Archive

Archive for April, 2010

Rumors and Wires: Week of April 26, 2010

April 30th, 2010

Wednesday April 28th

Illinois has offered El Camino J.C. Defensive back Herzel Glashen.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale) Jake Ruddock has been offered by The University of Iowa.


Rumors and Wires ,

University School Cornerback Devin Gaulden Ready To Set Up an Island of His Own

April 27th, 2010

gaulenstancecropeedOffensive football has been all the rage over the last few years.  Football has turned from a competitive game of smash mouth and breaking wills  into a science of point compilation and quarterback accuracy.   No where is that more true than in South Florida high school  football.

To combat the point totals that look like basketball final scores,  teams need to be armed with cornerbacks that can cover receivers.  That’s where a player like Devin Gaulden comes in.  Gaulden does not have much experience playing high school football but he’s long on the tools needed to be a shutdown corner.  Speed, quickness and tenacity are just a few of the traits Gaulden employs when rubbing out wide receivers from game plans like a wrong answer on a math test.

Until last season,  Gaulden’s sport of choice was basketball.   His array of skills and talent helped him excel at the guard position.  Apparently hours of crouching down in front of rim attacking opponents honed Gaulden’s cornerback skills.  He appeared at University School in 2009 just as green as the grass below his feet.  However,  his God given talent,  good coaching and a will to compete helped Gaulden speed up his learning curve and transform himself into a D-I worthy prospect.

Due to injury,  Gaulden only appeared in five games for the University School Suns (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) in 2009.  He displayed his great potential in those contests but did not lay down enough body of work to send a rush of colleges to his doorstep.

“At this point,  schools have not been in contact with me,”  Gaulden explains, “but I don’t let that it get to me.  I just use it as motivation because I’m definitely one of the best DB’s in South Florida.”

Nowhere was Gaulden’s potential more apparent than when he appeared at the Shuman’s National Underclassman Combine in Orlando earlier this month.   It’s one of the top events for potential college prospects that takes place across the country.  Gaulden put his money where his mouth is by putting up a 4.50 in the forty, 4.2 in the shuttle and the handcuffs on all of the receivers he went up against in one on one drills.

“My press coverage technique is a huge strength of mine,” said Gaulden.  “I am very physical at the line and I also have good feet to move with receivers.”

Gaulden’s performance was strong enough for him to walk away from the event as the Defensive Back MVP and an invite to the Top 100 in Atlanta this summer.  The Top 100 takes the best of the best from the various combines across the country and brings them to one location to compete alongside and against each other.

It’s only a matter of time before the colleges come knocking on Gaulden’s door looking to secure his services.   It’s a moment he has prepared for but he’s more focused on advancing University School’s team goals for 2010.

“My primary goals are helping my team in any way I can because last year was a disappointing season,” said Gaulden. “My individual goals are playing in all games this year and simply dominating opposing wideouts but my team goals come first.”

The 5’10″ 175 lb. Gaulden says he watches a lot of film on Darrelle Revis of the NY Jets.   Not lost on this is how much Gaulden resembles what many feel is the best cornerback in the NFL right now.  From the physical line of scrimmage play,  the explosiveness and even the slightly bowed legs,   Gaulden has picked a good man to emulate.   Putting together Revis-like film will certainly bring Gaulden to scouts attention and while he says he will play for anyone,  there a couple of schools he really likes.

“Since I was younger,  I’ve always been a huge fan of the University of Florida.  I watch all their games and my room is filled with UF (Florida) posters.  The home town school UM (Miami) is a favorite of mine as well.”

With Gaulden’s plans to dominate the opposition, aid University to a strong 2010 season and set up a desolate island of his own for opposing receivers,  perhaps a knock on the door from the big time schools in and out of Florida is in his future.


