Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

Archived Thread

D3 prospects: How realistic?

Beezer : 4/15/2019 2:39 pm
I believe I read at some point during the winter that at the start of this past NFL season, 12 (could be off on that number, but it's what I recall) former D3 players were on active NFL rosters. Small representation.

My son has two good friends from high school/AAU basketball who are doing very well for their D3 programs. I'm in touch with both young men, occasionally texting congrats and encouragement. It would be a lot of fun to see them get a look after this next season.

In the event you're interested in such things, here are the guys.

1. Will Gladney, WR, Ithaca College.In his first three seasons he broken the Ithaca all-time receiving record. He's 6-3, and was 220-225 last I knew, but I believe he's tried to trim down since the end of the season. My guess, he's in the 215 range. Not a burner, but a decent blocker with REALLY great hands. Elevates well and can go up and pull the football down in a crowd. Very strong kid. Just turned 21 in December.

Also, the Cortaca Jug (Ithaca v Cortland State) game will be played at Met Life Stadium this fall, so you downstate guys will have a chance to see Will play.



2. Justin Wheeler, LB, St. John Fisher. Really emerged this past season as he led the team in solo tackles and assists (he was third in the conference for overall tackle numbers). Also led the team for tackles for a loss (15.5). Also led the team in sacks (4.5).

We've talked about him being light to play at the next level (6-1, 205). I don't know his 40 number, but he is quick and aggressive. Wondering if he could put on 15-20 pounds as I believe he has some extra eligibility (he was going into the military then changed his mind and eventually went to school).

Both are good kids, hard workers, etc. Ridiculously outside chance for both, especially for Justin. Just wanted to given them and any other D3 guys currently looking good for their schools a little pub.




Will's sophomore season highlights - ( New Window )
You can't measure one's heart.  
jc in c-ville : 4/15/2019 3:09 pm : link
Get a tryout/camp invite and maybe stick on a practice squad where they can do their damage and get noticed.

Would have to be a huge outlier though given the amount of Div 1 players that make teams/ go on to have successful careers as undrafted free-agents.
My grandson plays at George Fox Univ in Newberg OR, they have  
SterlingArcher : 4/15/2019 3:14 pm : link
two outstanding players, a 6-7 280lb defensive end and 6-1 205 safety that have NFL caliber skills. Scouts from several NFL teams have been tracking them, I think they could play at the next level.
These two boys are gamers.  
Beezer : 4/15/2019 3:51 pm : link
But yeah ... completely agree.

Justin texted that he's now in the 217-220 range AND has been working to gain speed. So ... he's going for it, in any event. Good to hear!
I work at a high school  
Cap'n Bluebeard : 4/15/2019 5:04 pm : link
in Michigan. We had a kid who went to Ferris State, a school that seems to always be near the top of D3 rankings, and dominated. He got a shot with the Bengals last year during the preseason. Waived/injured during final cuts. It's really, really rare for D3 kids to even get those looks.
RE: I work at a high school  
Cap'n Bluebeard : 4/15/2019 5:06 pm : link
In comment 14387644 Cap'n Bluebeard said:
Quote:
in Michigan. We had a kid who went to Ferris State, a school that seems to always be near the top of D3 rankings, and dominated. He got a shot with the Bengals last year during the preseason. Waived/injured during final cuts. It's really, really rare for D3 kids to even get those looks.


Actually, Ferris State is DII. So I would wager even less likely for DIII kids to get those looks.
RE: RE: I work at a high school  
Gatorade Dunk : 4/15/2019 5:18 pm : link
In comment 14387649 Cap'n Bluebeard said:
Quote:
In comment 14387644 Cap'n Bluebeard said:


Quote:


in Michigan. We had a kid who went to Ferris State, a school that seems to always be near the top of D3 rankings, and dominated. He got a shot with the Bengals last year during the preseason. Waived/injured during final cuts. It's really, really rare for D3 kids to even get those looks.



