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’17 RB Chance Bell Can Make a Fool Out of You

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By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Say the name Chance Bell.  It has a ring to it doesn’t it?  That sounds like the kind of football name that you would remember and one so perfect for a running back.  However,  there’s more to the prospect than the name alone. If you’ve had a chance encounter with Bell on the football field,  your ankles are likely still mad at you for it.  Bell is a cut master and we are not talking on two turntables.

Bell was a sophomore sensation for The Burroughs High School Indians in Burbank, California.  Moving from Las Vegas to Burbank,  Bell led Burroughs in rushing with 1,150 yards on just 15o carries (7.5 average).  In so doing,  Bell became the first sophomore in the school’s history to rush for 1,o00 yards. The sophomore prospect will dazzle you with vision, footwork and change of direction.  He flashes the elements that really excite college football coaches.  Bell will remind you of a young Edgerrin James who could slice an opposing defense like a butcher cuts meat.   For defenders it has to seem as though Bell has eyes on the side of his head as he makes moves on defenders that would appear to be outside of his peripheral vision.

Bell’s production will only increase as he adds size, strength and speed to his frame.  I can see him becoming a nightmare and three straight 1,000 yard season would appear to be a formality barring injury.  Watching Bell,  you realize instantly that he has likely been carrying the football for as long as he can remember.  Natural runners like Bell are what record breaking running backs are made of. I do not know the rushing records at Burroughs high school but I am fairly certain Bell will own them by the time he walks across the stage to grab his diploma.

Running back like Chance Bell is a problem for defenders in the open field as he does a solid job of setting up blocks and defenders for his myriad of jukes, fakes and escapes. Burroughs has not been a perennial power in Southern California but I suspect that their respect level will go up with Bell in the backfield toting the mail.  He is definitely one to watch out for in coming seasons as a top prospect in a hot bed of college football talent like Southern Cal.  Opposing teams and their defenders will spend the next two seasons trying to avoid wearing a dunce cap on Bell’s future highlight reels.

Check out Chance Bell’s Sophomore Highlight Video


’16 Athlete Ken Hiteman Is an Underrated Gem

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By: Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

High school football is played all across this great land we call America.  In every corner there are outstanding players that get the job done on game day and likely go unnoticed by college football programs.  No where does that happen more often than in South Florida which is widely regarded as the most fertile recruiting ground in the USA.

The likelihood of being overlooked is high in the sunshine state simply because there is just so much talent.  College football coaches flood the state of Florida at every opportunity in the recruiting calendar to jump in and take a swipe at the score of athletes that are roaming the high school gridirons.  Over in Coral Springs, Florida,  there is an underrated gem at Taravella high school that college coaches would be well served to feast their eyes on.

In the recruiting game,  size is important and Taravella’s Ken Hiteman has it.  The 2016 TE / WR stands at 6’4″ and 220 lbs. and is still growing.  Hiteman has the frame that DI coaches laud over and the athleticism to make him a must see.  The first thing that jumps out at you on his game tape is his blocking ability.  Hiteman is relentless when he gets into defenders and blocks to the whistle.  He is text book in the blocking department and is very skilled at moving the defender off their mark.  He does excellent work with his hands and drives his feet like he pushes a sled to school every morning.  However,  that’s not Hiteman’s only skill.  He plays in a run heavy offensive attack so his other skills can be hidden at times.  However,  Taravella opened up things last season and Hiteman was allowed to put his other talents on display.  His film features quite a few plays with him split out wide and looking like someone who can dominate at the WR position.  Tightends are getting asked to do a whole lot more these days and Hiteman has no problem flexing out,  running a route and beating a defensive back for the football.  He is that matchup up problem that offensive coordinators seek each game day.

This offseason should be a solid one for Hiteman as he gets out and shows off his physical tools and skills. Hiteman was recently added to well regarded South Florida high school writer Larry Blustein’s 2016 Watch List. I am certain that when Spring football comes,  a number of college football programs will be bidding for his services as he will certainly stand out.  The question is,  if you are a college football coach reading this is,  will you be a part of the action?  On your next trip down to the Sunshine State,  put a trip over to J.P. Taravella High School on your to do list.  Hiteman is a D1 prospect that deserves your attention.