High School Football

4/27/10: Video of the Day: Cole Naone – TE – Lake Oswego H.S. (OR)

April 27th, 2010

Admittedly,  we don’t get a lot of tight end submissions to Gridironstuds.com so forgive me for getting really excited about this one.  However,  I have been around football long enough to know a good player when I see one and Cole Naone is a solid football player.  A tight end can be a quarterback’s best friend but Naone is the best friend of the running backs and wide receivers too.  Along with his great pass catching ability,  Naone shows his worth as blocker on his highlight video.  Not only does he provide great pass protection when called on to do so but Naone has done well to implement the techniques he has been taught in blocking the run game.  Football junkies will see the value in how Naone positions himself, runs his feet and gains leverage on his opponent to make an effective block.  He also displays the tenacity to dole out some knock out blocks too.  Naone is a complete package and this includes making plays from the defensive end spot on defense.  He packs all of this into a 6’3″ 210 lb. frame with good strength and speed numbers.  There’s little wonder why Oregon, Oregon St., Air Force and Idaho are coming after him.  Certainly more will follow.  View Cole Naone’s highlight video, click here.


Video of the Day

1st Round Pick Berry May Be First in A String of Berry Good Top Picks

April 23rd, 2010

There’s no doubt that the Kansas City Chiefs got themselves a great one in the first round last night when they snapped up Tennessee safety Eric Berry.   Berry’s athleticism and skill have been well documented in the myriad of draft analysis that has taken place already.  However,  there is something that may not be known to many about this first rounder. He  has two younger brothers that appear headed to putting their feet in big brother’s shoes and popping right out the front of them.

Gridironstuds.com was one of the first to report last June how the University of Tennessee,  being led then by Lane Kiffin,  obtained a commitment from 13 year old Evan Berry,  younger brother of Eric Berry.   You can read that article here.  Evan also has a slightly older brother named Elliott Berry who is equally as talented.   Both players are stand out track performers in the sprints with several records to their credit.  By all indications,  they are ahead of where older brother Eric was at their age.

On the football field,  both brothers have been dominant as well.  Of course,  it’s 2010 so there is video available to prove this point.  The Berry brothers play for the Faiburn Flames and they are one of the top youth football teams in Georgia.  There’s video available of them playing together on that team taking on the #1 team in their area Central DeKalb.  It’s one of the more entertaining videos you will ever watch of a youth football game.  Thanks to BorntoCompete.com for filming and editing the contest.  Check out the video here.

Evan was named the BorntoCompete.com’s 14 and under Player of the Year and there’s a highlight video showing his exploits on the field as a member of the Fairburn Flames.  View that video here.

The Berry’s have an outstanding blood line.  Their father James Berry was the captain of the 1981 Tennessee Volunteers football team and was a three year starter in Knoxville.  This family is truly blessed.  NFL franchises be on the lookout.


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Ten Bold Predictions About the 1st Round of 2010 NFL Draft

April 23rd, 2010

10.   Jermaine Gresham Will a Major Impact for the Bengals

No one ever gets excited about fullbacks or tight ends but few do more work behind the scenes than those two positions.  Want to have an explosive passing attack, get a tight end that can dominate in the middle of the field.  Having one changes a lot of what the secondary has to do.  It can dictate what coverages are called in certain situations and can really open up things for wide outs.  Suddenly,  the safeties are coming off the hash a little later because the tight end is not the guy they want to deal with the ball in their hands.  Gresham is dominant and has a great opportunity to fill that role for Carson Palmer and the Bengals.  The Bengals got 410 receiving yards from the tight end spot in 2009.  Watch that number double this year. At this point in his career,  this is just what Chad Johnson needed to keep his gums flapping and balls coming his way.

9.  Mike Iupati May End Up Being the Most Underrated Pick in the First Round

Guards are also another position that people pay very little attention to.  Everyone knows that Mike Singletary wants to punch the defense in the mouth with a strong running game.  That’s not possible without good guard play and the 49ers filled a big need.   Idaho’s Mike Iupati was part of a Vandals offensive line that blocked it’s way to 2,137 yards of rushing at an average of 4.7 yards in 2009.  In a 49ers uniform,  Iupati will be blocking for backs like Frank Gore and Glen Coffee.  San Francisco was 4-1 last season when they had a 100 yard rusher but they only had a 100 yard rusher in five of their 16 games.  With Alex Smith coming around and Michael Crabtree getting a NFL training camp under his belt,  finding running room behind Mike Iupati could be the thing the 49ers need to get back into NFL consciousness.

