The University of Illinois sent several coaches to Detroit Southeastern to check in on their game against Detroit Cass Tech. The Fighting Illini had their eye on several players in this game, particular Cass Tech cornerbacks Julian Easterly and Boubacar Cissoko, LB Aaron Archie and S/RB Cortez Smith. It was a well-played game which ended with a 13-7 Cass Tech victory, here are Scout.com's notes on the notable players in the game.
QB/S Charles Burrell had a nice game. The Michigan State commit will play safety or maybe wide receiver at the next level, so his play at quarterback is only so important to projecting his success at the next level. However, he showed good speed and athleticism getting out the pocket and making plays downfield. He also showed strength wrestling away from a couple sacks and toughness as he took several big hits. On defense, he was solid tackling and broke up two passes, including a flare route he read beautifully, jumped and would have taken to the house had he caught it. Burrell looked like a fine athlete who will be able to help the Spartans wherever they put him. Today confirmed what we saw on film - he appears better suited for free safety in college than any other position.
Wide Receiver Fred Smith, who will join Burrell at Michigan State had a quiet day. He did get deep on his man a couple times and was overthrown. He finished with one reception for 11 yards, but was only thrown to four times. He looked good running routes whether he got the ball or not though. For a big man, he is smooth and has good quickness out of his breaks. It was not his best game, but it was by no means any knock on him. Smith has great tools and should be a fine addition to the Spartan receiving corps.
Defensive End Ricky Sprat was one of the top performers at the Scout.com Chicago Combine and has had a good season so far. Today, he had a tough matchup with William Campbell and was able to use athleticism and quickness to get around Campbell a couple times, including a big tackle he made in the backfield. But, head to head, Campbell was too powerful for Sprat. Right now, he is a pass rushing specialist who will have to add bulk and strength, but he had really outstanding feet and quickness.
Junior running back/wide receiver William Sturges isn't very big, but is cat-quick and showed ability to make people miss in the open field. He caught the ball well and looks like he could be a solid slot guy at the next level.
The Jungaleers had a couple of big junior linemen to keep an eye on, DT Keith Brooks (6'4, 280) is huge and looked like a good athlete for his size. He'll have colleges after him next year, as will OT Kyle Bryant (6'6, 265). Bryant is raw and needs to get stronger, but has the size and decent enough feet to warrant a look.
DETROIT CASS TECH
CB Boubacar Cissoko had a solid game. The future Michigan Wolverine did give up the first TD of the game on a play where he thought his receiver went out of bounds and came up to stick the quarterback. In man to man, he was not beaten on the day, he did face Burrell several times and drew Smith on the last series, coming up with the game sealing interception. He also had two pass breakups, including a wide receiver screen he read and closed on beautifully. In run support he made a couple of nice plays getting around blocks and making the tackle. He did lower his shoulder without wrapping up once and missed the tackle, but other than that play, he was solid as a tackler. He also had a big punt return where he showed his speed.
His secondary mates performed well. Julian Easterly is good in coverage as he stuck to his man all game. He doesn't appear to have blazing speed, but is quick and has more than adequate straight line wheels. He is a legit college prospect.
The same can be said of Cortez Smith, the Indiana commit was on Fred Smith for most of the game and did a fine job. Normally a safety, Smith was instinctive and read routes and plays well and also tackled well. At running back, he has decent speed and is tough, but he looked like a better defensive back prospect on this day.
His backfield mate Teric Jones is an exciting player. He is fast and also moves well laterally. He showed that making several people miss on his big runs, including his TD run in the 2nd quarter. Jones also continued to catch the ball well which we saw from him in the summer. He played well on defense, but at 5'9, 184 lbs, he is out of position at linebacker/defensive end. He is clearly an offensive player at the next level and should be a good one. He'll is one of the top junior backs in the state right now and should get better as he gets more carries.
Junior OT/DT William Campbell, a Michigan commit was outstanding today. He controlled both lines of scrimmage for the Technicians. On offense, he doesn't always play with proper technique, but in the running game, he has the strength and mean streak to really bust open holes. On defense, he is quick off the ball and very powerful. He was relentless going after the quarterback and tracked down Burrell a couple times, laying big hits to him. He plays with a ton of aggressiveness and was very impressive today.
Senior linebacker Aaron Archie was all over the place. He has great instincts and gets to the ball and is a very solid tackler when he gets there. He doesn't have great speed, but he is rarely out of position, which helps him compensate. He impressed me today and the MAC and Big Ten schools that are looking at him are not wasting their time. I expect a first offer for him very soon.
Anthony Anchrum didn't get any passes thrown his way on offense, but did well on defense breaking up a couple passes and making a few tackles. He is a solid athlete and is a heady player. He is a player we've liked since last season and although he has one offer from Eastern Michigan, we feel he is still underrated.
Junior QB Thomas Gordon has a lot of physical tools. He is well built, fast and has a great arm. He is still inconsistent with his accuracy though and we still think he's a safety at the next level. He saw some time there late in the game today and made one tackle. He will be a project, but he has the raw tools to play somewhere in college.
Scouting Report: Cass Tech vs Southeastern
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