Andrew Bryson’s passion for football is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for the game and commitment to helping promote Louisiana College football and its players. It’s no surprise to see Andy’s love for the game when you read his resume. After leaving the military and battling extraordinary adversity, he coached Triple A Semi-Pro football, high school football, worked on the LSU football recruiting staff and has been a guest coach for the CFL, as well as being a guest coach with the New Orleans Saints and volunteering with Southeastern Louisiana University football.
Bryson has also been published multiple times in Louisiana Football Magazine and Youth Football Online. It doesn’t stop there. While doing all of this, Bryson managed to graduate from LSU with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management with a concentration in Leadership in only three years.
Bryson’s thirst for knowledge and his quest for being the best has led him to work with some of the most talented coaches around. When pressed for what coaches look for in college recruits, he is quick to explain the Tripod Theory. According to Bryson, all college coaches subscribe to this theory. Bryson has gone one step further and given it a name.
He explains, “Anyone who plays high school football can play college ball. What a player does with that time will determine if they play at college level. If a player is weak in any one of the 3 legs of the tripod, it can affect their recruitment.”
Bryson goes on to describe the three legs of the tripod in this way:
Academics ~ First and foremost, coaches look at a recruit’s GPA and compare it to their ACT score. For example, if a player has a 2.5 GPA and scores a 32 on the ACT, that tells the coach about that player’s work ethic. A player with a 32 score on the ACT should have carried a 3.5 GPA. The coach will be asking if the player can do college material.
Character ~ Second – How does the player behave around his parents and other supervision? Are they smoking and drinking under the age of 18? Are they posting bad behavior on social media? If they are reflecting these behaviors under supervision, how will they behave when they are not in a managed environment?
Athletic Ability ~ A player’s athletic ability completes the third leg of the triangle. Is the player committed to the team by working out in the off season? Is he able to work well with his teammates?
A player should also have the ability to showcase his athletic ability in his highlight film by showing a compilation of plays. It should also reflect how well the player can perform against players with different skill levels. Some examples are running ability, tackles, and overpowering the opposing player.
Why do coaches recruit by the tripod? The NCAA has rules and guidelines for participating in college football. For example, to play in a post season game, the team GPA has to be at a certain level.
The character of individual players also comes into play. The NCAA has zero tolerance for any illegal activities. They also have strict ethical guidelines for participating. For instance: accepting money, gifts, services or goods is a violation of NCAA policies. If one leg of the tripod is off, the other two legs have to be off the chart to compensate.
“Many parents want to know how to prepare a budding athlete for success in the college arena,” says Bryson. “The very first and most important thing that I tell parents is to avoid squats with heavy weights as well as heavy weight lifting before the age of 14. A young athlete’s bone structure and joints are not mature. I tell them from personal experience that injuries can abruptly end a career. The alternative option is to do weight resistance exercises such as lunges, pull ups and pushups. The second thing that I advise parents to do is to monitor their player’s online activity. Don’t let them post illegal or bad behaviors such as drinking beer, doing drugs or smoking. Even bragging about activities that are legally, morally and ethically wrong are a no-no. Recruiters check these sites out, not to mention future employers.”
Bryson’s personal experience with coaches is that they want to take a young player and turn him into a man of character. “Football is like life. In football you get knocked down. What drives a coach is that they want to teach you how to face the adversity of being knocked down. Life is the same. Coaches want to teach you how to face the adversity of life. You can either stay down or pick yourself back up and move forward,” Bryson explains.
He believes that by living by this tripod, a player’s work ethic will be outstanding. He will develop integrity, honor and courage and will be a “go to” person throughout life.