MIAMI, Fla. - Not many games are bigger than the Northwestern-Central match-up that took place last Thursday. It featured arguably the top two quarterbacks in Florida and many more talented prospects that have offers from schools all over. Find out how they performed here.
It was a battle of Miami heavyweights last week when Northwestern took on Central.
The Rockets of Central took a 14-2 lead into the half, but the Bulls came back with a strong third quarter to win the game 22-14.
Here is how the top prospects in the game performed.
Scout's Take: Freeman rotated in with Gainer throughout the game and he had some bright moments. He has very quick feet, he changed direction nicely, and he was a change of pace to the physical running of Gainer. He had a big fumble in the second half, but other than that he looked good. He is a shifty runner that is more of an elusive back than power back. He needs to add weight and strength, but he will be a DI recruit next year.
Scout's Take: Gainer finished with 93 yards against Northwestern and he ran hard all game. The back I had heard about and seen clips of on film was not the same back I saw in this game. He was not as quick as expected and he ran more upright than I remembered on film. He is a little stiff as well, but he does run well down hill and he showed very good vision. His cut backs were very impressive, but his ability to spot the crease really stood out. He is not a break away back, but he is a good back that can get tough yards.
Scout's Take: Gaines is an athlete with good quickness and the ability to play multiple positions on the next level. He spent more time on defense at corner than he did at wide receiver against Northwestern, but he may end up as a slot guy in college and used as a return man. He made a couple of catches on offense, but dropped a beautiful pass from Godfrey that would have been over a 50 yard gain. He left with a shoulder injury in the third quarter and didn't return. I like his quick feet and change of direction most after seeing him live.
Scout's Take: If Godfrey was only a little taller. He has probably heard that many times over the last couple of years. He is listed at 6-feet tall, but that is being a little generous. He is more like 5-11, but he is still a very good quarterback. He has a very strong arm, a nice release, and he has the mobility to roll the pocket, run some option, and make defenses prepare for both the run and pass. He did not have a great game numbers wise (130 yards passing), but he had some balls dropped and he showed he could be successful on the next level. His height is a concern, but there are not many better out of the gun.
Scout's Take: You look at Jose and you don't expect a lot from him, but when he lined up on the offensive line, he performed at a high level most of the night. Like Godfrey, he is not quite as tall as listed, but that did not matter. He went against Chandler many times and won most of those battles. He is very light on his feet, he used good leverage, and he showed nice balance. He needs to really improve his hands and control his weight, but he played better than expected. He got down field a couple of times leading the way for the running backs and really opened some holes in this game.
Scout's Take: Pace is likely a middle linebacker on the next level, but he did most of his damage from the defensive line in this game. He was in on a couple of tackles when playing on the second level, but he was unblockable when he put his hand down. He shot off the line of scrimmage, he disrupted many plays in the backfield, and used his hands well. When they went to a five man front he was put right in the middle and the center and guard had no answer. He is a down hill guy with a good first step and he is a junior to watch out of Central.
Scout's Take: Reese was not a huge part of this game, but when he did catch the ball, they were for big plays. He finished with two receptions and both were just go routes along the sideline. The first ball was underthrown and he made a great adjustment on it and caught it sitting down. The next one was for a touchdown closing out the first half. He got behind the defense that second catch, but other than that, he had trouble getting open. He could not get separation and he was shadowed pretty well by a couple different Northwestern corners. He needs to work on his first step and just feeling the coverage. There were openings where he could have set down and become a target for Godfrey, but he would run right into coverage. Solid game and productive when the ball was thrown his way, but should have been more of a factor.
Scout's Take: Bridgewater became a field general against Central, especially in the second half when he brought the Bulls back from a 14-2 halftime score. He played a very smart game – he threw the ball away, he did not force passes, he stayed in bounds late to keep the clock running, and he just showed maturity at quarterback. Outside of those things, he made numerous great throws on the run, he stayed in the pocket to let the receivers run their routes even though he would take hit after hit, and he just made plays when the team needed him to. He got off to a little slow start and he needs to work on his fundamentals, but he has so many tools to work with. He is one of the most talented juniors in the country.
Scout's Take: Chandler is a very strong defensive lineman at the point of attack. He can bull rush with the best of them, but that was held at bay much of this game. He caused some trouble in the backfield a few times and he was in on a crucial fourth down stop in the second half, but he was not too involved. He did have to fight a lot of double teams, but he had some one on one opportunities as well. What he always showed was energy, intensity, and leadership. Even if he was held off by the offensive line, he still fought until the whistle blew and he ran down the field many times to help finish up a tackle. His biggest strength is his strength and he is on the shorter side when talking DTs, but he will contribute at Miami early in his career.
Scout's Take: Edwards really played well in this game. Others were known stars before kick-off, but this junior showed he could be another one to look at hard in 2011. He has a great burst off the edge and he closes on the football with great speed. He is long and built more like an outside linebacker now, but he came hard with his hand down over the tackle and when he was standing up outside the tight end. He is quick, he has good hips, and he showed a lot of acceleration in this game. He pressured the quarterback a number of times, he had two sacks, and he showed nice discipline against the run as well. Will he be an outside linebacker or rush end on the next level? That is the question because there is no question about him being a DI recruit next year.
Scout's Take: Harris is just a gamer. He is not 6-foot-3 and he is not a 4.4 guy in the 40 yard dash, but he knows how to run routes, get open, shield defenders with his body, catch the ball, and make plays. He really did a nice job of running short dig routes in this game and he caught the ball with his hands extremely well. He is just a good all around wide receiver. His hands and ability to get open really made him stand out throughout this game. He finished with nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns and showed he was clearly the best receiver on the field Thursday night. He will continue to make plays on the next level because of the little things he does so well.
Scout's Take: Lamb runs hard and he really showed good body lean at the end of his runs. He runs with a natural lean forward and that helps him get that extra yard at the end of the play. He runs low to the ground and showed good lateral movement. Top end speed is not a strength of his, but he hits the hole nicely, he is good after contact, and he finishes his runs. He ran for just under 100 yards on the night and he never showed signs of fatigue. Lamb is a solid back with good balance, good hands, and good durability.