Joe Kane…The Marked Prospect Is More Than Able

When I first received a heads up on a division one caliber defensive end playing out in North Carolina, I shrugged my shoulders. He was probably one in many prospects in that area.  So what? Another one, but okay lets take a look at him. And then he proved himself to be  “The Minister of Sinister.” In the game of football nicknames are given out like mouthpieces during equipment hand out, but Joe Kane happened to be the young man given this tag. It would be putting things lightly to say he’s earned it.

Kane attends Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  Besides being a national sack leader and garnering defensive mvp honors as an underclassman, the amount of hoopla surrounding Kane has spilled from his town to the entire east coast.  His measurables are that of a prototype defensive end.  At 6’3.5 and 258 pounds, Joe Kane adds 4.85 speed to the mix. While this would be considered comme il faut by the smoother talking experts, it is better than average for a prospect with at least two summers of training left before his first college football game.


Besides his measurables what makes Joe Kane a marked defensive prospect for the class of 2018?  Try his alley-brawl style of intimidation or his high end energy that he brings for four quarters.  Bragging up ball players who have yet to play one down of college ball can be somewhat premature but Kane is a prospect that 95% of coaches and scouts would warrant success.  It would not surprise any of his high school coaches and peers to see Kane choose a regional division one school for his college football experience.  Four division one powerhouse programs are within a couple hours drive of Kane’s hometown.  Those programs include Wake Forest, North Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina State.  In Kane’s mindset decisions can wait until later. Right now he’s all about getting his team to the state championship while bringing home the national sack title.  Stay tuned.

Hawaii…A New Pipeline For The Bigs

With recent news of dual threat quarterback Tua Tagovailoa committing to the Alabama Crimson Tide, the college football world is now openly recognizing the island of Hawaii as a great source for top prospects.

Tagovailoa is leading the pack for a host of top tier talent that many sports media outlets are saying will continue for the upcoming years.  Some other names that have made it to the top of recruiting lists are class of 2018’s Samson Reed of Kahuku High and Jacob Isaia.  Reed’s claim to high school football fame is that he is one of 10 defensive linemen in his class with the ability to play every position on the defensive line.  Jacob Isaia has transferred to powerhouse Bishop Gorman but it is fair to say that he started his climb into the top prospect list during his tenure at Iolani.  He takes a similar headline to the state of Nevada as being a versatile lineman, who is equally effective on both sides of the ball.  And now comes Stephen Barber Jr. whose being held as another insanely accurate quarterback coming out of the class of 2018. (photo courtesy of




In terms of accuracy, Barber Jr. has been compared to Tim Couch, the former University of Kentucky star.  Scouts will definitely keep the young prospect under a microscope with such a high caliber comparison.  In terms of star power, Barber may come out of Hawaii as the best offensive threat in the past decade.  Not to take away from what his athletic peers, mainly Tagovailoa, have accomplished, but the development of a young Barber will make for exciting prospect news for the months to come.  If the poised quarterback is anything near the talent of Tim Couch, he will undoubtedly be considered not only one of the top prospects to come out of Hawaii, but one of the top overall passers all states combined.  As more and more of the big time programs begin to make the trek for scouting (and some vacation time) in the beautiful island location, plan on more top prospects to continue to surface.  Stay tuned.

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Corte Tapia…Recruiting Made Simple

It’s pretty simple. Corte Tapia does what a division one linebacker should do. He tackles, hustles, and interrupts offensive game plans. Tapia gladly accepts the role of defensive leader for the Windsor High School football team.  Looking at Tapia’s game film it’s hard not to notice his “stick-tuitiveness.” His overall skill set has helped him break the state of Colorado’s sack record, and what is building up in the mountain west region is the earned hype of one of the nation’s most effective inside linebackers.  The most careful scouts could say that Tapia will have to develop his lateral movement.  But what this class of 2017 prospect lacks in lateral movement, he by far makes up for in hitting ability.

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At 6’2, 227 pounds Corte Tapia has the size that college coaches adore and with a 4.7 40 yd it would seem the main focus of his off season workouts will be to develop his sideward quickness.  The bottom line on Tapia is that the 150 plus tackles he garnered during his junior campaign should add an additional plus in his prospect rating category. The best part about this young talent is that the game of hype is not his thing at all, he plays the game of football.  Anyone who feels that Tapia lacks anything at the middle linebacker would be met with a short question.  Would you like to put a football in your hands and try to get past him?  A lighthearted but simple articulation on a football position where actions truly speak louder than any playbook, statistic, or scouting report ever can.  Expect the recruiting traffic to become very active in the town of Windsor as the major college programs begin to recognize that Tapia can assist in the daunting task of filling the position of middle linebacker.  Stay tuned.


