Pack Pride watched numerous 2014, 15 and 16 prospects in action on Saturday in the state finals held at Carter-Finley Stadium. We've got in-depth analysis of each prospect and where State stands in regards to recruiting.
Derrell Scott..Havelock...finished with 209 yards rushing and
three touchdowns. He was named the game's most valuable player. He
lists Tennessee, NC State and South Carolina as his top three.
Pro- Scott has incredibly quick feet in small spaces. He makes up
his mind quickly and attacks with each run, generating good leg
drive and squeezing out every inch. Scott plays surprisingly
physical given his size and is effective between the tackles but is
at his best out in space. He can cut while maintaining full speed
and shows outstanding vision and anticipation of where holes may
Con- He is quicker than fast. He doesn't appear to have elite top
end speed. Scott will need to get bigger to take the pounding of FBS
football. He wasn't much of a factor in the passing game so we'd
need to see more to figure out what kind of receiving threat he is.
Jaylen Samuels...Mallard Creek...seven carries for 99
yards and three touchdowns, and he also had five catches for
114 yards and two more scores. He was named the game's most valuable
player. Samuels is committed to NC State.
Pro- Samuels has impressive size and length. He's labeled as a
fullback but that really doesn't do him justice. Most fullbacks tend
to be stiff, unathletic bowling balls. That is hardly the case with
Samuels. He is better described as a large running back with wide
receiver skills. Samuels has tremendous hands and feel for the game.
He maximizes every touch and you come away feeling like Mallard
Creek could put up 70+ each game if Samuels received more touches.
He uses his size to run through tackles and is tough to bring down
in the open field. At NC State we could see him at running back in
short yardage, split out wide or lined up in the Pack's pistol set.
Samuels versatility make be his strongest suit.
Con- Samuels is a straight ahead, down hill runner without a lot of
lateral movement. He appears to be a guy that runs in the high 4.6's
currently. Samuels isn't quick and takes him a while to get to top
speed although no one ran him down from behind in the state
Jaylend Ratliffe (2015)...Scotland County...completed eight
of 16 passes for 82 yards and had 52 yards rushing on 12 carries in
the state championship game. He was named the most outstanding
player on offense for Scotland County. Ratliffe holds offers from NC
State, Georgia Tech and UNC.
Pro- To be fair, Ratliffe had to perform in some of the worst
conditions we've seen at a football game in some time. Those
conditions really neutralized many of the things that Ratliffe does
well. With the junior QB, you can see the athleticism and quick feet
that make him an effective running threat. He is elusive and tough
to corral and has to be accounted for as a runner on every play.
Ratliffe throws a pretty ball and his arm strength is above average.
We didn't like the fact that Scotland County asked him to throw
downfield so often in those conditions.
Con- His mechanics need some fine tuning. Ratliffe tends to throw
flat footed which hones him in on one particular receiver. He bailed
on the passing game too early on several plays and was too quick to
give up on the play. Based on what we've seen thus far, he would
appear best suited at quarterback for a school like Georgia Tech.
We couldn't get a great feel for Bowman because the weather
conditions weren't conducive to a lot passing. The things that stand
out are Bowman's pass catching ability. He has very good hands and
he shows a quick burst combined with good size. It's certainly
possible that some schools will like him as a linebacker on the next
This kid is good enough that you quickly forget he's just a
sophomore. Suffice it to say he'll be one of the state's most sought
after recruits in 2016 and early word is he's already an SEC lean.
He played almost as a standup defensive end and spent most of the
game crashing down on the line of scrimmage. Joyner has a great
frame and you can only imagine what he'll look like in two years. We
love his aggressiveness and nose for the ball although his
opportunities were somewhat limited in the state finals against
Rocky Reid... Concord
This is a guy that we really came away impressed with. Reid finished
with 224 yards rushing and was THE Concord offense. He is a wrecking
ball and a man running between the tackles. Often it took two and
three players to bring him down and he was usually dragging them for
extra yardage. He is powerfully built and is a true straight ahead,
downhill runner. Teams are going to have concerns about his speed
and that very well may limit his offer count.
Dexter Lawrence...Wake Forest
This kid looks college ready and he's just a sophomore. He may be
the most impressive young guy we saw and that includes Keion Joyner.
Lawrence is a man in the middle of the Wake Forest defensive line
and forces teams to scheme around him. He's still gangly somewhat
and will need time to gain body control but he generates great
leverage at the point of attack and moves extremely well out in
space. He's another guy that will be a national recruit down the
Bryce Love...Wake Forest
There are some players with a world of 5-star potential that show no
desire to go the extra mile for their team. Love is the antithesis
of that. In all honesty, Love probably shouldn't have been on the
field Saturday as he struggled with an injury suffered earlier in
the season. And yet, there he was, toughing it out in miserable
conditions, trying to help his squad win a game against the best
team in the state. Perhaps that fact alone says more than any other
praise you could heap on him. The stats of this game don't paint the
true picture of how good Love really is. As we've mentioned before,
he may be the fastest high school football player we've ever seen in
person and he has the football skills to go along with that speed.
There's a decent chance that Love will be considered as the top
football prospect in North Carolina next year. A lot of folks
already feel that South Carolina may be the team to beat.
Scouting the State Championship Finals
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