Last Friday night I concluded the preseason scrimmage days with a trip to Galion to watch the Tigers host Mansfield Madison. Sometimes one cannot see "the forest for the trees." Galion, Ohio is only about thirty minutes from Upper Sandusky. Not only did I see a few talented football players, but I also saved on some gas money.
First met Dareian Watkins ( 2014) at the Kent State football camp two summers ago. He was beginning his sophomore year in the fall. Listed at 6'1-185, he seems a little bigger than that. Plays QB and Free safety for the Tigers. Also plays on the kickoff team and returns punts. Maybe a DB on the next level, but I could see him as a SLOT receiver. Quick feet. Deceptive speed. Like his burst and his ability to accelerate. Understands the game. Needs better hips. Needs a little more shake. Plays fast, but needs to make defenders miss. Game breaker as a high school QB. Not a college QB, but alot of potential as a SLOT or FS.
RB David Nay (2013) from Galion may be caught between a rock and a hard place. Excellent leg strength, as well as upper body strength. A powerful running back. Tougher after first contact. Listed at 6'0-210. Even though he has done well at camps, he cannot convince D-1 college coaches that he is an early offer. Needs to be more flexible in the hips. Needs better balance after contact. Tough blocker. Reminds me of the RB from Johnstown High School who is playing at D-2 University of Findlay.
Mansfield Madison's offensive center caught my attention during warm-ups. Guessing about 6'2or 6'3 and weighs about 280. Nate Boggs (2013) did not pass my "eyeball test." Thought he carried too much weight. But he bends well for a big man. Good explosion off the LOS. Finishes blocks. Maybe a little nasty. Good lead blocker. Solid feet on pass drops. Will see him again in a few weeks. I believe he has alot of upside.
Dareian Watkins is tremendous young man. I know his family a little and appreciate them. Dareian has some D-1 offers and, if he continues to get stronger and bigger, he will get more. He is talented, but he is a better person off the field. For me, he has to dominate and play at a high level every game, because of the level of competition that he plays every week.. Being a small school guy myself, I enjoy watching all levels of high school football. But reality is "level of competition" is important to college recruiters. Dareian will be fine.