Scouting the Independents: Troy St

After an impressive initial campaign at I-A level, Troy State looks for greener pastures in '02, though it may be difficult. This has been one of the "better little programs" in the nation recently that no one talks about and will offer a bunch of solid pro-prospects for 2003.

Troy State Trojans

Receiver Heyward Skipper is the darling of everyone trying to find a "sleeper", though he's been on the radar screen since he was a sophomore. A tall and angular wide out, Skipper's the "go-to guy" in the TSU offense and the focal point of opposing defenses. He displays the ability to make catches in contorted positions, making the difficult reception over the middle or on the sidelines. Though not a burner on the field (reportedly he does run a 4.35) he does a nice job picking up big yardage on every catch and is a solid punt returner. Skipper would've played in the Blue-Gray Game, which could've enhanced his stock but must now get an invite to the Senior Bowl and show his wares in front of scouts the middle of January. A good showing in Mobile and better pre-draft workouts could vault him into the drafts first day. Running back LeBarron Black is a nice sized interior runner that looks like he could carry the load. A first time feature back for TSU in 2002, a big season could garner Black late round consideration. Tackle Stan Curington has started every game the past two seasons on the blind side and has some size potential but may be better off at right tackle on even inside at guard.

Defensively, the Trojans suffered a blow when safety Rayshaun Reed, a prime pro-prospect, was lost for the season with a knee injury. Not flashy or explosive, Reed is an intelligent centerfield that keeps the action in front of him, takes great angles to the play and is constantly around the ball defending either the run or pass. We figured Reed as a late round choice but now it is a wait and see situation. Naazir Yamini is a solid outside linebacker that could surprise next year in a camp and may add inexpensive depth on the weak-side.

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