While many people assume that we are in an “age of sport specialization,” Tracking Football’s research shows that over 80% of current Division 1 football scholarship recruits played another sport in high school. The Heisman Trophy Finalists are no exception and not one of them “specialized” during high school. Actually three of the finalists were three sport athletes in high school (Peppers, Watson, Westbrook).

In addition:

  • Four did track and field (Jackson, Peppers, Watson, Westbrook)
  • Three played basketball (Peppers, Watson, Westbrook)
  • One played baseball (Mayfield)

When football players do track and field it gives recruiters and scouts the ability to objectively assess and compare athleticism. Tracking Football has spent decades collecting the high school track and field data of over 30,000 Division 1 and NFL football players. This database allowed us to create a 0.0 to 5.0 Player Athletic Index for football players that is rooted in high school track data as well as height, weight and football position. Currently Big 12 & Big Ten football programs use our PAI score to assist in recruiting prospects.

Here are the PAI scores, track stats and percentiles for four of the Heisman finalists:

Jabrill Peppers: 5.0 / 5.0 PAI DB

  • 10.51 (98%) – 100 meter dash
  • 21.13 (99%) – 200 meter dash
  • 50.34 (78%) – 400 meter dash
  • 20’11 (57%) – long jump

Dede Westbrook: 4.0 / 5.0 PAI WR

  • 21.87 (89%) – 200 meter dash

Lamar Jackson: 3.6 / 5.0 PAI QB

  • 11.38 (49%) – 100 meter dash
  • 19’05 (32%) – long jump

DeShaun Watson: 3.6 /5.0 PAI QB

  • 6’02 (67%) – high jump (middle school)

In our opinion coaches and parents should encourage high school athletes to sample sports as they develop, not specialize. To learn more about our services or to schedule a free demo click here.