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September 24, 2008

From the Road: The underclassmen

FROM THE ROAD: Week 4 Offensive Prospects | Week 4 Defensive Prospects

Rivals.com recruiting analysts had the opportunity to scout some of the nation's top prospects in games this past weekend.

Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood lineman James Stone showed why he already has offers from some of the nation's top programs.

Here are some rundowns on the top underclassmen they saw in person, listed alphabetically.

QB KEVIN ADAMS (5-11/180), Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Adams played quarterback in Quince Orchard's 35-3 win over Damascus (Md.) High. Adams threw for a touchdown pass and made a nice option pitch that led to another.
STRENGTHS: Adams is a good athlete and makes good decisions with the football. On his touchdown pass, he drew the blitzing defense to him and dumped the ball over their heads on a screen pass. He also made a terrific pitch on an option play that freed the pitch man for a score.
WEAKNESSES: His throwing mechanics need work and he's obviously young and inexperienced in the passing game. He also had a fumble, so his ball security needs work. MIKE FARRELL
OLB BRAD BARS (6-3/200), Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Vandy and Kentucky have expressed interest.
PERFORMANCE: Had one solo and seven assisted tackles in his team's 51-7 win over Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II.
STRENGTHS: Like teammate Fitz Lassing, Bars has the frame to fill into a physically imposing 'backer. He has great speed for a linebacker and is athletic laterally and vertically.
WEAKNESSES: He is not physical enough right now. He doesn't attack blocks aggressively enough and is hesitant at times in his reads. Needs his physicality to catch up with his athleticism. BARTON SIMMONS
LB AARON BRYANT (5-11/187), Nashville (Tenn.) Hillsboro
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: No significant interest to date.
PERFORMANCE: Bryant was all over the field and clearly one of Hillsboro's defensive leaders as a sophomore.
STRENGTHS: Bryant loves contact. He made several big hits and had a great nose for the ball. On one play, he had one of the hardest hits you will see all season, knocking a receiver's helmet off on a quick slant. He has a linebacker's mindset and is just a "football player."
WEAKNESSES: He needs to grow a little bit to become a prototypical linebacker, but he still is young and maturing. B.S.
RB DEREK CAMPBELL (6-0/180), Manhattan (Kan.) High
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Campbell rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, leading Manhattan past Topeka (Kan.) Seaman 28-7.
STRENGTHS: He displayed good toughness running the ball up the middle and off-tackle quite a bit, and when he got into the open field, he wasn't afraid to go head-to-head against the defender.
WEAKNESSES: It would have been nice to see Campbell make a defender miss in space, then turn on the jets and show his speed reportedly 4.5. That didn't happen Friday night, but that would be the only knock on what was an effective evening. JEREMY CRABTREE
QB CONNOR FRAZIER (5-11/165), Damascus (Md.) High
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Frazier played quarterback in a Damascus' 35-3 loss to Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard. Stats were not available.
STRENGTHS: Frazier is impressive under fire, as he was running for his life much of the game. Quince Orchard's strong front seven forced many hurried throws, but Frazier never appeared rattled despite his youth.
WEAKNESSES: Frazier's ball is a bit wobbly at this stage, and he is slight and thin. M.F.
S NICK GOSS (5-11/175), Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Goss had two tackles in Quince Orchard's 35-3 win over Damascus (Md.) High.
STRENGTHS: Goss is a fluid athlete with good size for a younger prospect. He's not afraid to throw his body around and is a physical tackler. He has excellent speed to the sidelines.
WEAKNESSES: Goss still needs to get off blocks better and not get caught in traffic in run support. M.F.
LB CURTIS GRANT (6-2/205), Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Registered 10 tackles in a 22-8 loss to Richmond (Va.) Varina.
STRENGTHS: Grant has good speed, size and athleticism. He has a nose for the ball, good side-to-side quickness and enough speed to chase a play down from behind. He's also a huge hitter.
WEAKNESSES: Grant did make a number of tackles, but could have been in on more had he been in position more often. He also struggled at times to shed blocks. M.F.
LB ROGER HAWKINS (6-0/200), Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Hawkins had four tackles in Quince Orchard's 35-3 win over Damascus (Md.) High.
