FORMER DALLAS COWBOYS SUPER SCOUT AND
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MEARS RATING SYSTEM
SUPER SCOUT MAX EMFINGER
In 1974, after spending two years as a Graduate Assistant Coach for Legendary Coach Hayden Fry, at The University of North Texas, I got a call from Gil Brandt of the Dallas Cowboys. He told me that he had an opening for a Talent Scout with the Dallas Cowboys. I interviewed for the job and I was set to take the job when they decided not to hire another Talent Scout.
In the meantime, I had interviewed with Lanier Business Products to get back into Sales. Then, one day, I got a call from Lanier and I took a job as a Salesman with Lanier Business Products in Dallas. As a word-processing and dictating salesman, I became one of their top salesmen in Dallas and also the country and I was already being groomed to become a Sales Manager or a National Sales Trainer. I also won three Dallas Salesmen of the Month Awards. Then, about a year later, I got another call from Gil Brandt. “Max, we are now ready to hire another Talent Scout and I was wondering if you were still interested?”
Let’s be serious. This was a call from the Dallas Cowboys. So I became a Dallas Cowboys Talent Scout.
One of the reasons, in the past, that the Dallas Cowboys were successful in their NFL Draft was because they probably had more information on every player in the Draft and they were aways able to make more valid decision on each player, based on all of that information. Their philosophy was they always wanted more information on a player, so they could make a more valid decision as to whether to draft him or not. In this Computor Age, all of the NFL Teams basically feel the same way.
When I was with the Dallas Cowboys, I coordinated a Team Project and in that Team Project, I coordinated the rating and ranking of every current NFL Player. I then color-coded every player as to their rating and ranking. Blue = All-Pro; Red = Future or Past All-Pro; Green = Average Player; and Yellow = Rookie or Two-year player.
NOTE: A huge “Flip-Chart” was developed with each NFL Team. Then, a Color-Coded Business-Card with the name of each player placed in the “Flip-Chart” sleeve for each position on the football field for both the offense and defense of each NFL Team. The Late Legendary Head Coach Tom Landry and The Late Legendary Defensive Coordinator Ernie Stautner used this color-coded system as info in their weekly Scouting Report in preparation for their next game.
My boss was the The Legendary and Ultimate Super Scout Gil Brandt. Three of my fellow Dallas Cowboy Scouts were Cornell Green, Reid Johnson, and John Wooten. Our Resident Racquetball Champions were Gil Brandt and Mike Ditka.
My job with the Dallas Cowboys was to Evaluate, Rate and Rank College Football players for the NFL Draft. My boss, Gil Brandt, also asked me to Evaluate, Rate and Rank the Top Texas HS Football Players for the 1976 football season and make a Texas Top 100 List to give to the College Coaches.
Then when Coach Landry asked me to Evaluate, Rate, Rank, and Color-Code Every Single football player in the NFL, I was probably the first and only Talent Scout on the Planet who was asked to Evaluate High School, College, and Professional Football Players in the same Football Season. After finishing this Dallas Cowboys Scouting Project, Coach Landry and Coach Stautner gave me the Title of Super Scout.
I then coordinated the development of a Texas Top 100 High School Football Recruiting List for College Coaches. We did this as a favor to College Coaches and we gave this list to every college team in the country that recruited Texas players. That included almost every single college team in the country.
I loved being a Dallas Cowboys Scout, but Lanier was calling me almost every day to come back to work for them. Then one day, Lanier offered me a job that I couldn’t pass-up. They offered me the job of Sales Manager in Midland, Texas.
This job would effectively triple my income! I really did not want to leave the Dallas Cowboys, but there was just too much money involved.
I decided to go talk to the Late Legendary Dallas Cowboys President and General Manager Tex Schramm and see if they could either match the Lanier salary and commission figures or at least give me a raise.
“Max, you have done a great job for us and we love you. Soon, you will receive a big raise, but it sounds like you have a pretty fantastic offer that you can’t pass-up,” said Tex Schramm.
