COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) visited Suitland (District Heights, Md.) for a Prince George's County Classic bout inside Maryland's Byrd Stadium Sept. 6, and the Wolverines pitched a 28-0 shutout.
Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview the Terps targets in the game, including Potomac running back/return man Kesean Strong. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Strong had 111 yards and caught one pass for three yards. Check out his interview and scouting report below:
While Strong is a proven 4.4 40-yard-dash speedster who can make defenses/coverage units look silly, he didn’t show too much of that Sept. 6. Strong may be a Division I back eventually, but he has to add more strength and power to succeed. If he’s slated to be a slot receiver, he probably has a better chance given his pure speed, but right now he doesn’t have the frame to consistently take a pounding between the tackles.
Strong, who has an upright style, could also stand to run with a lower base, making him less susceptible to big hits while allowing him to generate more power. He often tried to slice between the tackles, but wasn’t able to consistently bust through the initial hit or break into the second level, mainly because he gave the defense too large of a target area (the offensive line didn’t do him many favors, either). And while Strong is a patient runner, he seemed a bit too hesitant on some of his carries, dancing in the backfield instead of pounding the holes. Strong himself said he has to be more decisive with his carries.
If Strong is going to be a slot, he’ll need to work on his hands, blocking and pass catching. He isn’t used as a receiver much at Potomac, so naturally he’ll need more experience running routes and the like to be effective at the next level.
But Strong does bring some qualities to the table, and if he can continue refining his game he could be an effective FBS back. While he wasn’t able to consistently find daylight Sept. 6, he did flash the ability to shoot through gaps, split seams and beat defenders to the edge. On a couple rushes Strong took a pitch, out-ran the pursuing safeties and linebackers, turned the corner, and high-tailed it down the sideline. In addition, Strong cuts back well and possesses above-average vision. He follows his blocks well, waits for an opening, and then (sometimes) quickly attacks the lane. It helps that he’s normally a one-cut-and-go type that gets downhill in a hurry. Moreover, Strong’s deft footwork allows him to slice through small windows and finagle his way through traffic (despite his upright style). Strong isn’t necessarily a make-you-miss guy, but he does have some wiggle to him and can deke out a defender on occasion.
And once Strong hits the open field, it’s off to the races. He doesn’t have elite top-end acceleration (he was caught from behind on one long run), but he’s got enough burst to pull away from most defenders.
Strong Still Wants In, Plus Scouting Report
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