When my young, good friend, Nate Moore was offered and then accepted the Cincinnati LaSalle High School head football coaching last spring, I was excited for him. But I was also alittle concerned, because LaSalle plays Moeller, St Xavier, and Elder every year. Big time football. Last night at the Cincinnati Crosstown Showdown, LaSalle played well and looked sharp as they defeated Cincinnati Oak Hills. Although only the first game, Coach Moore is off to a good start.
Also, as exciting, was the play of some of the young players who attended my football camp last June.
Sophomore QB Nick Watson threw five touchdown passes and was 18 of 29. Really like his ability to lead. Only 5'10, but he sees the field and understands coverages. Throws well on the run, as well as in the pocket. Can spin-it, but as he gets bigger and stronger, rpm's will get better. Should be one of the better QB's in the Class of 2016. Plus, he has a super attitude and can lead as a sophomore.
Junior wide receiver, Kevin Ferguson, also attended my underclassman camp. Caught 6 passes for 106 yards. Caught a 31 yard touchdown pass. Tough competitor. Excellent ball catcher. Concentrates well. Really good burst. Elusive after the catch. Lines up in the slot, but, also played some defense. Wish he were just a little taller, but still has tremendous potential.
RB Jeremy Larkin was also at the underclassman camp. Listed 5'11-170, and only a sophomore. Caught two TD passes, and ran for another. Gets north-south. Excellent burst. Excellent feet for sophomore. Can break tackles. 2nd and 3d effort. Like the way he can stop and go. Excellent body control. Also has tremendous potential.
Junior John Junker, listed at 6'3-200, played OLB last night. Needs to keep getting stronger, but I liked the way he played last night. Stays on his feet and can fight thru "junk" to make plays. Seemed to be in the right position most of of the time. Frame to get much bigger and stronger. Good speed coming off the edge. Closes on QB well. Also a camp guy.
Another junior who I really liked was DL .Jordan Thompson. Listed 6'3-247. Have watched him since his freshan year. In past years, I thought that he took plays off. Not last night. Played mostly inside and was excellent as a pass rusher. Gets off blocks and can find the ball. Like his closing speed. Needs to find the right fit on the next level. Really like him coming off the edge, but may have to add weight to play inside. One of best DL guys in the 2015 Class.
Usually spend most of my time evaluating underclassmen and under the radar seniors. But I need to mention seniors, Derek Kief and Izaiah Fuller. Last summer, I heard all of the negatives about Derek Kief, as a recruit. I have never seen him have a bad game. Tall and long. Tremendous concentration and ball catching skills. Listed 6'6-198. (Maybe not that tall).Excellent burst. As skinny as he is, I really like his toughness. Alabama got a good receiver. Izaiah Fuller is much the same as Derek, but shorter. Slender and listed 6'4-180. Ohio University got even a better deal.
Last night I was told that a few weeks ago one of the internet recruiting reporters put on a message board who he thought was the top QB in the 2016 Class. Apparently, he has not seen Nick Watson or the some of the other young QB's in Southwest Ohio.
LaSalle has a nice mix of youth and experience. Have no idea of how many games they can win. Do not know strength of schedule. Do know that I am happy for head coach Nate Moore getting his first win. Of course, watching some of my camp guys do well was fun.