I had the pleasure of attending two games in the first weekend of college football. And while neither game featured enough prospects to garner a set article discussing the top seniors, these two games combined boasts a few sleeper receivers to watch and a handful of Big East prospects with newly added Temple.
While no NFL teams were at the Delaware/West Chester match-up, eight NFL teams were at the Temple vs. Villanova game, including the Miami Dolphins.
Also in attendence was the Packers, Jaguars, Chargers, Texans, Seahawks, Titans, and Giants.
MDD Lead Editor/Scout: Eric Galko
Norman White, WR
-Willing, well balanced blocker with good hand placement and physicality
-Routes in middle-short are could be more crisp, not gaining a lot of separation
-Needs better route recognition to gain separation downfield after initial route
-Didn’t come back to the ball in red zone, lacking route IQ in red zone
-Gets to top speed quickly after the catch, but top speed isn’t overly fast
-Great initial vision after the catch, coupled with an explosive first step after catch
-Just okay top end speed, can’t run away from defensive backs
-Reliable in traffic with hands, catches away from body well
Overview: As a prospect I like a lot, I was expecting more out of Norman White. After recovering from a foot injury in the pre-season last year, the 6’4, 220 pound receiver didn’t get enough separation or show great route IQ all game long. Even though his lack of separation and speed were more prevalent than I expected, White’s natural physicality, size, and athleticism were enough to still impress me at the game.
Martin Wallace, OT
-Sets up well on the outside
-Extends and drives well in pass protection, with ample force
-Keeps hands inside very well on sealing run blocks
-Plays high thanks to size, sometimes to a fault
-Needs to lock on quicker in run game upfield
-Keeps feet moving well upfield an interior run blocking
-Balanced, body control in a variety of foot sets
-Needs to drop hips, sink lower
-Likely will struggle with power rushers based on technique
Overview: While he wasn’t overwhelmingly impressive, he did enough to prove he has the talents and skill set to be considered an NFL right tackle with more development. Granted he was matched up against a defense that only featured one adequate rushers (Marlon Johnson) who lacked the elite quickness to give Wallace a fair test, but Wallace still flashed the power, balance, and extension of an NFL player.
Matt Brown, RB
-The team’s kick returner which, as the game went on, seemed to be the area of interest that the NFL scouts were considering him for.
-Some pop in traffic, quickness as a returner
-Natural quickness, stop start near elite level
-Balanced in traffic vs. arm tackles, stays low and balanced and controls burst
-Patient, explosive, reacts very well as a runner to tacklers
-Obviously lacks power/size to bounce inside hole/traffic, substantial enough to be limited at the next level
-Speed to quickly get to outside, bounces quickly without being too anxious
-Rarely cuts back inside, mostly thanks to understanding of skill set
-Gets narrow in traffic well, makes himself extra small
Overview: Being a 5’5, 160 pound, Matt Brown is obviously severely limited as a running back. However, he still flashes the balance, stop-start ability, and balance in traffic to at least be able to play a handful of snaps in the NFL if need be. But as a returner, he seems to have the stop-start, quickness, and balance with vision to possible be a consistent returner in the NFL in the form of a Brandon Banks.
Montell Harris, RB
-Patient with pops through the line
-Lacks top end speed, burst
-Shows great body control in the short area, but lacks controlled balanced to drive upfield
-Limited in carries throughout the game, obviously playing second fiddle to Matt Brown
Overview: Didn’t get a whole lot of reps in this game, which was a bit surprising considering he has the power/pop to complement Matt Brown well. While his carries, especially the more meaningful ones, should increase as the season goes on, his play throughout the game speaks of a 2nd string running back this season.
Nihja White, WR
-Sets up, turns in traffic to attack ball well
-Comfortable in traffic, positions body well with hands extended
-Lacks great separation downfield, mostly thanks to lack of developed routes
-Turns upfield quickly with balanced
-Solid open field vision
-Lacks breakaway speed, agility initially after the catch
-Very reliable hands, catching well in short area
-Lacking short area separation against man coverage, not exploding well out of short breaks
Overview: I was expecting more out of the top receiver who’s averaged 4 catchers per game over his last 35 starts at Delaware. He didn’t have a drop all night, had very reliable hands, and positioned his body well in traffic. But once defenses started inching closer in double teams and started forcing him to beat him outside, he couldn’t gain separation and was nearly irrelevant. Still among the Top 50 small schoolers and a receiver to watch, but he’s not at a level that would make him a draftable receiver.