football

Impressions from the road: Rainy Detroit

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Lathrup Village (Mich.)- A four-team scrimmage Thursday at Southfield-Lathrup High School showcased a handful of Michigan's top prospects. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Greg Ladky was on hand to watch Cass Tech, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Pontiac, and host Southfield-Lathrup do battle one week before the regular season kicks off in Michigan.
Severe weather cut the event short and sent the players running for the buses. Teams were supposed to play of pair of 20-minute periods against the other three opponents, a total of six periods. The storms arrived as the participants began period four.
Ladky breaks down some of the top prospects at the event.
Cass Tech:
CB- Dior Mathis- The four-star corner played both ways, finishing the day with a 40 yard touchdown pass while looking into the gusty rain and wind. A couple of plays later, he made a nice block to spring an eleven-yard run down the sideline. Mathis is clearly very quick, and proved long ago he can cover receivers. He has put on some more muscle bulk, without losing any of his quickness. He did get beat for one touchdown, on a play where Sterling Heights receiver D.J. Mershman made a very nice adjustment toward the back corner of the end zone after running a slant route into Mathis' coverage.
ATH-Daniel Easterly- The Illinois commit had a very good day on defense. He made of pair of big tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and has a knack for being around the ball carrier quickly, especially near the line of scrimmage. He still has a lot of bulk and strength to add to his 6-foot-4 frame. He had a couple of miss tackles where it looked like some more strength would have helped him finish the play. But his instincts and range get him into position to make a lot of plays.
CB- Delonte Hollowell (2011)- Delonte looks a bit taller, and thicker in the lower body than Mathis. Hollowell plays corner opposite Mathis, a powerful combination for Cass Tech's defense. He made a very nice pass breakup in the back of the end zone on Mershman, who was on fire at the time making big plays. He is not quite as quick as Mathis, few are, but he appears to be a bit stronger, and will likely be more of a physical presence in the defensive backfield.
Stevenson:
DT- Carl Davis- My hunch is that Davis will be an offensive lineman at the next level. That is not because he is bad on defense. He is just better and more comfortable on offense. He played right tackle, looked good in pass protection, and can bury defenders while run blocking. On defense, he plays high, and doesn't seem to have the tenaciousness that he does on offense. I would not rule out defense, but today he shined on offense. On one play, he pulled from his right tackle spot, and picked off a defensive lineman inches away from blowing up the ball carrier in the backfield. The run ended up netting about 20 yards thanks in large part to Davis' block.
WR- D.J. Mershman- The 5-foot-11 receiver dominated the matchup against Cass Tech. He caught three passes during Stevenson's first scoring drive, including a touchdown on Mathis, and a leaping grab for big yardage. Later on, he picked off a pass from the free safety spot, anticipating an attempt by Cass Tech to hit Mathis deep on a go route. Mershman is clearly a good football player, and may be very good late pickup for a Division 1 program.
Southfield-Lathrup:
OT- Willie Beavers (2011)- The biggest player at the event. He may have been the best too. Just a junior at 6-foot-5, it is easy to assume Beavers is carrying a lot of bad weight. He is not sloppy looking at all. He is simply a big and wide kid that moves well and overwhelms defenders with his natural size and strength. Against Pontiac, Beavers pulled from the right tackle spot and lead the ball carrier twenty yards down the field before burying a defensive back, allowing the ball carrier to gain an extra ten yards. He looks comfortable in pass protection. He has a tendency to slow his feet while engaged with a defender, but Beavers clearly has an elite skill set. He said he would like to hear from Michigan, and later added Michigan State and Ohio State as schools of interest.
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