American Football

Hudl Assist: The Video Junkie’s Solution to Busy Work

Wish you had more time to dive deeper into game video? Enter Assist, which produced major results for one North Carolina coach.

As they studied the scout video for their upcoming East Regional Championship against Scotland County last December, the Cape Fear High School (Fayetteville, N.C.) football coaches noticed a few small but ultimately very meaningful tendencies. They were the kind of insights that become the pillars of a game plan.

Every time Scotland County used motion, they ran the ball. They passed the ball on just eight percent of first-and-10 plays. And on third-and-one, Scotland County ran the ball every single time. This data allowed the coaches to craft a game plan that swallowed up the opposing offense en route to a 27-7 victory.

The staff deserves all the credit for noticing Scotland County’s “tells”, but assistant coach Ryan Grates gave a hat tip to Hudl Assist. Because Cape Fear had Hudl’s team of analysts break down the scouting video, the coaches were freed to spend more time with the video and data to unearth Scotland County’s tendencies.

“In the East regional championship, Hudl Assist was huge with putting together a game plan for our opponent,” Grates said. “Our defense almost knew what they were running before they ran it because of all the tendencies we got from it.”

For a video junkie like Grates, Assist serves as the perfect sidekick. Instead of using his time to label the video, Grates can now watch with a more critical eye.

And for a coach who claims he only sleeps for three or four hours on the weekends because he’s so invested in the video, any additional time back is a godsend. Assist greatly accelerated Cape Fear’s scouting process last year - Grates typically started watching broken-down opponent video Saturday afternoon.

“It takes a whole step out of my breakdown process. Before, the first thing I would do is ODK it and down and distance,” Grates said. “That’s just time-consuming. When it’s done for you, I can now go in and look at certain things. What’s their red-zone defense look like? How much do they blitz on third down? Do they run to the short side of the field more often? You’re finding tendencies instead of labeling the film.”

And if any coaches have concerns about presenting an Assist proposal to their athletic director, Grates is quick to assuage those fears.

“First I’d point out that all my opponents are using it and it’s giving them a leg up on us,” he said. “They’re able to focus their time elsewhere while we’re doing these repetitive tasks of labeling film. It frees us up to do more advanced things with the team instead of labeling every single thing.”

What are you waiting for? Check out how big of a time saver Assist truly is.