A good friend who has coached at the college level for years, recently told me that he is always concerned about a prospect who plays either in a small school program or a down program. Of course, to a certain extent, I disagreed with that thought. An athlete is an athlete. But an athlete in a down program, or from a small school has to dominate the game.
DeShawn Dowdy, a 6'4-218 DE from Akron North could be one of those guys. First saw him at our MSROHIO combine at Medina. Passes the eyeball test. That day he ran a 4.8/40, but has run faster since. That day he broad jumped 9'1 and verticaled 27'6. That day he ran a 4.4/shuttle and 7.5/L-cone. All of these are really good marks for a guy, just under 220 pounds.
Like his video, although hard to see at times. Played slot, wide receiver, defensive end, inside DB, and returned kicks. Quick rather than fast. Closes well on ball carrier. Good burst off the edge. Needs to be a better form tackler. Good ball skills. Better on the defensive side of the ball. Like his balance. Changes direction well. Could develop into a Will backer. A possible pass rusher off of the edge.
Da'Shawn is one of the very prospects who has a good chance to make it at the next level. The Akron North program has been down. Does not face top competiton game every week. His challenge is to play very well against Buchtel, Ellet, Garfield, and Firestone. Needs to be all over the field. Needs catch a recruiter's eye on video. If he succeeds, he will prove me right, but, more importantly, move up the recruiters' boards.