Sanford Scouting Reports

Scott breaks down SMU prospects Keenen Johnson, Eric Cuffee and Jared Atkinson in his scouting reports!

Eric Cuffee

2016 DB, Waco HS (Waco, Texas)

ATHLETICISM: Cuffee’s quick feet and fluid hips allow him to stay with any receiver that he is matched up with. If he does somehow fall behind his receiver, he has the speed to catch up to them. If he’s up against a bigger receiver, he has the leaping ability to go up and make a play on the same ball. When pressing, Cuffee’s athleticism allows him to stay in front of his receiver, and you can immediately see his strength go to work when fighting the receiver on the line of scrimmage. There’s no question Cuffee sometimes gets caught out of place, but 8 times out of 10 he’s able to make up for it thanks to his ability to locate the ball once it’s in the air. One thing Cuffee needs to work on is getting his head turned around fully before the ball reaches him (There were a few instances on his tape where he could have been called for pass interference).

TACKLING: The ball wasn’t thrown Cuffee’s way a whole ton, but when it was, he made sure either his receiver didn’t catch it or he limited their yards after catch. His quick feet allow him to stop on a dime and react to the quarterback’s throw. If he has to come up and make the tackle, he does a nice job of closing in on his target and making a formed tackle.

PRESS COVERAGE: Cuffee is one of the more physical defensive backs I’ve seen. He always has his hands on his receiver, and inside five yards you’re going to have a hard time getting off that line of scrimmage. No matter which receiver he’s up against, he’s going to do everything in his power to get you out of bounds, or at least off your route. What makes him so effective is his quick feet, which allow him to stay in front of his receiver, so any moves his opponent tries on him are usually ineffective.

OFFERS: Baylor, Texas, Alabama, TCU, Arizona State, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, California, West Virginia and Texas State.
HT: 6-0
WT: 190 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds (unofficial)

Eric Cuffee Highlights


Jared Atkinson

2016 WR, Mesquite Horn HS (Mesquite, Texas)

ATHLETICISM: Don’t let Atkinson’s number deceive you. He played both receiver and quarterback for Mesquite Horn this season, which meant he only tallied 10 catches for 240 yards and 1 touchdown. Atkinson has the physical makeup of a collegiate wide receiver prospect. At both positions, Atkinson displays his elusiveness and quickness when breaking off long runs or creating separation from his defender. He’s got quick feet and does a nice job of using those feet to maneuver through traffic.

ROUTE RUNNING: Atkinson’s film doesn’t show him at receiver, but you can tell by his quarterback tape that he has the ability to be a crispy route-runner. The 6-foot-3 junior is very fluid when running through traffic and could use his quick feet to make sharp cuts while running routes.

HANDS: As a quarterback, the only thing that bothers be when he runs with the ball is that he doesn’t always tuck it away, but it does seem that he secures the ball well. I don’t think Atkinson played enough receiver to fairly judge whether he has good hands or not, but having played quarterback, he must have at least decent hands.

OFFERS: SMU, Texas Tech and Illinois State.
HT: 6-3
WT: 199 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds (Nike SPARQ Verified)

Jared Atkinson Highlights


Keenen Johnson

2016 Safety, Alto HS (Alto, Texas)

ATHLETICISM: Johnson played his junior year on the offensive side of the ball, running for nearly 2,500 yards and 34 touchdowns, so there’s no question he’s an athletic playmaker. He runs well, and at 6-1, 190 pounds, he’s got a great combination of size, speed and agility. As a running quarterback, Johnson shows off his elusiveness by making cut after cut to find the chink in the defense’s armor. He keeps a balanced base and is able to use his quick feet to make swift cuts. His overall athleticism and instincts for the game would benefit him well whichever position he ends up playing.

TOUGHNESS/SAFETY POTENTIAL: Johnson doesn’t have any highlights on the defensive side of the ball, but at his size, it makes sense that SMU would offer him as a safety. He’s one of those quarterbacks that does it all for his team, including putting his head down and getting those tough yards when he’s already taken hit after hit. Johnson doesn’t shy away from contact, which is even surprising for a running quarterback. I do think Johnson would translate well to the defensive side of the ball, but it would benefit him to get some work in his senior year as a safety.

OFFERS: SMU
HT: 6-1
WT: 190 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds (unofficial)

Keenen Johnson Highlights


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