OT: Do you think your child can play D1 ball?

Submitted by canzior on June 1st, 2016 at 1:35 PM

I don't know if anyone listens to Colin, I know a lot of people don't care for him, which could really apply to anyone on tv/radio today.

More interestingly, there is a statistic that says 49% of NBA players have an "elite" athlete in their family.  Elite meaning they played professionally, internationally, or D1.  The NFL and MLB is significantly lower, at less than 20%.   So when it comes to nepotism, from an athletic standpoint, do you think it is better genes or better exposure/opportunities, or both?  Does it depend on the sport? 

Also of interest, the average NBA player is 11 inches taller (6'6) than the average American, which would obviously suggest it is more genetic.  

I'm not a big person at all, 6'1, 160 lbs soaking wet, ran a 4'5 forty at age 33 (and lost by a half step to Da'Shawn Hand who was 6'4 280 at the time. ) Da'shawn's dad is 6'3 and maybe 185ish, but was an all-conference receiver in high school.  I just assumed my kid would be a D1 level talent, because I would encourage him to start at a good age, I would put him in the right position form the start, I would hold him back a year if necessary as I was a late bloomer, and I have a good friend who is well-respected and connected coach.  I'm also aware that part of this is wishful thinking and Al Bundy type reminiscing, but I can't be the only person who thought or thinks this...right?




(Also, Colin is still making nice with Harbaugh, so he is defending Harbaugh vs Saban, pointing out Saban complains about what he doesn't like eg. Chip Kelly's no huddle offense as being "bad for the kids" as well as pointing out his lack of Harbaugh-level success at MSU and in the NFL)



June 1st, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

If the pick up games that constantly run on my street are any indication, the only kid that I can see that would even sniff a lower-level D1 offer is the one that traveled a good 3/4 of the length of their driveway only to totally botch a layup. It had slightly more style than Ramon Sessions' botched layup back in March. Slightly. 


June 1st, 2016 at 3:54 PM ^

Actually, the OP claimed a 4:05 forty, which is more believable than a 4.5 forty--and losing to Da'Shawn Hand by half a step.  Which, by the way, would mean Da'Shawn Hand runs a 4.35-4.4--Calvin Johnson speed at 280 pounds.  If he did, he would be a better athlete by miles than guys like Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney.  Spoiler alert: he's not.  Your post is not wishful thinking--it's delusional.

Read stephenrjking's response below.  D1-level ability is half genetics, half work, and a quarter luck (i.e. your birth date--think Malcolm Gladwell). 

It doesn't mean a D1 scholarship is impossible, but it's very unlikely.  My father was a state champion sprinter in high school and a Division I All-American in college; I'm the best kickball player on my company team.  I could have trained 3 hours a day 6 days a week for all of high school and college and it still wouldn't have mattered.  Hard work doesn't turn an 11.3 100m into a 10.3 100m--I just wasn't born with ability like my Dad was.  Having an elite athlete for a parent helps but even that isn't a guarantee and I'm proof of that.  And since the best evidence offered for elite genetics is a "4.5" forty ran at 33, unless his mother is a great athlete, your child is starting out with a vast deficit genetically from the kids he'll be competing with for a D1 football scholarship.


June 1st, 2016 at 1:43 PM ^

Dude, it's genes. Good athletes breed other good athletes. In the world where coaches at all levels are under immense pressure to win, there's not too much room for nepotism/connections in recruiting. Coaches want the best athletes, and that's about it.

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June 1st, 2016 at 1:57 PM ^

is how much of athletic ability is genes, and how much is training?  If you are naturally a flabby 275, but at age 17 you hit the weight room, and get to a svelte 305, and shave a half-second off your 40 time...that muscle and speed isn't in your genes.  Now being 275 is genetic, but that alone isn't enough.


June 1st, 2016 at 1:47 PM ^

Well, let's settle on a sport. If we're talking football, let's say there are 100 players per team (85 scholly + walk ons). There are 128 D1 football teams, so there are 128,000 D1 football players. Let's assume they're evenly distributed between classes, so there are approximately 32,000 Freshmen who will play in 2016. According to this site: http://www.newgeography.com/content/00269-number-18-24-year-olds-united-states-2000-2050 there are about 26,000,000 men between 18-24 in the US in 2016. Assuming that those are evenly distributed by year, that means there are 3,714,285 18 year old men. So, 32,000/3.7M means that in order to play your child must be in the top 0.86% of athletes.

Expand the sport and roughly I'm guessing your child must be in the top 2% of americans athletically to play D1.


June 2nd, 2016 at 11:10 AM ^

You might be in the upper echelon on this category.???


Also in this article - The answers can range from once a week to once a month! When Ian Kerner, PhD, was asked how he responds to couples who ask him how often they should have sex, he said, “I’ve always responded that there’s no one right answer.  

I thinking that the last sentence for the purposes of the OP's question is applicable here.  I am sure people know of people like these:

Inner city kid with a sperm donor male in a gang and the mom stuggles to raise 5 kids working two jobs.  One of her kids goes to major D-I ball the other four have varying levels of education and varying levels of contributing to society as they grow up.  

A couple in the burbs both below 5'11'' have two boys and a girl.  One of their boys grows to 6'3'' and plays small time baseball.  The girl is 6' 1'' and plays major D-I soccer then gets invited to the Olympic team.  The other boy becomes a school teacher.  

A country couple has one boy and the dad is a non athletic 6'2'' brutish hardworking farmer.  The mother is a 5' 9'' stay at home housewife/mother.  The boy is a good student, not overly intelligent and is a hard working developing athlete.   He goes on to play D-III football.  Has a fantastic career and gets drafted in the NFL.  

You have one of the best basketball players of all time that marry's a farly athletic (not intersted in sports after highschool) girl.  They have a couple of sons and one plays Major college basketball and has an underwhelming career.  

You have an excellent MLB SS who marry's an Olympic soccer player.

 My point is there are all types of scenarios that are in play.  Probably a lot to do with genetics?   Probably a lot to do with hard work and development regardless of genetics.  As well as the luck of the draw in regards to exposure.  


Go Blue


June 1st, 2016 at 1:50 PM ^

Good genes and good opportunities can make someone a scholarship athlete (not necessarily D1).  That's not bad at all.  But you'll need pretty great genes to play pro sports. 

There is a fascinating book called The Sports Gene by a guy named David Epstein if anyone wants to read more about genetics and sports. 


June 1st, 2016 at 1:50 PM ^

But as long as I don't have kids, I was going to make a joke Hello: diary about one my cats.  Cats have amazing burst and leaping ability relative to humans and he's actually pretty darn athletic for a cat, but I was going to list (among other things) "size" for his "areas for improvement" and question his academic eligibility.  Was going to format it just like an MGoBlog Hello: post and upload a highlight reel of him catching toys with his teeth and tackling in space (he's actually darn good -- he's a mouser).