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comptonrudderBy Will Compton, Head Coach, Rudder High School (TX)

Each year we ask our readers what they want to learn about in the coming year.  This year we had multiple coaches ask to hear from Will Compton, a current member of our Board of Advisors, on his powerful GT scheme. This report details to one of his most effective concepts and how he uses it so effectively.


By Will Compton

Head Coach

Rudder High School (TX)

Twitter: @CoachWCompton


Editor’s Note:  Each year we ask our readers what they want to learn about in the coming year.  This year we had multiple coaches ask to hear from Will Compton, a current member of our Board of Advisors, on his powerful GT scheme. We want to thank Coach Compton for being willing to share the details to one of his most effective concepts.



Growing up with a Wing-T background, Counter has always been one of the plays that have been a part of our “bread-and-butter” package. In the Wing-T, we always ran it towards the TE in order to get the double teams we desired to the back side linebackers. As we moved to the Spread, we were able to make some adjustments to the play that we had so much success with under center.

When I arrived at John Tyler High School in 2010, we changed the passing game so much that we left the name of all the run plays the same as what they had used before. They had always called “GT” Gator. So the name has stuck with me for the last five seasons. I have been blessed with some very talented quarterbacks that have been able to run this concept with precision including David Bush (TCU/McNeese St.), Greg Ward Jr. (University of Houston), and Braden Letney a 2016 QB at Conroe Oak Ridge. The common denominator between those three QBs is that they understood the details of the GT and GT Read allowing it to be immensely successful.  This clinic report will provide the details that made them so successful.

Gator Concept:


Quarterback Responsibilities:

Our quarterback has the freedom to throw fast screens on any of our inside run game. His first read will be to see if the defense is stacking the box and leaving a #2 receiver uncovered. If they are uncovered, he will fake the run and throw the fast screen. If the defense does not give us an uncovered #2, then the QB will run the play.

Running Back Rules:

We prefer our running back to be in the Pistol set, because it gives us an advantage when it comes to linebackers trying to read the near back. The flip side to this decision is that we have to spend a lot of time on is the run mesh.

The running back is going to align himself at three to four yards behind the quarterback. This is adjusted based on the timing.  For example, we can deepen the RB’s alignment if he is beating the lineman to the hole. His first step is going in the direction of the defensive end that is being read. We want him to try to get width and then bend back around the quarterback. We have found that if the RB’s angle of attack is too tight or “downhill,” he is less likely to find the hole or get in behind the tackle.

Another trick we teach to ensure proper timing is to have the RB move at about a 75% tempo. We often use the phrase, “slow to, fast through!” This allows them to find and follow the pulling back side tackle. It is critical that he keep his eyes inside looking for the first cut and the tackle should lead him through the hole. He needs to show patience as he follows the tackle. We also teach him that if the defense cuts the first puller, there is a chance that the play will bounce outside. 

Trigger words are as follows:

  • “Get width”
  • “Wrap the QB”
  • “Get your eyes vertical”
  • “Follow your blockers patiently”
  • “Accelerate when you get in the whole”

Gator Read Concept:

The Gator Read concept is used as a complement to the Gator as it combines a version of Outside Zone for the skill players and Gator for the lineman. As we discussed above, the blocking rules for the lineman are the same.

Running Back and Receiver Blocking Rules:

The running back will treat this play like an Outside Zone where he will be accountable for the force player. We are able to cut in Texas, so we like our running back to cut the force player. This allows our jet sweep runner an easy read for when to cut up. If he is forced to use a stalk block, we teach him to attack his inside leverage. We will get on his inside shoulder and try to push him to the sideline giving our jet sweep runner the same easy read when running.

The receivers will count defensive players from outside in to see which person they block. Their blocking rules are very similar to blocking of a screen.

Running Back and Receiver Rules for Jet Sweep:

The key to running motion in your offense is that you make all the motions look as close as possible to being the same. The jet sweep guy in this play has to be a guy who has a burst in his sprint, but can also see the field and get vertical on the other side. Most of the time, we have used our fastest players to run this play, but that only works if he knows how to stick his foot in the ground and get vertical.  Here are the buzz words for the motion man/back:

  • “Inside foot back in your stance”
  • “Take off full speed”
  • “Don’t slow down during the mesh”
  • “Don’t clamp onto the ball”
  • “Read the block on the force player”

Offensive Line Rules in the Gator and Gator Read Concept:

Insiders members, please login now (click here to login) and get the full-length version of Coach Compton’s clinic report. You’ll get all the offensive line rules, plus game film. Here’s everything the full-length version includes:

  • The offensive line rules in the Gator and Gator read concept against any possible alignment up front.
  • Why Coach Compton uses a “point mesh” system for the running back in Pistol formations.
  • The options Coach Compton gives his receivers in 2x2 sets based on a covered and uncovered principle.
  • The three reads he gives his QB on the Gator read concept, a front side read principle.
  • How both motion and unbalanced sets can manipulate the read defender. 
  • VIDEO: Watch game cutups on both the Gator and Gator read concept.

Not an Insiders Member? Get instant access to the full-length version of Coach Compton’s clinic report. Plus, you’ll get all of our research, videos and drills. Get your Insiders membership here.


Over the past five years, we have had some of the most successful offenses in the state of Texas. We are able to do this by spreading the ball around to as many people as possible with our run game. Both the Gator and the Gator Read concepts have been critical components to that success. We feel that the simplicity and variations we can use make it hard for the defense, while allowing our quarterback to put us in a great situation at all times.

Meet Will Compton: Coach Compton has recently completed his first year as the Head Coach of Rudder High School in Bryan, TX. In 2013, while at Conroe Oak Ridge, he served as offensive coordinator on a staff that was able to take a 2-18 team to a 7-4 record and finished the year as a Top 15 rush offense in the state. In 2008, while at Mabank the staff was able to have a top 10 Offense in the DFW area averaging right at 427 YPG. In 2011, Coach Compton’s offense finished in the top 5 in the state averaging 487 YPG and 43PPG on the way to an 11-4 record. His QB, Greg Ward, led the state in QB accuracy as well as total offense. 





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