Scouting Report: Jr. Cinci DB Eugene Clifford

GoBlueWolverine's Josh Turel descended into Columbus, Ohio last Friday for Cincinnati Colerain's victory over Tyler (Texas) Lee. This was Josh's second scouting of commitment Cobrani Mixon, and also junior safety Eugene Clifford. Here is Josh's scouting report on the elite DB Eugene Clifford.

Eugene Clifford
6'1, 190

Coverage Skills:

Clifford is athletic, has good range in zone and overall top end speed. He's the type of player that builds speed as he runs; he's not overly explosive but he's still a very legitimate athlete. He's always around the ball. He doesn't have elite hips but they are good, it's not a weakness. He has a smooth backpedal, and gets a nice drive out of his plant. Clifford is always in good position on the field and just has overall outstanding instincts as a football player. He's the type of athlete that can cover the deep zones in a cover 2/3 scheme. Overall this is a solid area for him.

Recognition Skills:

Clifford has excellent football instincts and vision. He can diagnose the run or pass very quickly and is swift in making a play on the ball as soon as he reads action. He has an overall knack of finding the football. He doesn't take too many false steps and can read and adjust to a quarterback's eyes.

Closing Speed:

Clifford has pretty good straight line speed and closes with a nice burst. He takes great angles to the play. He isn't overly dominant with lateral quickness but it's not a weakness.

Ball Skills:

Clifford has great hands; he's a playmaker who had an outstanding interception against Texas Tyler Lee because he was in the right place at the right time. He adjusts to the ball well when it's in the air. He has a good lanky frame, long arms and respectable leaping ability.

Run Support:

This is where Clifford shines. He's not afraid to come up and hit, and he keeps his outside free and can be a force man against the run. He's a disciplined player, takes good pursuit angles, is ALWAYS around the ball and is a great tackler, in the open field as well. He has the frame to bulk up and become more physical.


Eugene Clifford is a special player. As with Cobrani Mixon, the mark of great coaching is apparent in him. Clifford is a disciplined athlete who combines skill and heads up play. Against Tyler Lee he was all over the field, making plenty of plays. A two year starter now for Colerain, this young man is almost 6'2 and he looks like he has the body ready to play college football. He can cover well, he can support the run and he even returns punts for Colerain. I think Clifford will be a top 50 player for his class, and at this point Michigan has offered him and should be one of his top schools. He is the third defensive back Michigan seems to be in great shape with, the other two being defensive backs Ronald Johnson from Muskegon and cornerback Dionte Allen from Orchard Lake St. Mary. All three are juniors this season but hold Michigan offers. I've seen all three of them play so far, and I must say, Clifford was the most impressive. I think this kid has the potential to be special. Michigan could really boost their secondary by landing all three of these top juniors in their 2007 class. Comparison wise, he's hard to compare to a recent Michigan player. A faster Cato June. The player he exactly reminds me of is Vincent Fuller who graduated this year from Virginia Tech.

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