19 June 2011
Ohio kicked the stuffing out of Pennsylvania last night in the Big 33. The score was 50-14. It could have been, should have been, even worse. It was the second largest number of points in the games history, which helped Ohio secure a third straight victory in the series. The level of talent coming out of Pennsylvania has been decreasing slowly but steadily over the years. Nothing shows that more than this legendary high school football all-star game, which Ohio has started to dominate since Ohio's best started playing in the game again. For a couple of years there was a schedule conflict with the Ohio all-star game. Ohio has won of the last nine games.
Players are more important than the game. We are all looking for who stood out. There were a number of Buckeye recruits in the game and they played a major role in this victory.
First, I am going to start with a Cincinnati recruit who was the games MVP. Akise Teague was spectacular in this game. He scored three touchdowns, a 52-yard run, a 20-yard run that was reminiscent of a vintage Barry Sanders, and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Cardale Jones. Ohio State just couldn't get Teague in. I have a solid source that says grades are why he is not a Buckeye. What impressed me so about Teague goes beyond the highlight reel runs. It is the tough runs where he shows he could have been an effective back at this level despite his size, and he is such a natural receiver. He fits that third down back role perfectly but has the added dimension of being able to run between the tackles when called on. He can be a very dangerous player. I wish him luck at Cincinnati.
I don't know who to single out between Devin Smith, Cardale Jones and Steve Miller. Smith showed that he is ready to shake up the depth chart. He has that suddenness that is going to make him a game changing receiver. I will tell you this. As fast as he is I think we have not seen his speed top out. He is still pretty lean. His frame can handle more muscle and I think he will be even faster once he is filled out. On his touchdown reception from Jones, he blew by the corner so fast this kid looked like he was going to get whiplash as tried to follow him. You could almost read his reaction, his body language, he knows he is a pretty fast guy. Someone just blew by him like he was standing still. Smith caught another touchdown pass from Connor Cook. He dropped one early that would have been a touchdown. He had his hands on it. Maybe he should have caught it but it would have been a spectacular catch. It was not an easy one that you can just write it off as a drop.
Cardale Jones was slinging it last night. He was dropping bombs all over the field. Big big arm on this kid. He looks great physically. He is supposedly up to 220. He is still moving very well. He reminds me a great deal of Doug Williams. Cheer for this kid to get his grades. He could be a special player.
Steve Miller must be in incredible shape. He ran from one side of the field to the other all night. One of the few big plays for PA last night saw Miller would have been the next player with a shot at the receiver who made the catch if the safety had not made the tackle. Miller had chased him 50 yards down the field. Another thing I like about Miller is how sound he is. He plays his position smartly. He checks down before he chases. He plays angles to turn plays in to pursuit. He looks nicely bigger. I mean straight 4-3 defensive end bigger.
Doran Grant had a 103 yard interception return for a touchdown. He read the quarterback all the way. He was there waiting on the fade route. He made a great turn away from the receivers attempted tackle and had a convoy down the sidelines. None of the defensive backs really stood out other than that. The defensive line was in the backfield most of the time so the quarterbacks were not having any time to throw the ball.
Chase Farris has alot to learn about playing inside. I did not like him at tackle. Something we talk about is tall kids in small places. Farris seems to be more comfortable out on the edge where he has some room to maneuver. I am not saying he will not be a good tackle in time. It just seems like he was a better player out in space where he can uncoil. He did have a solid nigh even though he looked out of place.
Several other Ohioans who are not coming this way looked good.
Trayion Durham played defensive tackle in this game. He is definitely bigger than he was in high school. Move him to tackle now and let him learn the position as he adds the weight he will need to play in the MAC. I was impressed with Joel Heath. He was always such a raw prospect. He was a dicey offer from the Big Five. Michigan State may have stole one. He looked good in there. A couple of Michigan kids were outstanding last night. Antonio Poole was the best linebacker in the game. He is a great fit for the hybrid position. Late offer Keith Heitzman from Hilliard Davidson was a major problem off the edge. If Miller didn't have the quarterback dialed in, Heitzman did. It is hard to pick a best lineman in the game out of this lot. You could have picked Miller, Durham or Heitzman.
All in all a great what amounts to a spring practice and spring game for the Buckeye recruits. Those extra reps against a higher level of competition could prove to be invaluable.
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