One of the nation’s top receivers is faced with a tough decision on his college decision.  Jeff Thomas is a five star prospect out of East St. Louis High school located in East St. Louis, Illinois.  Thomas has been slated as one of several receivers in his class that can fit any system regardless of school, coach, or conference.  As the SEC bears down on Thomas’s skills, the question remains on whether he will choose warmer southern climates and compete with the speedy competition of the southern conferences.  As his highlights and game film will profess, this young prospect is as set for high caliber competition as any bluechip player.  Stay tuned. (Hudl highlights)



Taylor Lacoste…Zero Discretion

Ball carriers who faced the defense of Louisiana’s St. Paul High School had two goals in mind this past season.  Their secondary goal was to get to the endzone.  Their primary goal was to avoid one of the most effective young defensive players in the class of 2018.  Taylor Lacoste understandably ranks in the upper echelon of defensive prospects for his respective class.IMG_20151210_131715

Label the tactics of this young prospect as “tip of the spear” like.  Watch Lacoste on film and you see zero discretion on his aggressive approaches to the opponent.  Disregard any pundit talk about technique and overblown  statistics when it comes to this type of athlete.  Lacoste is a playmaker in the broadest sense of the term.  The type of player that college coaches and scouts list as difference makers who can consistently interrupt any offensive scheme.  With two years remaining in his high school career, this bona fide bluechipper will only get faster and stronger.  He already has an aggressive style that will definitely solidify his division one recruiting.  His knowledge of the game and position will be an often asked question amongst recruiting personnel.  With the Alabama Crimson Tide being one of his favorite college teams, watching the Saban disciplined defense will teach the four star player a lot about basic linebacker responsibility. He will be well versed in backer standards such as the elimination of false steps and the importance of gap responsibility.  Offensive coordinators won’t be fooled by the sitcom-like smile of Taylor Lacoste.  Instead they will game plan for this talented athlete, knowing that he is indeed a sort of “smiling assassin” and always ready to wreak havoc on the opposing team.  Expect this prospect to be at the top of linebacker ratings by the end of his junior season and one of the more coveted recruits for the class of 2018. Stay tuned.

Austin Russell…Appreciating the Grind

Recruiting becomes fun when good ol’ hard work becomes the headline.  This is the case with class of 2017 student-athlete, Austin Russell.  The Covington High School football player has used the  theme of consistent hard work as his main tool in becoming a necessary cog in a program that has always earned its identity as a consistent winner.    Although Austin Russell played the position of cornerback for the 2015 fall season, he knows that he has a future at safety.IMG_20151206_195929  The obvious attributes of a defensive back are speed, lateral quickness, jumping ability, and great hip swivel.  Russell is using this offseason to build on these components but is also working on something not too often mentioned with high school defensive backs.  The young athlete is making it his business to use the offseason and work on his ability to create turnovers.  At first it seemed like a statement to just shrug one’s shoulders to.  But after realizing that very few high school football defensive players mention this as a primary importance, one has to think that college scouts and coaches will certainly pay attention to the offseason development of this confident young talent.  Creating turnovers is more than a notion so it is encouraging to learn that Russell chooses some of the greatest ball-hawking safeties in the history of the game to study.  You can often catch Russell watching tapes of Brian Dawkins and John Lynch who he figures are excellent role models on the road to playing division one college football. Because of the broad number of prospects nationwide, Austin Russell figures that it is of utmost important to show coaches and scouts that he can handle big time ball at the next level, and also make an impact expected of any high caliber recruit.  At 6’1, 186 pounds, an offseason in the weight room will undoubtedly put Russell at the prototype safety size that division one programs like which is usually at around 195 pounds and up.  His 3.6 gpa will also help college coaches recognize the hard work he puts in at the classroom desk in addition to the football field.  Recruiting will definitely spike up for this versatile defensive back.  Meanwhile you’ll likely catch Russell in offseason conditioning encouragingly yelling at his teammates with a famous line from Brian Dawkins.  “Whatever you got today, i gotta have it!”  Stay tuned.

Jacob Isaia…Versatility For ’18

The Hawaiian Islands have produced the first prospect from the class of 2018 that can play all five spots on the offensive line.  Jacob Isaia has put Honolulu on the high school football map by earning a four star rating as an offensive tackle.  It’s Isaia’s ability to play at each spot at a division one level that has college recruiters chasing him down and placing him high on their lists of lineman prospects..

This season, the strength of Iolani High school football has been a balanced offensive attack.  Jacob Isaia has a lot to do with this but won’t hesitate to tell anyone who asks that the team’s success is the result of great coaching.  We can only agree with that statement as Isaia’s line coaches have been able to make him a highly effective blocker at each guard, tackle and the center position.  Although the young man loves it in Hawaii, it may be close to  impossible to keep Isaia from taking the long trek to the local states for his college football experience.  It would be a hefty jump when considering the broader range of talent but Jacob Isaia has affirmed in his mind to be the most valuable lineman prospect of his class regardless of location.  It must be mentioned that there is a big difference between being the most valuable lineman and the best lineman.  As any football fan knows, injuries are as much a part of the game as is turf and fan.  Being able to fill in at any spot on the line whenever asked is as important as it gets.  Moreover when an offense does not lose a beat because of the effectiveness of that athlete who does the filling, coaches can be more efficient with player substitutions.  Not to mention the number of other positions coaches can fill on their rosters with scholarships, knowing that a young talent with Isaia’s ability can measure up with any high rated player.  The offseason plan for the athletically gifted islander? Physically there will be a lot of focus on footwork and strength training.  Mentally speaking, Isaia plans on training himself on how to expertly adjust to a position change without any fall off.  Stay tuned.

