Friday Crab Bowl Notebook - D.C.

Due to inclement weather on Friday evening the D.C., team was forced to practice inside at Annapolis Area Christian School and was on the scene to watch some of the best players on the east coast show off their skills. Watching this team all you see is speed, speed and more speed and that will most likely show on the scoreboard come Saturday afternoon.

How do you handle an offensive backfield with Devon Smith and Caleb Porzel in it at the same time in a game situation? That is a question the Baltimore team's coaching staff had better have an answer for come 1pm on Saturday at Towson University.

While watching Porzel one can't help to think of Maurice Jones-Drew during his college days. He isn't the tallest back out there, but he is a compact, muscular 180-pound ball carrier that has outstanding acceleration and the top end speed to compete with just about anyone in the country. Porzel also runs behind his pads and can break through tackles, adding another layer to his game. Watching him run routes in practice tonight you could see him catch the ball away from his body with his hands as opposed to letting it get into his numbers as most backs do at this level and even higher. Maryland has got themselves one heck of a player in Porzel.

Quince Orchard High School tight end and Delaware commitment Cody Magill looks like he has added some serious weight this season. Last year he was a tall, somewhat stringy looking player, however tonight at practice he really stood out physically. He looks to have kept a lot of his speed and athleticism as well. One thing that Magill needs to do is work on is catching the ball away from his body as he had a few pop off his chest tonight.

Raynard Randolph won't be playing defensive tackle in the game tomorrow and admittedly isn't thrilled about it, but he did show a good push at the point of attack from his offensive guard position tonight in practice. He is all of his listed 6-foot-2, 320-pound listing and is literally built like a barrel. He has narrowed his recruiting down to a few schools which will posted in an interview did with him tonight.

Maryland commitment Marcus Whitfield was a player that looked very intriguing tonight. Whitfield will be playing linebacker for the Terps and is listed at 6-foot-3, but looks like he may be a bit taller than that. Tonight he lined up a lot at tight end and did a nice job sealing the edge. On two plays he drew Jelani Jenkins as an assignment and blew him off the ball once. On the other he had proper leverage, but Jenkins used a good rip move to break the block. It will be interesting to see Whitfield in action tomorrow.

You know Jelani Jenkins is good when he is covering Devon Smith in the slot at practice. On the first play Smith ran a flag route and beat Jenkins by a few yards as the Good Counsel standout lost his footing. Apparently that didn't sit very well with Jenkins because on the next play he all but ate Smith alive at the point of attack, shed him with ease and put a hit on fellow teammate Caleb Porzel that sent the entire gym into shouts. It was an absolutely vicious hit, however the most impressive thing about it was how much force Jenkins could produce with a simple leg drive after shedding his block.

Penn State commitment Derrick Thomas lined up at cornerback for much of practice and looked excellent in coverage. On running plays to his side he did an outstanding job of keeping outside leverage and forcing the play back inside. He was physical, but at the same time he kept himself under control while forcing the receiver wherever he wanted him to go. In two passing situations he showed very good closing speed as he came up to make two pass breakups.

Maryland commitment and DeMatha standout Pete Desouza has an absolutely huge frame at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds and will absolutely maul defenders off the snap in the running game. He has a bit of a nasty streak to him, however he is going to be a bit of a project that will probably need a redshirt year. He looks a bit heavy-legged out there and also plays too high at times which causes him to lose some battles at the line of scrimmage.

Jason Ankrah will either be committing to Penn State or Nebraska on Sunday and showed tremendous athleticism tonight. A rule of thumb for defensive ends is that if you cannot penetrate, simply elevate and he did just that, knocking down a few passes at the line of scrimmage. He showed the ability to drop into the flats and chase down ball carriers, however he will need to learn to shed blocks better and develop more moves to get to the quarterback. Ankrah is a player with some pretty exciting upside to him.

Expect to see the D.C. team throw in some trick plays on Saturday afternoon as they were working on them in practice tonight. We obviously won't get into specifics, but there could be some fireworks at Towson tomorrow. One note of interest is that Maryland commitment Travis Hawkins will now be participating in the game even though he was declared a scratch earlier in the week.

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