Check out Ken Hiteman’s Junior Year Highlights – Click Here


’16 WR Isaiah Collins Plays Big for Flanagan

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By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Before the 2014 season,  Flanagan high school was a relative virgin as it pertained to Florida high school football playoffs.  Only once in the school’s history had it made it into the playoffs (2013) and getting to the state semifinals was stuff that other teams did.  In this season,  one of those other teams became Flanagan.

One of the catalysts for this odyssey into new territory was a high powered offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Stanley.  Stanley racked up record passing yards to a bevy of talented receivers.  One of Stanley’s important targets during the Falcon’s major run in the post season was junior wide receiver Isaiah Collins.  Collins came up big in the 3rd round of the playoffs hauling in a pair of touchdown passes of 49 and 32 yards.  On display was Collins’ cat quickness and ability to find the soft areas of the defense.  To the naked eye route running seems to be something that anyone can do.  However,  those in the know realize that there’s an art to deciphering the workings of a defense designed to stop the offense from having success.  Collins has mastered that art and can find the loophole in any coverage and attack it.

Collins’ has been playing football since he could stand on his own two feet.  Tutored in the game since day one by his uncle,  former University of Miami quarterback Ryan Collins,  the junior wideout has little trouble figuring out the plans of the defense and applying his athletic skill to debunk them.  Collins’ was solid all season long but really saved his best work when it was needed most and that was during Flangan’s playoff run.  As teams became more determined to put the clamps on senior wide receivers Emonee Spence and Robert Foy,  Collins stepped up and pulled more than his own weight.  Ryan Collins is the offensive coordinator for the Falcons and has carefully crafted an offensive attack that shreds the weakness of opposing defenses.  His nephew quickly became a serious problem for teams trying to apply coverage to him after the fact.  Long schooled on the intricacies of effective route running,  Collins has mastered those tools not only through tutelage from his uncle and prolonged film study but through intensive off-season training.  Collins spent a significant part of his off-season working with former University of Miami wide receiver and now coach Kevin Beard.  The off-season work plus the seasoning by the Flanagan coaching staff,  has made Collins a player to watch as the Falcons attempt to defend their district title in 2015.

Standing at 5’7″,  Collins is not the athlete that would catch your eye in the pre-event stretches at an off-season camp but once the action starts,  you can’t help but notice all the important things like releases vs. press at the line of scrimmage,  use of deception in route running and catching the ball away from the body.  Collins is as adept at those factors that are important to a receiver as anyone in his 2016 class.  When the moments get big for Flanagan,   Collins seems to get bigger.

Watch Isaiah Collins Junior Season Highlight Video

2016 Dual Threat QB Eric Walker is A Baller

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By Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @gGridironStuds

There was a time when everyone was looking for the 6’5″ QB who could stand tall in the pocket,  see everything and rifle the football to his playmakers.  In this new era,  teams have learned that if the QB can see everything then everyone can see him.  A stationary target in the pocket may not be what the doctor ordered anymore so the proliferation of highly athletic QBs is in full effect.  Quarterbacks that can escape the pocket and keep a play alive or gut the defense for big yards is what is in demand.  2016 Miami Monsignor Pace High School quarterback is just what the doctor ordered.

Walker is reminiscent of Russell Wilson when you watch him on film.  He’s not a scrambler by trade but has the ability to pull the ball down and hurt the defense.  His initial instincts are to look down field for the open receiver and even move around behind the line of scrimmage to wait for someone to break open.  However,  when the situation seems bleak,  Walker is a great athlete that can not only go get a first down but beat the defense for a long touchdown.  With the recent success of Wilson and other mobile quarterbacks,  colleges have been seeking the services of dual threat quarterbacks not only for run based spread offenses but for both balanced and pass heavy offenses.  When all else fails,  quarterbacks like Walker provide that added dimension that drives defenses crazy.

