In a battle of some of Hampton Roads top players, rising junior Tyrod Taylor of Hampton showed impressive skills against state champion Landstown and their two Rivals100 stars Percy Harvin and Damon McDaniel in a scrimmage Thursday night. Taylor showed he'll be a force to be reckoned with and a player we'll all keep our eyes on for 2007 while Harvin made it clear why he's the No. 1 player in the country. McDaniel also made a strong case for moving up into the top five on the wide receiver list.
Quarterback Donny Kirby helped lead Landstown to three touchdowns in the first half including one to McDaniel and a second that Harvin set up with a nice catch to get the ball down to the one yard line. If that wasn't enough, Kirby and Harvin hooked up again in the second half on a screen that went for 52 yards as the nation's top player juked and cut back on defenders as he sprinted across the field for a score.
Harvin and McDaniel looked solid in the 30+ minutes of the game they played. Harvin showed some real strength going into traffic at times and measured every bit of 6-foot-1 and looked very solid at around 190 pounds. McDaniel didn't get quite as many touches as Harvin, but the receiver juked a defender inside the 10-yard-line on his one score and was able to walk into the endzone. However, neither player did a whole lot on defense.
The star wideouts and quarterback Kirby from Landstown weren't the only standouts on the team. Running back and linebacker Quinton Rainey showed impressive skills as well, grinding chunks of yards up the middle and showing good quickness off the edge to record a couple sacks.
Of course, Hampton had their own star in Taylor who showed impressive passing skills. The quarterback hooked up for 34-yard and 18-yard touchdowns in the first half. Taylor also had a couple more perfectly thrown deep passes that were dropped.
Throughout the game, Taylor was under pressure from a Landstown defense that recorded four sacks on the star quarterback. It was obvious the Hampton quarterback had injured his ankle in the game, but replied afterwards that it was fine and he should be ready for the season. Coaches later told us that he wore the wrong shoes and they aggravated his ankle.
Despite being obviously hobbled at times, Taylor was still able to move well in the pocket and even scrambled in the second half for nearly 15 yards. Although in the end, it seemed to nag him as he threw two late interceptions in the second half.
Landstown and Hampton looked solid in the pre-season scrimmage and certainly Harvin and McDaniel appear to be ready for the upcoming season. Taylor also looked even better than he did in April at the Virginia Tech Nike Camp, throwing better touch passes and a tighter spiral.