Emeka Emezie…”He’s Got This”

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The athletic machine known as Emeka Emezie will be one of the most talked about talents from the class of 2017. Mainly because he is now being considered a top ten receiver on a national scale.  The evidence of his 4.4 40 yard dash time and elevator-like jumping ability is seen on his summer and regular season game film.  Already a top prospect, the young talent from Marvin Ridge High school is looking forward to the challenge of becoming the best in his class.  More than that, it is a top priority for Emezie to prepare himself for top level college football.  His often said line of “I got this” will be an added insurance of his on-field confidence to his future college coaches.  It’s rare to see high school football players that are already on a level to step right in and dominate at the next level.  That’s usually a theme connected with basketball and baseball.  His off-season preparation will make those who may have any doubt about his skill set come to the conclusion that he will in fact play early and make a difference on the college level.  Who knows, maybe it’s the fact that every time Emezie looks over his shoulder he sees the many talents of his teammate and class of 2018 star, Caleb Deveaux.  Whatever the case may be, know that something is pushing Emeka Emezie to the top of his class and make no mistake of thinking that this young man will not pause until he is considered number one.  Stay tuned.

Samson Reed…Meeting And Greeting In The Opponent’s Backfield

The message from the Hawaiian islands is very simple.  Samson Reed is good and he is coming to a backfield near you.  Reed is one of those defenders who is as equally entertaining as a high caliber offensive threat.  Those Jevon Kearse and Warren Sapp types if you will.  He is the type of athlete that can capture the crowd and keep their attention because of the way he interrupts an offense.samson reed  The coaches at Kahuku High School are more than excited to see how far Reed can go.  Coaches and scouts at the college level are getting their recruiting approaches ready for this skilled athlete.  The buzz among PAC 12 conference schools may be the reason why Reed has gained national attention as a class of 2018 student-athlete.  The hushed tone on Samson Reed is that no one has been able to cap or even scale his potential.  What does that mean? It simply says that his skill set, while being in a class of former greats is capable of going to a level which usually converts into immediate action as a college freshman.  At nearly 6’3 and closer to 230 pounds, the agile and hasty footed Reed can star at all defensive line positions.  Let’s not put his strength on a backburner either.  Most offensive lines can and will be impeded as he takes on most double teams with a juggernaut style.  Again, it’s important not to put the young man into the college football hall of fame yet, but it is very important to recognize the potential star athlete’s trek to the elite group labeled great.  With the Mountain West conference catching the word from PAC 12 schools about Reed, fans can expect this young man’s recruitment to expand as far as the SEC.  While Reed and his Kahuku teammates prepare to make a run at the state title, college scouts are padding and penciling up for much anticipated note taking on the multi-star athlete.  Stay tuned.

Nick Meunier…When Heart Meets Goals

At first glance Nick Meunier seems too small for division one college football.  After all why would major programs that constantly reload their receiver units with 6’2 and taller receivers take a chance on this young man.  Seems like Meunier is set for a bright future outside of football as he shines a Rhode’s scholar-esque 31 score on his ACT.  Is it tangible to move him into the category of overlooked prospects?  The answer is pretty obvious to any scout or college coach who are wired into the recent successes of smaller, quicker receivers. nick meunier Nick Meunier comes out of GCMS high school located in Gibson City, Illinois.  He is a senior whose team touted one of its more successful seasons in its long football history.  Meunier comes straight from the pages of Cole Beasley and Mike Dudek.  Beasley as you may already know was a standout at SMU and is now catching passes with the Dallas Cowboys, while Mike Dudek has reached  stardom level for the Fighting Illini.  Meunier knows that he has the work ethic and skill to be an effective weapon in any type of offense.  The question on college coaches’ minds is if Meunier can be as effective as the Beasley and Dudek types, and if so does he have the frame of mind to take the physical pounding that comes along with that role.  Nick Meunier would answer any questions about his skill and toughness with a marine-like confidence.  He already understands that with every opportunity given there comes with it a responsibility.  In this case the responsibility would be preparing for the physicality of a level of play that is much more faster and physical than what he may be used to.  Any fan of football or just sports itself would have to love the unflinching hardihood in Meunier eyes when knowing he may indeed be on a division one football field this time next year.  If asked where he would like to continue his football career, Meunier would sternly look any coach in the eye and answer, “Wherever and with whomever i get the chance.”  Stay tuned.