West Forsyth vs. Gainesville
Gainesville, Georgia- Bobby Gruhn Field at City Park Stadium is one of the most aesthetic football venues in Georgia. The fans could not have asked for a better evening as the temperatures dipped below 80 degrees thanks to the feeder bands of Hurricane Isaac. Double digit sports writers/recruiting analyst descended on the city of Gainesville, GA to watch highly touted Red Elephant signal caller DeShaun Watson. But in the end it was the opportunistic Wolverine defense that would steal the show.
Watson looked as good as his billing on the first Gainesville drive as he complete all four attempts for 69 yards and a score in less than two minutes. Middle Tennessee State commit AJ Erdely would then counter with a drive which culminated in a 19-yard touchdown pass knotting the score at seven with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
Watson again took the Elephant by the horns and capped a scoring drive with a two yard jaunt with 11:45 left in the second quarter. After a successful two-point conversion Gainesville led 15 top 7. West Forsyth would then match that score with a field goal set up by a long kickoff return by senior athlete Jake Wieczorek. The Wolverine defense would then hunker down picking off Watson twice taking a 32 to 15 lead into the locker room at the half.
The third quarter would become a battle of field position as the Wolverines used their signature Wing-T offense to eat up huge chunks of clock. West Forsyth also gained their third pick of the evening in the third segment.
Watson and the Red Elephants were not done as they made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter scoring twice with less than six minutes to go in the game making the score 32 to 30. It all came down to West Forsyth falling on an onside kick with just under seven seconds to go to preserve the road victory.
Mohamed Camara, LB, 6-2/190, West Forsyth, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: My count credited Camara being in on seven tackles. No tackle was bigger than his third and goal stop from the six in the fourth quarter on Gainesville, GA superstar DeShaun Watson.
Assets: Camara physically fits the bill of a hybrid safety/linebacker. He is most likely shorter than listed but he is a bit thicker than advertised. He possesses long arms, wide shoulders, thin waist, and very muscular legs. His biggest asset is his ability to run sideline to sideline. Camara plays with a great attitude and is one of the leaders on the field.
Development: As a defensive back he will need to work on getting his hips around so he can run stride for stride with receivers. Adding about 15 pounds of muscle mass will also help him become a more dominant force in the running game.
Recruiting: Committed to South Carolina
AJ Erdely*, QB, 6-3/205, West Forsyth, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: This signal caller finished the evening 13 of 21 for 114 yards and one touchdown toss while also rushing for 66 yards and a score.
Assets: Erdely has excellent overall size for a DI quarterback and an arm strong enough to make most any throw. He also is adept at taking snaps under center and in the shotgun while also possessing the athleticism to gain unscripted yards with his feet. But what really stands out about this signal caller is his ability to keep his eyes downfield when fleeing the pocket never giving up on his receivers. Overall he does a great job of managing a game.
Development: He needs to work on not getting visibly down on himself. Maintain you're cool even when things don't transpire favorably during the game. Erdely is a physical runner but he will need to protect himself better running the ball at the next level.
Recruiting: Committed to MTSU
Andrew Marshall*, OC, 6-4, 265, West Forsyth, GA (2014)
Stats/Highlights: Helped pave the way for 239 yards rushing on the evening.
Assets: Marshall has no bad body weight which is incredible for a young offensive lineman. He has long arms and a wide powerbase ideal for pass blocking and getting to the second level. His ability to get down field and block linebackers and defensive backs is really what sets him apart from other young offensive lineman. He also did a solid job snapping the ball in the shotgun and under center. His overall size also lends itself to cross training at other offensive line positions.
Development: He will need to add some upper body strength which will allow him to physically dominate interior defensive lineman. I would also like to see him work on running his feet after he is engaged with a defender.
Recruiting: Early verbal offers from Auburn and South Carolina
Stats/Highlights: Wieczorek rushed for 98 yards and a score while also returning a kick to the Gainesville 17 yard line which to set up a field goal. He also had a couple catches on the night.
Assets: This all-purpose back has ability to gain yards with his feet and his hands. He is also a superior student that academically could get into any school in the country. Wieczorek showed good speed on kickoff returns and the hands to project as a slot receiver. The bottom line is this athlete is very versatile and could do several things on the football field at the next level.
Development: He may best project as a receiver and kick returner as his build is a bit lean for running back. Wieczorek needs to get senior film up as soon as possible so academic schools from around the country can see what he can do. Coach Hepler said that Wieczorek is just a few points short of a perfect SAT score on the Math/Verbal.
Recruiting: He is receiving strong interest from FCS schools and military academies
Keontray Harrison, WR, 5-8, 165, Gainesville, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Harrison was the outlet receiver for Watson catching seven passes for 81 yards.
Assets: Harrison may not be the biggest receiver but he proved to be dangerous in space. He knows how to find the holes in the defense and then uses his soft hands to snag the ball out of the air. He is also able to get yards after the catch using his superior change of direction.
Development: Overall size is probably is the area that may be holding most college coaches back. If he can add about ten more pounds while maintaining his overall athleticism he could end up a solid slot receiver at the FCS or DII level in my opinion.
Recruiting: Most likely a I-AA Slot receiver
Caleb Hayman, WR/TE, 6-1/190, Gainesville, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Hayman had a quiet night with two catches for 30 yards.
Assets: Hayman may actually be bigger than listed as he looks like the perfect hybrid tight end/receiver body. He has the size to bounce off defenders in order to create space and the long arms to outreach defensive backs for jump balls. His size will also allow him to be a factor run blocking at the next level.
Development: Hayman could work on improving his top end speed which will help him become a vertical threat in the passing game.
Recruiting: Committed to South Alabama
Fred Payne, DB, 5-11/185, Gainesville, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Payne may have been the most active Red Elephant defender nearing double digits in total tackles.
Assets: Payne was at his best coming up in run support and getting a piece of the ball carrier. He is definitely not afraid to put a hat on the ball carrier. His toughness was evident because most of his stops were in or near the tackle box amongst bigger athletes. Only one pass was completed over 15 yards versus the Red Elephant defense and Payne is the main reason as he did not allow receivers to get behind him.
Development: Physically he is a tweener safety/cornerback. He may not quite have the hips to become a DI corner and he may lack the size that college coaches desire in a safety. Outside of that he was clearly the top defender in my opinion for Gainesville and I would not be surprised if he does end up with an FBS offer.
Recruiting: Committed to Western Carolina
DeShaun Watson, QB, 6-3/190, Gainesville, GA (2014)
Stats/Highlights: Watson finished the night 27 of 40 for 305 yards and two touchdown passes while also rushing for 50 yards and two scores. Unfortunately he also threw four picks on the night.
Assets: Watson was the main reason why almost every recruiting service in the country was on hand to watch this game. He has good height, excellent overall body structure, and a very live arm. He is also light enough on his feet to avoid the sack while having the innate ability to make unscripted yards with his feet. The bottom line is Watson has a ton of potential as a quarterback. If he continues to strive to be the best while honing his skills he will definitely be considered one of the top five signal callers in the class of 2014.
Development: He has a tendency to throw flat footed especially on the shorter passes to the boundary. Watson must be consistent with his weight transfer and throwing motion regardless of the length of pass. Like most young strong armed quarterbacks he has a tendency to throw passes in tight spots especially over the middle of the field.
Recruiting: Committed to Clemson