I was to become the Sales Manager of both the Lanier Dictating Division and also the new Lanier Word Processing Division. I was given a very substantial base salary plus commission on both the dictating and word processing products. I was also going to be able to hire new salesmen in both divisions, train them; and make commission on all of their sales.
But back to the Dallas Cowboys and the MEARS RATING SYSTEM.
When I was with the Dallas Cowboys in 1975-76, we had a Rating System and when I left the Cowboys in 1976, I developed a similar Rating System that we had used in the 1976 NFL Draft. This was the Tony Dorsett Draft and we used this Rating System to conclude that Dorsett was our #1 Player in the 1976 NFL Draft.
Although I developed this basic System, when I left the Cowboys, I shelved the System until 2001, when NIKE Sports developed a similar rating system and called it the SPARQ RATING SYSTEM. I then decided to bring back my Rating System and I called it the MAX EMFINGER ASSET RATING SYSTEM or MEARS RATING.
ASSET stands for Agility, Strength, Stamina, Explosiveness, and Technique. These are the essential tools for a superior athletic performance in any competitive event. This new MEARS RATING SYSTEM or a similar rating system identifies overall athletic ability and is used by Top College and Pro Coaches around the country as an initial indicator of the athletic potential of an athlete on the football field.
Whether you are a College Football Coach and you only have one scholarship left to give in your current recruiting class or you are an NFL Team and you only have one Draft Choice left on your current NFL Draft Board, there needs to be a Rating System that you can go to and based on the highest rated player, would give you the very best player available irregardless of position.
They just finished the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and they had some really incredible Measurables from some players who were just like many of you were a few years ago. We had two offensive linemen who ran a 4.7 in the Forty; a defensive back who did a 3.85 in the Pro-Shuttle; and we had ten players who did a 130 or better in the Standing Broad Jump. Cornelius Washington, a linebacker, did a 39 inch Vertical Jump and had 36 Reps of 225 pounds. Also a DE that did 38 reps of 225 pounds.
All of you High School players need to print out this Report and use it as a guide for you to get to the the NFL. Some of these players are all going to become Rich and if you work hard, and learn how to do these Measurables, you can be in the same spot. Also a D-1AA player broke the SBJ record at the NFL Scouting Combine as he did a 139-inch SBJ.
Click this Link: Fabulous 44 Elite Players in 2013 NFL Scouting Combine! By Super Scout Max Emfinger http://wp.me/p2fDtb-10o
This is why my Super Elite Top Gun Combine/Camps are so important for all of the young and inexperienced High School Football players. Some of my Top Gun Coaches are the best in the industry at teaching Technique on the Vertical Jump and the Pro-Agility Shuttle.
Many of the young players will learn the proper Technique on how to do these Measurables at our Top Gun Combine/Camps and although they may not become Super Combine Freaks at our Super Combine/Camp, they will learn how to do the Measurables with the proper Technique and perhaps be the Super Combine Freak at a later Super Combine/Camp in their career. It is also very important to note that in these other Super Combines that are run by other Services and other Individuals, they are simply not going to limit the participants and thus they will not spend any time with the participants in teaching them proper Technique or Style in doing the Measurables.
Also, I will reward all of the Super Combine Freaks with a Special Invitation to play in my Post-Season All-American Bowl Game. Most of my invitations will be given to a Senior for my Tenth Annual 2014 All-American Bowl Game Classic, on the Bay in Panama City, Florida, on January 3, 2014, but I could give an invitation to a Junior for the 2015 All-American Bowl Game Classic, two years away.
My MEARS RATING SYSTEM or a similar type rating system is very important for the NFL Scouts, and the NFL Scouting Combine is the first time that “Accurate Numbers” are recorded on these players. It’s easy to say someone can run a 4.4 or a 4.3 in the Forty, but before an Accurate Hand-Held Timing by a Professional Scout or either by a slower, but Accurate Laser Timing is done, most Forty times are less than Accurate. Technique is also very important and that is why College Football Players entering the NFL Draft will hire a Sports Trainer to train and teach them how to do a Vertical Jump, Pro-Agility Shuttle, and a Standing Broad Jump.
