Scouting notes from the road: USM/USF

A Conference USA battle as the South Florida Bulls prepare to leave for the Big East next season. Southern Miss has a pair of highly touted prospects who were on the field Saturday night while USF mainly offered late round prospects. Check back tomorrow to find out which NFL-teams had scouts on hand and who they were prioritizing.

The top prospect on the field was Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Michael Boley who displays outstanding speed, athleticism and range.  Boley makes plays sideline-to-sideline, in every direction of the field.  Most impressive was his play in pass coverage; numerous times throughout the night Boley was placed over the slot receiver on third down and held his own.  Definitely built for the weak-side, Boley is not a big, strong guy and was held-up all night by blocks.  Still, his ability to be a three-down defender makes him a very possible first day selection.

After that all eyes were on USM right tackle Jeremy Parquet.  A big strong blocker, Parquet is also an athletic lineman who breaks down well and dominates at the point.  National Scouting mentioned a lack of "playing strength" in their pre-season analysis of Parquet but that is wrong and was not apparent on Saturday.  What is obvious is Parquet needs a lot of work on his overall game and is far from the finished product yet with a weak offensive tackle class in 2005 could slide into the late part of the draft's first day.  Several scouts on hand also consider Parquet a possible guard prospect, the position he played as a sophomore.

There were not too many blockers on the field as impressive as South Florida junior Frank Davis.  A dominant lineman with a great build for guard, Davis is nasty and easily finishes blocks. Keep him on your lists entering the 2005 collegiate season.

Bulls senior tackles Levi Newton and Derrick Sarosi are late round talent.  Newton is a decent athlete who's best on the inside but has exceptional power.  Sarosi on the other hand is a thinking man's lineman and terrific positional blocker that should back-up at several positions in the NFL.

Keep an eye on Cedric Battles, a quick and feisty interior plugger at defensive tackle who goes very hard and plays with terrific leverage.  Battles lacks bulk on the inside but could be a competent back-up for a system that rotates its' front four and may also have a home as a three-technique lineman.

Tomorrow night we will have coverage of the NFL-teams who had scouts on hand at Raymond James Stadium and the players they focused on followed up by note from Saturday's Arkansas/Florida game.

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