Scout: Randy Taylor
This is the seventh in my series of reports that will run throughout the football season. Each week, I'll report on the top prospects from the high school and junior college games I attend.
As a part of my job as a scout, I like to see prospects in person to check body type, confirm height and weight and get an overall feel for the player, i.e. how he carries himself, is he a tough kid, can he move his feet, etc.
My notes on the top prospects from these games will be reported here for you to learn more about some of the special players in California.
Friday, October 13, 2006 – Rancho Verde HS vs. Canyon Springs HS
*Brandon Thigpen – Safety, 6-3 185, Rancho Verde HS, Senior
Thigpen is a guy with a terrific upside. He's an athlete with long arms and is going to get big, in my opinion. Brandon hasn't scratched the surface of his ability as a safety - he's still raw but he will soon. He has good feet and displays the fluidness and athleticism to play in space and be a good pass defender. The young man will also hit you.
When I say he has an upside, it's because he has a ways to go with footwork and needs more reps. This will help him improve his run force angles, play with more instincts and reading offenses. He doesn't have great top end speed at this time, however, I think he'll get bigger, stronger and faster at the next level.
As the recruiting cycle moves on, Brandon will become more of a factor as teams see his potential.
*Deshawn Grayson – Running Back, 5-11 190, Rancho Verde HS, Junior
Deshawn didn't play. He tore his ACL and is having surgery this month but says he'll be ready for the Scout.com spring combine. Grayson is being touted as a top back in the area.
*Tyron Smith – Offensive Tackle/Defensive End, 6-5 261, Rancho Verde HS, Junior
This guy has an NFL body with great room to grow. He has very long arms and a good frame. Tyron moves his fee and is athletic. He has no technique right now but that will come. What's impressive is the kids upside.
Smith could be the elusive left tackle or even a strong side defensive end. I'm sure if schools haven't thought of offering this kid yet, they will soon.
*Chris Harris – Offensive Guard, 6-4 320, Canyon Springs HS, Senior
Chris is a long armed, good looking lineman. He's a thick kid with pretty good feet and has a good motor. Harris plays tackle for Canyon Springs but projects to a guard at the next level. I don't think he has the quickness to play on the edge. Harris is a pretty good athlete and should be able to pull from a guard spot, as well, as block at the second level. His recruiting stock will increase as more schools get to see him this fall.
Friday, October 13, 2006 – Chaffey HS vs. Colony HS
*Omar Bolden – Safety/Running Back, 5-10 185, Colony HS, Senior
Omar is an explosive kid. He has very good speed and has a burst. He's a one-cut back; he isn't going to break your ankles with his shake but will make the initial cut. Then he has the ability to run by most defenses.
What I see him as, is a safety. Bolden isn't huge, by some safety standards, but he will hit and can play inside out against the run. He has coverage skills, enough to play the slot receiver and has very good range to break on the ball from anywhere on the field. What I didn't see were the hips to be able to turn and run with the receiver.
Omar is a top Division 1 prospect but has been working on getting his grades up and preparing for the tests. He looks like he has a chance to make it and will be a big get for some team late.
Saturday, October 14, 2006 – Ventura College vs. Compton College
*Gerald Parker – Offensive Tackle, 6-6 275, Compton College, Sophomore
Gerald has the body, arm length and athleticism to be a very good prospect. If he can redshirt he's much more than a depth O lineman. He still needs to put on good weight and gain strength to play at the next level. Parker is a raw kid. His technique isn't very good but he can run, (he's covering punts), bend his knees and has good feet. Right now, he catches the defender at times or reaches and gets off balance. For this kid to be a top player, it's all about technique and strength. He needs to get more disciplined on the field and in the weight room. Gerald is a top D1 prospect and looks the part.
Saturday, October 14, 2006 – West LA College vs. Moorpark College
*Willie Williams – Defensive End/Linebacker, 6-3 230, West LA College, Sophomore
Willie is a future NFL guy, if he takes care of business, on and off the field. The transfer from the University of Miami is what a player should look like. He's just recently become eligible and played his first game against Moorpark College.
Williams is a big time prospect! He looks a little rusty but has the burst, quickness and speed to be an impact player immediately. He's a natural edge guy that understands rush angles, does a nice job of flattening the corner to the ball and uses his hands. He also plays with leverage and explodes to the QB. If you get a chance, go watch him play. It's worth it.