8. Buffalo’s Resurgence Can Begin with the Addition of C.J. Spiller

It has been a while since the Bills have had a player this multi-faceted and explosive.  Sure they have had running backs like Travis Henry,  Willis McGahee and Marshawn Lynch but not since Thurman Thomas have they had this type player that can line up in the backfield and do many other things.  Spiller can improve Buffalo’s special teams  right now.  He can also improve the running game and he can also come out of the back field and turn simple third down conversions into huge real estate gains.   With one player,  the Bills have improved their offense, special teams and as a result their defense because of the field position Spiller can turn around.  Spiller contributed 1, 212 yards rushing for Clemson last year.  He also added 503 yards receiving and 969 yards in returns.  Think about it.

7.  The Seattle Seahawks Had the Best Draft in the 1st Round

The 1st round of the NFL draft is one part getting impact players and one part filling needs.  Seattle accomplished both with their pair of 1st round selections.    Seattle was near the top last year in having their quarterbacks hit the deck with 41.  That’s close to three sacks per game.  With that in mind,  the Seahawks pick up Oklahoma St. left tackle Russell Okung.  Okung will aid the Seahawks in reversing the ugly sack number by providing better protection but also allowing the Seahawks to run the ball better and not allow teams to pin their ears back and crush Hawks QBs.   At number 14,  Seattle addressed another ugly stat for them in 2009 and that’s pass defense.  Seattle was 30th against the pass and only eight teams had less interceptions than Seattle’s 13 last year.  Only five of those 13 picks came from the safety position and three of those belong to departed secondary member Deon Grant.  The drafting of ball hawking safety Earl Thomas of Texas means Seattle can get better in that area right now.  Seattle picked up impact players in two areas of great need.  That’s executing a plan.

6.  Jahvid Best Will Be the Missing Piece to Take the Lions Offense to the Top of the NFL Rankings

I could make the argument that Detroit had a better draft than the Seahawk team that I just said had the best 1st round.  However,  Detroit has more holes to fill than Seattle.  They filled one of them in a big way with Jahvid Best.  Over the last three years,  the Lions have added an impact wide receiver,  quarterback and now running back through the draft.  This means Detroit is not only talented at these three key positions but young.  The Cowboys had the triplets in the early 90′s and Detroit is on their way to constructing something like that.  If they are wise enough to add quality talent in the supporting cast areas (OL, FB, TE) then Detroit can end their run at being the laughing stock of the NFL.  Best gives Detroit an explosive player at the running back position that they have not had since you know who.

5.  Demaryius Thomas Will Prove the Critics Wrong

Too much is being made out of the fact that Thomas,  drafted by the Broncos at #22,  came from a triple option attack at Georgia Tech.  He’s not playing quarterback,  he’s a wide receiver.  When they tried to cover him in college they couldn’t.  When they threw him the ball he caught it.  When they try to tackle him,  he broke it and when they tried to catch him,  they couldn’t.  Let’s not complicate their the receiver position now.  They will teach him the route tree,  send him deep and make teams get their safeties back.  He’s a physical specimen that would have dominated at Florida or Oklahoma had he gone there.

4.  Picking Another Cornerback Will Prove Genius for the Jets

Anyone looking forward to throwing against the Jets this season?  How bad will the offensive coordinator feel if he fails to gain a yard on the Jets on first down?  Rex Ryans knows that to cook up his recipe of blitzes,  he can’t have a receiver beating coverage off the line of scrimmage and streak down the field alone.  With the bevy of thieves he has accumulated through free agency and the draft,  he can be an even madder scientist when it comes to blitz schemes.   Picking Boise St.’s cornerback Kyle Wilson at #29 means that your three wide receiver set on offense has what amounts to a house arrest braclet on their ankle.  The NFL has turned into a pass happy league and this is Rex Ryan’s roach spray for this pesky problem.  Look for turnovers and a short field to make the offense look like big time overacheivers.

3.  Ndamukong Suh Will Spark the Rise of the Detroit Lions

Boy it really looks like I am getting excited by these Lions but it’s for good reason.  They have the bodies in place.  The only thing standing between them and the playoffs now is their ingrained mentality of losing.  Overcoming that allows a guy like Ndamkong Suh to turn around the defense  and defensive wins championships.  Suh can control a game as he showed in the Big-XII Championship last season.  There will be a learning curve as a rookie but his talent will shine through.  Suh gives the Lions a force against the run as well as a person who can pressure the passer from the inside.  Detroit was 25th in the NFL last year versus the run.  I bet you they finish better in the category this year and Suh will be a big reason why.  Improving in that area will translate into more wins and with their offense putting the chess pieces in place,  Detroit will move out of the category of “what a joke”.

