Scouting the MAC: Miami-Ohio

Not too long ago the Redhawks battled Marshall every season for conference supremacy and while the program may not be totally back to that level as of yet, they are close and could be the surprise team in this league. They have a tremendous quarterback prospect for the future and several others that will be given late round consideration.

Miami-Ohio Redhawks

A tall, slim pocket passer with a pencil thin build, Ben Rothlisberger shows all the makings of a terrific quarterback prospect for the future and one that many will soon be talking about. Poised in the pocket, Roethlisberger displays complete control of the offense, looking off the safety, scanning the field and taking what the defense gives him, always working to make something positive happen. He has a major league arm and drives the ball down the field, smartly placing his passes in front of receivers while also showing the ability to zip the outs as the ball quickly gets to its' intended wide out. Though he needs to work on the fundamentals and iron out a few rough edges, Roethlisberger is definitely one that belongs near the top of a very talented group of passers available for the draft the next few years. One of Roethlisberger's favorite targets is Jason Branch, a king sized wide out that extends to pull the ball out of the air and a receiver best in the intermediate field. Lacking overall quickness and speed, Branch is more than likely a free agent. We've watched guard Joe Costello a few seasons now and have come to like his tenacity, headiness and overall pass blocking skills. Costello is strong at the point and anchors against defenders but is limited in both his athleticism, ability to block on the move or sustain his blocks for anything other than a short period. Still, he'll get into a camp next summer.

Miami-Ohio has a trio of defenders to keep an eye on, first of which is tackle Ryan Terry. Powerful on the interior, Terry plays low with leverage, stays on his feet and drives up the field, collapsing the pocket. Quick off the snap, he works his hands to stay off blocks but is slow shedding opponents once engaged at the point of attack and takes even longer locating the ball. He has a good amount of future potential and a prospect on the defensive line such as Terry deserves late round consideration, if not earlier should he step it up this season. Matt Robillard is not explosive or overly athletic but a super-smart defender that anticipates the action as it unfolds and one that could add inexpensive depth at the next level, earning his wage on special teams. The third player we really like from this side of the ball is junior Larry Burt, a defensive tackle that is a big thug in the middle and causes a lot of problems for opponents.




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