Scouting Jrs. Rocky Weaver, Kevin Pickleman

On Friday night GBW's Josh Turel ventured across the state to watch a big matchup between Harper Creek and Marshall. Both teams came in 6-1 and included prominent instate juniors who have been frequent U-M game visitors this fall: top 10 prospect TE David "Rocky" Weaver of Harper Creek (who had a great game), and TE/LB Kevin Pickleman and OL Mike VanDerMeulen from Marshall (which also features the younger Sharpley brother, Ryan). Here are Turel's evaluations of these junior prospects - and more.

The game itself was a washout as the Beavers of Harper Creek blew out Marshall 39-7. The game saw Harper Creek quarterback Nate Smith throw for a school record 294 yards on 13 of 21 completions, including a 43 yard touchdown to Michigan prospect wide receiver David "Rocky" Weaver. The run-oriented Marshall team was shut down all game long, only managing 88 yards on the ground.

Here are the scouting reports.

David "Rocky" Weaver
Harper Creek
6'6, 220
Junior
Position: WR, LB
College Position: TE, SLB

Scouting Report:
Rocky Weaver plays wide receiver in his school's system but his future is most likely at tight end. Having the experience of a receiver, he ran his pass patterns well and he caught the ball extremely well all night. He's got a big frame and you certainly didn't need a program to pick him out on the field. He needs to fill out his body, but he has the lanky frame to do it. Weaver has good athletic ability for a kid his size, and despite getting doubled and having coverages rolled his way all night, he found a way to get open and make things happen in the open field. On his 43 yard touchdown he made a spectacular spin move that froze a defender -- it took me by surprise that a 6'6 kid could put on a Barry Sanders-like move. Rocky plays linebacker on defense but he is special on offense. He could play a strongside/rush end hybrid but in my opinion he will likely play tight end in college. I think the thing that will really determine his future is his ability to block. He's more of a wall-off blocker right now and he needs to develop that nasty streak to fully adapt to the position in college. He also needs to improve his upper body strength, leverage and overall power to really realize his potential. I like him a lot as a receiver; he reminds me of Ben Utecht out of Minnesota a few years ago. Given the fact that he has been a frequent visitor to Michigan this fall (three games so far), the Wolverines are high on his list and in my opinion he will get an offer sooner or later if he doesn't already have one. Watch for more on Rocky Weaver in the future.


Kevin Pickleman
Marshall
6'3, 225
Junior
Position: LB, TE
College Position: MLB, TE

Scouting Report:
I think Kevin Pickleman's future is strictly at middle linebacker. He didn't impress me at tight end but he is a fine middle ‘backer. Pickleman plays the A and B (inside) gaps very well. He has instincts and can read and react to the play well. He's a hardnose player who tackles well and has decent strength. He has great size and he is physical imposing. His major downside is range and overall athletic ability. I think that is what is holding him back as a tight end, and he can be beaten to the edge by faster players on defense. He doesn't have great pursuit skills or depth in zone drops, and he can be mismatched in man coverage as well. I think overall he needs to develop as more of a pursuit-type linebacker to earn more regard. Obviously Michigan is a favorite of his (he has been to two games this fall) but we will have to see if he picks up an offer. He reminds me of Carl Diggs with a bit less mobility.


Others:

Marshall's Mike VanDerMeulen has been a Michigan visitor this fall (three games). VanDerMeulen shows potential as a defensive tackle. He looks to be around 6'3, 250 and very physical. Like Pickleman, VanDerMeulen is more of a short-area player and lacks above-average mobility. If he can improve on that area, I think he could become a bigger target for college programs.

Former Michigan recruit and current Notre Dame quarterback Evan Sharpley's brother Ryan Sharpley is another prospect from Marshall. The 6'1, 170 wide receiver/defensive back shows good athleticism and route running skills. He's only a junior and has some developing to do.

Harper Creek junior quarterback Nate Smith is a solid prospect. He has decent size at 6'1 with fairly good arm strength and accuracy. Smith has set most of Harper Creek's passing records already.

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