What I Learned Watching: Jaleel Laguins

WATKINSVILLE - What I learned watching Oconee County LB Jaleel Laguins.

This was the first scrimmage of the season, and this was what would be considered a rivalry game. North Oconee was quite obviously the better team on the night. The good thing about the game is that North Oconee RB Kawon Bryant is a legit Division I ball carrier, so I could watch those two have it out.

I was impressed on one play where Bryant had run through the entire Oconee defense, but Laguins managed to finally put him on the ground with what seemed like total determination. Anything less and Bryant would have scored.

Laguins is long, but will need to fill out. He played a fair amount at outside linebacker, and you could tell that he got knocked back at times you didn’t want him to get knocked back - either making a tackle or attempting to defeat a block. I kind of felt like he played too tall, and that he needed to get better pad level on both defense and offense. Obviously, he’s still raw.

Let’s keep in mind, too, that this is the first game of his junior season. He is going to grow over time. He’s already 6-1, but only at about 205. His length is what is going to help him in the future. You can see that he’s going to grow into a body that is much larger than he’s got right now.

I also thought he didn’t get much help from his teammates on the defensive side of the ball. I liked the fact that he was also a running back in Oconee’s offensive system. It shows me that he’s athlete enough to get back there and carry the ball. He’s not a running back, but I throw up a red flag on a player of his athleticism who does not play more than one position at a high school the size of Oconee County.

Overall, it was a fine, but not great night for Laguins. He’s going to have to grow into his body more, and that will help his deal with some of the issues I talked about above.

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