What I Learned Watching: E..J. Price

LAWRENCEVILLE - Matt DeBary takes a look at Central Gwinnett OL E..J. Price.

E.J. Price is a 2016 Offensive lineman that lined up at both Right Tackle and Left Tackle for the Central Gwinnett Black Nights against the Shiloh Generals on Friday Night. At 6’6, 262, Price was the most physically gifted player when he was on the field, and already has the look of a college lineman. He looks very thin, but moves well and has long arms. He did not play against great competition, but he did look good in both run blacking and pass blocking, although he did have a few small mistakes throughout the game.

Price had a very good first quarter, leading the Black Nights downfield for touchdowns on their very first drives. Price looked dominant, and showed off his strength and footwork to handle his defender. The 2nd quarter was not as easy for him. Price went up against Shiloh Junior DL and 2016 prospect Michael Pitts, who is a big man himself at 6’3 and 215 pounds. I was impressed with Pitts’ quickness for a guy his size, and he gave Price some trouble through the 2nd quarter. At the 9:39 mark, Price missed a blocking assignment when he whiffed on two defenders that went right by him, not touching either one, leading to a bad pass. He was nearly beat by Pitts on the next play, when Pitts used his speed go get around him while Price was pass blocking. Price was a much better run blocker through the night, displaying multiple dominant run blocks at the 8:30 and 7:22 marks in the 2nd quarter. Price then started to struggle a bit late in the half when he was called for holding with 5:18 to go, and got away with an obvious holding with 3:14 left. Even with those mistakes, Price showed he could be a dominant force at times, and led Central Gwinnett to 282 yards of offense at halftime, with a score of 28-0 over the Generals.

The 2nd half for Price was very similar to the first. He led the Black Nights to many scoring drives, but had a few mistakes here and there. He did a great job run blocking, but there were times when he didn’t block his defender properly, and did not seal the edge for the running back. Price would block his man backwards instead of sealing the edge, so there were a couple plays where his defender got off his block and made the tackle. The defender only bull rushed Price a couple times in the game, but Price held his own. The only time he got bat in pass blocking was when the defender used his speed around the edge. Price did a good job of using his long arms to push his defender out of the play, but he did get beat a few times.

Overall, Price definitely has the look of a big time college prospect, and has the body frame to put on even more weight and muscle. It is easy to tell why programs all over the South are interested in this prized lineman. Although he looks the part, he does need improvement in some areas, but he has the tools and potential to be a very good college lineman. With the right coach in college, Price should be able to eliminate these mistakes, and become a future starter wherever he decides to play.

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