Our first viewing was of Northwestern High School the defending AAAA Division 2 state champions. The departure of Oklahoma State signee QB Mason Rudolph will leave quite a void for the Trojans and we wanted to see where they stand during 7 on 7 play. One of the first things we noticed was the lack of WR Dupree Hart lining up for the Trojans. As one of the state's top wide receivers Hart is dynamic and will be counted upon once again to shoulder a lot of the load for the Trojans. Hart is also a baseball standout and has committed to play baseball for The College of Charleston already.
Under center was 2016 quarterback Harper Woods. He did well early on dipping and dunking it off short. We were impressed with 2017 wide receiver Logan Rudolph who has good size and frame already. Logan is the younger brother of Mason. Early on it was clear that the Trojans were going to exploit the mismatch and they got the ball to Rudolph repeatedly early on. After that things got a little strange. There were some issues and drives stalled and it really didn't look like a normal Trojans offense at all. Its still early and there's time to work out the kinks with a new signal caller and players moving up from JV.
Later we moved on to check out some of the other matchups held in the stadium at Chapman to check out the host team. We were already aware of 2016 LB Landon Holden and 2015 WR Dashawn Davis. Usually 7 on 7's are geared to showcase the offense and Davis was a known commodity in their matchup against Greer. Seeing quite a bit of double teams and coverage over the top Davis still found openings in the defense and took what they gave him. Colleges are sleeping on Davis because of his lack of height but he is extremely well put together and is electric in the open field. Think of what Bruce Ellington or Tavon Austin brings to the table in terms of playmaking ability. That dynamic ability saw him have 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns playing alongside All-State & South Carolina signee Tyshun Samuel. His efforts also earned him All-State and All-Region honors.
Landon Holden was active getting out in space and he's continuing to work on his coverage skills from his linebacker position. He's got the frame to be a big safety right now but he's a fierce tackler and should grow into where he's playing currently at linebacker on the next level. He's got the scrapper label and you want a tough guy who's not afraid to stick his nose in there to make a key stop driving a ball carrier backwards. Hopefully that weight and strength will continue grow as ACC schools are showing an interest in Holden early.
The next matchup we took in was Blythewood against Greer. The first thing you notice about Blythewood is how big and physical their team appears across the board. A lot of their prospects could probably stack up well against some of the smaller college programs in terms of physical stature/shape so props to their strength and conditioning program/coach.
We keyed heavily on 2016 Blythewood QB David Isreal. Isreal throws a really good ball and gets plenty of rotation on it. His arm strength is pretty impressive considering his 6'2 175 pound frame. He should add strength and a good 15 pounds to his frame before his high school career is over. A number of regional schools including some in the ACC are taking an early look at him. Don't be surprised to see him move up in the ranks if Blythewood comes out of the gates strong this season, he's got a lot of upside in my opinion.
On the defensive side of the ball for Blythewood we keyed on known commodities cornerback Dominique Lemon and linebacker Hassan Belton. As we stated earlier you notice the work these youngsters have put in the weight room. Lemon can jam with the best of them and he opens his hips up easily. He had some nice breaks on the ball knocking a few down and also got a flag for interference on one. Its part of the game at defensive back and he made a lot more positive plays than that one. There's a reason he holds more than 10 offers.
Hassan Belton has really improved his ability to cover and he was all over the field on Thursday afternoon. His presence and leadership was evident flying to the ball and barking out calls to his teammates. He's a blue collar type of backer who gets the job done and overachieves and college coaches love those kinds of guys. Continuing to improve on his coverage ability should help him add more offers to his already impressive haul. Quite a few schools we've talked to are wanting to see him early in the season before offering.
Greer Yellow Jackets
Greer held their own against AAAA Blythewood. Speed is a big part of their game once again but they've got a very promising up and comer in 2016 wide receiver Dorian Lindsey that tore it up while watching them. He made some very nice over the shoulder catches and caught deep touchdown passes during the two games we saw them. Talking with assistant coach Mazzie Drummond he played a pivotal role for the Yellow Jackets last season and will be counted upon heavily with the graduation of RB Quez Nesbitt. Lindsey is 6'2 175 pounds and Drummond says he runs in the 4.5 range now.
Passing him the ball is 2016 QB Mario Cusano who threw for 2,019 yards and 20 touchdowns last season as a sophomore. We'll touch basis with both Yellow Jacket prospects soon for intro stories so stay tuned.
We caught the Indians in a matchup with Greer in a battle of the "G's" and the young Indians' secondary had a time trying to slow down Greer's Dorian Lindsey. The Indians always have some athletes and they will look to try and find some firepower to replace the losses of WR/QB Shaq Davidson and RB/ATH Hyleck Foster. The offense appears to be coming along pretty well but they'll need that secondary to grow up quickly to stop opponents from firing down the field over the top.
We didn't get a thorough look at Gaffney so Gaffney fans don't fret, the Indians will have a good product on the field as usual. We were talking with some of the other prospects and coaches in attendance and with colleagues as well.
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