Let’s cut to the Chas ... The Cole Snyder comparisons to Chas Dodd have heated up since the spring game after the true freshman early enrollee’s impressive showing. A white quarterback without prototypical size doesn’t mean they are the same player whatsoever, hence my frustration these discussions should halt immediately. Rather than act like a grumpy old man frustrated with skateboarders, I’ll throw my hand in the ring of comparison. Also note, reviewing highlights during this exercise demonstrated Dodd threw more from the pocket and with better accuracy than I recalled.
Here’s the top five things that differentiate the two as freshmen on the banks.
#1 Cole Snyder comes from a completely opposite high school football experience.
Chas Dodd came to the banks from Byrnes High School located between Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina. This is an area of America where they love their high school football, Friday Night Lights style (isn’t that right RAS61?), with approximately 500 kids per graduating class. Not only was Dodd the quarterback for a football team in this region, they were among the best in the entire country in 2009, including Dodd and 37 other seniors on the roster! His stepfather Bobby Bentley was the coach, and his stepbrother Jake Bentley ended up the starting QB at South Carolina the last four years.
Cole Snyder on the other hand was blitzing as a linebacker/safety when Rutgers scouted him because his high school team just didn’t have a lot of depth for their QB to only play offense. Snyder arrived from Southwestern in Jamestown, NY just a half hour from Lake Erie. After heading up to see Snyder throw, offensive coordinator John McNulty remarked about three things: how cold it was, how well Cole threw it around, and how tight knit the kids were who ran around catching passes for him shortly after dawn. The school has less than 500 students TOTAL. Former New York Jets fullback Jehuu Caulcrick, a native of Liberia who played at Michigan State, is the head coach.
North v South. Warm v Cold. National Powerhouse v Local interest. There’s a lot of differences. Does this matter?
Flashback to Dodd’s freshman year in 2010:
#2 Cole Snyder is a better athlete.
Coming from a school where he played three sports, Snyder played ice hockey, baseball, and both sides of the football to boot. He was also the punter and punt returner. I can’t be certain Dodd did not play any other sports in high school and did growing up in the 90s for sure, but he was not a AAA hockey player in Buffalo of all places like Snyder. AAA is a very high level, for those unfamiliar.
I’m not saying Chas was a bad athlete, he had to be mobile enough to roll out ...
#3. Chas Dodd at his best was a play-action, rollout quarterback.
We have only see two drives from Cole Snyder at the college level, both in the spring game, so the sample set is not very large. That being said, he showed nice ability to buy time inside the pocket without scrambling and creating chaos. In his high school highlights there was a lot of this same behavior, though per his punt return clips, he definitely knows how to run in the open field.
As mentioned in the intro to this article, I found more highlights of Chas throwing from the pocket than I remembered but plenty of his negatively memorable plays (Uconn 2011 cough cough) came from poor reads inside it. Just because Dodd was short in stature doesn’t mean he played like Doug Flutie for example. Chas said he was a pocket passer during his recruitment, though it was when he rolled out of the pocket where he was most dangerous for Rutgers. This is perfectly logical because in high school he was handing off to Marcus Lattimore, who went on to become the all-time rushing touchdown leader in South Carolina Gamecocks history. So why not fake the handoff then roll out for a bomb?
Especially when playing with receivers who could make plays ...
#4 Chas Dodd had MUCH better wide receivers ...
... in high school AND college. In addition to Lattimore, Byrnes had two of the other top recruits in the state of South Carolina in the 2010 class. And then looking a little farther down the list, the #22 and #23 players in the state were both wide receivers from Byrnes who went to Group of Five schools, Jazz King (Marshall) and Torian Richardson (East Carolina). Neither excelled at the college level without Dodd throwing them the rock, though.
