What I Learned Watching: Shug Frazier

ATLANTA - Dean Legge reviews Buford DL Shug Frazier performance against St. Pius.

Sometimes fights aren’t fair. That’s what we saw Saturday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta between Buford and St. Pius.

Shug Frazier was one of the reasons why.

The Lions, which run an option-based attack, jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the Wolves, but before the half was over it was clear which side had the better team. By the end of the game, a contest for a state championship no less, a running clock was used. That’s how ugly it got in another landslide win for the Wolves.

Pius could do vitally nothing on the ground. Frazier, who played his nose role very well, ate two linemen most of the night. Its hard to execute an option offense when the nose guard is eating up two lineman. The dive, for the most part, is gone in that scenario.

Frazier isn't a pass rusher - at least you wouldn’t know that from Saturday night. He seemed patient enough considering the pack of Wolves (literally and metaphorically) that were behind him on the field. Even if Frazier didn’t do his job well it is hard to think that St. Pius could have stuck with Buford.

Frazier is a wide-bodied kid. He’s going to have to eat space and linemen in order to be effective at the next level. He does what Buford asks him to do very well. That he’s got a player like Isaac Nauta right next to him on the defensive line certainly makes life easier for him (and the other way around).

Look, Buford is just too good. I’m not sure anyone in the South or, frankly, in the country could beat them in a best two-of-three series. That players like Frazier are so difficult, at times, to really evaluate. There is so much skill on that sideline its silly.

Frazier seems to have good hands (critical for a defensive lineman) and the ability to occupy space in a relevant way for a defense. Is he too short for SEC play? Is conditioning an issue for a player who plays in blowouts all of the time? Are Buford players - in the most developed program in the entire state - what they are when they get to college?

Those questions are certainly relevant for discussion of Frazier and other Wolves. But to act like he didn’t control the game would be silly. Any time one player can effect the other offense that’s pretty well all you ned to know about how skilled they are.

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