For the last few years, I have been attending the Cleveland Browns Football Combine for high school players. Last Sunday, I spent the day watching football players from mostly the Cleveland area get measured, tested, work on individual drills. I had to leave early and missed most of the linemen's individual drills.
I appreciate what John LaForce with the Browns did for me. I do not interview the top college prospects. I do not walk around with a stopwatch. I do speak to players and sometimes offer a suggestion or two. For the most part, I just watch players perform and check out their attitudes. He gave me an all-access pass. No recruiting reporters or talent evaluators present, since there were not many highly profiled recruits. For me, the day was good.
Usually, when I am not real familiar with the talent, I use the "eyeball" test. First, not final. The first cat was junior Richard Worship, listed 6'2-235, from Valley Forge High School. Will give you his actual weight, because he is way too heavy. The potential is there to be one of the best in Ohio's Class of 2015.
Also was glad to meet and watch Canton Glenoak's Tristian Roberts (2015). A solid 6'2 and maybe a little taller. Plays both ways for Glenoak. Actually watched him wrestle at the OHSAA State Wrestling Championships. Moved well in drills. No question about his toughness. Looking forward to seeing him in pads this fall.
CB/ATH Dante Redwood's (2015) quickness and speed have never been an issue with me. The CB from Midview will always make plays and will always compete. He needs to get into college camps this summer to prove that a corner can be 5'9. One of my favorites.
Need to look at some HUDL video of Berea's Justin Harris. WR/DB with speed. Caught the ball well. Like his frame. A definite D-1 prospect, but not sure what level.
Also watched Garfield Height's junior Jameel Miller run. Good frame. Guessin just over 6'0, but really athletic. I need to see HUDL video on him. For some reason Garfield Heights is one of the schools that never sends any information to me.
Last summer I met East Cleveland Shaw's WR Brandon Harris. Connected again Sunday. Guessin 6'3, but needs to add some weight. Excellent hands. Liked his ball catching skills. Need to see him this summer and then in the fall.
Lakewood St Ed's had a lot of 2016 players working out at the combine. Liked the attitude of Jakob Walz (2016). Needs to get taller, but competed. Also lied tall wide receiver, Carl Jones (2016).
Ashland High School had two players that I liked last football season. Junior OL Drew Dickinson needs to continue to get bigger and stronger, but I like his athleticism. Scott Valentine (2016) plays LB. Needs to continue to get bigger/stronger, but liked his athleticism. Only a sophomore and will need to see more.
WR/DB Malik Porter (2016) from Mentor High School caught the ball well. Also ran well. Guessin 6'2-190. Really like his potential.
Joey Artrip (2015) from Loudonville High School plays TE/DE. Like his size. Moves well. Need to see more of him. Passes the eyeball test.
Taiy'von Bates (2015) an OL/DL guy from Cleveland Collinwood definitely passes the eyeball test. Rough as an unmade bed, but I like his potential.
First time I have had a chance to watch Christian Klink throw the football. Played at St Ignatius part of last year and now plays for Holy Name. Strong arm. Need to see him this summer.
One of the QB's that I really liked is a freshman at one of the smaller schools in Ohio. Plus the football program has struggled. Guessin 6'2-185. Throws the ball well. Like his basic throwing skills. Lots of potential. Does not need his name out there yet.
With just over 250 players, I have missed some in this blog. North Ridgeville's Ben Rankin, Wally Hedberg, and Jonah Bowden. Sophomore RB Gerett Choat from Avon.