Single Back Counter and Counter Read Concept

Jan 2, 2015 | Offense, Run Game, Gap Run Concepts, 11 Personnel Concepts, Personnel

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:


Offensive Line Play:

We want our offensive line to play fast and physical. For us, that means keeping it as simple as possible.  When it comes to the GT and GT Read, we keep it simple by ensuring that the blocking assignments for the offensive line are exactly the same. Instead, all changes will be made with the backs. We like this because it gives us the opportunity to get complex in the look of our plays, while allowing the offensive line to focus on the nuance of the defensive alignments.

Offensive Line Rules for Gator and Gator Read:

Play Side Tackle:

  • Against a 5-technique with no inside threat: False step (also known as a “dick block”) the defensive end and then work to back side LB. He must lock onto anything in his path.
  • Against a 5-technique with inside threat: We teach our linemen to double team to the back side LB, stay on play side shoulder. He must stay on the double team until the linebacker climbs over the top. 
  • Against a 4-technique: Dick block and wash the 4-technique down if he goes inside. If he goes out, work to outside linebacker. 
  • Against a 4i-technique: Step with inside foot and down block the defender.

Play Side Guard:

  • Against a 3-technique: Step with play side foot and punch play side arm, while double teaming to the back side LB. He is responsible for the back side LB if he runs underneath. 
  • Against a 2/2i-technique: Step with play side foot, stay on play side shoulder blocking the defensive tackle down. 
  • Against a 1-technique or nose guard: Step with the inside foot, staying on play side shoulder and double teaming to back side LB. He must stay on double team until back side LB climbs over the top.


  • Against a play side 1-technique: Pull flat and trap block the first man to show on the other side of the play side guard. We teach him to stay on the up field shoulder. If you can’t get him kicked out, log him. If nobody shows, he will pull and seal to the inside.  
  • Against a back side 1-technique or a 2-technique: Block back staying on play side shoulder or cut to the back side.
  • Against a nose: Step with play side foot and expect a double team from the play side guard to the back side LB.

Backside Guard: