January 22, 2006

The Breakdown: Backs, Receivers

In "The Breakdown," veteran talent scout Randy Rodgers is analyzing film of a select group of the nation's top prospects for Rivals.com. Rodgers has more than 35 years of experience in the college recruiting arena. He was the recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois (1988-91) and the University of Texas (1992-97) and is one of the leading authorities on high school football talent analysis in the country. In this edition, Rodgers takes a look at backs and receivers.

Running backs
Michael Goodson, 6-0, 205, Klein (Texas) Collins Video
Probably the most versatile back in Texas this year. Has excellent speed and acceleration, very good feet in traffic. Because he plays a left wingback position, most of his runs are lateral to the right, so it is hard to determine what kind of vision he has or how well he reads blocking patterns. Has very few north/south runs between the tackles. Does show good sense of broken field running on punt and kick returns. Goodson is the best receiver of all the Texas high school running backs and has experience running routes. Shows good hands catching the option pitch, is excellent on the screen and very dangerous on wheel routes out of the backfield. He has the versatility to contribute in all phases of the game, as runner, receiver or returner.
Charles Scott, 6-0, 215, Jonesboro (La.) Jonesboro-Hodge Video
Scott is a north/south runner with power. Shows really good strength and balance, particularly in the legs. Hard to knock off his feet. Has toughness in traffic and might possibly grow into a fullback later in his career. He punishes tacklers and is one of those guys who appears to be capable of wearing out high school defenses and racking up a lot of yards in the second half of games. Appears to be capable of being a workhorse. What he does best is finish runs, which is really important for moving the chains and scoring on the goal line. Improving speed will be a key to playing time in speed-oriented SEC.
Emmanuel Moody, 6-1, 195, Coppell (Texas) Video
Didn't have the stats his senior year that many expected, but I still think potentially he is the best back in Texas this year. Has excellent feet and change of direction skills. Can restart feet after contact and has the ability to make lateral cuts in traffic. Gets back to top speed quickly. Excellent zone-run-to-daylight skills, sees the cutback and takes it. Has good vision of blocking patterns. Very good hands, could help in the return game.

Randy Rodgers' RB Comparison:
I still like Moody the best. He is a better natural runner, better in traffic, has better vision, and can run the cutback, which is the key to big plays. Goodson is by far the more superior receiver. He could easily play that position and might wind up as a good third-down back early if he can learn to pass protect. I think Scott is the toughest, most durable, but not sure if he shows the speed to be "The Guy" in an SEC backfield.

Adron Tennell, 6-5, 200, Irving (Texas) Video
Adron Tennell is the best WR in Texas. He has tremendous size and speed. He has superior ball skills to compete in the air. He is a threat to score on a fade every time his team is inside the 30. He is an outstanding basketball player, who should win every jump ball on the football field. What sets him apart is his footwork and ability to contribute after the catch. Not only is he a run-and-catch receiver, but also he has enough athletic ability to be a catch-and-run receiver. His kick and punt returning ability are definitely unusual for a player that tall. Should be able to be a red zone specialist in college as a freshman.
Jermaine Gresham, 6-7, 230, Ardmore (Okla.) Video
WR/TE prospect in the mold of Martellus Bennett. Has superior size and jumping ability for a WR, but isn't a burner. Doesn't really play TE, but has the frame and growth potential and probably projects there. Don't really get any sense from watching his tapes as to what kind of blocker he is or what kind of toughness he has, but he clearly appears to have the body type to grow into a 250-260 (lb.) player in several years. Has excellent speed for a big man, huge hands. Ideal to be a flex tight end initially and would fit into a spread offense while his blocking skills improve. I really like his fundamentals catching the ball and his ability to run with it after the catch.

Randy Rodgers' Receiver Comparison:
Really no comparison. Tennell is a WR and Gresham will be a TE. Gresham's body will grow into true TE, but both have superior receiving skills. Except for blocking skills, which are impossible to evaluate on these tapes, I can't imagine a better TE prospect in the country than Gresham. It would be an amazing coup for the Sooners to land both of these guys.

More Breakdowns:
Quarterbacks | Offensive linemen | Defensive linemen | Linebackers | Defensive backs

For more of Randy Rodgers recruiting analysis, check out his website, randyrodgersrecruiting.com.

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