2.  Ryan Matthews Will Make San Diego Fans Forget LaDanian Tomlinson

Well Tomlinson’s contributions won’t ever be forgotten but Matthews will keep San Diego fans from sitting in the stands this year with their hands propped under their chins saying “I wish LT was here.”  I have been touting this Matthews kid for quite some time now and while picking him 12th doesn’t quite allow me to call him underrated,  it’s clear that the Chargers saw in him what I saw.  You don’t see Fresno St. Bulldogs going this high in the draft on a regular basis and not from the running back position.  The last time I saw a player like this that not too many were talking about was Vincent Jackson who also wears a Chargers uniform.  Matthews will do for San Diego what Jackson has done.  He will be a force to reckon with and will allow the Chargers to conduct business as usual on offense.

1.  Tim Tebow Will Enjoy More Success in the NFL than Sam Bradford

I am not sold on Sam Bradford as a franchise quarterback.  Worse than that,  Bradford is going to purgatory.   St. Louis is a mess and they don’t have the necessary amount of paper towels to clean it up.  Bradford needs a lot more around him to get the job done there and it can be a while before he gets it.  Bradford was the first pick of the draft,  you don’t get long these days to get it together when you get picked this high and make this kind of money.  The Rams have not had a history of opening their wallets wide and by the time Bradford gets what he needs,  his ego and confidence can be as injured as his shoulder was against BYU this year.  Tim Tebow on the other hand gets to ease his way into Denver’s system and work on his imperfections without such a hot lamp on him.  I believe the Broncos drafted Tebow at this spot to use him in a certain way that the public does not have insight on.  As Tebow said,  he was asked to execute a certain kind of offense at Florida and he executed it better than anyone else ever has.  Denver will ask him to do some other things and Tebow has the intelligence, athleticism, determination and faith to execute.  No one will show a young quarterback video of Bernie Kosar, Phillip Rivers or Jake Delhomme if they are trying to show them how to throw a ball but all three QBs have enjoyed some serious success in the NFL.   Who throws a ball prettier than Carson Palmer,  David Carr or Kyle Boeller?    Enough said.   Too much is made about a quaterback’s delivery.  It’s the most over analyzed and scrutinized aspect in the game.  The most poignant thing said last night was by Steve Young for ESPN.  “Will Tim Tebow’s brain be connected to his arm.  Will he be able to anticipate the moves of the defense and put the ball in the spots that it needs to go. “  That’s all anyone needs to concern themselves with and I say that Tebow will be able to accomplish that on a greater scale than Sam Bradford.

General

4/22/10: Video of the Day: Austin Heath – OL – Clay High School (FL)

April 22nd, 2010

OG: Austin Heath c/o 2011:  6’2″  270 lbs

I don’t know if Austin Heath has a part time job at IHOP but I do know that he’s serving pancakes and they are coming in a heaping serving.  If you are a Clay High School opponent and you play on the defensive line,  chances are your back will be dirty when the game is over.  Austin Heath plays the right guard position for Clay High and he goes about his work with technique, precision and tenacity.  It’s entertaining to watch him fire out and put a defender on his back.  It is equally impressive to watch him climb to the second level and take out a line backer or pull down the line and kick out a defensive end in brutal fashion.  There are some plays where Heath will put a player down not once, not twice but three times.  If you are a lover of offensive line play,  you will love the way he goes about his craft.   View Austin Heath’s Pancake Riddle Highlight Video,  click here now.


General

For Top Recruits, Choosing to Go Out of State Can Incur the Wrath of Fans

April 21st, 2010

So, I’m on Facebook last night and come across a comment made by top recruit Jeremy Cash in which he asked why everyone is so interested in his life.  Apparently and this is an assumption on my part,  Cash has been getting a little heat from University of Miami, Florida and possibly Florida St.  fans because a talented kid from the state has chosen to be a Buckeye.  This happens all too often.

