Numerous Georgia prospects had their chance to shine in front of Scout over the weekend. From top defensive tackle Michael Thornton to top junior Shannon Brown to emerging junior Sterling Bailey. Find out how they performed here.
The weekend started a little early. It started on Thursday last week down in Adel (GA).
I watched Cook County at Irwin County on Thursday, Stephenson vs. Tucker on Friday, and then Murray County at East Hall on Saturday. The first two were scrimmages and the third was a season opener.
Here is a look at my thoughts on the top prospects involved in these games.
Scout's Take: Brown looks the part and he has really taken over as one of the team leaders. He moved well on his feet, he was around the ball all night at linebacker, and he showed good lateral movement. He still needs to be in better condition because he is needed on both sides of the ball. He was held out on the offensive side Thursday night, but he will be counted on when the season begins. He is an ideal middle linebacker on the next level, but moving to the defensive line is still a possibility depending on how he matures physically. He had a solid scrimmage against Irwin County, but he will get better as the season gets going.
Scout's Take: Sanders is playing with a cast halfway up his right arm, so he does not have full ability at this time, but he still had a strong performance against Stephenson. He showed very good instincts in the secondary and got his hands on a couple of passes deep down field. He mistimed his leaps a couple of times or he could have possibly picked two passes off. He has good size, but needs to continue to fill out and get stronger. He closes on the ball well, he reads quarterbacks well, and he has a chance to be one of the defensive backs in Georgia next year.
Scout's Take: Brown really stood out throughout the night on Friday. He lined up at tight end on offense and defensive end on defense and made an impact on both sides of the ball. He has definitely gotten stronger since a year ago and it showed. Brown made a huge hit behind the line of scrimmage after bull rushing through the offensive lineman. He pressured the Stephenson quarterback often and he blocked much better on the offensive side of the ball. Tucker does not throw the ball a lot, but they finally got it to Brown early in the third quarter on an underneath route and he turned into a 40 yard reception. He has good size, speed, and athleticism and he will be a threat down field as a tight end on the next level.
Scout's Take: Scott is not 5-foot-8, he is more like 5-foot-6. With that said, he is a player and he will play on the next level somewhere. He showed very good feet and wiggle on Friday night against a very big and strong Stephenson front four. Scott is not a blazer down field, but he is very shifty, he really bounces around the backfield looking for a crease to run through. He is a strong runner too and he can break some tackles. He did not break off the big play over the weekend, but still showed why he should be recruited. He picked up his first offer from Army last week and he will be looked at by many more schools before all is said done.
Scout's Take: Thornton is the strongest defensive lineman in Georgia and he uses that strength to make him unblockable at times. He really got off the ball well most of the game and the first play he pushed his man deep into the backfield and made the tackle behind the line of scrimmage. His punch really stands out constantly when watching Thornton play – he really gets into the offensive lineman and plays with great leverage allowing him to disrupt play after play. Hardly ever did Thornton move backwards in this game and he just showed again why he is a four-star defensive tackle. He was double-teamed often and still was involved much of the game.
Scout's Take: Cornileus did not make a lot of plays in this game, but it wasn't because of effort. It was because the defensive line really controlled the game and made a lot of stops before the Miami commitment could get to the ball. What really stood out this week about Cornileus was his fire, his intensity, and his leadership. He was constantly talking to his teammates, leading them, and making sure they were ready for each play. He flew in on a couple of tackles and he was around the ball ready to make a play if got to him, but Cornileus was not presented with many opportunities to make many solo tackles against Tucker.
Scout's Take: Ladler is a physical safety that is great in run support. He was not tested much against Tucker in pass defense because they run are a run heavy team, but he was in on a couple of tackles. He showed very good leadership skills during pre-game, he is vocal in the secondary, and he goes hard during the game. He had a solid performance and showed he likes to attack the ball carrier when he gets past their defensive line.
Scout's Take: Like Ladler, Sharpe was not tested very much by Tucker. He played corner and he was more involved in run support than he was breaking up passes in the secondary. He did show good feet though and the ability to make a tackle in the open field. During the pre-game he showed good feet and ball skills during the drills. He is a little light, but he has good length.
Scout's Take: You do not find too many natural centers, but Cook looks to be one of those in the class of 2011. He is very comfortable delivering snaps when the quarterback is under center and when he is in the shot-gun. He did a good job of sliding to the left or right to block against Tucker and he also got out to the second level well too. He can work on his feet and flexibility in the coming years to improve his ability at center, but he looks like a natural at that position.
Scout's Take: Ladler and Sharpe are talented, but Boyd looks to be the top Jaguar in the secondary when talking recruiting. He needs to get stronger and add weight, but he has very good feet, he has nice hands, and he really changes directions well. His hips are very impressive and played physical also. Tucker did not test the Jaguar secondary often, but Boyd could be one of the top corners in Georgia next year.
Scout's Take: Mann is one of those guys that immediately jump out because of his size. He showed good hands and a good base as an offensive lineman to go with that size Friday night. He played some offensive and defensive tackle against Tucker and he looked better on the OL than DL this game. He has the size, power, and athleticism to play defensive tackle on the next level and that is the position he will be recruited to play by most schools. With three full seasons remaining, Mann will likely be a dominant lineman when the 2011 rolls around.
Scout's Take: The first person that comes to mind when watching Jones Friday night was former Stephenson star/current Florida Gator Jermaine Cunningham. Jones did not play like Cunningham did at Stephenson, but he showed signs that he could be the next rush end to be highly recruited out of that program. He is long and slender, he is fairly quick off the ball, and he really closed on the QB well when he got his shoulders around the corner. He is a very athletic end that has a lot of natural ability. It will be fun to watch him grow as a player in the coming years.
Scout's Take: Davis has the genes and some of those showed Friday night. Former Clemson running back James Davis is his older brother and Mike showed the ability to gets yards after contact, how to make the first guy miss, and the power that his brother ran with against Tucker. He really was hard to tackle. He needs to work on his speed and learn to be more of a north-south runner, but he has the size and power to be a back to watch over the next three seasons.
Scout's Take: Bailey will be one of the top linemen in the state of Georgia in 2011. He starts at defensive end and offensive tackle, but he also plays some defensive tackle when East Hall goes into a 3-4 scheme. Bailey was very dominant against Murray County before battling cramps in the second half. He showed good punch at the point of attack, he used his long arms to create separation between he and the offensive tackle, and he really closed on the ball well. He needs to work on his tackling form, his pad level, and strength. He did a nice job as an offensive tackle too, but will likely be recruited as a defensive this year.
Scout's Take: Cheeks has that frame to draw attention his way right away. He is very well put together, he has good north-south quickness, and he is someone to watch. While he plays defensive end and running back for East Hall, look for him to play linebacker on the next level. He had a couple of pressures off the edge as a speed rush guy against Murray County, but he was not a huge factor. He is a little stiff, he needs to play more explosive, and he just needs to make more plays. With that said, he is an athlete with good size and one to watch in the 2011 class.
Quick Notes: Tucker's James Vaughters and Stephenson's Raymond Sanders did not play Friday night because of injuries. Sanders is nursing a sprained ankle and Vaughters recently had surgery on his wrist.
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Analyst for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.