To be an efficient linebacker one has to possess several skills; the ability to be a good tackler, a knowledge of pursuit angles, good speed, and most important attitude. Blake Gallagher comes out of the class of 2017 with all of these. While Gallagher can deliver the bone jarring hits, he more importantly understands his role first, which is to stifle the opponents’ run game. This young athlete plays with an extra dose of “get there” which is very rare for linebackers who are hit by two and sometimes three blockers. It may be complete wishful thinking for colleges to convince Gallagher to leave the east coast with Boston College keeping a tight grip on recruiting him. Whether or not he decides to or not, expect Blake Gallagher to not only dominate his conference but also catch some votes for high school All-America. Stay tuned.
This summer and fall, receivers from state to state will be constantly looking over their shoulders. What they will be looking for may first seem as harmless as a shadow but in fact will be one of a handful of top cover corners playing high school football. The class of 2016 boast some pretty good cover corners, and it remains to be seen whether this group will rate as high as last year’s group. That group featured USC commit Iman Marshall and Alabama commit Kendall Sheffield, arguably two of the best young talents in the past 10 years. With numerous 7 on 7 camps being held across the nation, scouts will have a good opportunity to see some of the best and brightest corners that this upcoming class has to offer. Several names that will seem to come out of nowhere will be Juanthony “Juice” Parker, Eric Cuffee “time”, and Khalil Ladler. These and others listed are gifted with the rare combination of speed, quickness, and anticipation. Scouts will be lined up to throw the scholarship offers at these talented young athletes.
As the top AAU basketball teams ramp up for the upcoming season, could fans be in store for a repeat of the 2006 season? No one can forget the excitement from that year that included incredible match-ups and one of the greatest runs by a team in the history of the sport. The guard combo of Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose versus Tyreke Evans, or how Jimmer Fredette and his Albany team shot their way deep into tournament play at the Boo Williams invite are just parts of the memorable season. Maybe the most incredible part of the 2006 season was the 47 game winning streak that the SoCal All stars completed which was led by present NBA players Brandon Jennings and Kevin Love. Mix these highlights together with one of the greatest dunk shows (SoCal vs. D1 Greyhounds), and you arguably have the greatest year in AAU basketball history. This upcoming season may bring about a new “greatest season” as some new and incredible talent takes to the floor. The obvious headliners will include Jayson Tatum, Miles Bridges, Seventh Woods, and Zach Norvell. But it may be the class behind 2016 that will provide that added spark and excitement which would make this one of the more talked about seasons. The class of 2017 will bring a vast amount of talent to the floor led by Michael Porter, Jalek Felton, Nojel Eastern, and Victor Bailey Jr. Bottom line…Fans should get their cameras ready and make plans to witness one of the more memorable AAU basketball seasons. (click on player names for highlights)
Constant debates take place on which athletes are the greatest of all time in their respective sports. In basketball who can argue against Michael Jordan being the best, while in football you have multiple names thrown out there such as Joe Montana, Walter Payton and Jim Brown. But a topic that rarely comes up is which athletes from the past or present have or are talented enough to revolutionize their position. For example, Magic Johnson obviously set a new standard at the guard position with his height of 6’9″ while Lamar Odom ushered in the need of the “big man” who can handle the ball like a guard and even bring it up the floor and run the offense. While there are indeed great players that will go down in history as hall of famers such as Lebron and Kobe, currently there is a student athlete playing at Chaminade High in St. Louis that has a mixture of talents that when all combined form one of the best basketball talents in recent high school history. His name is Jayson Tatum. When watching Tatum’s games true fans of the game and even his critics are left with the impression that the kid cannot be defended by a single player in high school. No one likes to put the cart before the horse but you have to wonder if he bulks up and polishes up each of his attributes (passing, ball-handling, shooting), will he be as heralded coming out of high school as Lebron or Kobe? The fact that he holds the top spot for the class of 2016 represents Jayson Tatum’s validation as arguably the nation’s premier forward regardless of any current class. Watch his multiple highlight tapes and ask yourself, “Could this kid be greatness forming?”
