MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Coming into this season, the only think I knew about Marshall was that Randy Moss went there.
After this game, I can adjust that to Randy Moss went there, AND Vinny Curry went there as well. Call it love at first sight if you want, I’m not ashamed, this kid is going to be a fantastic talent in the NFL.
Now I just hope that he keeps working and improving so that he can fulfill that talent. Here are the players I focused on when I wasn’t busy dreaming about Curry slipping to Miami in the second round. (not possible)
Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
- Waited a whole 30 seconds into the game before seeing him make his first WOW play of the game, a chase down force fumble of a running back in the open field.
– Caused another fumble later on a speed rush sack, he blew by the guard so fast, that kid never had a chance
- Forced yet ANOTHER fumble later in the game.
- Lined up all over the D-Line. As I said earlier, not sure if by design or avoiding the one good lineman UAB employs.
- Great motor, 38-0 ball game and Curry is chasing guys down 20 yards downfield after a swing pass.
- Saw him use the club, swim move, spin move, speed rush, complete package of rushing techniques.
– Couple tackles for loss that weren’t sacks, just lives in the offensive backfield.
- The jaw dropping play of the game, lined up inside the 5 yard line, UAB handed off and the running back cut back to the middle after starting right. Found a hole and as it was just the back and the goalposts in front of him, he suddenly saw nothing but sky. At the 1 yard line about to cross into the end zone, Curry came from the left side, grabbed the back around the waist, planted his feet and LIFTED the back into the air and down to the ground around the 3 yard line. He stopped a full speed ahead running back with momentum and nobody in front of him, ALL BY HIMSELF. I watched this play 9 times, I didn’t believe it each time.
– Watching him play, my only comparison that sounded right to me was Jevon Kearse. The TV broadcasters mentioned Bruce Smith and Dwight Freeney, but because Curry is so slender at around 250 lbs, he is “The Freak” to me. Kearse had that same ridiculous skill set/size/speed combination that had him making tackles in either the backfield or 50 yards down from the line of scrimmage. Curry can be that player.
– My biggest concern is the competition level. Conference USA isn’t a powerhouse, is he merely beating up on weaker players? The not matching up with McCants much really bothered me, I rather have seen him line up vs an equal 65 times more so than pick on other players. I can’t wait to see how he does in his Bowl game or in any all star games he plays before the combine. Even with this nitpicking, his skill set alone is quickly moving him up my first round draft board, he has a chance to be a top 15 pick if he keeps playing like he did vs UAB.
T.J. Ballou, CB, UAB
- TJ has good size and frame to be a big physical corner by today’s standards, but he seemed to play much smaller than he is listed.
– Had a nice interception with seemingly good hands, but might have been more of a bad read by the QB.
- Zero attempt at making a play at the goalline on a TE getting ready to cross into the end zone. Ballou had a chance to make a big hit, instead pulled up.
- No interest in making a tackle all day. He may not have made a single one.
– After seeing this game, despite his size, I don’t expect to see him in April.
Matt McCants, LT, UAB
- Great size although he still can add some bulk to his large frame.
- Caught my interest being matched up early vs Curry.
- Came off of his own blocks several times to catch late blitzers or advance on run plays.
- Never beat in the game, in fact, Curry seemed to move off of McCants at some point and line up elsewhere, that could be design, or Curry trying to gain a better matchup further down the line.
– Really liked what I saw out of him, still raw, but his size is an asset. Some team will be smart enough to grab him and mold them as they see fit. He could play RT early while he works to gain weight, or in an extreme case shift inside, although 6-7 is a bit much for a guard. Third or Fourth round sounds reasonable, if he tests off the charts maybe he can sneak his way into the second.
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
- Had a couple of nice grabs on low throws, including one for a touchdown.
– Catches it quick and turns upfield immediately, no dancing or hesitating.
– Solid blocking downfield on a screen, always a plus in the pass game.
- Great size, still only a Junior so he may not declare and will keep working on his game.
- Didn’t see him “snatch” a ball though, caught everything deep in his body, didn’t use all hands on catches. He needs to improve that.
Devin Arrington, S/LB, Marshall
- I had planned on following the day of CB Rashad Jackson who did have an interception early in the game, however on that play he was injured and did not return.
- After watching for a while, I did keep noticing one player in the secondary, #25 Arrington who plays safety, but at 6-2 he seems a bit big. They have him listed as a Linebacker, which 6-2 would be a bit small for, so he’s a bit of a tweener. However, he was a big hitter out there and towards the end of the game made a great interception in the end zone.
– Picked the pass right out of the air with his hands in front of the receiver and headed up field.
– If I’m not mistaken, Brian Urlacher played some Safety in college and transitioned into Linebacker just fine in the NFL, I don’t know if that’s the case we have here, but he certainly seemed worth a look in the future. He is a Junior, I hope he stays in school another year to showcase himself even more. Curry drawing scouts could help Arrington now however.