2012 NFL ELITE EIGHTEEN AT 2012 NFL SCOUTING COMBINE
# POS PLAYER COL HT WT 40 VJ SH SBJ REP MEARS NFL TEAM
#1 QB Robert Griffin BAY 6-2 223 4.38 40 4.09 122 20 2,226 MEARS #1 Redskins
#2 DE Nick Perry USC 6-3 271 4.64 38.5 4.66 124 35 2,160 MEARS #1 Packers
#3 LB Luke Kuechly BC 6-3 242 4.49 38 4.12 123 27 2,009 MEARS #1 Panthers
#4 QB Andrew Luck STAN 6-4 234 4.67 36 4.28 124 2,008 MEARS #1 Colts
#5 WR Greg Childs ARK 6-3 219 4.39 40.5 4.09 127 19 2,003 MEARS #4 Vikings
#5 CB Josh Robinson UCF 5-10 199 4.33 38.5 3.97 133 17 2,003 MEARS #3 Vikings
#6 DE Bruce Irvin WVA 6-3 245 4.50 33.5 4.03 123 23 1,995 MEARS #1 Seahawks
#7 LB Bob Wagner UST 6-0 241 4.46 39.5 4.28 132 24 1,992 MEARS #2 Seahawks
#8 DT Fletcher Cox MSU 6-4 298 4.70 26 4.53 108 28 1,991 MEARS #1 Eagles
#9 DE Quinton Coples UNC 6-6.5 284 4.67 32 4.78 109 25 1,988 MEARS #1 Jets
#10 DT Michael Brockers LSU 6-6 322 4.97 32 4.81 195 25 1,987 MEARS #1 Rams
#10 NG Mike Martin MICH 6-1 306 4.88 33.5 4.25 113 36 1,987 MEARS #1 Titans
#12 DT Kendall Reyes CN 6-4 299 4.89 34.5 4.53 113 36 1,983 MEARS #2 Chargers
#13 TE Coby Fleener STAN 6-6 249 4.48 37 4.30 116 27 1,978 MEARS #2 Colts
#14 OT Matt Kalil USC 6-7 306 4.94 28 4.65 105 30 1,967 MEARS #1 Vikings
#15 CB Stephon Gilmore SCAR 6-1 193 4.32 37 3.94 123 16 1,961 MEARS #1 Bills
#16 LB Mychal Kendricks UC 6-0 240 4.47 39.5 4.14 127 24 1,955 MEARS #2 Eagles
#17 DE Mel Ingram SCAR 6-2 264 4.66 34.5 4.16 116 28 1,953 MEARS #1 Chargers
#18 RB David Wilson VAT 5-10 206 4.40 41 4.12 132 1,952 MEARS #1 Giants
2011 Heisman Trophy Winner and Davey O’Brien Award Winner
2,226 MEARS RATING World Record Holder Robert Griffin
Before I brought my MEARS RATING SYSTEM back, I decided that I needed to tweak it a little and I asked one of my old friends to help.
“Max, we have got to set a standard for each position for every Measurable that we test at a Super Combine,” said Legendary University of Nebraska Strength Coach Boyd Epley and then we worked on setting standards for each position. “The standard for an offensive tackle, for example, has been 6-5 and 275 for twenty years and although the players are getting bigger, stronger, and faster, we don’t need to keep changing the medium standard, said Epley, “but our ratings will continue to get higher as the players will achieve to get bigger, stronger, and faster.” So each position has a standard for each test and Measurable. In all of the Speed Measurables, a player will get plus points for every tenth of a second over the Position Standard, but a maximum of 400-points.
