MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl between Southern Miss and Nevada featured a few small school prospects that could find their way into the late rounds of the Draft next April.
There were a couple of injured players that were not able to improve their draft stock in MLB Korey Williams from Southern Miss and WR Rishard Mathews of Nevada.
Lampford Mark, RB, Nevada
- Really good size at 6-1 200lbs. Decent speed though not elite
- One cut and go, absolutely no dancing. He wastes zero steps searching for creases
- Gets low at contact, and delivers his own punishment
- On a break away 45 yard touchdown, gets the ball and to the hole immediately, defense not quick enough to react
- Big first half, slowed up quite a bit in the second half
- Good ball security, holds the ball high and tight
- Did not see him break any tackles, once contacted solidly, he goes down
- Doesn’t fight for hard extra yards. Did not push a pile, simply gets what he can and goes down
- Had an ACL injury last season, but appears healthy now. Only played half the season through his recovery as well as some other ailments he worked through, finished strong with 6 straight 100 yard games to close his career.
- Best play of the game, a GREAT step up pass block on a blitzing safety delivered a vicious blow to stop the blizter in his tracks. Good sign, not much pass blocking was asked of him prior to that play.
- Most of his runs are from the zone read, alot like LaMichael James, the difference is James makes his money running to the outside, Mark makes his yards running directly up the middle due to his size.
James-Michael Johnson, MLB, Nevada
- Diagnoses plays well and reacts
- SOLID tackler, wraps up, and when with a second defender holds and uses free arm to attempt strips
- Punishing hitter
- Broadcast speaks on his great range, cliche sideline to sideline tackler
- Does seem delayed on pass reads, almost as if searching for who to check, smart QB will throw right in behind him-needs work
Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss
- Will get mentioned repeatedly simply for breaking all of Brett Favre’s school records
- Runs most plays out of shotgun with 4 WR’s
- Mostly short throws, does not attack deep too much, but did have a couple attempts, both were on point 35+ yards in the air
- Accurate, however in this game he has some issues with high winds. Gusts 30-40 mph
- Lot of dropped balls by his receivers in this game didn’t help either
- Lack of touch? Lot of throws were on the line when touch would be a better option
- Very smart, well taught. Reads the field, it’s not there, immediately throws the ball out of bounds, doesn’t hesitate or take a big loss
- Good release, keeps the ball high, puts good spin on the ball, stands well in the pocket, also has mobility to slide and shuffle
- Good potential project, I don’t think he will be on ESPN 24/7 or retire 6 times nor receive love notes from John Madden, but he is worth a look to a team that wants to develop a young QB slowly.
Kendrick Presley, S, Southern Miss
- Pile tackler, involved in finishing off a lot of tackles
- Last line of defense, plays 15-16 yards off the line of scrimmage, doesn’t get asked much to help out in the run game
- Never actually pressed in the passing game more than a cursory glance here and there.
- Physical hitter. Sought out someone to knock on a interception by his teammate, put a great block on someone
- Whiffed on a tackle when Mark made a great move in open space
- If you do come in his area, he will remind you of who he is, good presence back there.
- He was the recipient of the fantastic block by Mark, hard blitz, timed perfectly, Mark stepped up and stopped Presley in his tracks
- On the day was involved in nearly a dozen tackles either alone or assisting
All four players had solid days, but all will come with the Non-BCS school label as to whether they can contribute at the next level or not. I don’t believe any of them will be high picks, at best they sneak into the mid rounds, with late rounds being the likely options.
They are all football players however, they looked to be involved in their teams, as well as their jobs and given the right environment could work really hard and have an impact someday.