February 24, 2011

Breaking down the LSR: 71-80

The latest Lone Star Recruiting for the Class of 2012 is out, but we're still at a point in the evaluation process when an education of sorts still needs to take place throughout the list - from No.1 through No.100. Therefore, for the next two weeks we'll go through the entire top 100 list and do exactly that - introduce the players to you. Today we'll take a look at the players that make up No.71-80 on the list:

80. Brooks Haack - (Quarterback/Katy)

I've gone back and forth on Haack since the first set of rankings debuted last season. On one hand, Haack is a pretty damn good football player that has played a lot of good ball the last few seasons in one of the state's top programs. That being said, I don't know that I saw the progress from him as a junior that I probably expected as a sophomore. He's a guy that is a plus-player with a quick release and when he's on the move on rollouts he can be a very accurate passer in the short and intermediate areas of the field, but he's not a guy that has shown the ability to consistently throw the ball down the field like you'd want to see from an elite-level prospect. However, at the end of the day, it's possible that his height (6-1) and lack of dynamic physical ability will limit his college upside. He'll need to find himself in the right situation and he won't be everyone's cup of tea, but the kid has moxie. It's possible that too much was expected of him after a brief flash of excellence as a sophomore and this spot could be a little high for him, but he's a talented guy who has shown some skill. He's a guy that I want to see again at camps this spring.

Player he reminds me of: Andy Dalton (TCU - 2006)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 73

Highest ranking: 22 (3/30/10)

Debut ranking: 22 (3/30/10)

79. Jeffery Thomas - (Wide receiver/Duncanville)

I don't know why things haven't completely come together for the 6-3, 180-pound Thomas because he's a guy that at his best has some absolute star upside as a receiver. Obviously, the kid has size, but he's a guy that has flashed really good ball skills and big-play upside in his time at Duncanville. What you like about Thomas a big-play receiver is that he can stretch the field and go up to get the football. But he also has a little shake and bake after the catch that makes him a difficult player to defend in space. The knock on Thomas is that he's not a burner and it's fair to say that he'll have average speed as a college receiver. Also, despite the flashes of above-average skill, he was the No.3 wide receiver for Duncanville, so he hasn't been able to put together a complete season that would secure a higher spot in the rankings. At this point, he's a work in progress, but there's a lot there to work with. When we talk about three star prospects with four-star upside, he's a perfect example.

Player he reminds me of: Brandon LaFell (LSU - 2005)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 62

Highest ranking: 15 (3/30/10)

Debut ranking: 15 (3/30/10)

78. Mitchell Meyers - (Defensive end/The Woodlands)

I think the book on Meyers is pretty simple. He's a strong-side defensive end prospect that is tough at the point of attack and against the run, but he has some limitations as a pass rusher off the edge and overall as an athlete. Still, what Meyers doesn't give you with speed off the edge, he makes up for it with a really high motor, tough brand of football that can make him a very difficult match-up for opposing linemen who haven't brought their lunch-pails to work with them. Meyers does a really good job of using his hands and delivering a blow to opposing offensive lineman off the snap, while maintaining proper pad level, which allows him to direct and easily shed blockers, but there's no getting around the fact that there's not a lot of "wow". What you see is what you get with Meyers, which is a quality player with both a limited ceiling/basement. He will likely never be a star, but he has a chance to be a good player for someone.

Player he reminds me of: Tully Janszen (Texas - 2002)

Current offers: Texas A&M (committed)

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 69

Highest ranking: 69 (1/12/11)

Debut ranking: 69 (1/13/11)

77. Aiavion Edwards - (Athlete/Stephenville)

This might be a little bit of a projection of my end at this point. Edwards is a guy that has been a pretty solid running back at Stephenville, but when I look at his long-term future I see a kid that has a chance to be a very good safety at the next level. At 6-1, 205 pounds, Edwards is a tough, physical player that is not afraid to sell his body out on the field for a yard. Also, as a runner he's shown flashes of game-breaking ability. As a junior, as he put together 2,000+ yards of offense and more than 20 touchdowns. He might not rate out as elite in any category, but he's a versatile athlete that can potentially play on either side of the ball at the next level

Player he reminds me of:James Henry(Texas - 2006)

Current offers: Baylor (committed)

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 88

Highest ranking: 49 (3/30/10)

Debut ranking: 49 (3/30/10)

76. Kendall Ehrlich - (Linebacker/Pearland)

This is a kid that Howell is a really big fan of after having scouted him in person in the playoffs a few months ago. At 6-2, 200 pounds, Ehrlich is a little undersized, but he projects as a guy that will be able to add weight/muscle without having to giving up a lot of the athletic ability that makes him a really good linebacker prospect. Ehrlich is one of those "intangibles" guys that possess an extremely high football IQ and his athleticism is underrated because he's a guy that has flashed some sideline-to-sideline ability in a pretty standout junior campaign. Ehrlich is another player who might be flying under the radar for a lot of people right now, but a strong spring could change that.

