Fade Out Breakdown & Cut Ups (10U, 12U, 14U, High School)

I love the versatility of the #FadeOut concept. It is a #QuickGame concept, so it is typically used early in downs or short yardage situations. It can also be used as a simple, easy to recognize audible when the QB see leverage on OLB and CB has a Deep 3rd responsibility.

When using it in the middle of the field we run it with the outside receiver on the concept side, running an outside release, re-stack Go route (see diagram below). When in the Red Zone, the outside receiver route transforms to a true Fade route, meeting the ball at the back pylon.

This play was utilized by 3 levels of our youth program (#10U, #12U, #14U), with the Middle School levels running it at a high rate throughout the season. During the High School club season in which I was the OC, this may have been our best RedZone play. You will see cut ups from all 4 levels below.


Ace/Open (2x2), Late/Early (3x1), Blue/Green (2 Back), Black/Brown (2 Back Heavy) Star/Lazer (Empty)

Concept Routes

  • R: Mandatory outside release Go route.
  • Y: 5 yard speed out, looking for call immediately out of his break, staying horizontal
  • F/H: Swing/Shoot to the concept side, ready to receive the ball and head upfield.

Conflict Defender(s)

  • First: Concept side CB; Need CB to declare responsibility; Deep zone (bail); Flats zone (slow play); Man (turn and run).
  • Second: Concept side Overhang Defender (OLB/Nickel); Need Overhang to declare responsibility; Hook; Flats; Man. Looking where his jersey color flashes.

Field position

  • Center of the field
  • Quick game used early in downs. Concept side vertical Go running an outside release, re-stack Go route.

Red Zone

  • Quick game used early in downs. Concept side vertical Go running an outside release, true Fade route, meeting the ball at the back pylon. 

Case Study

  • Formation: Early (3x1) Fade Out
  • Field Position: -20 yard line
  • Down & Distance: 1st & 10
  • Defense: Cover 3

Pre-snap Process

  • Backside uncovered WRs Gifts (7+ yards)
  • Pre-snap Question: "Is your first read open by alignment?"

Post-snap Progression:

  • If the backside WR’s defender had more than seven (7) yards depth on his pre-snap alignment, snap the ball and throw it to that WR with urgency.
  • If not, the backside is dead and the QB should not come back to that side of the field.

Read 1: Outside Release Go

  • The QB takes his 1 step drop and reacts to concept side CB. If WR is able to get even or close to even and CB stays in zone facing position, QB makes the throw.
    • Note: Type of fade per the Safety alignment (hole shot vs moonshot)

Read 2: Combo

  • It is a simple if/then scenario:
  • If the Overhang defender to the concept side goes to the flats, and/or goes with flats route, the QB hits the H on the stick
  • If the Overhand defender stays in the Hook, hit the Y on the Speed Out


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