October 3, 2007

Expert's View: Wakulla vs. Blountstown

Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst Barry Every was in Crawfordville, Fla., for last week's Wakulla 16-0 win over Blountstown.

Wakulla boasts two of the nation's top prospects in Nigel Bradham and C.J. Holton, but linebacker Ryan Baker managed to stand out for the losing team with 15 total tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Could a rise in the rankings be on the way for the Rivals250 prospect?

Every breaks down the performance of the game's top prospects.

Expert's View of Blountstown vs. Wakulla

Ryan Baker, 6-0, 206, LB, Blountstown

Class of 2008

Assets: He is very fast, showed great change-of-direction ability and loves contact. His tackling technique is exceptional - he buries his facemask into the numbers of opponents. I also like his tenacity in chasing ball carriers from sideline to sideline.

Areas for improvement: Keep up with a good weight regiment. He needs to get to about 230 pounds in order to take the pounding in the SEC. He lacks the ideal height for a linebacker, so his strength and determination will need to make up for that.

Most Impressive play: Catching the Wakulla quarterback from the back side and forcing a fumble.

Conclusion: If there is a better Derrick Brooks clone, please show me.

Jon Lockhart, 6-0, 175, CB, Blountstown

Class of 2008

Assets: He's tall for a corner, about 5-11 with long arms. He showed the ability to change direction and come out of his backpedal quickly.

Areas of improvement: He's coming off an injury, so he needs to keep rehabilitating and working hard in the weight room in order to get stronger.

Most Impressive play(s): Back-to-back tackles on Tyrell Gavin on short receptions. As soon as Gavin caught the ball, Lockhart was on him.

Conclusion: A good pick-up for Georgia Tech. He could be a real sleeper.

Cory Cox 6-0, 196, S/LB, Blountstown

Class of 2008

Assets: He seems like a tough kid who is willing to play any position to help his team win. He played QB/TE/DS/S/LB in the game I watched.

Areas of improvement: Work on speed and quickness. Defense is his best bet at the next level, whether at safety or linebacker.

Most Impressive play: Had a crunching hit in the first quarter that caused a pass break-up.

Conclusion: If he is willing to play defense, some Conference USA and MAC schools will be taking a hard look.

Nigel Bradham, 6-2, 230, LB, Wakulla

Class of 2008

Assets: His size, speed and agility make him an ideal player for any school in the country. He could play four positions on defense - all three linebacker spots and rush end.

Areas of improvement: He needs to do a better job getting of blocks. He is bigger, faster, and stronger than his competition, so he needs to use his hands more and shed those would-be blockers.

Most Impressive play: Pursuing Lockhart to the wide side of the field, and staying with him step for step.

Conclusion: Florida State has a commitment from one of the premier linebackers in the country.

C.J. Holton, 6-2, 195, S, Wakulla

Class of 2008

Assets: He has size and the willingness to knock opponents out of their shoes. He also pursues players from sideline to sideline.

Areas of improvement: He needs to keep his feet more while making contact. At the next level it will be harder to bring down opponents if he doesn't run through them.

Most Impressive play: Showed his speed and determination while pursuing the Blountstown players all over the field.

Conclusion: He can either be a strong safety or an outside linebacker at the next level. He's another good pick-up by Florida State.

Tyrell Gavin, 6-0, 175, CB, Wakulla

Class of 2008

Assets: Similar to Jonathan Lockhart, Gavin is about 5-11 and should be a good corner at the next level.

Areas of improvement: He needs to continue to rehab his injury and keep working hard in the classroom.

Most Impressive play: He made a shoestring catch for a key first down that kept a drive alive.

Conclusion: He should soon have offers from more schools. Currently, Middle Tennessee and Troy have extended scholarships.

Kendrick Hall, 5-8, 160, ATH, Wakulla

Assets: Hall is very quick and has the ability to anticipate when to break on the ball. He is probably more suited for cornerback and/or special teams.

Areas of improvement: Being a little smaller than ideal size means he needs to keep lifting weights in order to get stronger and thicker.

Most Impressive play: He read the quarterback's eyes, broke on the ball at the right time and returned an interception for a touchdown.

Conclusion: Tim Jennings, who played at Georgia, was drafted by the Colts in the second round. Jennings was a little shorter than 5 feet 9, but he was muscular and enjoyed contact.

Barry Every is a Football Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com. He comes to Rivals.com after working in recruiting offices for Mark Richt at the University of Georgia, Bobby Bowden at Florida State University and Mack Brown at the University of North Carolina. He can be reached at [email protected]

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