The Scout's Seat: Marist v. Bolingbrook

This year's IHSA state playoffs featured plenty of future division one talent, and we take a look back at how some of that talent fared when Marist took on Bolingbrook.

It was a cold, windy night in Illinois high school football playoff action, but both teams came in on fire. Marist finished the regular season 6-3, but the Redhawks were playing with a state championship mentality.

On the other side, Bolingbrook finished the regular season as the only unblemished record in all of 8A at a perfect 9-0. The Raiders' trademark this year was the defense, which remained stout all season.

Something had to give, and Marist ended up with the win. Here's a look back at some of the key performances from the game and a breakdown of those players.

2014 ATH Nic Weishar - Marist

I hate the term "athlete" when it's used because a guy doesn't fit a particular position, but that isn't the case with Weishar. The Notre Dame commit actually fits several positions well. A tight end in prior seasons, Weishar started playing both ways early in the season to give the defense a boost, and he didn't miss a beat.

Weishar is a big body at 6'4" and about 240 pounds, but at that size he moves extremely well and is actually pretty dangerous in space. Marist used him on screen passes on several occasions. When he had blockers, he got some big gains.

His hands and concentration are some of his bigger assets. He made a few tough catches and showed that he knows how to find the soft spots in a defense, which is a vital skill for a tight end.

On defense, Weishar still found a way to impact the game. He made several tackles sealing the edge and preventing bigger gains. He also made probably the biggest play of the game when he stripped the Bolingbrook running back, recovered the ball mid-air, and scored late in the fourth quarter to essentially seal the game.

Player Comparison: Dallas Clark

2015 WR Flynn Nagel - Marist

Nagel is one of the smoothest route-runners I watched all season. Bolingbrook made the decision to take him out of the game as much as they could, often double covering him and jamming him off the line. But when Nagel got free, he got the ball and hauled in the catch.

Nagel got a few rush attempts on end-around plays, but he's at his best working the seams and the middle of the field out of the slot. He had trouble turning the corner at times on the Bolingbrook D, but he did a good job of finding space in the defense and working the passing lanes.

He showed solid concentration on a tough back shoulder one-handed catch with a defender bearing down on him. He already has good strength for his frame, and with some work this offseason on his speed, he could be poised for a huge senior year as long as he can beat the double-teams he knows he'll face with Weishar graduating.

Player Comparison: Danny Amendola

2016 LB Tuf Borland - Bolingbrook

I lost track of the number of times I heard Borland's name called at the end of a play. He was all over the field, and despite being an underclassman, Borland is one of the main guys who makes that defense go. He doesn't play like a sophomore.

Right now, Borland is best in run support. He has the perfect build for a middle linebacker and the instincts are already there for run defense. I'd like to see him spend some time at outside linebacker here and there to see how he is in pass coverage, but he did limit Weishar's catches across the middle in the game.

Several times throughout the night, Borland chose the right gap, hit the hole hard, and stuffed Marist's inside run game. He struggled a bit against the outside run game when Marist used misdirection, so he may need to work on his patience a bit, but that comes with time and experience. Based on what I saw, I think Borland is going to be a good one for Bolingbrook.

Player Comparison: Chris Borland (no relation.. I think)


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