When Dave Berk, Ohio recruiting analyst for Fox speaks, I listen to what he says about a college prospect in Ohio. Dave works primarily in Southwest Ohio, but really understands the scouting process. Since last summer, he has been telling me about a sophomore QB at Springfield Shawnee High School. I watched the Shawnee game against Wapakoeneta last night, and was on again.
Saalih Muhammad transferred from Springfield High School last summer. He is a 6'2-175, left handed quarterback with much athletic talent. Watched him during warm-ups and, at this stage of development I like his passing mechanics. When he passes, he needs to a better job with his feet, but it is correctable. He needs to spin the ball more often, but he I watched him do it a few times, so I know he can. At times, he needs to throw passes with more rpm's. Little things need tweaked, but all are tweakable. Like his toughness with "zone read." Once he gets north/south, he has a burst and runs fast. As he gets physically stronger, he will a more effective runner, but he has speed now.
Like Saalih's leadership ability. Also watched as he came back from a bad series where he had a fumbled pitch that Wapakoneta recovered. When he came back the next series, he played well. Like that in skilled players. Really liked his overall quarterback presence for a sophomore.
I am not as bold as some recruiting reporters to make predictions, but if Saalih Muhammad keeps improving and stronger, he should be in mix as one of the best QB prospects in the Ohio Class of 2016.
Also came away from the game impressed with the overall ability of Shawnee senior Jalen Nelson. Listed at 6'1-210, he is one of the toughest runners that I have seen this fall. Good hips to change direction. Changes direction as he goes forward. Excellent burst. Gets to the edge really well. Soft hands. Very durable runner.
With all of the positive qualities, Jalen's best quality is that he makes plays. Gets first downs. Gets to the end zone. Against Wapakoneta he rushed for 109 yards on 17 carries. He may even be a defensive back at the next level.
Mid-American schools should spend some time evaluating him. Whether he can get big enough physically, I do not know. I do know that last night he was special.
Many thanks to Dayton area's Dave Berk for putting me on to Saalih Muhammad. Berk is probably the second best evaluator of Ohio high school football talent, but he is the best in Southwest Ohio.