Update From Jacksonville

While in Jacksonville I was able to see several players including two very big time prospects.

First, I want to start by reviewing a kid that I think has big time written all over him. At 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, Mandarin defensive lineman Marcus Thomas has everything you want in a DL prospect. Thomas, who is an exceptional athlete for his size that also competes in wrestling and track, is an outstanding edge pass rusher but he's a natural inside kid. He has an excellent build and has only been playing football for 1 year now. He's going to pick up so much knowledge over the next few years and his talent and coachability is off the charts. He's an exciting prospect, probably a Top 10 overall kid in the state. The downside, however, is he might have problems getting qualified. But he's clearly a big time kid in my opinion.

He has a teammate named Brian Dennison who looks like a mid to maybe upper Div 1 kid as well. At 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, you have to look twice at him at first contact to make sure you're watching the right kid. His body does not indicate that he's a prospect. In fact, they have two other running backs/fullbacks that have better bodies in terms of development. Dennison has the necessary speed to the corner, quick feet, balance, and vision. However, his smallish frame is noticable as he tends to hesitate between the tackles. He's an outside, open field runner who has been playing this game for a long time.

I then went to check out Bolles OL John Frady. At 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, he is an awesome football player. Technique wise, he's outstanding. His tenacity is awesome, and he possesses very quick feet and does a nice job of using his hands. The downside is that he doesn't have a real big frame. At 6-2 and 260, he'll compete at the next level against kids much bigger and naturally stronger. He has super upper body strength and in fact, I was told today that he recently set the school record in the dead lift competition. His arms are somewhat short and I think he probably has the most upside as a center, although he plays right guard right now. He's fully qualified, high character, and very coachable. However, I can't label him a big timer just yet because of the lack of frame. I just can't see him getting a whole lot bigger unless he hits a growth spurt that makes him 6-3 or 6-4. As a center prospect, although he doesn't play it, I think he's what you want. Clearly one of the best OL prospects I've seen so far and a kid that I think UM will probably recruit this year. In fact, Vernon Hargreaves stopped by late last week, as did coaches from Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Auburn, etc, and there were two out there today from Northwestern and Georgia Tech.

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