There are many different sports played at college level. In all of them athletes are trained and tested to see whether they can be included in the team. One of the most popular college sports college football, which is always where Jack Elway’s passion lies. Indeed, this sport is one of this country’s favorite sports. In it, both teams try to get the ball into the opposing teams’ end zone, which is how you score points. There are numerous strategies to do this, and new strategies are regularly developed. But perhaps one the best-known ones is the forward pass.

Jack Elway on the Forward Pass

Between 1906 and 1908, Saint Louis University employed coach E.B. Cochems. He is credited with developing the forward pass properly. Indeed, this move was the be all and end all of his offensive scheme, and other teams absolutely feared the maneuver. The first season in which he drilled his team on the move, they ended with a perfect 11-0. Indeed, their opponents were outscored by 407-11. Indeed, St. Louis beat Iowa 31-0, which Cochems always saw as the highlight of his career. The game had four touchdowns, the result of eight passes in ten attempts. Plus, each pass had an average distance of 20 years. This showed just how important the forward pass actually was.

The focus of college football at that time was on the East of the country, however. St. Louis was not in the center of the action, which meant that few other teams picked up Cochems’ truly revolutionary strategy. It took at least ten years for the bigger teams in the East to start picking it up. But by then, it was already commonplace in the Midwest. Arthur Schabinger, Kansas’ College of Emporia’s quarterback, used it in 1910.

Professional football originates from college football. Today, it is one of the most popular sports in the country among fans, alumni, and students. So popular it is, in fact, that many children are able to go to college on a full football scholarship. Football recruiting is a hugely important part of overall academic life in this country, much of which happens while future players are still in high school. Those who aren’t scouted have to work extra hard in order to get noticed.

The internet helps in this, because it enables students and coaches alike to connect with each other. Not just that, however, it enables prospective football scholarship students to learn more about the game and about the forward pass. It gives them the opportunity to get to know the game and its strategies, not just how to play it, but why it should be played in that way, in other words. It isn’t clear whether Cochem had seen all this coming, and whether he knew that, one day, his strategy would be one of the most important ones in the game as a whole. Regardless, the forward pass is now an essential part of college football.