Back Prospect Review: September 22nd

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Prospect Review: September 22nd

By Barry Every
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A look at the top recruits from this past Friday.


Travis Blackshear, 5-10/175, WR/ATH (2018) – Blackshear accounted for the majority of Benedictine’s offensive output on just 11 touches. He carried the ball five times for 109 yards and one score while catching six passes for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. No play was more impressive than his 25-yard touchdown catch on fourth and 17. Blackshear snared the ball over the middle of the field, in traffic, and scooted into the end zone. He possesses excellent hands, incredible ball skills and can change directions like refracted light exiting a prism. At this time he has offers from Navy and Stetson as well has a trio of NAIA suitors. On the season he has touched the ball 68 times for 791 yards and 9 scores.

Jaden Hardy, 6-3/280, DE/DT (2020) – Hardy possesses a body type that will cause college coaches to trip over themselves trying to figure out who this young behemoth is. Right now he is playing defensive end on about half of the defensive snaps. Versus Vidalia he recorded three tackles, two TFL’s and one sack. For his size he moves effortlessly while playing with good pad level. He still needs to work on shedding blocks quicker, but all the tools are there for him to one day be considered a national level recruit.

Jakeen Harris, 5-11/185, S (2019) – Hit stick – a term used often by young recruits on their hudl highlights, but seldom am I impressed. Well, if anybody is going to use this urban slang, it should be Harris. On this night he recorded well over a dozen tackles from his hybrid safety/linebacker position. Harris will come up in run support and cut ball carriers in half, he also has the lateral quickness to get make plays near the boundary. At this time his lone offer is Central Michigan, but that will surely change as college recruiters look for defensive difference strikers.

Eric Hicks, 6-3/275, DT (2019) – Having one giant defensive lineman at the GHSA-AA level, that can move, is rare. But two, college coaches should be lining up at Head Coach Danny Britt’s door.  Neither Hardy nor Hicks have any bad body weight and both are very nimble on their feet. Hicks racked up five tackles and two TFL’s in the win over Vidalia (Ga.). If there was an anatomy encyclopedia of the perfect defensive tackle a picture of Hicks would be the reference. He is a natural hip and knee bender that has the frame to play at 300-pounds. But, not all is absolute as Hicks needs to work on playing with violent hands. Something that will come with time.

Rico Powers, 6-2/180, WR/ATH (2020) – Record setting athlete John Wesley Kennedy, III is gone, Tyleek Collins transfers to Atlanta (Ga.) Hapeville Charter. What are the Cadets to do? In walks super sophomore Rico Powers. When one door closes another opens, as Powers has filled the role of star athlete admirably. This young man has excellent length and explosive top end speed. He attacks the ball with his hands and projects as a serious vertical threat for the Cadet offense. Versus Vidalia Powers caught three passes for 23 yards and carried the ball seven times for 54 yards. On the season Powers is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and 19.5 yards per catch.

Sleeper: Nick Iannone, 6-0/190, QB (2018) – Iannone is the quintessential game manager that distributes the ball to his offensive teammates. On the night he completed 14 of 22 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns, though he did uncharacteristically throw a pair of interceptions. What stands out about his skillset is the fact that he throws to spots on the field, he is not a sight passer that wastes time in the backfield waiting for receivers to come open. He displayed nifty feet moving around in the pocket to avoid the rush. He currently possess offers from Army and Davidson, more academic schools should take interest in this signal caller as he boasts a 4.0 GPA and a 1,310 SAT. Oh yeah, He is (31-1) at the helm of the Cadet offense.

Special Note: Jonah Griffin, 5-10/185, S, (2018) – Griffin is out with a minor wrist injury and did not play versus Vidalia. He should be back sometime this season. Griffin has offers from Air Force, Army, Colgate, Furman and Stetson.


Derman Simmons, 5-10/175, S/ATH (2018) – Simmons was the heart and soul of this determined Vidalia Indian squad. He started the game off by returning the opening kickoff 60 yards. He finished the contest with six tackles, one PBU, one INT and 26 yards rushing. He has very good speed, smooth hips and excellent lateral movement during run support. His most impressive play was tracking down Powers on a jet sweep. College coaches at the DII or NAIA level should be looking at him as a ballhawking safety.

Sleeper: Jaylen Clements, 6-1/255, OL/DT (2019) – Clements plays left offensive tackle for the Indians, but projects as either an interior offensive lineman or defensive tackle. He is very athletic and fires off the ball with good pad level. Don’t be fooled by the final score, the Indians were able to move the ball in the run game versus Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine. He has no bad body weight and should be able to play at around 280-pounds. This is a guy that the in-state DII and NAIA schools should put on their recruiting radar.

Tajah Watts, 5-11/205, FB/ILB/DT (2019) – This is one muscular athlete that has calves that look like softballs were surgically implanted. Watts did the dirty work gaining 45yards on 10 carries between the tackles. He also did a great job playing the interior defensive line, despite having the body of an inside linebacker.  Watts packs a lot of power, most of his yards came after contact. He could project as a fullback or possibly an inside linebacker. He is also one of the top wrestlers in his weight class in Georgia.