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Scouting the MHSAA Finals

Of course, I'm no talent scout, but even the untrained eye can make a few observations on watching a few high school players go against good competition. Also sprinkled in are thoughts from Michigan HS football guru Prepseer.

Cameron Gordon
He won't wow you with his speed, but I was surprised how good his hands were (especially after hearing they may be something of a liability). He was definitely Inkster's go-to receiver, and made a few good plays and showed no fear going after the ball in traffic. Defensively, he showed that he can lay a pretty big hit, though he wasn't a huge factor on that side of the ball. I still think that, if he wants to play receiver at the next level, whichever team he picks will see enough skill to give him a chance there.

Devin Gardner
Watching Gardner play, it's really natural to think "wow, he should know better than to do that," until you remember that the kid isn't a Division-I player yet. Hell, he's not even a high school senior. He showed good escapability and running skills, though he's not the easy-strider that other big run-pass QBs (i.e. Vince Young or Terrelle Pryor) have been. At this point, he's still improving as a passer, though I don't think he was as bad as many people who had never seen him play before were expecting. Prepseer:
Gardner has blossomed into a 5 star recruit, in my opinion. I don’t kow what his actual Rivals rating is. As a Junior, he may not be rated yet. But, he has a number of BCS offers and I’m thinking he will be a 5 star when rated next year...

I predict he will commit before next season.
I'm not sure about his making a commitment that early (he seems like the type who will at least take a couple visits, if not wait until January or February to make a choice), but you have to like hearing good things like this about a definite Michigan target.

AJ Westendorp
Michigan fans have been talking about this kid a ton lately, thinking he might deserve a scholarship offer. After having the chance to watch him, I'm not sure he's quite that good, but he's the type of guy I'd love to have as a preferred walkon if he's interested. He plays a similar offensive system to Michigan, with a zone-read option game and lots of horizontal passing. He is also a tough runner - he reminds me a lot of CMU's Dan LeFevour in that respect. He could also throw well on the run. The biggest knock on him is his arm strength - he simply doesn't have enough to earn D-I scholarship offers. Anything thrown past the line of scrimmage was thrown with a big loopy path, and the deep balls tended to look like ducks, and hung in the air for a long time. His strength actually reminded me a bit of Nick Sheridan, though his game was appreciably better in just about every other respect. Prepseer:
I don’t think he has great arm strength (something that could keep him at the Div. 2 level), but he is extremely accurate and he reads the coverage very well. Several times he would go to the third, even fourth receiver all while eluding the DCD pass rush.
He's a smart player who would certainly warrant a scholarship if he had a much stronger arm. His coach used to be at Glades Central, and Rich Rodriguez has always recruited the muck hard. Maybe there's a relationship there that could facilitate a preferred-walkon situation.

MSU Commits Bennie Fowler and Max Bullough
Fowler actually impressed me a lot. He had much better size than I was expecting, and pretty good speed, too. He's a guy who will have to develop a bit before he is ready to play at the Division-I level, but if you're Michigan State, those are the guys you have to thrive on. I didn't think Bullough was anything special, until I looked at the boxscore and realized he was the leading tackler - in any of the state finals games. He looked really small to me, though of course it's important to remember he's just a junior.

If happened to watch any of the finals games, be sure to fill in your thoughts in the comments.

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“Scouting the MHSAA Finals”

  1. Blogger Bob Says:

    Does Michigan have an offer on the table for Gordon? On either side of the ball?

  2. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Bob, Cameron got his UM offer ~1 to 2 weeks ago. It's for the D side of the ball but apparently they are having discussions about playing both sides. I don't think he's an automatic UM lock as he wants to play on the O.