Ball State Commit in Action

Shelbyville, the 6th ranked team in Class 4A, traveled north to Yorktown, IN, just outside of Muncie to battle the Class 3A No. 6 Tigers in a Hoosier Heritage Conference battle. The trip gave editor Andy Thorpe a chance to venture out and take in a game from Shelbyville RB and Ball State commit David Brown.

Shelbyville was able to bounce back after falling behind to a very talented Yorktown football team to the tune of a 28-21 victory. The Tigers led at the half 21-14, but 2 unanswered touchdowns by the Bears along with a goal line stand in the closing minutes kept Shelbyville undefeated on the season. I was able to take in the game and see, not only David Brown, who recently committed to Ball State to play RB next season, but I also found several talented young men on both sides of the ball that have gone largely unnoticed.

David Brown – Shelbyville's 5-10 190 FB, who will be moved to HB next season at Ball State, looked solid but had some troubles against a very large front line from Yorktown. Brown had 83 yards on 16 carries for 2 touchdowns on the game, and if not for a 40 yard run in the second quarter, might have been seriously held in check by the Tigers. This is no fault of David's though, as he looks like a fine back with a good burst and the ability to hit open holes quickly, when they are there. Yorktown was very well prepared to stop Brown on the inside given their size (which I will touch on later) which was much larger per man than Shelbyville across the front lines. This gave opportunities to Shelbyville's wing backs (they run the trip option much like Navy) who did most of the damage on the night. Brown has good size and looks very well put together. He doesn't seem to have a top end gear for pulling away, but what he does posses is patience in finding and hitting holes and the burst to get through to get a regular 4 to 7 yards when there is something there.

Other players of note from the evening:

Wes Winkle – Yorktown had most of its success through the air and most of that came in the capable hands of the 6-3 170 Winkle. The Ball State baseball recruit – who I am sure the football coaches hope decides to give football a try also – had 13 catches for 133 yards and a score. Winkle was able to get open several times on quick comeback and hook routes against single coverage, but also found a little success deep as Winkle made two back-to-back touchdown grabs (the first a diving catch that was called back because of penalty) just before the half. Winkle has good size at 6-3 and shows great hands and good route running skills for a player his age. Yorktown throws the ball a lot, so Winkle gets his hands on the ball a lot more than most High School WR. Let's hope he does walk on at Ball State.

Jacob Walker – Yorktown WB Jacob Walker has good size at 6-2 180 and an adequate to good arm. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns to Yorktown's tall and quality receiving corps. Walker made very good decisions on this night and also showed some solid elusiveness with the ability to move out of the pocket and either run or throw. Walker is a possible D-1 FCS level player that will probably slip into a very happy coach's hands at the Division II level.

Jay Neal – A 6-2 220 FB/LB from Yorktown that has toughness written all over him. As a FB, where he did a lot of damage, Neal carried 9 times for 74 yards and a touchdown against a stout Shelbyville defense. Neal is a true FB that can get a program a few carries a game and provide good size and capable blocking that could blossom at the next level for a team that still implements the use of a classic FB. As a LB, Neal does a good job filling holes and attacks the ground game well. I feel that Neal too has some skills that could translate into playing FB at a FCS level, but more than likely he will be at the Division II level next year.

Daniel Blanton – Blanton is a good sized kid that does a very good job in pass blocking for the Tigers air attack. Blanton, 6-4 319, plays OT at this level, but a slide inside to OG would be better suited for his college talent next year. Blanton used his hands well in pass blocking and did a good job using his size advantage when the Tigers ran. Blanton is a kid that could surprise and sneak into a Mid-American Conference team's radar given his size and his performance against smaller-sized competition, but more than likely he will find his way into a FCS level team and could enjoy a nice division 1 career if he continues to work hard.

Kevin Ellis – Just a junior, but Ellis is an imposing specimen. At 6-6 270, he has to already be on the radar for a lot of division 1 FBS teams. Ellis was a menace at DT as he was repeatedly in the backfield and made a few TFLs. Teams should really keep an eye on this young man for the class of 2010 as his athleticism and continued increase in skill should equate a lot of attention both at a DT and as an OT given his size. We are sure to keep an eye on young Mr. Ellis.

Robert Cox – Finally, Shelbyville's 6-5 210 DE Robert Cox, he made some nice plays and was in the backfield enough to thwart Yorktown's passing attack in the second half. Cox has great size and length and is a rangy athlete at 6-5. He needs to bulk up for a college career, but he is no doubt a division 2 and maybe even a FCS level recruit.

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