The Scout.com national recruiting analysts answered questions about the
2011 season in a feature called "The Scout Team". Each day this week, we'll look at the topics on hand. The
national analysts include Scott Kennedy (Director of Scouting), Chad Simmons (South), Allen Trieu (Midwest), Greg Powers (Midlands), Bob Lichtenfels (East) and Brandon Huffman (West).
- Who is the one guy from your region who’s emerged into a Scout 300
prospect, or right on the cusp, now that the season is winding down?
(Director of Scouting):
LSU commit Davante' Bourque is one of those guys for me. He was listed as a wide receiver, and we took a look at him, and I remember thinking the same thing when I saw Chris Polk a few years ago, who signed with Washington, "Wide Receiver? This is one of the best running backs I've seen this year." He's outstanding with the ball in his hands and has running back size.
Two guys have really emerged this season in the South and they are Francis Kallon and Ereck Flowers. Kallon has never played football before and he has only lived in the United States for a couple of years after spending most of his childhood in England. He plays defensive end with a lot of energy, he has a great frame (6-5/241), and he is picking things up very quickly. Flowers is a big offensive tackle with a lot of upside out of Miami, Fla. He transferred from Dr. Krop over to Norland, and he has taken off since then. Kallon is committed to Georgia Tech and Flowers is committed to Miami, so they could be going head to head in the trenches in the future.
Bob Lichtenfels (East):
Upper Saint Clair (Pa.) outisde linebacker Dakota Conwell has had a tremendous senior season and he played himself into the Top 300. He has shown that he is one of the top players in the state and in the country. Washington (D.C.) Edison-Friendship running back Albert Reid has had a fantastic season. We originally projected him as a defensive back, but quickly changed our minds after seeing him perform in person. Shaler
(Pa.) tight end/linebacker J.P. Holtz also earned Top 300 status with a standout
senior season. He is a force on both sides of the ball. He started the season at
tight end, but due to injuries he moved back to running back and led his team
into the playoffs.
Lake Travis star tight end Griffin Gilbert (6’5, 200) stood out at the Gridiron Kings event held at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and has not looked back. The biggest question about him was whether or not he was big enough enough physically to be a true tight end prospect. He may not have the ideal body to take on the pounding from Big 12 level defensive ends, but he may be even more valuable than that as he creates such mismatches flexed out. He is too big and too fast for linebackers to cover and that freakish athleticism also allows him to abuse safeties and that is why he was one of the highest risers in the most recent rankings release on Scout.com.
We had three new additions to the Scout300, but I think the biggest jump was
Najee Murray, an Ohio State commit from Steubenville. The other two that jumped
in (A.J. Williams and Jamal Lyles), were on the cusp all along, but Murray
really made a big leap. His junior film was excellent, but we didn't have our
hands on it until a little later in the summer. We had seen him at the Ohio
State camp and loved him there, and obviously, the Buckeyes did too, as they
offered him there. Then, the couple times our team has seen him in person this
year, he has been really impressive, including a super performance in a tough
playoff loss to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. He's a physical kid, but he can run
and cover well enough to be a corner in college.
In the year of the lineman out West, it's no surprise that it's another lineman
who has put himself right on the verge of the Scout 300 and that's Highlands
Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian lineman Alex Kozan. Kozan has been on the
verge all year but this season has made his case loud and clear and has
positioned himself to join that group. A tackle by trade, Kozan projects
to play inside in college and he's an excellent run blocker. It's quite
possibly the best year ever for linemen in the state of Colorado, with three
guys already in the Scout 300 from the Rocky Mountain State, and Kozan is likely
to become the fourth member of that crew.