You will observe Walker on film using his quickness to avoid the rush and buy time for the big play down field.  It’s an absolute killer for defenses that must cover for extended periods of time when Walker is at the controls.  Equally as dangerous are the zone read plays that Walker runs to perfection.  He’s a good learner, who has been well coached to come skinny off of the read when he pulls the football.  He gets North / South through the defense in a hurry and sets up the downfield blocks quite well to crank out big gains.  Walker is certainly one to keep your eye on in this next recruiting cycle as a dual threat quarterback who is also athletic enough to play any skill position on the field.  No doubt,  Walker is a baller.

View Eric Walker’s Junior Year Highlight Video – Click Here


’15 WR Robert “Bam” Foy Has A Name That Sticks

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By: Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

If you grew up in my neighborhood,  every kid had a nickname.  Some matched while a  hell of a lot of them didn’t.  There was the 200 lb. thirteen year old that everyone called “slim” and the two time left back 5th grader who was referred to as “brain”.  2015 Flanagan HS, Florida WR Robert Foy is all about action when he takes to the field for the Falcons so when you hear his nickname “Bam” you can see that 2+2  = 4.

I do not know the origin of Foy’s nickname.  I would suspect that he earned it before his days on the gridiron but at this point in time in his football career it suits him.  Foy is a well put together 5’10” 190 lb. prospect.  Watching him run around on the field,  you are going to quickly think “Steve Smith” after the Baltimore Ravens leading pass catcher.  Whether Foy is running a precision route to spin a defensive back around or he is navigating his way into traffic to make a tough catch for his team to extend a drive, Bam is a word that may come to mind.  If you are a lover of the craft,  you will find enjoyment in watching Foy catch the ball with his hands away from his body.  It’s a trait that is foreign to many high school level receivers but one that seems to be an after-thought for this senior prospect.  Foy’s low center of gravity gets him in and out of his cuts with extreme quickness.  He is equally deadly inside as a slot receiver as he is on the outside vs. top cover corners.  His strength shows up on film releasing off of the line of scrimmage but even more so blocking downfield for ball carriers.  You’ll run back several clips displaying Foy manhandling defenders until they are firmly planted to the turf.

Wide receivers mostly come equipped with the term “diva” but not this guy.  Foy is a football player who’s physical nature and ability to get the job done led to him filling in at both tight end and defensive end when the Falcons were hit with injuries.  Perhaps filling in was not the correct term.  Foy caught touchdown passes from the tight end position and racked up some sacks when called upon to play defensive end.  There’s a strong chance he outplayed the person who was originally in those positions.  Coming into his senior year,  Foy did not have much fanfare.  As is often the case,  some high school prospects are late bloomers.  Foy did not really grow into the physical specimen that he is now until this most recent off season.  Colleges are starting to take notice but recruiting is tough for seniors when it gets to December.  There’s little doubt however,  that the school that eventually ends up landing this solid prospect will continue to learn the true meaning of the word “Bam”.

Click Here To View Robert Foy’s Senior Year Highlights


’15 RB Prospect Daniel Ramos III Will Take You Where You Want to Go

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By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Football is a physical game.  How many times have you heard that?  Even with all of the new rules that have been implemented in recent history,  football,  at it’s core, is a test of manhood and power.  Physical is the word that comes to mind when you pop in the tape of Timberview HS, Texas’ Daniel Ramos III.

I love to see power in the game of football and most coaches do too.  So if you’re a coach or a fan of power,  Ramos’ highlight video will bring you much pleasure.  His quick steps will remind you of Darren Sproles but he is bringing more punch to the defense.  If you want a more accurate comparison you would have to look to former Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner.  Ramos will flash some subtle moves to avoid the big hit from a defender when necessary but when there’s no way out,  he’s going to punish the defender that made the poor choice of trying to tackle him.  You will classify many of his runs as nifty while others will be described as violent.  Ramos also possesses one of the more ruthless stiff arms that I have ever witnessed at the high school level.  Clip after clip will show him doling out the punishment and gobbling up yards like Pac-Man after he has eaten a power pellet.

