Brunner's Blog: Nor'Easter

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College area scout Todd Brunner's hectic time out on the road is slowing down with his last school visit taking place later this week. Find out where his last full week took him and some of the stressful road conditions he dealt with in his recent scouting trip.**

I flew out to Richmond, Virginia last Tuesday and went back in to Norfolk State to get another look at their tight end. When I see a kid from a Division IAA school who I have interest in, I like to go back in to either confirm or see if maybe I was a little too excited about the kid. In this instance, it confirmed what I thought initially.

It also gave me another chance to chat with the coaches again which helped because the last time I was there was in September which was two months ago. Once the season is over, you get more of a coach's opinion characterwise after the season I think versus during the season. They don't withhold as much information it seems like once their season is over.

On Wednesday morning I went back into Hampton because they do have about 8 guys who I wanted to take a look at again. They were preparing for their playoff game against New Hampshire so it gave me a chance to reconfirm my grades on those players, plus take a peek at an additional player who popped up in the scouting circles.

All the while this was going on, there was a Nor'Easter which is when the wind comes out of the Northeast and comes off the ocean and mixed in with a heavy rain storm. It gets bad. The winds were clocked in some places at 55/60 miles per hour.

That made it interesting when I made the drive from Norfolk to Hampton, you've got to cross the Chesapeake Bay. There's a 14 mile bay bridge tunnel in Virginia that has two portions that are a bridge and two portions that are a tunnel. The smaller version is where two portions are bridge and one portion is tunnel and the bridge is basically just above water level (maybe 10-15 feet). That's the one I had to drive across and that day with the rain and wind, the waves were crashing on to the roadway. That made it awfully interesting.

After my visit to Hampton I went to Petersburg, Virginia. There was a college all-star game, the East Coast Bowl that was played this past weekend on Saturday. The game featured players from Division IAA on down to Division III, and I had to cover it for the 49ers since the game was being played in my area.

The players reported Wednesday night into their hotel. I went down to help out another scout with heights and weights and all of the data gathering we needed to get done. We were at the team hotel till about ten that night and went back in the next morning and finished up because a lot of players arrived late due to the inclement weather and the holiday traffic. The plan was to run them in the 40 that morning but because weather was bad we were not able to do so. We put them through other tests similar to those given at the Combine such as vertical jump, broad jump, and shuttle runs.

After we wrapped up with that, I raced to the airport to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. My flight was about an hour delayed because of the weather, but I felt lucky since I still made it as there were flights delayed all up and down the coast. Walking through the terminal back to my car in Philly, the airport was jammed and there were a lot of people stuck there and missing the holidays. It seemed a little maddening, and peoples' nerves were shot.

Fortunately I made it home in time and my kids were very happy about that. We go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and they take care of the turkey and all the carving so I just get to show up and eat and enjoy the food.

Friday was a day at home, but on Saturday I went to the final home game for Rutgers. They played Syracuse and they bounced back from their lone defeat of the year and thumped Syracuse soundly.

The fan favorite, fullback/running back Brian Leonard is a fullback/running back did not disappoint the home crowd. He rushed for over a 100 yards and had two touchdowns, and he'll be a draft pick this spring.

Sunday I was able to go out to a sports bar and watch us play the Rams. It was a game we had a chance to win and it was just one of those things where time ran out on us. I thought there were some bad calls, i.e. the fumble, the spot, but you have to overcome those and unfortunately we were not able to get it done this week. Hopefully we'll get back on track against New Orleans.

I've got one school left this week and that's Hofstra. I've got to go in and take a look at this wide receiver and if he's anything like the wide receiver Marques Colston who is playing for the Saints, then it'll really be worth the trip. I think Colston is going to be Rookie of the Year after the way he's played so far this season.

Our reports are due by Friday which means I'll have turned in about 150 by then.

My blog will be a little bit more sporadic going forward since my next step is really to keep an eye on any juniors declaring for the NFL Draft, and scouting college all-star games in January.

Todd Brunner

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