Freddie Hartz had a solid night on Friday night at linebacker. Last season, Hartz carried some extra weight that led to some possible college projections on the defensive line. Hartz has committed himself to the weight room and looks to be in much better shape. Hartz had an active summer attending college camps and combines throughout the southeast in an effort to raise his profile as a college prospect. Currently committed to Southern Miss, Hartz is still keeping his options open.
On Friday night in limited action, Hartz made an athletic interception on a pass that he tipped to himself and corralled before hitting the turf. He does a solid in job getting back into his drops and being disciplined in zone coverage. When the action rolls to his side, Hartz stays at home and keeps the play in front of him. Look for Hartz to make an impact on the Morton offense this fall as a running back as well. He had a few touches in the jamboree.
D.D. Bowie did not have a lot of opportunities on offense, but the four star wide out made the most of the chances he had. The biggest play of the night for Morton was a 55 yard catch and run from Bowie who grabbed a pass inside, set up his block and then hit the sidelines for an impressive scoring play. Bowie had another pair of grabs where he nearly broke loose for big yardage again. Early in the contest, Bowie had a pair of strong defensive plays to keep New Hope short of the line to gain.
Bowie has the ability to change the game when the ball is in his hands. The Panthers will likely look to involve him in the game plan in a variety of ways. On Friday, Bowie took some snaps as an outside receiver as well as the slot. His production this fall will depend largely on his quarterback's ability to get him the football.
Tae-kion Reed was likely the most physical player on the field for either team. The New Hope senior played left tackle and took some snaps on defense where he showed some real flash. Reed had a sack and forced fumble that allowed his team to gain some separation early in the ball game. Reed seeks out contact and appears to relish the role of the bully. He plays to the echo of the whistle and takes a lot of pride getting his man on the ground.
Reed has the ability to play either side of the ball on the college level, but defensive tackle looks to be the place where his athleticism shows up the best. Should he find a spot in the offensive huddle, Reed will likely slide in side to play at an offensive guard post. Reed is undeclared at this time and plans a post season decision.
New Hope has some talented underclassmen with running back Tyran Reed (2018) and wide receiver Jeremy Tate. Reed had a handful of star plays with perhaps his biggest one coming with the game still in doubt. Reed got loose in the Morton secondary and outraced everyone to the endzone. Tate has the size and the ability to run after the catch, which makes him an intriguing prospect for the 2018 signing class.
The New Hope jamboree continues on Saturday with six games on the schedule. We will have full coverage of the full event throughout the coming days.