After reading it,  I impart my wisdom to Cash and make the comment that he’d better get used to it and how I watched top Ohio recruit Latwan Anderson go through the same thing with Buckeye fans when he chose to go to Miami.   This happens for any coveted recruit that leaves the state to play football.  It’s the nature of college football and their fans FROM ALL TEAMS. Innocent enough,  I thought.  Boy was I mistaken.  Within 15 minutes,  there’s a comment to my comment from a gentleman named Cliff Smith who writes for a website I have too much respect for to mention in this light.

“Gridiron, you crack me up. Exactly what did Twan get hard from Buck fans? 90% of what I saw leading up to and after his commitment was about how he is a much better fit at UM and wishing him luck. I saw very little sour grapes (which you’ll have some of with every fanbase),”  he says.

So Mr. Smith wants us to believe that Ohio St. Buckeye fans,  who as he clearly shows are some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and opinionated in all of college football were O.K. with the top recruit in the state heading to The Miami Hurricanes?   What did he have in his brown paper bag last night?   Not only were a few Buckeye fans snippy on Anderson’s Facebook page but the message boards were particularly ugly.  Comments in Buckeye message boards about Anderson not having the grades so he couldn’t get into Ohio St. anway,  to he will be just fine at “Thug U”, to we didn’t need him anyway were commonplace but shhhhh  don’t tell Cliff Smith that.   Mr. Smith was too busy burying his head in the sand thinking that Buckeye fans are somehow going to be different than the fans for all of the other college football programs in the country.  Comically,  not too long after Mr. Smith replied to my comment,  a Buckeye fan also comments with this “Latwan Anderson did not have the grades to get into Ohio St.”  This guy just made my point for me.  It was stuff like this,  Anderson had to and to a certain degree still has to endure from some Ohio St. fans.

Another common occurrence on Facebook are fans having verbal jousts on a recruit’s page that can rage on for 100 comments.  In an effort to avoid this situation,  I replied back:

“Guys, this is Jeremy’s page. Sorry I mentioned Latwan Anderson. Didn’t know it would be a lightning rod. If anyone wants to discuss this, hit me up on my page. I can’t stand when fans and the like have debates on a recruit’s page. It’s juvenile”

This is me clearly trying to kick sand on a small fire and put it out.  I can keep my thoughts to myself and Mr. Smith can keep his opinions in tact so we can all move on but Noooooooo.   Mr. Smith’s reply:

“Agreed. Puzzled why he was brought up in the first place. Nice backpedal and projecting though. Congrats to Ocho!”

Was that necessary?  No.  I’m backpedaling? Was his first comment to me necessary? No.  So,  if you know me then you know that sarcasm is what I do.  I couldn’t help myself,

“Ok, Cliffy thanks. Go have another doughnut buddy!,”  I replied.

Was it unnecessary,  I guess you could say yes.  Was it juvenile,  probably.  Did Mr. Smith,  fan masquerading as a writer deserve it?  Oh hell yeah.

Of course,  his feelings were hurt and he replied stating how my reply was juvenile and that he really didn’t have anything else to say to me.  This is how I wanted it in the first place and it took me getting juvenile to accomplish that mission.   I let Mr. Smith have the last word on Jeremy’s page because it seems that was the only way it could be.  It’s over right?  Wrong.

I wake up this morning to another piece of communication from a “writer” from the same publication I don’t want to mention out of respect for the organization.   His was the most hilarious of all communications I have received in 2010.  The gentleman’s (term used loosely) name is Nick Leach and he said the following in an email to me:

Chad, I just wanted to say I was disappointed with the comments you made on Jeremy Cash’s page. I know you’re saddened he chose OSU over Miami (I’ll wait for you to say you don’t care), but such is life. To make up statements like the state of Ohio turned on Latwan is not only ludicrous but it gives a false impression to a recruit, which for someone that runs a website I find extremely distasteful and upsetting. You are entitled to your opinion, as is everyone, but to make those falsities on his public page was just a low that I did not expect from you.

