jayhawks this coming fall. The team will at least have starting experience thanks to the transfer of Dallas Crittenden, who will be coming from the Topeka Hayden football team.

Hayden arrives after leading the Wildcats to a 10-2 record and a trip to the Sub-State round of the Class 4A-DI playoffs where the team fell to Andover Central 28-2. While leading a triple option attack, Crittenden still managed to throw for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. If you want to take a look at him first hand, his highlight video can be found here.

When looking at his highlight reel, there are a few notable traits that were consistent over last season. To start with a bright spot, Crittenden was incredibly efficient at throwing on the run. He seemed more comfortable throwing out of the pocket and creating space with his legs. This allowed him to dump off passes on the perimeter and his ability to stay accurate on the run should help him plenty in replacing Torneden's running ability.

Dallas Crittenden (pictured) will enter summer camps as the
favorite to win the starting QB job. Photo by CJ Online
An issue that arises from this focus is Crittenden's tendencies when he is forced to sit in the pocket and throw. His steps tend to stop after his drop back, which leaves him flat-footed on many of his throws. While he did manage a 63% completion rate it'll be important to improve his footwork in preparation for the deadly safeties that the league has produced in recent years.

Another flag is Crittenden's 5'10" stature, a good amount shorter than what is considered the typical quarterback. However, he isn't the first first and isn't even close to the shortest starting QB in league history. Just four seasons ago in 2012, Olathe QB Dontez Sanchez stood at around 5'6" when he filled in at QB after Cole Murphy was knocked out for the season.

Even after being thrust into that role, Sanchez managed a 50% completion rate with 697 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers came on just 81 attempts through 10 games, so don't be misled. Given the fact that Crittenden has starting experience and a summer to focus on learning the new playbook, he will start the season in a far better situation than what was handed to Sanchez four years ago. Coming off back-to-back Sub-State berths, he'll enter with a superior supporting cast as well.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Very Late College Signings from January 2016

This list is very, very, late to the party considering signing day was almost half a year ago. But, I decided to post this list for the viewers who don't frequent the message board where this was originally posted!

Stats of Note:

NCAA Division I Signees: 5*
NCAA Division II Signees: 5
NCAA Division III Signees: 1
NAIA Signees: 3
NJCAA Signees: 27

Most SFL Players signed by a single school: Butler CC (9)

Afful, Peter Lawrence 5-11 180 WR  - Baker
Bledsoe, Amani Lawrence 6-5 270 DL  - Oklahoma
Bryant, Jmony Lawrence 6-0 180 WR  - Independence CC
Georgie, Trey Lawrence 6-5 270 OL  - Illinois State
Hollins, Ivan Lawrence 5-8 185 WR/DB - Baker
Morgan, Price Lawrence 6-3 210 LB - Air Force
Woods, J.D. Lawrence 5-7 160 RB - Missouri Western
Koehn, Nate Lawrence 6-3 330 OL/DL - Butler CC
Galloway, Jalen Lawrence Free State 6-2 210 DL - Highland CC
Lewis, Darian Lawrence Free State 6-1 220 TE/LB - Hutchinson CC
Liba, Tanner Lawrence Free State 6-5 295 OL - Butler CC
McKinney, Logan Lawrence Free State 6-4 185 WR/DB - William Jewell
Skwarlo, Sam Lawrence Free State 6-0 205 RB/LB - Kansas*
Swisher, Garrett Lawrence Free State 6-0 245 OL - Highland CC
Tochtrop, Drew Lawrence Free State 6-2 170 WR/DB - Hutchinson CC
Torneden, Bryce Lawrence Free State 5-10 185 Athlete - Kansas
Allen, Braxton Leavenworth 6-0 235 DL - Highland CC
Heath, Johnny Leavenworth 5-10 180 WR - Highland CC
Aujla, Hersimran Mill Valley 6-0 235 DE - Hutchinson CC
Branch, Anthony Mill Valley 6-1 365 DL - Hutchinson CC
Brown, Anthony Mill Valley 6-3 260 DT - Butler CC
Barnes, Kamerson Olathe East 6-1 200 LB/SS - Fort Scott CC
Cahill, Zac Olathe East 6-1 190 WR/DB - Emporia State
Queen, Michael Olathe East 6-3 265 DL - Fort Scott CC
Simmons, Isaiah Olathe North 6-3 215 DB - Clemson
Burks, Zach Olathe North 6-3 240 OL - Coffeyville CC
Jackson, Storey Olathe North 6-0 185 WR - Hutchinson CC
Shabazz, Vinson Olathe North 5-9 195 RB - Butler CC
Workman, Ryan Olathe North 5-10 220 RB - Baker
Wright, Matt Olathe North 5-11 190 QB - Coffeyville CC
Diddle, Chris Olathe Northwest 6-0 165 K - Butler CC
Watkins, Brendan Olathe Northwest 5-10 167 RB - Missouri Southern
Burton, David Olathe Northwest 6-1 185 LB - Butler CC
Murphy, Jack Olathe South 6-0 215 LB - William Jewell
Burnett, Tyler SM North 6-1 185 WR - Simpson
Prince, Gerrit SM Northwest 6-5 195 WR - Butler CC
Morelan, Brian SM Northwest 5-8 160 WR - Coffeyville CC
Strain, Robert SM Northwest 5-7 160 CB - Independence CC
Erbacher, Steven SM South 6-2 280 OL - Highland CC
Turner, DJ SM West 6-0 202 RB - Butler CC
Harden, Daiyon SM West 5-11 215 OL - Highland CC
Montoya, Jose SM West 6-0 215 LB - Hutchinson CC
Brewer, Tyler SM West 6-7 280 OL - Butler CC
Green, Jared SM West 6-3 315 OL/DL - Pitt State

Friday, June 10, 2016

Who can improve the most? Part One: Desperate Times

Shawnee Mission North

The Indians won't be able to lean on Will Schneider (pictured)
after this coming season. Photo by PV Post
2015-16 Record: 3-7

Key Players: QB Will Schneider (Sr.), RB Marcos Garcia (Sr.)

The Indians earned three wins for just the second time since the 04-05 season. The road to showing at least some form of competition against conference opponents hasn't been smooth and things won't be getting easier for the battered squad. Despite the lack of proven talent across the board, this may be the last big chance the Indians have to find success with veteran starter Will Schneider entering his final year at the helm.

After three years of Schneider sitting at the center of attention in the community, his efforts to carry the offense on his back have rewarded him with a paltry 5-24 record and two blowout losses in the playoffs at the hands of Olathe North (2014) and Lawrence (2015). An argument could be made that the Indians have improved each year since Schneider joined (0-9 in 2013, 2-8 in 2014, 3-7 in 2015), but the growth of each year has been stifled by the graduation of key players.

The receiving corp is the key group hit by graduation with the top five pass-catchers leaving. To make matters worse, those five are the only players to catch any touchdown passes at all last season. That means Schneider will have to work with virtually a clean slate. That could be a good or bad thing, but we won't know till this new group steps on the field after a summer in the starting lineup.

Shawnee Mission North isn't exactly a pick here because they can improve the most, but because they have to improve the most if they want their QB's high school career to be anything more than a small, disappointing footnote in league history. A player with as much talent as Schneider going without even a single winning season would be just painful to watch walk out with very little to show for it.