Oklahoma football: Hudl allowing Sooners to study more quickly, effectively
OU FOOTBALL — The Oklahoma football team is now able to break down film via their tablets or cell phones instead of using DVDs. Game and practice film is uploaded and accessed by players and coaches via the internet.
NORMAN — As he sat at dinner after a game on Sept. 22, the Sooners' loss to Kansas State slowly sunk into David King.
What had gone wrong? Why had Oklahoma's defense given up 223 rushing yards while Kansas State's defense had only given up 92?
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Being the captain of the defense, it bugged King. So he pulled out his phone, clicked on an application and started watching the game – trying to break down the film right at the dinner table.
The days of whirring films reels and grainy VHS highlights are long gone. The days of burning highlights to a DVD are even over. Now, programs like Oklahoma add a technological competitive edge to their team by using Hudl.
Hudl is an internet-based application that allows the Oklahoma video team to upload video of a game, practice or an upcoming opponent. After entering a password, players or coaches can access and watch the video on a phone, tablet or computer.
Engineers at Hudl did not respond to a request for an interview, but the program's website described it as a tool that helps “coaches and athletes prepare smarter and faster by connecting teams around the information they need to win.”
Brian Martin, the video coordinator for Oklahoma football, said the application communicates with an editing system the team has and recognizes cut-ups of film that can be older or from a recent practice.
But what does this save a team?
Martin said the application was “costly” but it can save teams from handing out playbooks as big as dictionaries and close to 100 DVDs burned daily for players.
“It's saved some trees,” Martin said laughing. “It was a waste of DVDs. We would burn them but not all got used — not all the players took the time to sit down and pop them in. Some don't even have DVD players anymore.
“Now, with Hudl, they can access it anywhere with the password and coaches can check who's clicked and who hasn't. So if they watch it great. If not, they'll hear it from the coaches.”
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops raved about the changes it's made for coaches, too. After the final game of the season at TCU, Stoops spent the next week traveling, where he spent flights watching video.