Davis now the winningest coach in Lady Devils basketball history Clutch plays give Green Devils OT win Eighth grade Greyhounds go on the road, grab 55-41 conference win at Whiteoak Lady Indians can’t hang on, fall to Eastern Brown Indians open up with big Homecoming win Greyhounds drilled by Fairfield in season opener How to sell 94 losses NAES leads local schools represented at PBIS Showcase PHS Beta Club recognized as National School of Distinction MES wins Momentum Award for second year running Fire destroys Winchester business Martha Becraft Cynthia A Sopher Clarys Holliday Basketball Special: 2017-18 Justice girls lead Peebles to win over Felicity Senior Profile: Adison Wright Lady Dragons slain by buzzer-beater Freshmen double-doubles lead Lady Hounds to win in opener County mourns passing of OVSD Board member Tom Reed Peebles man arrested in connection with woman’s disappearance Leaving a written legacy Not really ready to go back to pioneer days Peebles Jr./Sr. High School awarded PBIS Bronze Award North Adams High School named National Beta School of Distinction Operation Christmas Child collects 1,867 boxes Samantha Jameson honored as Young Professional of the Year Youth Deer Season again plagued by bad weather Humane Society hosting Ugly Christmas Sweater contest Dec. 9 Local centenarian celebrates birthday number 100 with family and friends Jerry R Pratt Edward Lykins Jr NAES students focus on spreading kindness Leland P Sautter Kelly B Anderson Dorothy Grooms Sharon D Brumley Anna J Grooms Local student/athletes awarded Wendy’s Heisman Awards Lady Devils JV triumph in opener Senior Profile: Colten Ball Peebles hosts SHAC Boys Preview Lady Devils fall in tough opener Janet A Pedicord Nettie R Fleshman Senior Profile: Sianna Mills North Adams boys ride the ‘3’ train to victory Lady Devils trounce Georgetown Senior Profile: Austin Stamper North Adams’ Williams named OIAAA Administrator of the Year County hoops squads on display in SHAC Girls Preview Going off the grid Michael L Chamblin A newer, kinder county pound takes a more humane approach TAG students are winners at Invention Convention Adams County Florist decks the halls Thomas J Reed Shirley A Stiffler Sharon G Wright Lottie J Meade June R Williams Lions and Cowboys and no Bengals, thankfully Senior Profile: Tyler Horsley North Adams sweeps Manchester Cheer Championships Indians face tough test in first pre-season scrimmage Senior Profile: Abby Faulkner Seas reflects on second state tournament experience NA’s Harper signs to continue hoops career at Rio Grande Hendrickson named Assistant Coach of the Year in Division III girls soccer Take the hint, it’s Thanksgiving time again Small Business Saturday in Adams County Art Council’s newest production will have you ‘laughing through your tears’ North Adams students working to help the homeless Grateful Richard A Graham #SawyerStrong Billy L Smalley With some help from Adams County, Ohio Statehouse now has wheelchair charging station Wenstrup announces re-election campaign Delta Dental provides two local schools with new drinking fountains Ernie McFarland honored by Ohio Bankers League Veterans Day parade, ceremony held in West Union Adams County schools celebrate Veterans Day Being the change November: As Mr. Seas it Protecting Ohio seniors from rising healthcare costs It’s November-have some soup and pie SHAC Boys Preview is Nov. 24 at Peebles June Hall Alice B Himes Claudia U Mitchell TRAFFIC ALERT: SR 41 restrictions set for Saturday Jewell Foster Senior Profile: Nicholas Fish SHAC Girls Preview set for Nov. 17 Senior Profile: Lakyn Hupp Again, Lady Devils ousted in district finals ‘Lighting the Serpent’ event is being discontinued Voters favor incumbents at the ballot Arts Council dedicates Buzzardroost Rock mural

From Division II to the Senior Bowl

Tiffin quarterback Antonio Pipkin is looking to make the jump from Division II to the National Football League.

By Scott Dryden –

The odds of making an NFL roster from an FCS school are remote – from a Division II school almost unheard of.  Antonio Pipkin attended Tiffin University – a school with an enrollment under 4,000 located about two hours south of Cleveland.
If he makes it to the NFL, he won’t be the first from Tiffin.  Nate Washington and Chris Ivory both made the league as undrafted free agents after playing for the Dragons of Tiffin.  Washington, a Toledo native, had a long successful career.  Ivory, a bruising running back, is still playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But a quarterback from a DII school?  The most important position in all of sports cannot slide through the collegiate recruiting cracks, right?  Kurt Warner certainly did at Northern Iowa.  Warner won a ring with the Rams and has a good shot at being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick was drafted in the seventh round in the 2005 NFL Draft and is still playing.  The latest examples include Delaware’s Joe Flacco and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz.  Flacco has had a tremendous career while Wentz just finished his rookie season.  Each were drafted in the first round.
Pipkin has gained some significant buzz of late in part due to the dearth of quarterbacks in the NFL.  Phil Savage, former NFL GM and current Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, leaves no stone unturned.  Thus Pipkin will get his chance under the tutelage of Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.  The week will consist of practices culminating with the game being played on Saturday, Jan. 28.
In college, Pipkin was a four-year starter at Tiffin in the Air Raid system under the direction of Head Coach Gary Goff.  Goff played and coached for the underappreciated Hal Mumme.  Yes, that Hal Mumme.  The same Hal Mumme who coached Tim Couch to astronomical numbers at Kentucky – which ultimately resulted in Couch being the number one selection in the 1999 draft by the Cleveland Browns.
When asked to describe Pipkin, Goff responded, “The moment I watched Pipkin’s recruiting film I realized he was a great quarterback and a perfect fit for the Air Raid offense.”  Furthermore, Goff believes in not only Pipkin as a player but also as a person – “He has always been a student of the game and quick to understand how defenses were trying to defend him.”
Tiffin University supplied extensive film to study and I dug in.   Pipkin’s physical attributes are NFL quality – 6’3”, 225 lbs., with a strong arm.  He is a good athlete with very good vision.  However, the most impressive pieces of his game are his ability to go through reads and impact the secondary with his eyes.  His touch was also on display as was his movement in the pocket.  This led to a successful career at Tiffin which included several broken records.
Before his travels to Mobile, I had an opportunity to speak with Pipkin regarding a variety of topics.
His journey to Tiffin isn’t unlike many other collegiate players.  He believed he was attending Northern Illinois but a coaching change late in the recruiting process thwarted those plans.  Instead, he arrived in Tiffin to play both basketball and football, eventually settling on football.
“It is a lot of fun to play in,” says Pipkin of Coach Goff’s Air Raid system.  “It is definitely a lot different than a lot of others you see such as Texas Tech.  They throw the ball probably twice as much as we do.  Our system has a lot built into it – RTOs (read- throw options), progressions, reads which require understanding defenses.  It isn’t a standard NFL offense but you learn a lot in this Air Raid system that will correlate to the next level.”
Asked about the Senior Bowl Invitation, Pipkin says, “I’ve been training with George Whitfield (renowned QB guru) for the past four years.  We stay in touch during the season.  I had a Bears scout, Jeff Shiver, come out to meet with me.  We talked and watched film together.  He really liked me.  Later that afternoon I got a call from George stating Phil Savage contacted him about me being on the radar.  He said they were going to get through the college football playoffs then evaluate if I was deserving of an invite.  A week or so later Coach called me and told me I had an invite in the mail.”
“Whitfield has been incredible.  When I got to college I was never the athlete playing quarterback.  A lot of high schools put their best athlete at quarterback.  I was never that guy.  I wanted to be a quarterback – a student of the game – working on technique and things like that.  Coming from an urban area there isn’t a lot of work like that.  In college, I put a lot of time in but it was limited.  Spending full days and weeks working on fine-tuning/engineering, where to find strength when throwing the ball,has been great.  It is never really changing how you throw the ball, it is just fine-tuning and finding where you are most resourceful.”
“Oh, it is a great opportunity,” to be at the Senior Bowl and coached by Hue Jackson.  “Any time you get the chance to work with an NFL coaching staff it is an awesome opportunity.  It is going to be a great chance for me to show my board work and ability to read defenses, understand fronts and linebackers – nickels, dimes, dogs – everything a quarterback needs to know.  This is an opportunity to showcase that I’m capable of playing at the next level.  I’ll get classroom work and take that directly to the field.  It is a great opportunity to work with an NFL coaching staff – especially a coach like Hue.”
“I’ve never been that quarterback who says I want to play like this person or model my game after this person.  I’ve always kind of let my game pave the way for me – be my own guy – make my own name.  One quarterback I definitely looked up to is Peyton Manning.  He was my role model because of how he was a student of the game.  That is what separates the good quarterbacks from the great quarterbacks.  Learning everything you can about the game, about the offense you are playing, studying defenses, tendencies – things like that is what I think is the biggest asset.  For me, from the neck up is what I bring to the table and it will correlate to the next level.
“I have not received a”n NFL Combine invite yet,” adds Pipkin.  “Everyone from coaches to NFL GMs tell me it is expected that I will get one.  Now that I’ve received a little buzz it is expected that I will get one.  For now, I’m going to focus on the Senior Bowl and have fun.”
For videos of Antonio Pipkin follow Scott Dryden on Twitter @brownsscout and Instagram @brownsscout .
On Twitter you can follow Tiffin University @gotiffindragons , Coach Goff @coachGGoff , Color Commentator Matt Kibler @matt-radio and  Antonio Pipkin @T-Pip2 .
Special thanks to Tiffin University, Coach Goff, Matt Kibler and Antonio Pipkin.
Practices of the Senior Bowl will be held from Jan. 24-26 where Pipkin will be on the South squad coached by the Cleveland Browns coaching staff.  The NFL Network will be airing live coverage of practices for both squads.  The game will be televised on Saturday, Jan. 28,  2:30 p.m., on the NFL Network.

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