Deerfield Beach, Fla. at Buford, Ga.: Woody's news, notes and videos
Late last month I took in a doubleheader in the Atlanta area as Loganville (Ga.) Grayson played Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic followed by Deerfield Beach, Fla. vs. Buford, Ga. Here are my thoughts on the players I saw in the second game, complete with some video highlights.
The mauling Ohio State commit worked mostly at tackle, but considering his team almost exclusively ran the ball, it doesn't really matter where he was playing. The future Buckeye showed his typical aggressive nature, finishing blocks with authority. Miller also moonlighted at defensive tackle on a few snaps and was pretty impressive with his ability to fire off the ball. It's easy to see why the Buckeyes made him an early priority in the class.
The Oklahoma commit looked lightning fast in the game, bouncing several plays to the outside and finishing the game with 68 yards on 23 carries. Knighton is a change of pace back who carries the load for the Deerfield and while he flashed his speed on a few plays, it was a more workman-like effort. Knighton's role at Oklahoma would likely be alongside a more traditional power back, but he showed that if needed he can take his share of hits as well.
It was a big night for Brown, who basically carried the Buford offense, especially with his ability to run between the tackles. He did struggle with ball security and did have a couple of fumbles, but he finished the night with 33 carries for 189 yards and both Buford touchdowns. Brown is a leaner back but can still absorb a hit and he also showed that he's capable of carrying the load with the number of carries he had in the game. Brown is headed to Texas for an official visit this weekend.
Ranked as a defensive end, Eaford spend most the game playing linebacker and made more than his share of plays. He was in the quarterback's face early and often and also had an interception in the end zone. The play was one of several where the future Oregon Duck was in the right place at the right time. With his playmaking ability standing up, he should have no problem working as a full-time linebacker at the next level.
The Miami commitment made one big play in the form of a sack, but was limited for the most part thanks to Deerfield's offense doing most of its work on the edges. Holley has good size and strength and when his motor is turned on he creates matchup problems on the inside. If he can give a more consistent effort he will only continue to improve and make more plays.
Lee impressed while playing defensive back, coming up to make several tackles including a big hit that sent Knighton flying. He also showed an impressive coverage ability, breaking up one pass while helping keep McDougle under wraps. Lee already has double-digit offers, including Pac-12 schools Arizona and Arizona State and most recently added Virginia.
McDougle boasts early offers from Florida State, Alabama, Michigan and several others and he had a productive game, hauling in five passes for 25 yards. McDougle is a shifty receiver with good speed and he caught every pass that came his way. Obviously it would have been better to see him shake some tacklers and get some yards after the catch, but nevertheless he played a role in his team's victory.
It was a rough night for McLaughlin, who was constantly badgered by the Deerfield Beach defense. He finished with just 24 yards passing and had an interception and also had one fumble in the game. He showed an ability to scramble, which at his size is notable, but in a night where Buford mostly relied on the run, McLaughlin wasn't much of a factor. Alabama, Arkansas, USC and Auburn are among the schools on McLaughlin's offer list.
Gowdy didn't see the ball come his way much in the game, hauling in one pass for eight yards. But there's a reason he holds offers from programs like Auburn, Florida and several others. Gowdy has good size and while he didn't have much production, he remains a name to know in the 2020 class.
Turner had limited opportunities to carry the ball considering the type of night that Brown was having, but that didn't stop him from making the most of his chances. He had eight carries for 70 yards and also recovered a fumble while playing defense. Turner has six early offers, including Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
OTHER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES
Banton left several onlookers buzzing with his performance, catching seven passes for 125 yards while drawing extra attention from the Buford defensive backs. He has good size and speed and showed a nice ability to break tackles and get yards after the catch. His offer list might not have as many heavy hitters as some of his younger teammates, but programs like Auburn, Kentucky and Pitt are all high on his list and if he keeps up the strong performances others might turn up the heat as well.
Craig impressed while battling a pair of future FBS offensive linemen, using his length and quickness to cause problems when coming off the edge. He had several tackles in the game and also did a nice job pressure the quarterback. He still needs to add some weight to his frame in order to battle bigger tackles at the next level, but he has an intriguing combination of size, athleticism and skillset.
The Virginia Tech commit won his share of battles against the talented Buford offensive line as he got into the backfield and made life tough on McLaughlin during the game. He finished with a number of tackles and also showed a good motor while chasing down ball carriers. He may grow into a defensive tackle at the
The Appalachian State commit had a monster game, catching four passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner. The speedster gave the Buford secondary fits and once he got into the open field there was no tracking him down. He should be a great fit in the Mountaineers offense as a slot wide receiver, where his speed will continue to be his best asset.
Johnson continues to be an intriuguing prospect and he played well in the game, making several stops while playing defensive back. Johnson's offer list is in the double digits and includes several Power Five schools, but he's kept a low profile on the recruiting trail. North Carolina looked like the school to beat early on and that might still be the case.
At 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, Boyd immediately stands out, but it wasn't just his size that was impressive. He played tackle and moved his feet well and did a nice job of handling smaller, quicker pass rushers. Boyd has a number of offers and declared Syracuse his leader early in the process, but has yet to trim his offer list.
Moses is an undersized middle linebacker but that didn't stop him fro making plays all over the field for the Deerfield defense. He had two sacks, a forced fumble and double-digit tackles and showed great sideline-to-sideline speed. Moses lists a top three schools of Southern Miss, UAB and FAU and looks like he can be a very productive player at the FBS level.
King claims early offers from Florida and UCF, but has yet to receive a ranking and is still emerging on the radar of most programs. That might not be the case for long as he put up huge numbers in the game, going 17-for-30 for 299 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. King didn't do much damage with his legs but showed good touch as a passer and was also poised in leading his team on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
Another big-bodied offensive lineman for Deerfield, Jean was impressive on the hoof and also did well in live action. He moves well for a player his size and while he was playing tackle in the game, looks like he could easily slide inside at the next level as well. Syracuse is his only Power Five offer to date, but that's likely to change once schools get a chance to see him in action.
ADDITIONAL NEWS AND NOTES
Class of 2020 defensive back Christopher Townsel boasts an impressive offer list and he didn't see the ball come his way much in a game where Buford only attempted seven passes. He did have a couple of tackles while helping in run support. Nebraska, Kentucky Wake Forest and others have already offered Townsel ... Class of 2020 Buford defensive end/outside linebacker Jackson Powell made a handful of plays and seemed to have a nose for the ball. He could catch the eye of college programs if he can continue to shine in key moments this season ... Class of 2019 Buford defensive back Jamaal Singleton made a few big plays, including an interception in the end zone. Singleton has several Group of Five offers and a few high FCS offers and looks like he can be a contributor at the next level, despite his size ... Two-star Deerfield Beach defensive end Jamarius Landers had a sack in the game, using his quickness to blow by an offensive lineman and get into the backfield to make a play. Landers could play defensive end or linebacker at the next level and has several Group of Five offers, including Georgia State, Kent State, Tulane and several others ... Class of 2019 Deerfield defensive back Keyon Martin was a willing tackler, coming up to to make several plays in run support. Martin has an offer from Northern Illinois ... 2020 Deerfield linebacker Widmyer Garcon was around the ball all night, and finished with a fumble recovery and a sack. He has early FCS offers, but could be a guy who surfaces on the board of Group of Five programs in the future.
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