Pack Pride was on hand as Wake Forest traveled to Wilmington to take on Hoggard in a battle of unbeatens. Wake Forest is headlined by all-american tailback Bryce Love and sophomore defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Hoggard has an up and coming star of their own in tailback Keevin Thompson. The Cougars built a 27-10 lead through three quarters and held on for a 33-23 win, sending Hoggard to their first defeat of the season. Pack Pride breaks down three of the game's standouts.
Love is a prospect that initially made a name for himself in track.
The first thing we were interested in seeing was whether this was a
track star playing football or a football player that also happens
to be a track star. Make no mistake, Love is a football player.
At roughly 5-9, 180 pounds he doesn't have great size but it's
virtually irrelevant. Love is so quick and so explosive that
defenders find it virtually impossible to get a square hit on him.
Did we mention he's fast? On a 52-yard touchdown run he exploded
down the right sideline and easily outran the entire Hoggard
defense. The scary thing is that Love appeared to run only as fast
as needed to outrun the defense. It appeared he could've turned it
up another notch if needed. Love simply has a gear that others don't
have. In fact, I don't know that I've seen a faster high school
player in person.
Other that just sheer speed, Love also has solid running back
skills. He shows patience, vision and the ability to feel his way
through traffic. Once Love turns north and south he's deadly. He
also showed the ability to break tackles and overall toughness that
you don't necessarily see very often in a smaller, speed-first
On one play in particular with Wake Forest facing a third and 11,
Love reversed field twice, nearly ran over an offensive lineman that
had quit on the play, broke at least three tackles and bulled his
way to a first down.
Love would be a perfect fit in a spread offense that would take
advantage of his ability to make plays out in space. It is hard to
imagine there could be any one better at his position for the class
Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence
You don't often see a sophomore dictate the line of scrimmage in
high school but that's exactly what happens when Lawrence takes the
field for Wake Forest. It's nearly unfathomable that a player as
young as Lawrence could already measure out at 6-5, 290 pounds.
Lawrence virtually holds down the interior of the Cougar defensive
line by himself and forced Hoggard to take everything outside to
neutralize his effectiveness. He gets tremendous push at the snap
and most of his production right now is off of natural ability
Lawrence is raw and is still growing into his body. He doesn't
have great body control and tends to plod after plays but it's hard
to imagine anyone with any more potential considering he still has
two full years of high school ahead of him. It's easy to see why
Florida offered him last week and we suspect he'll have his choice
of college before all is said and done.
Tailback Keevin Thompson
Thompson is a player that is on NC State's radar. The 2015 class of
running backs is the deepest in recent memory and Thompson is
another name you can add to the list.
Thompson suffered a knee injury last year that cut short his
sophomore season and missed some time this year due to a shoulder
injury. However, he was back against Wake Forest and we came away
Initially, Hoggard came out in their spread offense trying to throw
the all around the field. It didn't take long to figure out that
wasn't going to work so they then went to a steady diet of feeding
Keevin Thompson the ball and the offense responded.
At 5-9, 180 pounds Thompson looks a little thicker than Bryce Love
but it's almost unfair to scout a running back that's on the same
field with Love because Love makes everyone else appear slow.
For Thompson's part, he's more of a prototypical running back. He's
not a quick cut guy. Instead, he uses subtle shifts that allow him
to elude defenders and grind out yardage. Just when you think he's
stopped for a three or yard gain, Thompson makes a guy miss or side
steps a defender and the next thing you know, he's off on a 20 yard
Thompson will very likely be a guy that coaches will want to see in
camp next summer. If he shows that he can run in the 4.4's then the
offers will come.
Scouting Wake Forest, Hoggard
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