Ask The Scouts

Movers and shakers highlight this week's edition of Ask The Scouts as we find out who has impressed on the field thus far this season.

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Ask The Scouts
Now that the updated fall regional rankings are out, what player or players made the biggest move in your region?

Jamie Newberg - National: The biggest move had to be OL/DL Kiante Tripp from Atlanta, Georgia. He went from being out of the original National 100 to being ranked No. 51. Tripp is good enough to play on either side of the ball and has great size and quickness for a big man.

Scott Kennedy - South: Two linemen that have a chance to end up Top 15 in the South are Alabama's Deantwan Whitehead and Georgia's Kiante

Deantwan Whitehead
Tripp. Whitehead is a player that missed most of his junior season with an injury, but physically he is one of the most impressive players in the south. We went to see him in week one, and his football skills are on par with his physical ability. He has a tremendous first step and has an NFL frame.

I did a story on Kiante Tripp after week one that called him the best two way lineman in the south. There may be a better offensive lineman, and there may be a better defensive lineman, but there is no player in the south that plays both sides of the ball better than he does. He made a commitment to Georgia last weekend, and he is going to get his first shot on the defensive line at Georgia. He can be an All-American offensive tackle as well.

Chris Pool - Midwest: Ohio's Tyler Moeller made the biggest jump. Moeller sits at No. 24 and he's been given a four-star rating. rris, Ill., tight

Tyler Moeller
end Jamie Cumbie (No. 24) was extremely impressive in his opener last week. I originally felt that Cumbie would play defensive end for Clemson but he showed big play ability at tight end and there's no doubt that he could be a go-to-guy for the Tigers in the near future.

Another prospect who made a huge leap in September is Wisconsin wide receiver Lance Kendricks (No. 14). The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, from Milwaukee (King) is explosive and arguably the best wide-out in the Midwest. LSU, UCLA, Arkansas and host of Big Ten schools have already offered Kendricks a scholarship.

There are several first timers in the Midwest "Hot 100". Perry Dorrestein (No. 100) has several MAC offers but schools such as Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois and Northwestern could offer during the season.

Bob Lichtenfels - East: One of the players in my region who has not really affected the rankings as of yet, but he may very soon is Pittsburgh (Pa.) Wide receiver

Wes Lyons
Wes Lyons. At 6-foot-6, 205-pounds, Lyons has made an impression on me this season. I wasn't really high on him after his junior season, but he put on about 15-pounds and is proving to be a much more physical pass-catcher. He is the ultimate red-zone weapon in high school football.

Chris Fetters - West: To be honest, there weren't a ton of movers and less 'big' movers. Probably the one that made the biggest jump was Terrence Austin, who we moved above Jamere Holland - the fastest player on the west coast. He's also a little smaller than Holland, but he is a much better receiver. On the line, UCLA commit Sean Sheller made the biggest jump. We feel he's the best offensive lineman in California and third in the west behind Steve Schilling and Micah Kia.


Two weeks into the college football season, there are some eye-opening performances on the field. What player or team has been the biggest surprise that you have seen thus far?

Allen Wallace - National: The two teams that have surprised me the most are Clemson and Notre Dame.

We'll find out if Clemson is for real this Saturday when they take on an angry Miami team in Death Valley. But knocking off Texas A&M to kick off the season was at least a mild surprise and new offensive coordinator Rob Spence has started off well with the Tigers. Some thought Clemson might struggle to win five games this year. If Tommy Bowden can win one of his next two games (Miami and Boston College), both of which are at home, he got a nice shot at getting back into a good bowl.


Charlie Weis has caused a stir
I wasn't surprised Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh. That was a revenge game and both programs were adjusting to new coaches. But I never envisioned a blow-out, which said more about the Panthers, one of this year's most disappointing teams. I didn't, however, think the Irish had a good shot at winning in Ann Arbor. They've already got their swagger back and Charlie Weis' offensive planning has made them a lot more threatening and unpredictable. Players like QB Brady Quinn and DE Victor Abiamiri have obviously taken to the change. Future contests with Purdue, USC and Tennessee will show us just how far this new regime is prepared to go.

Newberg: Notre Dame has to be the biggest surprise to me as a team. They won two games on the road convincingly. Is this the same team as last season that didn't show any offense whatsoever? It shows one thing for sure, Charlie Weis is an amazing coach. It's only two games but wow, what improvement in South Bend. I can't wait to see the football chess match between Weis and USC's Pete Carroll.


Tommy Bowden happy with 2-0 record
Miller Safrit - East: Clemson is a team that many felt had a tough road ahead of it, but with two underdog wins later, the Tigers are winning the tight games. With room to improve with just some more playing time under a new offensive scheme, Clemson has a high ceiling this year though a big matchup looms this weekend with Miami.

Fetters: I think Notre Dame has been the big surprise team early. Charlie Weis has the Irish faithful already believing they are invincible two weeks into the 2005 season, an impressive feat for a coach that had no collegiate or pro head coaching experience going into this year. The player that really stood out for me out of the first two weekends of games I saw was Elvis Dumervil from Louisville. His effort against Kentucky (7 TFL, 6 sacks) was nothing short of phenomenal.

Lichtenfels: From a team prospective I would say Notre Dame and Pittsburgh and for very opposite reasons. Charlie Weis has got the Fighting Irish looking like the Irish of old. He seems to have had a very positive impact on Brady

Freshman Williams had four catches for 60 yards last weekend
Quinn. Pittsburgh was a team that had very high expectations coming into the season and have lost their first two games. It will be very interesting to see if they recover against that Blackshirt defense of Nebraska. Keep an eye on Penn State, the Big Ten may sleep on them, but if that offense can maintain and with their defense the powers that be in the Big Ten could get a surprise.

Another impressive aspect of the college football season is the number of true freshmen that are making an impact this early. In my region alone Derrick Williams and Justin King at Penn State, Larod Stephens-Howling at Pittsburgh. Courtney Greene and Ray Rice at Rutgers. Jason Gwaltney, Steve Slaton, and Pat McAfee at West Virginia, Terrill Byrd, Connor Barwin, and Mike Mickens at Cincinnati have all made an impact in their first season.

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