Det. Crockett vs. Farmington Hills Harrison Recap

I headed down to Detroit after the Michigan vs. CMU game last Saturday to catch <b>Charles Stewart</b> and Harrison take on <b>John Thompson</b> and Crockett. Crockett won 19-14, but Charles still had a good showing.

I ventured down to Detroit last weekend to take in the Detroit Crockett versus Farmington Hills Harrison game. This game was of particular interest because it was one that UM recruit Charles Stewart had circled on his calendar. Earlier in the summer he was informed that those on the Crockett side had been tossing around the soft label when describing him. I thought that he would go into to the game with a little edge, and the way he played last Saturday confirmed my suspicion. As a matter of fact, ALL of the players had an edge. When I visited Crockett earlier this spring (Afternoon at Detroit Crockett), Coach McGhee informed me that this was a game his team was really looking forward to. That was overwhelmingly apparent, based on the intensity of his squad. It was a hard-hitting affair that wasn’t for the faint of heart.

This game provided the first opportunity to see Charles on the offensive side of the ball at runningback. The first thing you notice is his speed and quickness. He really gets in and out of the hole with explosion. He also wasn’t afraid to finish off a run by lowering his shoulder. Early in the second quarter he scored his first points as a tailback with a 5 yard jaunt up the middle after juking a defender. He also showed nice ability as a punt returner, taking the ball right up the gut and gaining positive yardage on every occasion. He reminds me a lot of LeSueur in that instance. He came close to breaking one, but the aforementioned TD was the highlight of Charles’ offensive evening. On two other occasions, he put the ball on the ground. One of the turnovers led to a Crockett score. I must say on Charles’ behalf that he was distracted by a very painful leg injury at the time of the fumbles.

On defense, Crockett avoided Charles like the plague. He had his man locked up so they threw to the side opposite him most of the evening. All 3 Crockett TD passes went to the other side. Just as I witnessed this summer, Charles will get up in receivers’ faces and play the physical game. He has gotten even stronger do to his staunch dedication to the weight room. Further, he has the ability to run with receivers or make up separation if he bites on a move. Charles was visibly upset when he had to leave the game early in the third quarter do to severe cramps in his leg. He made several attempts to get back in the game and help his team, but when the receiver he was covering was able to run by him for the first time all game, Charles and his coach knew it was time to call it a night. “I could hardly walk in the second half,” Charles said. “I kept trying to get it loose, but nothing would work.”

I’ve watched Charles perform 5 times now and every time he looks better. He has great feet, as evidenced by his nice backpedal. He can also turn and run out of it with ease. Plus, he’s a presence on the corner. He still has the rep as the hardest hitter on the team. He looked a lot like LeSueur on defense too(maybe a half step slower). All of that only confirms what a great athlete he is. Even though he didn’t play the whole game or see much action to his side on defense, he still showed quite a bit. He went back into the game no less than five times so that he could try to help his team. Every time he limped on the field for a play or two, he’d limp right back off and have the trainer start working on him again. He was obviously in pain and couldn’t perform at the level that he had become accustomed, but he was going to give his team all he had. That type of unselfishness will go a long way with his teammates

Compounding Harrison's troubles was the loss of one of their other top athletes, DE/TE Kyle Taylor. He caught a pass over the middle and in a play eerily similar to the one in which, former Michigan tight end, Shawn Thompson got hurt, the defender hit Kyle in the leg almost as soon as he came down with reception. Despite the loss off two of their top players, the Harrison players still played a tough gritty game, going up 14-13 late.

On the Crockett side of things, the kids were really hyped up for this game. Every hit had something behind it. That was especially true when coming from senior leader John Thompson. Thompson has a great nose for the ball and looks a lot bigger with his pads on. He has good speed and was as good in backside pursuit as he was taking on plays head on. On one occasion he crunched Charles in the hole and drew oohs from the crowd. As for an area of improvement, he’s going to have to work on playing in space…whether it be in pass coverage or against the run. With everything I had heard about Thompson, I was expecting an impressive performance and he delivered with a 12-tackle, 1 sack day at the office. What I saw from Thompson was no surprise, but what I saw from his quarterback, Prentiss Williams, was.

Williams looks to be a legit 6’2” and about 200lbs. He’s extremely mobile with the ability to scramble for big yards on a broken play. While it’s evident that Crockett doesn’t run the most sophisticated passing offense, the plays that they do run showcased a very nice arm. He had no problem airing out. That said, his touch was far more impressive. He threw 3 beautiful touchdown passes that were all of the beautiful over the shoulder variety. The receivers were able to run right under the ball without breaking stride. If Williams keeps performances like that up he’ll crack the top 25 In-State prospects. He looks to have D-1A talent.

We’ll be checking Charles out again when Harrison takes on Lake Orion. That too should be a fun match-up!

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