Actually, Ferris State is DII. So I would wager even less likely for DIII kids to get those looks.

I would actually guess that there's probably no material difference between D-II and D-III as far as NFL opportunities go, though both are probably extremely rare. NFL teams knock FCS schools and even non-power 5 FBS schools for level of competition - I don't see any way that they're even bothering to discern the slight difference in level of competition between D-II and D-III schools.

Being geographically close (either the school or where the kid is from) enough to get a couple of convenient looks from scouts is probably more relevant than whether the kid went to a school that offers partial athletic scholarships or just pretends that all the financial aid was merit-based.
Even harder now because of sports science  
WideRight : 4/15/2019 5:18 pm : link

These guys were far behind the good DI players and obviously the multiple-star recruits coming out of high school. Now with sports science developing those top tier players at phenomenal rates these DIII guys have to improve even faster just to catch up. And do it with fewer resources. The few that succeed are overcomng unbeleivable odds. Wish them well
The interesting thing about Will Gladney at Ithaca  
Beezer : 4/15/2019 5:43 pm : link
is that his circumstances truly affected his path. He bounced around group homes and foster homes from the time we met him (he was in 4th grade when he and my son became friends, playing basketball and baseball together). He must have attended 5-6 school districts before he settled at one in the last three years of high school.

Wagner was very interested in Will. I dont know all the details, but I believe they wanted him to play a year at a prep school mostly for the grades issue. He was always a year to a year and a half behind his age group peers, but he got through high school.

He was legally adopted by folks we know shortly after he graduated (hed been living with them for a large portion of his senior year). Once adopted, there was a provision through which Will was able to attend Ithaca. Hes struggled in the classroom and has had his ups and downs. But hes still there, and making it.

The fact that Wagner did want him makes me a little more optimistic than if he had JUST gone to a D3.

He might have the talent. Im pulling for him.
Ali Marpet  
Nomad Crow on the Madison : 4/15/2019 10:17 pm : link
the king of D-III footballers as a graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, NY.
So  
Joey in VA : 4/16/2019 8:38 am : link
You text with 20 something boys who aren't relatives about their weight? That's not creepy at all.
My Son  
RollBlue : 4/16/2019 8:54 am : link
played with Will for 2 years at Ithaca, he is really talented. From what my son has said, hard worker also. My observations are that he can get easily frustrated - bowl game in Delaware in 2017 was an example of this. He does have great hands, saw him make many difficult catches in his Freshman and Sophomore seasons, always fun to watch.
The Giants  
cjac : 4/16/2019 10:55 am : link
already have one D-III player on the roster.

Best D3 guy of all time?

Defense - Sam Mills

Offense - Chris Warren

I cant think of anyone else that had a big impact
RE: So  
Beezer : 4/16/2019 11:29 am : link
In comment 14388214 Joey in VA said:
Quote:
You text with 20 something boys who aren't relatives about their weight? That's not creepy at all.


Keep your distance, man. Ultra-creepy.
RE: My Son  
Beezer : 4/16/2019 11:32 am : link
In comment 14388229 RollBlue said:
Quote:
played with Will for 2 years at Ithaca, he is really talented. From what my son has said, hard worker also. My observations are that he can get easily frustrated - bowl game in Delaware in 2017 was an example of this. He does have great hands, saw him make many difficult catches in his Freshman and Sophomore seasons, always fun to watch.


He's got a bit of an explosive personality, yeah. It's better now, but there's plenty for that young man to be angry about. Got dealt a crappy hand early on.

I've always been hopeful that it would improve over time, and it has. But I know what you mean. First-hand.

And yeah, he's as hard a worker in the gym and on the field as you'll find. He's all in.
best thing for them  
jestersdead : 4/16/2019 11:42 am : link
is to go to a local Pro Day. I know the Giants have one for players in the area. My buddy kicked at John Hopkins and had a very good career, he attend the Redskins and Ravens open days.

