HIDDEN GEM OF A PROSPECT BREAKDOWN

One of the biggest linemen prospects you have not heard of. See what schools this Vandalia Butler High School prospect is hearing from and more.

Vandalia Butler High School has built a solid program over the years. 2004 will see a couple of prospects working for the main goal of getting an athletic scholarship. One player who has the skills to finish this goal is Grant Birchfield.

Birchfield is a linemen who may see his stock soar when the summer camp season ends. Assistant Coach Kevin Moeller sent some tape to OPS and I love the content of the first prospect I viewed. Here is my breakdown on Grant.

GRANT BIRCHIFIELD

VANDALIA BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL

BY THE NUMBERS

HEIGHT: 6'4" - 6'5"

WEIGHT: 280 LBS.

BENCH: 285 LBS.

SQUAT: 520 LBS.

40 TIME: 5.1 - 5.2

HIGH SCHOOL POSITION: Defensive tackle, Blocking TE

COLLEGE POSITION: Offensive guard / center

LEVEL OF PROSPECT: Division I

FILM BREAKDOWN

When looking at a player that doesn't really play the position he's projected at things can be tricky. That's not the case for Grant Birchifield of Vandalia Butler High School. Birchifield who only played offense in a two TE set for Butler showed enough blocking skills from this position to make me feel comfortable in saying he's got D-I potential as an offensive linemen. What did I see? Read on!!

While Grant was used on the defensive side of the ball he projects into a offensive guard or center.

While in the two TE set Grant fires off the ball and stays low. Staying low is the biggest problem with offensive linemen at the high school level and when I find one that does I get real excited.

What impressed me the most was the attitude Grant shows on film. He works to finish blocks all the way until the defender is on the ground. He got very good feet and is nimble enough to pull and get the block put down. He does a great job turning the defender away from the play and keeping control.

The area that Grant will need work is pass blocking. In the two TE set Butler would run the majority of the time. But he shows great punching skills and has long enough arms to lock out defenders. Grant would do very well if he went to a program where he red-shirted and learned more OL skills. While he's not that far off, the game is total different and he will need to adjust.

POSITIVES

Size, arm length, feet, strong base and nastiness.

WEAKNESS

Pass blocking, hand placement & experience at the position.

BLOCKING GRADES:

PASS BLOCKING: C-

RUN BLOCKING: - B+

OVERALL GRADE: - B

I give the C- based not on what Grant has done, but what he hasn't done. Top linemen need the pass blocking skills at the next level. Every team will throw the ball several times a game and without these skills Grant would be left behind. With his move into the O-line this season Grant should have the chance to prove he's done the work needed for the position.

I give the B+ because he finishes blocks with a nasty attitude. Grant is the type of kid you want on your side in a fight. He comes off the ball great and explodes into the defender. He's great at making them turn and open running lanes for the backs.

I give the B based on the amount tape I have seen. Grant is a guard of center at the next level, but should make an easy adjustment and be on his way for the next level.

Coach Moeller tells OPS that the following schools have expressed interest in Grant.

Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Purdue, Bowling Green, Indiana, Toledo, Ohio University and Michigan State.

I would like to thank Coach Moeller for sending OPS the tape and personnel information for his players. We will also have breakdown on two other players. Stay with OPS for more on the players who are making a difference or one that is just trying to be the difference.

 


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