Although the college football season has been over for a month now, diehard fans of the recruiting scene are still finding joy in searching the nation for that big time recruit that will help get their programs to the top of the college football rankings. Its easy to familiarize ourselves with the big name 4 and 5 star recruits, but sometimes its those guys that are rarely heard of that break onto the college scene and surprise coaches and fellow teammates, not only with their ability but also with unexpected early contributions. The “Hidden Gems” series will highlight players that may be under the radar to fans but will surely be targeted by scouts who have indeed did their homework. Here are some can’t miss athletes from the class of 2016.
The tape on this young man makes the case for him being the top playmaker in high school football for the co’ 2015. Accurate arm, good velocity on all his throws, pocket presence….And we haven’t even broken the ice on what he does when he feels its time to take the game into his own hands and make those “special plays.” We’ve seen the classes before him…Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel…and there will be many after him, but right now Kelly Bryant is arguably the best playmaker in high school football.
Past QB comparison- Charlie Ward/Florida State Cam Newton/Auburn Jameis Winston/Florida State
Having witnessed the arm strength of Jimmy Fitzgerald in person makes it fun to voice my opinion on his ability. His arm strength ranks up there with the top “guns” that were highly touted coming out of high school. If you are a fan of great quarterbacks, you immeditately understand how Fitzgerald will have an edge when he enters college. Of course it helps to have that “cannon” attached to his torso.
Past QB comparison- Drew Bledsoe/Washington State Chris Redman/Louisville Matthew Stafford/Georgia
Although Kevin Dillman is one of the more polished passers in high school football, his biggest attribute may be his toughness. Possibly a byproduct of playing defense, he can withstand hits from defenders and although qb coaches would rather their starting qb get out of bounds on the scramble, this young man doesn’t mind getting the extra yard. It’s also a plus when he’s in the pocket as he doesn’t sweat the “walls closing in” on him….otherwise known as the pocket collapsing. He will stand in there and make the throw.
Past QB comparison- Mark Brunell/Univ. of Washington Philip Rivers/North Carolina State Zach Mettenberger/LSU
When looking at Jake Browning you are almost immediately convinced that he is being trained by an NFL quarterback. The incredible touch on his passes makes it easy for his receivers to adjust to the ball and also provides a very catchable ball. He ranks right up there with the great touch passers who have went on to become top college passers.
Past QB comparison- Elvis Grbac/Michigan Eli Manning/Ole Miss Derek Carr/Fresno State
In the pocket Gabe Green looks like he’s playing 7-on-7 even though there’s a defensive line coming at him. His composure seems unreal at times but is one of the main reasons why he is ranked in the nation’s top passers. Poise and confidence while in the pocket helps give his receivers time to get open and also makes it hard for opposing defenses to rattle him. After watching his game film and watching his passing league tape you immediately notice that his mechanics are exactly the same. College coaches will develop his passing skills and he will undoubtedly develop into a premier college player.
Past QB comparison- Rick Mirer/Notre Dame Alex Smith/University of Utah Aaron Murray/Georgia
Illinois high school athletics has brought high school sports fans amazing stories over the past years. Players like Ty Isaac, Jabari Parker, and Jahlil Okafor have lit up media headlines and with good reason. There may be a new story developing in the sport of football for the class of 2017. Two running backs, Joshua Land and Josh Parker, are already vying for the number one spot in Illinois and are not stopping there. Two nationally ranked backs for the upcoming years? Without a doubt! joshua land josh parker
Catch more high school highlights recruiting info at www.besquadsport.com
Any high school football fan who knows the importance of a solid linebacking core needs to watch Matt Mitchell of St. Rita…..His cat-like quickness and knowledge of the position will help him to rise to the top scouts’ rankings this spring and summer. click for highlights
It’s not important to know everything out there in this world, but it is important to know something. If you are a high school athlete with collegiate level skills this is the something you should know.