We were at a handful of games in the Northeast this past weekend including games in North Carolina, New Jersey and Maryland.
Brian Dohn, East Coast Analyst
Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata at Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic
RBC rolled to the win in the first round of the playoffs and a big reason was Notre Dame commit Quenton Nelson, who was dominant from his offensive tackle position. He was punishing at the point of attack and spent the night pushing the defensive line backward. He also was impressive in getting to the second level quickly. Class of 2015 teammate Jamie Gordinier, a linebacker who added Rutgers to an offer list that also includes Pittsburgh, closed well on the ball and showed an awareness in coverage he did not exhibit early in the season. Another interesting prospect is class of 2016 offensive tackle Liam Smith, who lined up at tight end but was used as a blocker. He has very good feet and is an aggressive blocker.
Immaculata defensive end Joe Vitiello, who is committed to Boston College, had a tough time against RBC's big offensive line but he has the strength and explosion to play at the next level. He is likely a defensive tackle in college, and does play with a low center of gravity.
Michael Clark, Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Holly Springs (N.C.) vs. Garner (N.C.)
Holly Springs scored on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead. However, Garner dominated the rest of the game and went on to win 63-21. With the victory, Garner moved to 9-3 on the season and plays at Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt in the second round of the playoffs next Friday. Holly Springs finished 6-6.
Garner junior running back Nyheim Hines had a huge game. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Hines rushed for 187 yards and five touchdowns. The five touchdowns give Hines 51 on the year, which is a new school single-season record. Hines is one of the most dynamic players in the 2015 class. He is a patient runner that does a nice job following his blocks. Hines has great vision, is very instinctive and has the ability to make people miss. He also has good quickness and speed. Although he is not the biggest running back, Hines does a nice job running behind his pads and does not shy away from contact. Overall, Hines an explosive football player with an extremely bright future. I expect his recruitment to continue to gain momentum and he will likely be one of the most sought-after 2015 prospects in the South.
2015 Garner running back/cornerback Raekwon Britton is also a playmaker. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Britton finished with three carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. Britton is showed good speed and has a knack for making big plays. He also played extremely well on defense. Britton does a nice job getting in and out of his backpedal and plays with good technique. He is a prospect to keep an eye on over the next few years.
On the first play of the game, 2016 Holly Springs running Tray Staten broke a 30-yard run. However, he was injured early in the contest and while he continued to play, wasn't the same afterwards. Before getting hurt, Staten showed good agility and quickness. After rushing for nearly 1,400 yards this season, Staten is a prospect to watch in the future.
Sam Hellman, Northeast Recruiting Reporter
Haddonfield (N.J.) Paul VI vs Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep
St. Peter's Prep advance to the second round with a 61-24 blowout and huge nights for its three top prospects. Class of 2015 quarterback Brandon Wimbush
only had to throw 11 times, but passed for two touchdowns, including one as time expired that could be the play of the year in New Jersey. Wimbush took the snap with one second left in the half and, after trying to bootleg for the end zone, scrambled 40 yards in his backfield before delivering an on-the-run pass into the end zone. The 6-foot-2 passer will be a dual threat at the next level. He scored on a read option up the middle of the field from 70 yards out.
Fellow 2015 four-star Minkah Fitzpatrick was also on top of his game. Fitzpatrick is one of the top cornerbacks in the region with offers from the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State, Rutgers and Mississippi State. Fitzpatrick was unbeatable in 1-on-1 coverage, and is willing to deliver big hits. Fitzpatrick missed one tackle that led to a touchdown, and went error free after that. He added 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball.
The biggest performance for St. Peter's Prep, however, came from Rutgers running back commit Jonathan Hilliman. Hilliman is a power runner that fits the Big Ten style, and he continues to show improvement in his breakaway speed. Hilliman took it 70 yards on his first touch of the game, returned a kick 75 yards for a touchdown and finished with 220 yards on just 15 carries.
Paul VI made plays early, and kept the game competitive thanks to 2015 receiver Irvin Charles. Charles is a legitimate 6-foot-4, 215 pounds but it does not slow him down. The hands and concentration need improvement, but he is a major weapon after the catch. Charles uses his balance and momentum to break tackles, and took one 54 yards after juking Fitzpatrick. He finished with eight catches, 160 yards and two touchdowns. Charles got his first offer from Rutgers, and now has Mississippi and Pittsburgh on his resume.
Franklin dominated the game from the get-go and had a running clock by the third quarter in a 49-14 victory. The Indians were anchored by dynamite class of 2016 receiver Steven Smothers, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound do-it-all speedster who holds multiple offers. Smothers racked up over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown, close to 100 yards rushing and another score, picked off two passes on defense (one of which he returned 60 yards for a touchdown) and even returned a kick 73 yards for a score. He is a whirling dervish in the
mold, and should have that kind of national reputation in a year. Also standing out was Franklin's left tackle, Patrick Allen, who is one of the top line recruits in the 2015 class in
. While he's not always consistent, he has a long, wide frame and can flat out maul up front. He plays with a good base, slides well in pass protection and knows how to anchor.