Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

Recruit Eval: WR JT Cauthen, OL D'mitri Emmanuel

Game evaluations of UNC 2017 targets J.T. Cauthen, Emeka Emezie, and D'mitri Emmanuel from Friday's game.

WAXHAW, N.C. --- Marvin Ridge quickly jumped out to a lead over cross-town rival Cuthbertson and then fought off a second half surge for a 24-18 victory.

J.T. Cauthen, Marvin Ridge, ‘17

Cauthen is a physical – but quick – possession receiver. Although he ran – and was targeted on – a fair amount of tunnel screens (clip 10, 11, 13), he didn’t pile up the YACs on any of his receptions. 

After a catch-less first half – which coincided with Cuthbertson’s 17-0 halftime deficit – Cauthen pulled in five receptions for 77 yards (both stats were game highs). He was kept out of the end zone, but was blatantly interfered with during a two-point conversion attempt that would have cut Marvin Ridge’s lead to a field goal (clip 12).

Cauthen, who always high-points the ball (clip 5, 6, 7) and catches away from his body, has strong enough hands to make grabs in traffic. However, he had three drops. In total, he was targeted 11 times.

Cauthen is quick, shifty, and physical off the line, which makes it difficult to disrupt his route timing. His aforementioned quickness also allowed him to run sharp routes and thus create separation.

Whether by design or impromptu, Cauthen is a willing blocker (clip 1, 2, 3, 8). That’s another area where his physicality comes in handy.

Emeka Emezie, Marvin Ridge, ‘17

Emezie’s game impact won’t show up much on the stat sheet. With Marvin Ridge’s run-dominant game plan, the wide receiver was relegated to blocking (he made two catches for five yards on just four targets) for most of his offensive snaps. 

Compared to his season opener, which IC also evaluated, Emezie saw significantly more defensive reps where he was tasked with containing – and getting under the skin of (see clip 2 of Cauthen's footage) – Cauthen either at cornerback in man coverage or providing help over the top at safety.

Dmitri Emmanuel, Marvin Ridge, ‘17

Another change from Marvin Ridge’s opener: Emmanuel moved inside to left guard, his likely college position, from left tackle. In the opener, he struggled with the speed rush of South Meck’s Jake Lawler. But playing within the confide space, he was much more effective regardless of whether he was pass or run blocking. That experience at left tackle showed in his pass pro on Friday.

Emmanuel would have been even more effective had he consistently played lower. Too often he stands straight up on the snap.

As part of his new position, Emmanuel pulled a lot. It was an assignment he appeared uncomfortable doing. He moves well for his size, but it was difficult for him to hit a target while on the move. And when he did make contact, he rarely delivered the pop one would expect from a 317-pounder.

Caleb Deveaux, Marvin Ridge, ‘18

Deveaux, whose brother Elijah is committed to Duke, deserved game MVP honors. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound running back led Marvin Ridge’s rushing attack with 205 yards on 21 carries. He’s definitely a name to store away.

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