Steve Spurrier can tell you, we've had the E&H Formation in our football playbook for a long time — since the 1950s — and we're proud to see it being utilized effectively in the NFL.
Video clip copyright of the National Football League (NFL). Utilized under Fair Use policy. This posting seeks to educate the audience regarding the Emory & Football Formation and employs this video only for play illustration purposes.
Note that on each side of the wide offensive players, one of the players is not an eligible receiver — so there’s no reason to cover them — a smart part of the play design. If the defense chooses instead to load up the box against a 3-man line, the offense will be able to throw a screen pass to the outside with a favorable blocking match-up.
Also of interest is usage of the play in high-tempo offensive game plans — meaning it can be ran with ease in a no-huddle offense. This gives defenders little time to assess the play and recognize the formation — creating pre-snap confusion on the defensive side that the offense can capitalize on quickly, and usually for sizable yardage. It also spreads out defenders across the field, leaving plenty of big holes for the offense to blow through for big yardage gains.
Steve Spurrier, while not technically an alum of the College, was exposed to Emory & Henry College’s innovative ways as a kid attending E&H football games. Spurrier would later go on to coach the 1994 Florida Gators to a SEC College Championship using this unorthodox play he dubbed, “The Emory & Henry Formation.” Since then, this trick play has added new wrinkles to several major college and NFL game plans.
The Emory & Henry Wasps are credited with inventing an American football offensive formation, named in the college’s honor, that divides the offensive line and wide receivers into three groupings of three.] While it is primarily used today as a trick play, it was revived in 2007 as an integral part of the A-11 offense, a high school football offensive scheme that was eventually banned due to the exploitation of loopholes in the high school rulebooks. The offense inspired Steve Spurrier to use variations of it as a trickplay formation at Florida and South Carolina named ‘Emory & Henry’, as Spurrier attended Wasps games as a child growing up in nearby Johnson City, Tennessee.Wikipedia.org: List of Formations in American Football