Lovers of the running game will take a quick liking to Ramos’ style as it suits many different situations.  He can break out on an opponent and turn a game around and he can also close out a game with multiple carries to run out the clock.  Ramos’ strength is also on display on film as well.  Numerous clips will show him dragging would be carriers who think holding onto cloth will be a solution.  It’s a bus ride for some defenders and Ramos is the driver.  Ramos is the kind of running back that makes defensive coordinators say “we have to rally to the ball men”.  Tackling the 2015 prospect is not a job for one man,  maybe not even two.  College coaches should see a prospect in Ramos that can fill many different roles in an offense and give their team an edge.  Ramos led Timberview in rushing this year with 1,054 yards, 14 TDs and a 7 yards per carry average.  If production is what you want,  Ramos can take you there.

Check Out Daniel Ramos III’s Senior Year Highlight Video


Rio Rancho’s Easton Bruere Trying to Pass His Way Into Recruiting Consciousness

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Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

What if I told you I had a high school quarterback that has thrown for over 8,000 yard in his high school career?  What if I told you he has thrown for 90 TDs since he first got under center?  What if I told you he has thrown for 31 TDs with 0 INTs in this his senior season?  What if I told you he threw for over 3,000 yards as a sophomore?  Finally, what if I told you he was the all time leader passer for the state in which he resides?  You would likely say,  he must have a ton of offers, how many does he have?  I would reply, he has none.  You would say, “oh he must be one of these 5’8″ guys playing in some small classification in his state full of church schools.”  I would reply with no, he’s 6’3″ 215 lbs and plays for the #1 team in the largest classification of his state.

Welcome to the life of Easton Bruere and welcome to the life of college football recruiting,  the inexact science.  Sometimes the formula for becoming a recruitable prospect is more complicated than the numbers needed to get a mortgage modification from a big institution lender.  It seems Bruere’s biggest crime may be that he plays football in the state of New Mexico, not known for being a recruiting hot bed in the landscape.  Bruere’s accomplishments have gone largely overlooked in the recruiting community.  His height, frame and will to succeed should not however.  Bruere has led his Rio Rancho high school team to an 8-0 record thus far on the season and all but one opponent have failed to come within three TDs of beating the Rams.  Opponents have found it next to impossible to stop Bruere and the Rams’ offense from strolling up and down the field on Friday Nights.  They are averaging 47 points per game and have scored 40 plus in seven of their eight contests.  Most anywhere else in the country,  such results would garner this QB some major college attention.  This has not been the case for Bruere who reports some interest from FBS and FCS schools.

The major problem for Bruere seems to be location as not many budgets are going to support trips to New Mexico where the thought is that there are only going to be a handful of prospects.  This prevents prospects from getting a full look from top college football programs.  History has shown,  however,  that programs willing to turn over every rock to find talent usually find themselves raising up a big trophy at the end of their seasons.  With Bruere assaulting the New Mexico record books with each passing game,  hopefully more and more colleges get to kicking over rocks in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.  They may just find a rattle snake named Easton Bruere ready to be a major asset to their program.

Check Out Easton Bruere’s Mid-Season Highlight Vid on Hudl – Click Here


’14 CB Asad Shabazz Looking for Golden Opportunity

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By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Signing days come and go every year and with it come broken dreams for many high school football players.  This virtual end of the line can mean the end of the road for high school football players who had hoped to sign with a college football program and extend their careers.  For others like Asad Shabazz,  not signing with a university was just a minor hiccup in the process.

Shabazz has been a victim of circumstance, by and large, in his football playing days.  A trek through three different high schools and an unfortunate injury his senior year left the ambitious prospect with few prospects when it came to obtaining a college football scholarship.  Where most just let it go,  Shabazz chose the route of some to their university dreams by way of prep school.  For the most part,  prep school is a destination for players who didn’t qualify academically out of high school.  This was not the case for Shabazz who chose this route simply because he did not have film, a reputation or recruiting momentum when signing day came his senior year.  With that being the case,  he took his talents to Georgia Prep Sports Academy in Atlanta, GA.

