Matthew Alkire is the co-founder of Scout's Notebook, which primarily focuses on the scouting of NFL prospects before they enter the draft. Matt has received training from an NFL scout and is responsible for the Big 10, Big East, Big 12, MAC, MWC and Independents as well as any other major I-A, II-A,II, III and NAIA prospects. You can join their website for free at www.scoutsnotebook.com .
Will Blackwell, DTBlackwell possesses great size at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds. On film his team ran a few different fronts with Will lining up both at DT and DE. Blackwell has a nice burst off the snap for a kid of his size and gets to the ball carrier quickly. A little thing that some defensive linemen don't do, that Will does well, is making sure to get your hands in the air if you can't or don't have time to penetrate on a given play. In the film I watched Will deflected a few passes, bringing one in for a 30 yard touchdown return on the interception. Uses his hands well to keep separation and sift through traffic. I didn't have a lot of clips from Blackwell, but I liked what I saw.
Martez Wilson, LB/DE
There were quite a few times watching his film that I saw him use his hands very effectively to knock an opponent out of the play causing disruption. I feel it's obvious to say that he stood out as an excellent athlete on tape. In reading about him I've heard him referred to as a future WR or LB, and I want to go on record saying that if he doesn't end up on the defensive side of the ball I'll be extremely surprised.
He brings versatility to the field with his ability to play on his feet or with his hand down. With an athlete like him, a coaching staff has a lot of options in the pass rush as far as personnel and packages that they can use. He shows a nice burst off the snap and has the closing speed not only to close on the QB, but to be effective playing in the open field.
He did a nice job in backside pursuit against the run and really hustled at all times. His ability to change directions smoothly and quickly lead me to believe he could end up playing LB just as easily as DE at the next level. Martez, just like Ben Martin, is a bit raw as a player, but looks to me like a young man who has a very high ceiling. Wilson has the potential to add weight to his frame and become a very effective pass rusher at the next level if he works hard and is properly coached. That type of speed and athleticism is coveted on a defensive line. I was having trouble coming up with a guy who he reminded me of, so I had Tommy Lawlor, who is the co-founder of our site, take a look at his film and he said that Martez reminded him of a less dynamic version of LaVar Arrington. That is certainly high praise for a high school player, but with Wilson's play on the field he certainly deserves it.
Golden Tate, ATHI don't use the words great or excellent very much when evaluating a player as I feel that people use hyperbole far too often in this profession. However, Golden Tate is an absolutely excellent athlete. It looks like his hips are on a swivel. Has a great ability to change directions without losing speed and can make people miss with a variety of open field moves.
He does a nice job accelerating out of rush lanes. Slippery is a word that comes to mind when I try to define his running style. Golden has an obvious feel for the position and does a nice job creating things on his own. He showed good hands as a receiver and appears to be a good leaper.
He looks to have above average speed, however I did not see much of a top gear. That said, it could have quite a bit to do with the fact that he was covering so much ground before he had the chance to break away. He has an odd running style when he gets in the open field. He seems to use his thighs and hips heavily when he's in a flat out sprint. In that respect, he reminds me a lot of former Louisiana Tech RB Ryan Moats. A thing I did notice that he'll need to work on at the next level is changing his ball hand while running. I didn't notice him doing it once during the review.
While I'm always one to focus on the defensive side of the ball first, this is a kid that I think could make a much bigger impact on the offensive side of the ball in a number of areas. He's versatile enough to be used both as a RB and WR, and could also develop into a very effective return specialist. If he is going to be a full time RB, he will need to add muscle mass as he looks very slight. One last thing: boy does he look good in a gold helmet! Hey, if I'm going to be objective when scouting these prospects I can at least show some bias with where I'd like them to end up.