Great to have high school football back in south Florida. This week features kickoff classic games, which do not count on the record. I was out at Dillard vs.St. Thomas Aquinas last night and *surprise*, STA dominated 51-0. I left after the third quarter when Aquinas was up 38-0 and most of the backups were in, but here is what I gathered.
1) I can't even imagine what STA is about to do to the rest of the teams on their schedule. We know how talented they are, but wow. There are much less talented teams on their schedule than Dillard and they dropped half-a-hundred without breaking a sweat. This group will set some records.
2) Miami DT commit Jon Ford from Dillard is not a finished product, but is a legitimate 6-4 and weighs every bit of his listed 275 pounds. It was nearly impossible for him to make an imprint on this game because his team was so overmatched, but I really like how well he carries his weight on his frame. Ford is an exceptional athlete who plays with good leverage and plays with power. Once he continues to refine his technique -- which he will at Miami under Craig Kuligowksi -- Ford will be a really good player. It is telling that Miami is so comfortable with him being the only defensive tackle in the class.
3) DE Jordan Wright
...Did not flash anything out of this world on Thursday night, but again it's tough to assess him on just one game of live action against the best team in the country. Wright's frame does not scream defensive end either, so I'm not sure where you would put him if you're Miami. Don't see him as a take right now, especially after Jonathan Garvin
's commitment. Need to see more before I pass final judgement, but to me Wright just didn't appear as twitchy as I would have hoped with his basketball background.
4) Dillard did have a young sophomore by the name of Braylen Ingraham (2019) who was playing with his hand on the ground on the opposite end from Wright. Ingraham is about 6-3, 215 but his burst stood out. You can tell he's a basketball player also who is raw on the field, but he flashed a few times.
5) There are sooooo many kids on STA to choose from.
Asante Samuel, Jr. had a pick-6. Small but can cover like no other down here.
Michigan State DE commit Lashawn Pauldino-Bell really impressed me. He was in the backfield all night applying pressure. Listed at 6-4, 235 and appears to have a frame to add 25-30 pounds without a problem.
scored from about 30 yards out. Looked like the corner misread the play and there was no safety help over the top. Regardless, he's so smooth. We will see if Miami offers after Devontae Smith makes his decision.
Al Blades, Jr. is Al Blades, Jr. He almost had an interception on a lame duck but the Dillard receiver turned into a defensive back to swat it away. He will continue to make his case as the best cornerback in south Florida for his 2018 class.
WR Elijah Moore
(2018) has a Miami offer and Canes family ties. They like The U a lot. Really good looking prospect who might not put up huge numbers because of how they will spread it around, but he deserves a lot of attention.
2019 ATH Daniel Carter is next to blow at Aquinas. I didn't know who the sophomore was until he took a screen pass 41 yards for a touchdown and had a couple other tough runs. Carter is about 185 pounds at stand at 5-11. He is supposed to play some linebacker for the Raiders this season, which will be interesting to watch.
Put some respect on Mike Epstein
's name. The Illinois running back commit is a baller. He will be a productive player at the next level and is in line for a big senior season.
I know I'm missing something, but those were my biggest takeaways from watching the game.