Fortunately for Shabazz he had finally found a situation he could thrive in and display his talents.  Common to the the prep school game,  the coaching staff is more focused on developing a large amount of players as opposed to wins and losses.  So it isn’t often that you will find a ton of highlights for an athlete.  However,  Shabazz’s film displays the tools of the cornerback position that you like.  First off at 5’11” 185,  Shabazz has a solid frame for the position in college.  On quick display are his fast feet and hustle to the football.  He also displays tight coverage and awareness in his movements.  Any savvy defensive back coach can pick out the elements that make for a solid cornerback.  Shabazz displays a combination of good coaching and hard work along the way.  He gets right in the hip of receivers taking off down the field and close on a thrown football in a nano-second.

You have to admire his tenacity and perseverance to continue his goal of playing college football through the obstacles that have been thrown his way.  This mentality is displayed in the clips you see on his highlight video.  He is both intense and tenacious.  The only thing needed now for Shabazz to realize his full potential is an opportunity and with that,  one can be fairly certain that he will make golden use of it.

View Asad Shabazz’s 2014 Highlight Video – Click Here


’17 RB Prospect Jahryn Bailey Is Hard to Hold

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By: Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Success as a running back requires a number important elements.  Vision, quick feet, balance, speed, toughness and more all go into a successful career carrying the pigskin.  It very well may be the most demanding position in the sport and perhaps all of sports.  2017 Lennard High School running back Jahryn Bailey has the potential to be all of those things.

The sophomore running back made his mark in 2014 rushing for 473 yards and five touchdowns for the Longhorns.  His hardcore brand of running was a chain mover and set the the tone often in games for Lennard. You’ll enjoy watching his quick feet as he navigates through traffic avoiding the impending doom all around him.  Bailey’s tough running style combined with the quick feet action will conjure up memories of former Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis who once rushed for 2006 yards in a season.  Bailey has a proto-typical running back build (5’10” 200 lbs) that allows him to hide behind blockers through the first level and then power through would be tacklers at the next level and into the secondary.

Bailey’s future is bright and one can fully expect with enough carries,  he’s a thousand yard rusher in his junior and senior seasons.  He is certainly, with his skill set, poised to take the Tampa area by storm in 2015 and 16.  This offseason,  Bailey will be a prospect to watch as colleges are looking for the next running back that will bring a tough man identity to their offense.  Another offseason of growing and lifting and we are looking at a potential beast on the West Coast of Florida.  The potential is dripping from the clips on his highlight video.  For now,  defenders are finding it hard to hold onto Bailey,  my guess is that college football coaches will be the next one’s trying to get a hold of this talented 2017 prospect.

Click here to view Jahryn Bailey’s Sophomore Year Highlights


’18 Freshman FS Hunter Goetz is Appropriately Named

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’18 DB Hunter Goetz

By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Some times a name just fits like a young man named Colt playing for a team in Texas or a player named Gunnar being the quarterback for a major division I football team.  If you’ve watched 2018 freshman free safety Hunter Goetz patrol the deep middle of the Chaminade defense then you know the name fits the action.

To start as a freshman on varsity,  you have to be doing something right and Hunter Goetz does a whole lot of that.  Not your typical freshman,  Goetz seeks out the opposing ball carriers with intensity and puts an end to their hopes.  His highlight tape is a collage of stopped runs, fearless encounters and extinguished big plays.  Goetz takes his last line of defense responsibilities very seriously and will playa hate on a momentum turning offensive play with the best of them.  He is equally effective as the lone wolf 15 to 20 yards deep as he is at linebacker depth.  This is not a skill that many safeties have and certainly a skill rarely found in freshman competitors who are usually trying to find their mark on a JV team.

Standing 6’1″ already,  Goetz is for sure a prospect to watch going forward.  He already possesses a frame that catches the eye of college scouts to go along with the fearlessness, IQ and athleticism that top programs covet. If you are a recruiter putting together a 2018 watch list,  you would do well to put Goetz’s name near the top.  He has the pedigree (Father Chris played several years in the NFL and brother Tyler is a standout on Chaminade at multiple positions).  He has been groomed from a young age to affect football games with his skilled play and that ability has only increased with age.  It will be interesting to watch his development for the next three season as he grows physically and mentally.  There’s no doubt that as time wears on,  a free safety named Hunter will be one that the opposition can’t afford to miss.

Watch Hunter Goetz’s Freshman Highlight Video – Click Here


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