The Scarlet Knights signed Brandon Coleman in the same recruiting class to a position group that added Mohamed Sanu, Mark Harrison, and Quron Pratt the year prior. These receivers possessed specific skillsets to help Dodd succeed, too. Coleman and Harrison (2011 Louisville drop non-withstanding) were big, fast players who are perfect for vertical routes or deep crosses to run after that catch. Sanu was a vacuum in the middle of the field, able to catch even poorly thrown balls on any route at any time. Pratt was also quite versatile and able to run whatever routes (even over the middle) Dodd needed, which was critical to the team in late 2013 when Dodd was re-inserted as a starter and led the team to a bowl game. Even though Rutgers was not playing Big Ten competition during his career, it’s pretty obvious that the wide receivers they had were superior to what the Scarlet Knights are rolling with right now. Case and point: Leonte Carroo didn’t play a single down of wide receiver as a true freshman in 2012 and ended up being pretty flippin’ good. Tim Wright also was either getting reps behind the aforementioned wideouts or injured (2012 Louisville drop non-withstanding) for a good part of his college career, had a nice NFL career. Dodd also arrived at RU to an unsettled running back situation which made the team even more willing to throw the ball.
Dodd to Coleman 2011:
Cole’s high school teammates appear to include some lifelong friends and the chemistry does show up on film, but they are not playing for a squad full of five star talent. Snyder’s touchdown to Paul Woods in the spring game was very Dodd-esque deep down the sideline, but there are no obvious Sanu or Coleman replacements on the current squad. (Let’s hope all our readers throw that back in my face after the next year or two.)
Snyder to Woods:
Freshmen duo QB Cole Snyder and WR Paul Woods combine for a Scarlet touchdown! #GoRU pic.twitter.com/hnKPsyVzNg— Rutgers Scarlet Knights (@RUAthletics) April 13, 2019
#5 Dodd is a reasonable comparison, but I prefer Ryan Hart.
If you want to compare Snyder to anyone recently, Ryan Hart is better from my current analysis. Hart had a career 60.4% completion percentage with a high of 65.1% in his junior year of 2004 when he passed for 3,154 yards, the second best single season total in Rutgers history. The comparison is still not perfect, but I think Snyder if he gets significant career playing time will be closer to Hart, than Dodd’s 55.8% career number. The reason for this is Snyder’s quick throws to a variety of different receivers. This film is a good way to see what RU’s offense under McNulty looks like against a Power Five opponent when executed well with good personnel. Cole’s movement looks a lot like Hart’s as well which should fit nicely in McNulty’s offense.
Dodd on the other hand prefers to go deep. It’s hard to say for certain per the film only, a reverse engineering of sorts, but Chas seems to be in the Brett Favre school of quarterbacking, always take a shot deep if you can. Some offensive systems call for quarterbacks to read short to long, others left to right, but Dodd appears under all four offensive coordinators (though he only attempted one pass with Dave Brock in 2012) to do more damage than your typical QB on long balls. Dodd’s adjusted yards per attempt is higher than Hart’s.
BONUS SIMILARITY: Following the 4/5 star big-time recruit.
One oddity is that both Chas Dodd and Cole Snyder came to Rutgers in the recruiting class following a high four-star quarterback who started 11 games as a true freshman, Tom Savage and Art Sitkowski. That’s where the similarities end because Savage had a great freshman year (2,211 yards, 14 TD, 7 INT) compared to Sitkowski’s (1,158 yards, 4 TD, 18 INT).
We can all hope Rutgers has another quarterback with 8,400+ career passing yards like Hart, even though at this point we would gladly take 4,000+ in what I believe is only about 14 career starts. Dodd had a pretty good career at Rutgers, and won an Italian Football League MVP. (Yes in Italy the European country, not any of the many miniature versions throughout the tri-state area.)
I think Snyder may end up being the best quarterback on the current Rutgers roster or even it’s 2020 commits because he has a strong enough arm, great feel for the game, and seems to just be a winner. Despite this, the team will probably try to get by with McLane Carter and Art Sitkowski most of 2019, allowing us hopefully a glimpse of Snyder in the last four games when he can still qualify for a redshirt. Then a Hart-like four years would be welcomed with open arms.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
NOTE: While researching this article I came across a very odd data point. In a true statistical phenomenon, Dodd and Kyle Bolin each were 73 for 133 with three touchdowns and six interceptions as seniors at Rutgers. Dodd did have 868 yards to Bolin’s 711, but how weird is that?
I am excited to announce that I have officially accepted an Assistant Strength and Conditioning position for football at the University of Miami. I am grateful for my past 3 years at the University of South Carolina and appreciate everyone that had a hand in it! #itsallabouttheu pic.twitter.com/tWxHdy1FkA— Chas Dodd (@ChasDodd) May 15, 2019