It will be impossible for the Canton South Wildcats to replace Devon and DeVoe Torrence completely. Both future Buckeyes accounted for most of the Wildcat offense in 2006. Additionally, both were All-Ohio defensive players. After seeing the Wildcats in a scrimmage with Twinsburg last Saturday, it appears Canton South still has some impressive talent left on the roster. I would not rule out a return trip to the playoffs.
Canton South will rely heavily on junior quarterback Matt Trissel in 2007. Trissel started as a sophomore in 2006 and put up great numbers in his first year as a starter. He will no longer have the Torrence brothers to rely on and he will be called upon to do more. Trissel, who shined at an Akron University summer camp, is also a starter in baseball and basketball. Trissel is 6' and weighs 175 pounds and knows he needs to add bulk and strength. He has a strong arm and is a good runner when the pocket breaks down. Trissel is a master at running the spread offense and could end up being a quarterback in the mold of Steubenville's Zach Collaros. The Wildcats are counting on Trissel having a great junior season. Against Twinsburg, Trissel showed improved arm strength and appeared to be running faster than last year. He threw a nice deep ball and showed command in the pocket.
Junior middle linebacker Mike McKinney acquitted himself well at the Scout.com combine in Pittsburgh last summer. McKinney stands 6' and weighs 210 pounds and is a tackling machine. Playing alongside DeVoe Torrence, McKinney still racked up over 100 tackles as a sophomre, earning All-NBC honors. McKinney picked up where he left off in 2006 and had a strong performance Saturday. He continued to plug the middle as a run-stopper and had an interception after dropping in coverage. McKinney is a weight room fanatic and hopes to eventually get to 225 pounds. He will be a certain D-I recruit. He doesn't have the size of Mike Zordich, but is a similar player. McKinney is a seek-and-destroy linebacker.
One of the more intriguing prospects in the junior class is lineman Montel Bush. Bush was academically ineligible as a sophomore but worked hard staying in shape and in the classroom. He regained eligibility for the playoffs and had strong showings against Licking Valley and Steubenville. Pretty remarkable considering that was his first ever varsity action. Bush is 6'5" and weighs 275 pounds. He is active and agile for his size. I believe he ends up as a defensive end in college, but it's too soon to tell. Bush looked good on both sides of the ball Saturday and figures to get better each week with added experience. He is on every 2009 prospect list and rightfully so.
The biggest surprise on Saturday was the emergence of sophomore wide receiver-defensive back Jerald "Baby Torrence" Robinson (Right). Robinson started as a point guard on the basketball team as a freshman and that quickness and athleticism translates very well to the football field. Playing in his first varsity action, Robinson caught 2 deep passes behind the secondary and had an interception from his defensive back spot. He was the most electrifying player on the field. Robinson is 6' 1" and weighs 175 pounds. He's not as fast as Devon Torrence but he has the same hip turn and quick feet. He will get bigger and faster through maturity and has put himself squarely on the prospect list for 2010. I look forward to seeing "Baby Torrence" develop in 2007.