Forty-Yard Dash – The Forty-Yard Dash (40) is a test of raw speed, stamina, and explosiveness. It is a test of pure speed from Point A to Point B. Technique is also very important. This is a very good test of measure for all skill players who may have to run 40-yards in a game. The cornerback standard in the Forty is 4.6 and Dee Milliner of Alabama, Steve Williams of California, and Desmond Trufant of Washington all ran a 4.33 Forty and all got 270 points in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. Cornerback Robert Alford of Southeastern Louisiana ran a 4.35 in the Forty and received 250 points. In the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, Trindon Holliday of LSU ran a 4.21 and got 390 points.
Two of the most exciting and most impressive players in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine were two offensive linemen who really put on a show in the Forty. OT Lane Johnson of Oklahoma ran a 4.72 and OT Terron Armstead of Arkansas Pine Bluff ran a 4.71. Since the Forty Standard was a 5.2, both received the Maximum 400-points.
Super Combine Freak Lane Johnson
Johnson Ran a 4.72 in the Forty and a 4.52 in the Shuttle
For Third Best Ever 2,106 MEARS RATING.
Two of the fastest players at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine were Tavon Austin of West Virginia and Marquise Goodwin of Texas; both in the Big-12 Conference. Austin started the Sunday Forties off by running a hand-held 4.25 and then followed that one with a 4.31. After averaging the two times, I gave him a 4.28 clocking, giving him 320 points. Goodwin, who placed tenth in the London Olympics, finished with an official 4.27 clocking, giving him 330 points. I averaged all of the players top two times.
Before 2012, only two linebackers had ever recorded a 2,000 MEARS RATING. In the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. MLB Martez Wilson (6-4, 250, 4.42) of Illinois and OLB Von Miller (6-2.5, 246, 4.46) of Texas A&M recorded 2,000 MEARS RATING as Wilson got a 2,030 MEARS RATING and Miller a 2,012 MEARS RATING.
Then, in the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, Luke Kuechly of Boston College recorded a 38-inch Vertical Jump; did a 4.12 in the Pro-Shuttle; did 123-inches in the Standing Broad Jump; and did 27 reps of 225 on the Bench Press for an outstanding 2,009 MEARS RATING. This year, Jamie Collins of Southern Miss recorded some incredible Measurables, including a 41.5-inch Vertical Jump and a World Record 139-inch Standing Broad Jump and ended with a 2,015 MEARS RATING.
Vertical Jump – The Vertical Jump (VJ) is a test of leg explosiveness, power, and quickness. Technique is also very important in this test. This test is a good Measurable for wide receivers, cornerbacks, and safeties. The standard for an offensive lineman is a 24-inch Vertical Jump. Each inch over the standard, a player gets 20 points. In 2012, Southern Cal DE Nick Perry did an incredible 38.5-inch Vertical Jump and received 290 points. The Defensive Back Standard for the Vertical Jump is 28. Steve Williams did a 41-inch Vertical Jump and received 260 points; while RB Christine Michaels of Texas A&M did a 43-inch Vertical Jump and received 300 points for his Vertical Jump. Super Combine Freak DE Cornelius Washington of The University of Georgia did a 39-inch Vertical Jump and received 300 points.
Cornelius Washington, supposedly the Third Linebacker from The University of Georgia worked and trained hard for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and then Shocked NFL Scouts with a 39-inch Vertical Jump and 38 Reps of 225!
Pro-Agility Shuttle – The Pro-Agility Shuttle (SH) is a test of agility, speed, lateral quickness, change of direction, and overall body coordination. Technique is also very important is this test. An athlete should be able to do this test in about two tenths of a second faster than he can run a Forty-Yard Dash. Lane Johnson ran an amazing 4.52 in the Pro-Agility Shuttle and the medium standard for an offensive lineman is a 5.1 and he received 400 points. Desmond Trufant of Washington ran an incredible 3.85 and he also received 400-points. You know a cough or a sneeze will last as long as Trufant ran his Pro-Shuttle.
