The sun was out and the wind calmed a little when the second east practice was held today. Scout…
USAAAB East Monday AM Notebook
Believe The Hype Scout.com has McKees Rocks (Pa.) Sto-Rox quarterback Paul Jones ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the country, despite how other services had him rated lower. Well if Monday morning's practice is a sign of things to come, expect others to follow suit. Jones displayed that rocket arm that we have bragged about, but he also showed pinpoint accuracy, which at times has been his weakness. Physically, Jones looks 15-pounds lighter than he did during the season and he is moving around very well. The other East signal callers didn't fare nearly as well as they collectively struggled. Iowa quarterback A.J. Derby struggled with his new team. The Ride winner Cole Marcoux struggled as did West Virginia commit Barry Brunetti. The wind was very strong, Jones seemed to be the only quarterback that didn't struggle with it. Prater and Company USC bound Kyle Prater continues to show that he could be the best wide receiver in the country. Prater can't be covered one on one, I don't care who the defensive back is it isn't happening. If he goes up in the air, he is coming down with it. Christian Green looked very good. His route running was surprisingly good for a quarterback. He is very fast and hits the seam like lightning. Ivan McCartney may have been the second best looking receiver on the team. He uses his hands well and catches everything out in front of him. Shakim Phillips really struggled in the morning session. He couldn't get off the line of scrimmage against Cullen Christian and he dropped a number of passes. Markeith Ambles runs solid routes, but didn't seem to have the swagger that some of the other top guys have. Musical Chairs With no true center on the team it was center by committee. Five-star tackle Robert Crisp and three-star guard Arie Kouandjio were rotating at center. Ohio native Matt James was impressive at tackle. Brandon Linder is impressive physically, but struggled at times with the power rush of players like Sharrif Floyd. Floyd Held Court Pennsylvania product Shariff Floyd basically did anything he wanted against some of the best offensive linemen in the nation. He is such a gifted athlete that he is very fun just to watch. He has the bulrush from hell that several of his teammates felt up close and personally. South Carolina pledge Kelcy Quarles seemed to really struggle after gaining so much weight in the past year. He really needs to get quicker off the snap. Martin Can Play Backer At 6-foot-4 and 240-pounds it is easy to assume that Chris Martin will be a defensive end, but if he has anything to say about it, it may not be a done deal. Martin looked very good in coverage and he looks like he picks up on things easily. Notre Dame commit Blake Lueders was the most impressive physical specimen on the East squad. He dominated in every facet of the game, except in coverage where he struggled. Mike Hull is very consistent and always in the right position. Seems like a very coachable kid and is moving as good as I have seen him. Zach Zwinak struggled in the morning. In my opinion he is a fullback who is better going straight ahead. He looks a little stiff to have to play in traffic at linebacker. Allen The Best Alabama commit Keenan Allen was the most impressive player of the morning session. He picked off three passes including two that went to the house. He may be the best safety I have seen in person. Matt Elam the top safety in the rankings made some plays late and always seems to be wherever the ball is at. Cullen Christian played just like he always does boring. Before anyone gets mad, read on. He is boring because he locks everyone down…literally. Receivers struggle to get any separation from him. He got beat one time by Kyle Prater, but Christian stayed with him stride for stride, but the 6-foot-5 Prater was too tall. Glenville product Christian Bryant made several big plays and plays the game with a lot of moxy. Don't Forget Special Teams St. Thomas Aquinas kicker Michael Palardy was booming the ball into the end zone most of the time. It is too early to tell how strong his leg is due to the wind, but he drives it. Michigan commit Will Hagerup was impressive and probably one of the best punters I have seen in my six years covering the game. Quote of the Day "Damn son, you bring the lumber" --Chris Martin to fellow linebacker Blake Lueders. Morning MVP Keenan Allen narrowly edged out Paul Jones with his third interception as practice was coming to a conclusion. The five-star safety showed why he is a five-star. Allen showed unreal closing speed and the desire to be special.
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