Scouting Report: Fremont Ross-Toledo Whitmer

Ohio State's first 2011 commitment and Michigan's first 2011 commitment squared off in Toledo last night. Here are our notes on how they performed.

Fremont Ross at Toledo Whitmer
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After Toledo Whitmer scored a 29-25 victory over Fremont Ross last night, Whitmer defensive end Ken Hayes and Ross cornerback Greg Brown met at midfield. If all goes to plan, the two will do that a few more times over the next few years, except they will be in the Horseshoe or the Big House. Hayes is an Ohio State commitment, the first for the Buckeyes' 2011 class and Brown is the first domino for Michigan's junior class.

"I just shook his hand and told him 'good job,'" Hayes said afterwards."

Hayes and Brown only met on the field three times, when Hayes blocked him on kickoff returns. Hayes was part of a defense which stopped a late Ross drive that had made it into Panther territory. Both Hayes and Ross made key plays in the game. Here is our report on their performance.

3 Greg Brown Junior CB Fremont Ross
Brown had a solid performance. On defense, he was not really thrown at, save a couple passes in the flat that he came up and made the tackle on. He finished with a handful of tackles and one near interception. On offense, he had three receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. He also lined up at "Wildcat QB" a few times and had a long run from that spot. The report I had read coming into the game was that he did not have great timed speed, but watching him, I saw that he played fast. He also plays with a lot of aggressiveness and attitude and that showed in run support. He isn't afraid to come up and make tackles. He isn't a particularly powerful tackler, but he went low and got the job done. As a receiver and return man, he showed his quickness and open field elusiveness.
Areas for Improvement: Brown plays bigger than his size, but he is undersized. He needs to add strength and that will help him take on and shed blockers and be more effective in pass coverage.
Overall: Tough to really evaluate Brown as a cover man as he was not really challenged and Whitmer did a lot of short passing and runs up the middle. It was clear that he was a good athlete and a tough kid who did not back down from anything. Having seen him in camp settings, I knew he could cover, but I was impressed with his willingness to play the run given his size.

86 Ken Hayes Junior DE Toledo Whitmer
The Ohio State commitment has a great frame (6-4, 230) and athleticism to go along with it. He rushed the passer well, forcing the Ross quarterback to step up in the pocket and hurrying him several times in addition to coming away with two sacks. He also has a great motor and did not stop pursuing until the whistle. He showed good speed and tracked down ball carriers 10-15 yards downfield on a couple occasions. His length and athleticism also allowed him to get into passing lanes and force tough throws and tip a couple passes.
Areas for Improvement: Hayes just needs to stay more disciplined. He lost contain on a couple plays and took himself out of a few. That can be chalked up to youth and overaggressiveness. He also right now is mostly a speed and finesse rusher and could add strength and a bull rush.
Overall: Hayes has great potential. He is a great athlete, but I loved how he played to the whistle. With two more years of high school development before getting to college, Hayes could see the field early at Ohio State at least in pass rush situations. He has the speed and athleticism to be a situational rusher early in his career.

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