College Football team hires Rocket Scientist to revolutionize practices

Illustration for article titled College Football team hires Rocket Scientist to revolutionize practices

So my Alma Mater hired a rocket scientist who had been laid off due to government cutbacks to interpret data from GPS monitors. They have used the info to help regulate practices and reduce injuries. I'd say one of the biggest reasons we won the National Title last year was because of our insane injury luck which might not have been luck in actuality. It's kind of lame that a rocket scientist got laid off from doing work with the space program to work in football but the work he's doing might revolutionize the sport so that's pretty cool.

The man is Chris Jacobs, an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist tasked with monitoring every movement the Seminoles make in practice and in the weight room. Jacobs had worked as a propulsion engineer with the space program before government cutbacks forced him out of the job, but a timely meeting with a member of Florida State's booster club brought him here.

The players call him "Rocket Man." Jacobs' computer is fueled by data that arrive in real time, courtesy of GPS monitors the players wear in specially designed straps across their chests — sports bras the team has renamed "bros" — that track everything from acceleration rates to heart rates and, most important to the dozens of Seminoles patiently waiting for official results, speed.

Twenty-two point eight, Jacobs confirms, and history is made. Cook's top speed during his 40-yard dash — 22.8 mph — pushed him past veteran receiver Rashad Greene for the team's best mark, and the other players quickly offered congratulations to the rookie. Greene, too, was impressed, but also inspired.

For players who just won a national championship by setting offensive records and winning every game by an average of nearly 40 points, this is the value of those GPS devices. They provide the benchmark for a juggernaut for which the biggest challenge comes by competing against itself.

"He beat my record," Greene said. "So I've got to go get him on Monday."

espn.com

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