Let’s break this down.  First of all,  I run a website that aids high school football players from all over the country get into colleges located all over the country.  To stake my emotional state on where a kid chooses to go to school would be ludicrous.  Yes,  I played at the University of Miami.  Yes,  I root for them on Saturdays but to think that I lose sleep over whether or not a talented recruit goes there or not shows how little brain power Mr. Leach is working with.  Gridironstuds.com was instrumental in launching Jeff Luc to superstar status last year.  Not only did I tell Miami about Luc when he first put his video on my site,  I told any and everyone across the country.  In the end,  Jeff went to Florida St. and I am elated for the kid.   I was not saddened, disgruntled or remorseful.  Luc will tell you that himself.  I was the first to congratulate him on that important milestone in his life.  That’s what I started this site for.

For Mr. Leach to be disappointed in me he would first have to care about me and that is clearly not so.  The guy does not know me from a hole in the wall.  Maybe he thinks I am one of these recruits he calls up and tries to pretend he’s buddies with.  He forgets that I had one other piece of communication with him and he came off like a pompous jerk then too.

He said my comments were extremely “distasteful” and “upsetting”.   My comments upset him extremely?  Whoa,  looks like somebody needs to get a life.  I am going to take up a donation to get Mr. Leach an X-Box or a subscription to “E-Harmony”.     He also described my comments as “falsities”.   Refer to my comments about Mr. Smith having his head in the sand.

Finally,  both Mr. Smith and Mr. Leach apparently,  know very little about Jeremy Cash.  I have spoken to Cash on a few occasions.  I have spoken with his step father as well and have been around Cash enough to see how he conducts himself.   I don’t know that I have seen a high school aged kid with his act more together academically, athletically, socially and spiritually as he.  Brett Goetz,  the founder of the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team speaks highly enough about Cash to make you think he would vote Cash president if he were on the ballot.   To suggest that my innocent comment,  intended to put Cash’s situation in perspective,  would lead to him changing his mind about Ohio St. is the only thing that is disappointing.   Jeremy Cash is too strong minded and intelligent to be swayed by the words of people outside of his circle.   That would include me,  Mr. Smith and Mr. Leach.   Shame on these two guys for giving that impression.

Would Cash have been a great pick up for the University of Miami?  He is a good pick up for any school that gets him.  He brings a lot to the table for a school and Cash will get a lot from The Ohio St. University,  one of the most prestigious colleges and football programs in the country.

Unfortunately,  Ohio St. Buckeye fans are like Republicans.  The overwhelming majority of their fans are cordial, polite and generally have good dispositions.  However,  the small percentage of them that choose to draw publicity, speak up and make themselves heard represent them in a poor way.  At least that has been my experience and that played itself out once again in this “incident.”

Latwan Anderson,  is also too head strong, too determined and too focused to be swayed by the comments made on his Facebook page, message boards or in his email inbox.   Those qualities are what have driven guys like Anderson and Cash to the top of their game.  Fans should not waste their time,  reputation and dignity trying to persuade them leading up to and after they have made their decision.

I went through the recruiting process,  twice!   For anyone to think that I would factor in the opinions of fans, reporters and others over that of my parents, relatives and coaches is profoundly stupid for lack of a better word.

Future recruits that are highly rated and choose to leave the state to play for a program that is a rival will also be the same way.  These young men have achieved their level of success by being more than athletically gifted,  they had to be mentally strong to get there too.  This is something that the Cliff Smiths and Nick Leachs of the World can’t understand.


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Rumors and Wires: Week of April 19th

April 21st, 2010

April 21st

Gridironstuds.com member James Wilder Jr. has narrowed his college choices down to Alabama, Florida, Florida St.,  Georgia and Georgia Tech.

April 19th

Hagerty High School (FL) quarterback Jeff Driskell has committed to the Florida Gators.

Tarpon Springs H.S. offensive lineman Zach DeBell has received offers from UCLA and Memphis.

Plantation H.S. (Florida) safety Jeremy Cash has committed to the Ohio St. Buckeyes.

Nature Coast Tech H.S. (Florida) Wide Receiver Ja’Juan Story ran a 4.37 forty at the Elite Scouting Services Combine this weekend in Tampa.


