Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shaker Heights Football

       One of the most fun and exciting game sites I go to every fall is Shaker Heights High School. Saturday afternoon (no lights) and lots of excitement among the fans. I have been going to Shaker, since the Dave Sedmak days. Now, they have a beautiful turf field. Yes, I was there when the rain made the playing conditions not good. No problem now, however.
       Shaker Heights always has players with college playing potential who need to be evaluated. This year is much the same. A senior heavy class who have talent.
      Tennessee commit Joe Henderson, listed 6'4-230, is a very solid player. Having watched him grow over the last three years, I still feel that he needs to play harder at times. Runs very well and comes off the edge with good quickness. Drops into zone coverage well. Also plays some TE. Hopefully, he starts to "takeover" games. This he needs to do.
      Last year, Ramses Owens ran out of the TB position. Listed 6'2-185, but plays bigger. Deceptive speed. Changes direction well. Needs to be a better knee bender when carrying the ball. Like his second and third efforts.
      WR Nolan Jackson-Daniel (2104), listed 6'1-190, is a consistent wide receiver. Concentrates on the ball. Like his route running. Good burst. Needs to separate from defender better. Will block from his WR position. Excellent student in the classroom.
      Odell Spencer (2014) listed at 6'0-170 is track fast. Like his toughness and ability to run away from defenders. Can play either WR or DB.
       Greg Claytor (2104) ran and ran in the game that I saw at Shaker Heights. Powerful. Listed 6'0-190. Really like his ability to change speeds and direction. Good burst. Runs with feet low to ground. Like his vision and ability to shift gears.
       OL Ja' Merez Bowen, listed 6'5-286, may be one of the more athletic tackles in the Class of 2014. Runs very well. Really good knee bender at times. Good pop off the ball. Also plays defensive tackle at times. Needs to work on balance, because he plays high at times. Blocks downfield. My biggest negative, and I like him, is that he needs to hustle more. Needs to get in and out of the huddle. He needs to run onto the field. Ja'Merez is one of the better OL guys in the 2014 Class.
       Sophomore Jeron Gaskins, listed 6'1-220, started on the O-line. Good balance and good leverage as a blocker. Like his presence. Runs well. Should be a really good prospect if he works hard and grows some over the next two years.
       Of course, when I am watching and evaluating players, and wishing them "the best," I do not ask about "offers." Not the time, nor the place. Actually, because of the vagueness of offers, I never get that concerned.  According to Head Coach Jarvis Gibson, he is a little surprised that more players are not getting more serious "offers," or even more serious "looks." My "two cents." If the seniors keep playing as hard and as well as they did last Saturday, more recruiters will be coming to Shaker Heights.
      Also playing in this game was one of my favorite RB's in the Class of 2014, Ronald Jefferson from Cleveland JFK. Listed 5'11-220, he missed all last year with a knee injury. Watched him as a sophomore and liked his potential as a running back. Showed some spurts of a burst and power, but did not get much help Saturday. . Gets north/south. I need to see him when his chances are better. But he has a lot of work to do to get back to the level he enjoyed as a sophomore.
      Finally, when I think of Shaker Heights football, I think of former Shaker Heights coach, Dave Sedmak. After coaching in SW Ohio for a few years. Dave is now in Arizona and I believe, he is coaching football. We have been friends a long time. He was an excellent teacher and coach, but even a better "kids' guy." Super motivator.

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