Hey all, I've had a pretty slow week (and no life), so I've been watching youtube highlight videos of all of Alabama's future football commitments. Take it with a grain of salt, as they are highlight videos, so I only see the good plays. Its also all from the players' junior years, so lots of things can change in a high-schooler in a year. I was going to embed youtube videos for each of the players, but this post-creating page and I got into a bit of an argument, so now I'm giving it the silent treatment. Obviously, I'm more mature than a computer by default.
Anyway, I just took some shorthanded notes and initial impressions, and I did not look at the players' sizes until afterward, so that I didn't watch the videos with any bias and pigeon-holing players to a stereotype based on their size. Remember, everything said here is completely accurate. I'm that good. Without further ado:
1) Shawn Burgess-Becker: WR, S- High Points the ball exceptionally well. Good body control in the air, and plays bigger than his size. As a safety, lays ferocious hits. Most interceptions are results of bad throws. Smooth athlete, but nothing special. Kind of reminds me of Clinton-Dix at safety, but more as a SS than a FS. No highlights at a nickle position. Overall a player that thrives on physicality.
2 Montrell Custis: S, CB lined up as a deep safety and as a nickleback. Solid tackler, normally goes low though. Very quick change of direction abilities, and a sticky man corner. Very impressive press technique, but can get a bit grabby. More impressive one-on-one with WR’s than playing off or single high safety
3) Minkah Fitzpatrick: CB, S, WR, RB, KR- Highlights were a conglomeration of positions, so couldn't gather much of an opinion on any. Looks to have long limbs. Smooth, striding runner. Reminds me of Dee Milliner when he runs. Elusive with the ball, but also got tripped easily.
4) Deionte Thompson: S,WR- Definitely a safety. Good anticipation and baiting QB’s in zone coverage. Strikes receivers, but poor form. Fast, but goofy looking running style, and rounds any cuts. All in all not very impressed
5) Christian Bell: DE- only video showed only three plays. edge rusher.
6) Mehki Brown: DE, OLB- Big, long, powerful, explosive. Very impressive swim move and bull rush from the outside. Throws blockers out of his way effortlessly. Also surprisingly good at breaking down in space and making a play. Good hand strength, made a few tackles with one hand. Also an impressive tight end, both blocking and receiving. Looks like what we wanted Adrian Hubbard to be.
7) Anfernee Jennings: DE, DT- Mostly played inside. With some added size, will be a solid, two-gapping 5-tech End in our 3-4 defense. Tackles like a DT… Just falls on the guy. Kind of clumsy seeming. Surprisingly good with the ball in his hands though.
8) Jonathan Ledbetter: No highlights
9) T.D. Moton: DT- Easily the biggest guy on the field. Always the fastest D-lineman off of the snap. Very impressive use of hands and technique when fighting blocks, and never stops churning his feet. Not all that fast, but showed a lot of effort in chasing multiple plays way down the field. Best as a 1-gap penetrator, but also showed strength to fight double teams and be a 2-gap type player. Very underrated in my opinion. We’re gonna like him.
10) Keaton Anderson: LB- Prototypical WILL linebacker for a Tampa 2 type defense. Not sure where he’ll fit with Saban’s typical 3-4 scheme though. Good at chasing down plays laterally and reacting in zone coverage. Very fast for a linebacker. Wrap up tackler. Didn't show anything regarding fighting off blocks, but was very effective in snuffing out screen and option type plays.
11) Leo Lewis: LB- All around great player. Showed some of anything you could ask for in a linebacker. Rushed from the edge, blitzed up the middle. Played zone pass defense. Played the run extremely well. Blew past anyone attempting to block him. Decapitated a couple of receivers on slant routes. Times blitzes like Troy Polamalu. Plays with energy and fire. We’re gonna like him, a lot.
12) Lester Cotton: OL- No videos
13) Richie Pettibon: OT- No videos
14) Dallas Warmack: OG- No videos
15) Blake Barnett: QB- Interesting prospect. Is way faster than he looks. Incredible balance. Moves well in the pocket, and extends plays. Made quite a few Houdini scrambles only to reset and throw at the last second to a receiver deep on the sideline that looked eerily like something Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks would do. Never saw him throw off his back foot, and deep balls were gorgeous, they never died out. Doesn’t seem to put much float on routes like fades and posts over the linebackers though. Also has a longer windup… Kind of Tebow-esque.
16) Desherrius Flowers: RB- Fluid runner. Excellent vision, seems to base his entire runs off of where his blockers are. Subtle jukes, head fakes, and jump cuts keep defenders from ever getting a direct hit on him. Wastes zero steps in making cuts. Has a chopping stiff arm that keeps defenders from arm tackling and wrapping up. Showed good power. Balance is decent, but nothing like a Trent Richardson. Good but not great pure speed. Reminds me most of LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles. Probably my favorite Alabama RB recruit out of high school since Richardson (sorry guys, still not sold on Henry).
17) Hale Henteges: TE- No videos
18) Daylon Charlot: WR- I’m excited about this guy. Doesn't look all that fast or physically impressive, but has some of the best body control I’ve ever seen. Like a cat, always lands on his feet. Makes insane catches over defenders, plucking the ball out of their grasp, and then still lands on his feet and keeps going. Hard to tackle because he just doesn’t fall down. Didn’t see too much out of route running. Mostly deep routes.
19) Calvin Ridley: WR, DB- Nickname is "Showtime," and he lives up to it. Everything he does is exciting. Insanely explosive. Will stop moving at weird times to get a defender off balance, and then accelerate to full speed instantly. Makes ALL of his catches look acrobatic. Didn't see much as a route runner, but did show one extremely impressive explosion technique to beat a press coverage. Opportunistic player on defense, as a returner, and as a runner with the ball in his hands. Reminds me of Percy Harvin, but not quite as much pure speed. Not sure what his role will be, but he's got insane potential. And then there is that ridiculous one-handed catch this week.Feedback and any disagreements are appreciated! The more discussion, the better!
See you in Tuscaloosa! Roll Tide!