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4/20/10: Video of the Day: DeAnthony Thomas Crenshaw H.S. (CA)

April 20th, 2010

Have you ever felt a sudden,  unexpected breeze in your face?  If you are in the Los Angeles area on  a Friday night when it happened then chances are it was Crenshaw High School’s DeAnthony Thomas going by on his way to another touchdown.  Thomas is what happens when speed meets smooth and they take a walk down Tenacious Boulevard.  Thomas can pick em up and put them down like few others in Class of 2011.  As a result,  Crenshaw High School is never out of a football game.  Thomas makes contributions all over the field.  He’s on offense, he’s on defense and he’s in the return game much to the opponent’s chagrin.   Thomas’ speed is also documented.  He’s one of the top sprinters in the country with times of 10.67 in the 100 and 21.48 in the 200 but have you ever seen a track guy that can hit?   Click on his video and you just saw one.  Thomas will put his hat on you at subway train speeds, sending you to the sidelines to  visit the student trainer.  He’s a well sought after prospect with both L.A. schools (USC and UCLA) making offers along with Cal, Arizona and Florida (because they, for some reason,  need more speed).   Thomas will be a major headache for opponents this year once again  the “Black Mamba”, as he is known, patrols the gridiron looking to strike his prey.

View DeAnthony Thomas’ Highlight video at Gridironstuds.com,  click here.


Video of the Day

Sebastiano Getting Attention and Looking for A Buckeye Offer

April 19th, 2010

cincotinsdaleThere’s something to be said for doing things right and when it comes to running routes, few do it better than North Broward Prep (Florida) wide receiver A.J. Sebastiano.

We are headlong into the camp and combine season for high school football and the talent has been plentiful at the events.  It would be easy for a wide receiver like Sebastiano to get overlooked amongst the bevy of athletes clocking incredible forty times and broad jumping the length of the football field.  However,  Sebastiano has managed to make everyone look his way.

It took me all of two minutes at the South Florida Express 7-on-7 tryouts in January to ask who this kid was.  His route running was exceptional and his hands were fly paper. It seemed Sebastiano had gotten into a text book of route running and highlighted a bunch of pages.   By the time I saw him again at the Under Armour Combine he was ready to teach the course Getting Open 101.  Sebastiano has great size at 6’1″ 185 lbs but can not match some of the 4.3 and 4.4 forties of the guys who line up in front of him.  This matters very little to the 2011 prospect as he performs his wizardry on defenders and finds himself all alone with his opposition often on the ground or in the wrong zip code.  Sebastiano can get separation 1-on-1 with a defensive back in a porta-john.  Many a defensive back have let out an expletive getting beat by Sebastiano.  I witnessed the catch that is frozen in the picture attached to this article.  Corey Tindal was stuck to Sebastiano like the gold caps on his teeth.   Despite that,  Sebastiano went up in in some acrobatic Cirque De Solei fashion and came down with the football.  It’s just that kind of party when Sebastiano shows up with his cap turned backwards.

Sebastiano is still waiting for his first offer from a college football program but it’s only a matter of time.  He recently took a trip to Gainesville to visit the Florida Gators and enjoyed it.

“It was incredible,  their facilities were out of this World and the coaches couldn’t have been nicer,” said Sebastiano.  “I really enjoyed myself up there on campus and the overall atmosphere was exactly what I am looking for.”

Sebastiano has heard quite a bit from Boston College, South Carolina, Florida, East Carolina, Tennessee and Illinois.  He has also been in consistent contact with Ohio St.,  the school who’s offer he covets the most.

“Ohio St. is still my home town team growing up and I would like nothing more than to get an offer from them,” Sebastiano explained,  “but if they don’t want me or it’s not the right fit,  I would love to play for any of the other schools,  I just love the game.”

Sebastiano’s love for the game is obvious and he would have to have passion for the game to survive the grueling seven school tour that he will take this summer.   Sebastiano plans on visiting each of the seven schools that have been recruiting him the most to this point.

“Oh yeah, I’m going all over,”  said Sebastiano. “I just need to go out to these campuses and show these colleges what I’ve been showing everyone else.”

In between the college campus tours,  Sebastiano will taking a trip to Alabama to compete with his 7-on-7 team for nationals.  It’s a pretty busy schedule and it only means that Sebastiano will be getting even better.   Having hauled in 59 passes for 1,075 yards and nine TDs last year,  improvement will not be a clearly defined term.   However,  I can guarantee this,  the cussword count from opposing DBs will be on the rise in 2010 when they are facing this polished wide receiver prospect.

View A.J. Sebastiano’s highlight video at Gridironstuds.com,  click here now.


High School Football