Upon entering Holuba Hall, I saw a big imposing type figure stretching in the back of the building by himself while all the other campers had already headed over for drill work. This prospect turned out to be Gateway’s Shayne Hale, one of the top rated prospects in the country. When he finally took the field, he was pretty impressive. Hale moved very well on this day, showing good straight-line speed. He often was able to run step for step with the running backs in pass coverage. He used his strength many times to bump running backs off their pattern, preventing them from getting up field. His lateral quickness is one area that could use some improvement though, and running backs had more success against the big physical youngster when he didn’t get his hands on them. It’s a shame that the camp doesn’t have any running drills, because that when Hale’s at his best. Stuffing the run, and using his speed to chase down the ball carrier is his forte. Hale will have to work on his pass coverage skills if he wants to be a great linebacker on the next level.
Cameron Saddler was outstanding, as he ran by everybody that tried to cover
him. The best chance a defender has of slowing down the diminutive athlete is
getting physical with him. The problem the opposition is Saddler often counteracts
that strategy with an array of moves that makes it hard to get a hand on him.
Many liken Saddler to Chicago Bears pro bowler Devin Hester, and while I can
see the similarities, it’s not the best comparison. Even if you disregard
the difference in size (5-11 vs. 5-6), Hester’s top end speed and quicks
are on another level. The Gateway phenom has a lot of work to do in order to
become a player of Hester’s caliber. That said, Saddler is definitely
a baller. His skill set combined with his return abilities on special teams
make him a prospect worthy of an offer.