My brother in-law played high school football and then played D1 lacrosse and actually plays in their professional league. He wants to try to pull a Antonio Gates/Jimmy Graham. So he is trying to connect with the Giants & Jets for their local tryouts
RE: RE: RE: I work at a high school  
Cap'n Bluebeard : 4/16/2019 12:14 pm : link
In comment 14387668 Gatorade Dunk said:
Quote:

I don't see any way that they're even bothering to discern the slight difference in level of competition between D-II and D-III schools.


I'm not sure how much I agree with this. We send multiple kids to DIII schools for football every year, and usually at least one or two to DII. Occasionally we'll get a kid to DI. The difference in athlete between the kids who go to DII and DIII is usually night and day. Some of the DII guys had DI interest, but chose to go somewhere they would play rather than somewhere they wouldn't. None of DIII kids ever did. I would be shocked if NFL talent evaluators didn't put at least some stock into the level of competition since, as you said, they even parse that out into preferred conferences at the DI level.
RE: The Giants  
Rafflee : 4/17/2019 4:09 am : link
In comment 14388389 cjac said:
Quote:
already have one D-III player on the roster.

Best D3 guy of all time?

Defense - Sam Mills

Offense - Chris Warren

I cant think of anyone else that had a big impact


Sam played at Montclair...I believe it was dII at the time. The cut between II and III was not as evenly spread as it now is.
RE: RE: The Giants  
cjac : 4/17/2019 9:42 am : link
In comment 14389504 Rafflee said:
Quote:
In comment 14388389 cjac said:


Quote:


already have one D-III player on the roster.

Best D3 guy of all time?

Defense - Sam Mills

Offense - Chris Warren

I cant think of anyone else that had a big impact



Sam played at Montclair...I believe it was dII at the time. The cut between II and III was not as evenly spread as it now is.


Not correct, Montclair has always been D3, I played in that confernce
It is really difficult..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 4/17/2019 9:58 am : link
to make the jump. The best ones traditionally have been guys who were too physically small for D-! and then grew or proved their size was OK. Like Sam Mills. Some were under-recruited in HS because of lack of exposure and went to a small school (more of an issue back in the day) like Harry Carson.

When I was at Bucknell, there was a guy on Holy Cross, Gordie Lockbaum, who was a three-way playewr. He was a DB, a RB and a PR. He scored 4TD's in a game I was at and dominated at the Division I-AA level.

He ended up getting drafted as a RB late. I think it was the Steelers in the 7th round, got cut. Went to the Bills, got cut and never played an actual NFL snap. And he was probably one of the best collegiate players I ever watched.
RE: It is really difficult..  
cjac : 4/17/2019 10:07 am : link
In comment 14389779 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
to make the jump. The best ones traditionally have been guys who were too physically small for D-! and then grew or proved their size was OK. Like Sam Mills. Some were under-recruited in HS because of lack of exposure and went to a small school (more of an issue back in the day) like Harry Carson.

When I was at Bucknell, there was a guy on Holy Cross, Gordie Lockbaum, who was a three-way playewr. He was a DB, a RB and a PR. He scored 4TD's in a game I was at and dominated at the Division I-AA level.

He ended up getting drafted as a RB late. I think it was the Steelers in the 7th round, got cut. Went to the Bills, got cut and never played an actual NFL snap. And he was probably one of the best collegiate players I ever watched.


Lockbaum also coached with Jim Bunting at Rowan (Glassboro) for a couple of years.

I remember Barry Switzer, who was at Oklahoma at the time, say that Lockbaum wouldn't even make his scout team. Switzer was a dick, i think GL finished 3rd in heisman votes.
I think Lockbaum..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 4/17/2019 10:37 am : link
grew up around Glassboro. One of my college buddies played against him in HS and said he was the toughest player he ever faced.

Another buddy played against Ironhead Heyward and said heyward would've flattened Lockbaum in a second flat.

The two guys got in a fistfight over it!
Heyward  
cjac : 4/17/2019 11:01 am : link
was from Passaic, he was an animal
Back to the Corner