The Athens - Jackson high school football game last Friday had been on my schedule since early last summer. Both programs are very solid and have some high profiled players. Although the game appeared to be a "blow-out" on the scoreboard, I thought the game was actually better than the score indicated.
I did a separate blog on Athens junior quarterback, Joe Burrow. Like him a lot. Worked to get stronger and bigger. Should be the top QB in his Ohio Class of 2015. Read my blog on him.
Also was impressed with junior Trae Williams from Athens High School. First saw Trae at a District Track Meet last spring. Solid speed, but competed hard. Liked his attitude, but he needed to get bigger/stronger. Like Joe, he has. Friday night, he got on the edge and no one could catch him. Excellent burst, gets north/south quickly, and accelerates well. Did not see him really "bang it up inside," as much as I would have liked. Soft hands. He back-pedals well, but needs to improve hip rotation. Listed 6'0-190, he carries weight well. Tough, strong, corners who can backpedal and recover are hard to find, so I want him to be a corner. He may be a running back at the next level. Either way, he is going to be a very good college prospect.
One of Joe Burrow's receivers is junior Ryan Luehrman. Listed 6'4-185. Long and lanky. Excellent ball catcher. In fact, he had one catch that he climbed to get, but went out of bounds. Really athletic. Also played some inside DB. Solid speed, but once he grows into his body, he could be really good. Right now, he would be a "red-zone" guy for me. With his height and athleticism, he would be tough to defend inside the red-zone. I need to learn more about him.
Last year, I was really impressed the play and the aggressiveness of Jackson High School's LB/SS Reagan Williams (2015). Only a sophomore, his motor never stopped. But most of the time, he was running downhill. Last summer, he did not run as well as in the camps as a linebacker that I needed to see. Now he is listed 6'4-235 and has moved to DL. He needs to gain experience and develop some separation techniques. Playing aggressively and with a motor, is not a problem. Regan also played some tight end. Still learning the position, but I really liked his explosiveness off the LOS. Down blocks really well. Good hips and is a bender. Only had a few pass plays, but he gets downfield into the seam. Soft hands. For me, tight end on the next level may be his position. Not finished growing athletic, and, most of all, competes hard. He will play someplace.
Jackson had two sophomores that I liked and will watch develop, but too early to really evaluate. OL Elijah Woodrum, listed 6'4-255, has a good frame and played well at times. Needs to be a better bender, but that should develop. Also liked RB/LB Jake Crabtree. Listed 6'1-195. Runs well and showed some athleticism. Liked his toughness for a 10th grader. Just two sophomores to keep an eye on.
Always enjoy watching teams in southern Ohio. Do not get there much, but always exciting. Although the score was bad, the game was good for the most part.