STRENGTHS: Hawkins is well put-together and has great strength. He takes on blockers well and is a big hitter. His sideline pursuit is impressive, too. He is the cousin of 2009 four-star Travis Hawkins, so he has good bloodlines.
WEAKNESSES: Hawkins clearly is a weight-room warrior, but his musculature has made him a bit stiff on the field, so he needs to work on his flexibility. He also tends to over-pursue at times. M.F.
LB DARYL HOWELL (6-0/230), Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Registered four tackles in a 22-8 loss to Richmond (Va.) Varina.
STRENGTHS: Howell is a big prospect who is a ferocious tackler; he made a couple of big hits in the game. He is solid in run support and showed good presence in the pass rush. He wasn't involved much in coverage, though.
WEAKNESSES: The big question for Howell is his speed; he was beat by speedy Trey Johnson a few times to the outside and had trouble catching up. He struggled a bit shedding blocks when the line got to the second level. M.F.
RB TREY JOHNSON (5-10/166), Richmond (Va.) Varina
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Johnson ran for 207 yards on 31 carries and had one reception for 26 yards in a 22-8 win over Richmond (Va.) Hermitage.
STRENGTHS: Johnson is a speedy back who runs hard. He consistently required two or three players to tackle him because of his strength and shiftiness in the open field. He also displayed some ability to break tackles and showed soft hands.
WEAKNESSES: Johnson's size will be a concern for colleges. His blocking wasn't on display much in the game. M.F.
LB FITZ LASSING (6-3/210), Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Vandy and Kentucky have expressed interest.
PERFORMANCE: Had two solo tackles, one PBU and four carries for 30 yards at fullback in MBA's 51-7 win over Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II.
STRENGTHS: Has the physical tools. He is big and sleek and carries his weight well, with the potential to add more. Lassing plays with high energy and good instincts. He is disruptive off of the edge and comfortable in the pass rush, and he looks as if he has the hips to get out in coverage.
WEAKNESSES: With his body, he can be more physical at the point of attack. That may come as he gains strength. B.S.
LB BRIAN LUCAS (6-1/195), Damascus (Md.) High
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Lucas had 10 tackles and also had the biggest play for Damascus on offense, a 20-yard run, in its 35-3 loss to Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard.
STRENGTHS: Lucas is a throwback football player who is in on almost every play on defense and is a tremendous open-field tackler. He's physical and doesn't wear down. Offensively, he was the only player on his team who could run away from defenders.
WEAKNESSES: Lucas isn't that big and playing both ways in high school could lead to trouble adding needed weight. M.F.
RB ANTHONY PIERSON (5-11/15), St. Louis Gateway
2011 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Too early to tell.
PERFORMANCE: Ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns and also had an interception in a 29-12 loss to St. Louis Roosevelt.
STRENGTHS: He has breakaway speed and an above-average change of direction. Pierson also has good ball skills and could project as a corner at the next level.
WEAKNESSES: Is a tad thin for an every-down back and will need to add some size and strength in order to take the pounding at running back at the next level. BARRY EVERY
OT JAMES STONE (6-4/287), Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Already has seven written offers, including Alabama, Tennessee and Stanford.
PERFORMANCE: Recorded one sack while playing defensive tackle. Also started at offensive tackle in a 28-12 loss to Nashville Hillsboro.
STRENGTHS: Stone has a great body structure. He is a thick but well-proportioned athlete who can add more weight if necessary but already is physically impressive. Stone's best attribute may be that he goes hard every play despite playing both sides of the ball. He projects as an offensive tackle and showed good athleticism; he had an easy time handling the small and quick Hillsboro front.
WEAKNESSES: Sometimes Stone is content just blocking a defender. Against some of the smaller Hillsboro linemen, he should've dominated on a more consistent level. He also had some mental errors with offside penalties on defense. B.S.
OT MARQUIS WALLACE (6-3/310), Richmond (Va.) Varina
2010 PROSPECT
CONSIDERING: Undecided
PERFORMANCE: Wallace played left tackle in Varina's 22-8 victory over Richmond (Va.) Hermitage.
STRENGTHS: Wallace showed good footwork and quickness. His team ran behind him for much of the game and he cleared some massive holes. He was solid in pass protection as well.
WEAKNESSES: Wallace needs to drop a few pounds and work on his conditioning. M.F.



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