Standing Broad Jump – The Standing Broad Jump (SBJ) is a test that is similar to the Vertical Jump in that it measures how far you can jump instead of how high. It is also similar to the long jump in track, except the player will not get a running start, but rather jump from a standing position. It measures explosion, power, quickness, and lower body strength. It is a great measure for running backs, tight ends, and linebackers. Example: In 2013, OLB Jamie Collins did his sensational 139-inch Standing Broad Jump. The Standard for a Linebacker is 96-inches and he got 5 points for every inch over 96-inches, so Collins received 215 SBJ points.
I have never seen a better NFL Scouting Combine with better Standing Broad Jumpers than the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. Collins broke the World Record, but there were nine other Super Combine Freaks who recorded over 130-inches, including OLB Zavier Gooden of Missouri with a 131; WR Josh Boyce of TCU with a 131; WR Da’Rick Rogers of Tennessee Tech with a 132; WR Marquise Goodwin of Texas with a 132; SS Earl Wolff of NC State with a 134; SS Shamarko Thomas of Syracuse with a 133; SS TJ McDonald of USC with a 131; CB Xavier Rhodes of FSU with a 132; and CB Robert Alford of Southeast Louisiana with a 132.
Bench Press – The Bench Press (BP) is a test of pure strength and stamina. The test measures how many bench press reps a high school or college athlete can do of 185 pounds or 225-pounds. Technique is also very important. This test is a good measure for every player on the football field although quarterbacks, wide receivers and cornerbacks do not need to excel in this event. College and pro athletes use 225 pounds on the bench press instead of 185 pounds. The points do not change. Each Athlete gets 20 points for every rep over his standard, but a maximum of 200-points. Example: Margus Hunt of SMU did 38 reps of 225 pounds on the Bench Press and got the Maximum 200-points. OG Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina also did 35 Reps and received the Maximum 200 points. Another 2013 Super Combine Freak was SS Shamarko Thomas of Syracuse who did a 40.5 Vertical Jump and 28 Reps of 225 on the Bench Press, giving him the Maximum 200 points on the Bench Press.
Technique – Technique is also very important in every single event, especially in the running events. The Pro-Agility Shuttle and Standing Broad Jump is all about Technique. Getting a bad start in the other running events can make the difference in a great timing or a poor timing. Although the SPARQ System became popular, it still had some flaws, because the SPARQ RATING SYSTEM was not originally based on a player’s position, but his weight. If the system is not based on the position of the player, then how are you going to decide who the best player is at each position? If the RATING SYSTEM is based on the player position, then you will know how a player relates to his position. “You really don’t need the three cone drill, because it’s not needed if you use the Short Shuttle,” said Coach Boyd Epley.
“Quarterbacks and kickers are always going to be hard to measure, because they either do not go to Super Combines or they do not do well at them,” said Coach Epley. So these two positions must be evaluated very carefully on film or in person and their rating is going to be estimated. Max, you will learn how to evaluate them and give them an honest rating.”
Oh Yes! After I left the Cowboys, I did go to Midland, Texas to become the Lanier Business Products Branch Manager. I did really well for two and a half years or until Micom Business Products hired me away from Lanier and moved me to Houston, Texas to become their new Branch Manager.
In 1979, after about six months as Micom Branch Manager, I really felt a strong passion to get back into Scouting. After much prayer, I left Micom and Founded the first ever High School Football Recruiting Service.
I still will never forget people telling me that you just can’t rate or rank High School Football players. It just puts too much pressure on these young football players.
Three years later, in 1983, I Sponsored the First Annual Max Emfinger High School Football Super Combine. I was a great timer, but I will never forget the terrible times that I had on what was supposedly great players. In this First ever High School Football Combine, the Forty Times were so bad, I never published them.
Also, in this First Combine, we only did Height, Weight, Forty, and Vertical Jump, but we still had four of the seven Measurables in a MEARS RATING, but we did not do a Pro-Shuttle, Standing Broad Jump, or Bench Press.