Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Recruit Eval: DT Jordon Riley & QB Matt McKay

Game evaluations of UNC 2017 UNC targets Jordon Riley and Matt McKay.

DURHAM, N.C. --- Raleigh Wakefield’s defense forced five first-half turnovers en route to an easy 36-6 victory over Riverside. If not for a touchdown as time expired, the Wakefield defense would have also added “shut out” to a sterling performance.

Jordon Riley, Durham Riverside, ‘17

For a 6-foot-5, 295-pounder, Riley moves extremely well and is very athletic. That’s exactly what makes him attractive to recruiters. Furthermore, he affects more plays than what appears on the stat sheet.

Riley played every position along Riverside’s defensive line, but was most effective inside where he anchored against the run. He was only credited with two tackles (clips 6 & 7), but he was a part of a push that limited a few inside runs (clips 3, 5, & 13) because of his strength at the point-of-attack – even against a double-team.

Outside of a deflection (clip 12), it might appear that Riley was ineffective when Wakefield passed. However, he hit or flushed the quarterback out of the pocket on three occasions (clips 1, 8, & 10) and consistently he keeps an eye on the backfield so to stick his big mitts into the passing lane (clips 2, 11, & 12). What also can’t be forgotten was the holding penalty that Riley drew, which wiped out a long completion (clip 9).

Riley would benefit a lot by getting out of his stance quicker.

Matt McKay, Raleigh Wakefield, ‘17

Unlike fellow 2017 in-state quarterback Hendon Hooker – who is asked to manage the game while Dudley’s defense and running game determines the outcome – Wakefield’s no-huddle, spread offense revolves around McKay. Over 90-percent of Wakefield’s 203 offensive yards were a result of either a McKay pass or a McKay run. 

McKay’s numbers likely would have been significantly higher if possession time wasn’t tilted so much towards Riverside. Especially during the first half, Wakefield’s high-tempo offense was kept on the sideline and given short fields because of Riverside turnovers (obviously, a good “problem” to have).

McKay attempted 18 passes completing eight for 148 yards and two touchdowns. While a 44-percent completion rate is less than desirable, five of those incompletions were dropped by the intended receiver. Meanwhile, six of his tosses – whether completed or not – were off-target, deflected, or intercepted.

Wakefield’s passing game is based around route combinations where McKay has to quickly determine his target by reading a defender. To his credit, only once did a defensive back prevent a completion – unfortunately it came on an interception when an underthrown ball was picked off by a safety who undercut a fly route (clip 18).

McKay didn’t throw deep often, but one of his limited bombs was the highlight of his night. In the second quarter, he hit Marius Cooper, who was running a fly route, in stride with a touch pass for an 85-yard touchdown (clip 5).

The option-read is a part of Wakefield’s offense, but the majority of McKay’s rushes were a result of scrambles, including his two of his three longest gains (clips 2 & 19). He ended the game with 37 yards on nine carries.

Outside of a mesh-point fumble – which was recovered by Riley – McKay was decisive running the read-option. He even fooled a skilled cameraman on a keep (clip 10).

As a ball carrier, McKay sets up defenders in the off field with jukes. He has good vision, but relies too much on running away from defenders, which won’t be nearly as easy on the collegiate level.

Marcus Willoughby, Durham Riverside, ‘16

It’s unlikely that UNC will offer Willoughby a scholarship at this stage, but he’s a high-motored defensive end who certainly is worth at least a preferred walk-on opportunity. He had a team-best six tackles, including a sack.

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