Another way of putting it...the "big" kid always had a place in hs football. As a hs coach, when that big kid showed up on the practice field, you said, "Son, we'll find a place for you somewhere."
Now only the giant and/or fast kid has a place. In terms of the average population, a 6'0" 230 pound high schooler is a BIG kid. But in hs football today, if that kid is slow, there is really not a place for him. He is too small for the line and too slow for any other position, at least in a state like Florida.
Interesting comment..."Nowadays if you're 6' 3" and 280 pounds, you're too big for most skill positions and too small to play line."
It's fascinating how over time people of a certain stature have been "squeezed out" of D1 football and/or NFL positions. 40 years ago a skilled, 6'3" 280 guy would be a lineman in the NFL. Nowadays that guy would likely not be starting on a Power 5 team at any position.
I wonder if in the future the same will be said for the 6'4" 300 -pound lineman? Will they be too big and too small to play on an NFL team? Everything is becoming more and more specialized. With participation in football already declining in some areas, this level of specialization is a bit concerning. Years ago, one saw kids of all shapes and sizes playing hs football. Not anymore, at least not in the hs football hot spot areas. Combine that with the growing concern over concussions and parents not allowing kids to play football, and I worry what football in the future will have to offer the "average" kid compared to other sports that seem to offer kids of more varying body types the opportunity to play.
I appreciate the response. Let me focus on this one for just a second. If an offensive player (a lineman or a receiver) is out ahead of the play (such that the QB or RB is behind them), how are they supposed to know when the play ends if there is no audible signal? I just don't understand how you can ask a downfield blocker to know when he's supposed to stop blocking. Is he supposed to turn his head and look behind him every other second to see if the play has ended? Kind of hard to keep his eye on the man he is blocking if his head is turned around. Maybe Linda Blair could do it, but I don't know of anyone else. While I understand the easy "play is over" situations like a ball carrier hitting the ground or running out of bounds, what's wrong with a short, loud whistle to let all players know the play is dead?
Plant got burned by an inadvertent whistle in the playoffs a few years ago, so I understand the need to avoid that kind of situation. But to not blow the whistle when a play is obviously over (to anyone looking at the play), and then turn around and penalize or send players off to cool down when they're still hitting after the play is over, despite no whistle having been blown, simply does not make sense to me. But I appreciate the explanation.