RC Focus on Football

by minton on July 25, 2023

Yes, football is returning to Roanoke College in the near future, but Roanoke graduate James Rowe ‘23 and anticipated December graduate Cyrus Pace ‘23 are already making their impact on the college football world. If you watch NBC’s Sunday Night Football, you are accustomed to hearing statistics and player ratings generated by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Announcer Cris Collinsworth is owner and chairman of PFF, which has a crew of employees watching game film and grading player performances on every play.

James and Cyrus were chosen from a large group of applicants to join that crew. They are going through training this summer, so that their grades are consistent with other PFF employees. For this fall, each will analyze one college football game per week. Their ratings will be compiled into player evaluations used by several NFL teams to identify the best players to draft or sign after the season.

In February, James and Cyrus competed in the National Collegiate Sports Analytics Championship. James ranked 14th in the qualifying round, and had an excellent score in the finals. Cyrus was top 20 qualifying and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the finals. Their strong performances were noted by PFF recruiters and played a role in their successful internship applications in a competitive job market. They have both interned with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, and James has also interned with the Salem Red Sox.

Congratulations to James and Cyrus! We are excited to see what the future brings for them in sports analytics.