Player he reminds me of: John Bordano (SMU - 2010)

Current offers: Boise State and Iowa State

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 89

Highest ranking: 76 (current)

Debut ranking: 89 (1/13/11)

75. Dominic Spencer - (Linebacker/Dallas Skyline)

Every year Skyline seems to produce a tweener type outside linebacker that often lines up as a stand-up defensive end at the high school level and Spencer is that guy this year. At 5-11, 211 pounds, Spencer comes in a package that is a little outside the box, but if you're looking for an interior linebacker with a lot of range, plus-athleticism and some playmaking skill, this kid could be your guy. Again, a lot of what he currently does for Skyline is as a standup defensive end, so he's not always in a position to test his instincts or ability to recognize plays from the linebacker position, but he can flat out run and when he gets to the football he pack a pop. Of course, the big concern is that he's an ultimate tweener type and at 5-11 and maybe even 5-10, it's not like he has a future anywhere else, unless it's at fullback. So, there's definitely some risk to go along with that upside. He's an interesting prospect that could still rise or fall in the rankings when the dust settles.

Player he reminds me of: Dominique Patterson (Texas A&M - 2010)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 79

Highest ranking: 75 (current)

Debut ranking: 79 (1/13/11)

74. Russell Hansbrough - (Arlington/Running back)

Usually when we're talking about a diminutive running back, elite burst/quickness/speed is the name of the game, but when I look at the 5-7, 170-pound Hansbrough I see a guy that's slippery more than anything else. The more you watch, the more you see a guy that just runs through tackles, finishes plays and makes things happen. He's a guy that gets by on balance and very good feet, along with a solid dose of quickness/burst. He's probably not the home run hitter that you would like to see from a guy with his size, but he can line up as a wide receiver, return kicks and emerge as a nice all-purpose player at the next level

Player he reminds me of: Marcus Murphy (Missouri - 2010)

Current offers: Auburn, Baylor, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, SMU and TCU

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 67

Highest ranking: 66 (3/30/10)

Debut ranking: 66 (3/30/10)

73. Jamaal Fears - (Defensive tackle/Duncanville)

A slightly undersized defensive tackle at 6-2, 276 pounds, Fears has one of the best first steps of any interior line prospects in the Lone Star State this year. As a junior this season for Duncanville, Fears flashed some play-making potential, but he's still adding the upper-body strength that he needs to truly emerge as one of the elite defensive prospects in his class. Fears can often lean a little too strongly on the bull rush and he will to develop and diversify his game, but that will come with more experience and better coaching. Also, this is a kid that plays with a nice motor, won't give up on a play and he arrives at the ball in a bad mood. Two other things that you really like about his make-up is the fact that he's strong in the weight room (an increasing relevant topic in today's game) and he has a frame that should support the addition of more weight/muscle without giving up some of the athleticism that makes him a desirable prospect. He's a little raw and he's a bit of a project, but the flashes of something pretty exciting exist in his play and profile. It might simply take a little more time before he really takes off.

Player he reminds me of: Brandon Antwine (Florida - 2006)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 78

Highest ranking: 51 (8/26/10)

Debut ranking: 51 (8/27/10)

72. Lincoln Richard - (Linebacker/Everman)

Raw, raw and more raw. That's Richard in a nutshell. At 6-3, 210 pounds, Richard might not yet have a true college position, although he projects as a possible outside linebacker/outside edge rusher. As a junior at Everman, Richard free-lanced quite a bit as a middle linebacker and while he might not always play the must fundamentally sound brand of football, the kid can flat out make a lot of plays and there are times when he'll make a "wow" play that really gives you hope for his upside. A tough, physical striker, Richard needs some time in the weight room so that he can develop his frame, but he has the physical tools that you're looking for. Really and truly, Richard is another guy with four-star upside/raw talent, but he's not quite there yet as a player to rank among the truly elite defensive prospects in the state. But, he's not that far away from that level, either. A little bit of patience, a little bit of time and the right coaching staff/system, and you might really have something with Richard.

Player he reminds me of: Brandon Joiner (Arkansas State - 2007)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 39

Highest ranking: 39 (3/30/10)

Debut ranking: 44 (3/30/10)

71. Kyle Marrs - (Offensive lineman/San Antonio Brandeis)

They don't get much bigger at the high school level than this man-mountain of a teenager. At 6-6, 300 pounds, there's nothing tricky about Marrs on a football field. His is big, he is strong and if he can get into the body of a defensive lineman, he's likely going to move them out of the way like a bulldozer. On top of that size, he brings a nasty little attitude to the field and he seems to enjoy nothing more than falling on a guy after driving him to the ground. Of course, along with the good comes some bad and most of it centers around the fact that he's a limited athlete that could be restricted to the inside at the next level. That's not to say that he doesn't have solid feet/athleticism, but he's definitely not a plus-player in either aspect. His game is strength and power, and that shouldn't change much when he gets to college.

Player he reminds me of:Adam Shead (Oklahoma - 2010)

Current offers: None

Current LSR Rating: 5.7

Previous ranking: 63

Highest ranking: 63 (1/12/11)

Debut ranking: 63 (1/13/11)

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