Spring Practice Report: South Houston Trojans

Spring football practice is off and running in the state of Texas and that means the best football prospects are putting their skills on display for various college coaches and media. On Monday, Burnt Orange Beat took in the South Houston practice, and files this report and photo gallery.

The South Houston Trojans aren't a perennial playoff power in the Houston area, but the improving program under head coach and former NFL defensive back C.L. Whittington has been attracting many college assistant coaches in the last eight days due in large part to a pair of defensive talents that have the ability to play for programs from coast to coast.

Sophomore cornerback Leroy Scott and junior defensive end Darren Leaks are two of the top defenders in the Lone Star State with freshman corner Kenneth Marshall waiting in the wings.

On Monday afternoon, Burnt Orange Beat spent a couple of hours at South Houston's spring practice.

Leroy Scott

Scott has the body of a college senior or NFL player already. Standing 5-10.5 and weighing 192 pounds with 4.45 speed, the physical corner is already being heavily recruited by the likes of Texas, Colorado, TCU, Baylor among others with LSU and Oklahoma soon to enter the race.

The 23-5A first team all-district selection and two-year starter has nearly every trait of a premier corner. Scott is as physical in the run force as one will see at the high school level. He has quick and reactive feet, a fluid pedal, fluid transition with quick hips and speed turn plus recovery speed and the ability to leave his feet and elevate to high point the ball in the air.

Because of his physicality and strength, he excels in man press coverage, but is just as adapt playing off the line of scrimmage and making separating hits on short routes in zone coverage.

Like the very successful corners, Scott is extremely competitive and relishes playing on the island. He has the confidence and competitive spirit to go along with the feet and hips.

The one area the talented 2011 prospect is working to improve is finishing plays with interceptions. He doesn't possess great or at times average hands, but he can improve by working his hands into better positions to make a clean catch reacting to the ball as well as extending the arms.

On the recruiting front, LSU and Texas are the top two early on with LSU being his childhood favorite. He doesn't have any camp plans set, but the top two school choices are likely mini-camp destinations in June.

Darrin Leaks

In a year with some of the top defensive ends in the nation playing their high school ball in Texas, a player such as Leaks can get overlooked and often times forgotten. At a legit 6-3 and 222 pounds with 4.65-4.7 speed, Leaks has all the physical tools one looks for in a defensive end. The junior has had a productive spring in the weight room and is really beginning to take off physically after playing near 210 pounds in 2008.

Leaks is blessed with a very athletic frame, but with the ability to carry 250 pounds or more in time. He has nice arms length, the physicality for the position and the ability to turn and run with game speed. He has also possesses the natural instinct to retrace and react with quickness. Leaks also features impressive balance making him hard to knock off of his feet when cut blocked. He does a good job of using his arm length to push would be cut blockers to the ground while keeping the feet active.

An area Leaks is working on this spring is using the hands better from a technical standpoint, but not from a physical standpoint. He has strong hands and is physical with the hands, but is working on positioning and use of the hands in regards to pass rush moves and shedding would be blockers.

On the recruiting front, programs such as TCU, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and others are keeping tabs on the rising junior.

Kenneth Marshall

Not many times a freshman catches one's eye the way Marshall has in two past trips to South Houston. The 6-0, 175-pounder with 4.55 speed as well as a regional qualifier in the 200 meters, it's easy to see why on the surface.

Marshall starts corner opposite Scott and played on the Trojans varsity as a freshman. While Marshall doesn't possess the same hips and feet of Scott, he is a big corner that may project to safety as he grows and matures physically.

Marshall has quality arm length and shows the desired physicality to play anywhere in the defensive backfield.

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