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Upon Further Review- Virginia Tech

Upon Further Review- Virginia Tech

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review where each week I will walk through the previous game’s film and examine the action. This week, Miami takes on Virginia Tech at home and this performance is making my job miserable.

Coming off of a putrid performance against Central Michigan and then a bye week, the hope was that Miami would come out and play like their backs are against the wall and have a fast start. That…didn’t happen.

Kickoff out-of-bounds and Miami has excellent field position.

First play and the VT defense simply blitzes their edge defender and leaves the slot uncovered. Jarren gives on the run and Navaughn is blown up. He’s knocked two yards backwards on this play. Zion completely whiffs on his block and there is nowhere to go for the RB. Jakai missed his block for good measure. If this was an actual RPO, the slot would need to see the blitzing edge and flatten his route to get an easy 5+ yards.
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I truly do not understand the play design here. Why is Osburn peeling back and trying to block the DE? The screen takes care of him by having him rush the passer and then throw it over him. Instead, he essentially gets in DeeJay’s way and stops the play himself.
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It leaves Gaynor on three defensive players. My guess is that the plan was for Osborn to push the edge defender inside but he was too fast, and then Jakai was supposed to release and get out with Gaynor as a blocker on the edge. The execution is awful and it goes nowhere. This is the start of their scripted plays after having two weeks to rep them and prepare.
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Two things on the first interception; 1. The defender got there early and it was clearly pass interference. 2. I have praised Mike Harley a lot in these columns, but he has to FIGHT through this contact here instead of coming in soft and weak on attacking the football. The defense has seen this play on film all week long and were absolutely ready for it. I talked on the podcast about wanting to see a Sluggo (slant-and-go) early in the game to break tendency, but they stuck with the same old slant on 3rd down. Miami was dead last in the FBS on 3rd downs coming into this game.
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First play they run a zone-read. Garvin flattens to prevent the QB keep, Bethel penetrates but misses the TFL, Shaq reads the puller and gets off a block for a nice run tackle. (Not pictured)

Next play and this is the value of carrying out the fake. Hooker is going into his pass motion here and Romeo is keying on that rather than filling the cutback lane here. While Romeo makes the tackle, the RB picks up 5 rather than 0.
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Miami has played safe on multiple occasions against running QB’s this year, but here they run that X-stunt they like to run and Ford gets way out of his lane, Garvin is pushed wide, and it’s an easy 1st down pickup for the known running QB with two career passes. It’s not Shaq’s fault because he has to account for the RB. This one is on the DC.
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Next play VT traps Bethel, as they let him run upfield and then bring the C to trap him in the backfield while the RB cuts behind for an easy 5. (Not pictured)

The defense is outleveraged on this play and I’m not really sure why. Romeo is way inside here and it’s an automatic rise up and throw it check for the QB. VT even has a free blocker to account for one of the defenders out there. It’s an easy 1st down. To get this out of position is baffling.

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1st down they try to run a post and Bandy covers it well. 2nd down they fake the jet sweep and have the QB run it again. Romeo has that gap and while he makes the tackle, he was hesitant to attack the gap and the QB gets a decent gain. (Not pictured)

Get upfield and don’t replace, it’s going to be an easy step-through for the QB every single time. Playing man is a great defense to stop the pass, but you have to replace if you’re facing a running QB (you can see your MLB’s numbers in pass coverage). Patchan gets wide and the QB easily runs for a TD. Knowles only guy out there and he whiffs on the tackle. You had two weeks to game plan and you have your MLB turning his back on a running QB on 3rd down and don’t replace a wide rush. Ford is easily washed down by the OL and this is an 8-play TD drive without a pass beyond the LOS.
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I see this WAY too often with this OL. This is the result of either a poor understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, or poor communication. Zion is roasted around the edge again while Donaldson is doing nothing. In this protection, Navaughn has the inside shoulder of the LT, so Zion has to know he has help inside and get his kick to stop the wide rush. Jarren completes this for a big pass to Brevin, but it might be a TD if Jarren has time to let it develop further. Brevin tackles himself out there on this play and shows his frustration.
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You can see that VT clearly does not respect Miami deep to start this game. They’ve got LB’s jumping bubbles, S’s stepping up rather than back, and physical press on the edges. (Commentary)

Miami runs a nice reverse to Jeff Thomas and if Jakai Clark gets his block it would’ve been a huge play. Clark falls off his block and his man gets Thomas by a shoestring. Pretty valid depiction of Miami on a lot of plays; one guy misses his assignment and the entire play goes down a notch. (Clark is hugging the LB on the hash).
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Miami runs a QB draw on the next play and it is run very well. Gaynor seals inside, Clark kicks out, Jarren steps through and gets a nice gain. (Not pictured)

I’m not sure if Jarren has audible freedom or not, but this should’ve been an audible. Miami runs right into a 9-man front. If you play in a tight formation, it also pulls the defense in tight.
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10 of a possible 11 players on offense are inside the hashes (essentially, as the ball is on the near hash). Motion Jeff Thomas across and they take a shot deep for #8 and you can see why VT doesn’t respect Miami deep (all 22 players are in your screen here). The ball is vastly underthrown and is easily picked off by the defender. Really an awful throw. Miami’s gameplan is fitting right into VT’s hands thus far.
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Let’s just say that VT’s coaching staff noticed our tendency to overload blitz and called a perfect play against it. Thus far, Miami has been consistently outleveraged on defense to the point it disappoints me to watch. We also dropped Garvin back into the flat zone again, effectively taking our best defensive player and asking him to do things he’s not very good at, rather than asking him to do the things he’s great at.
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Call a 3-man rush, bail the MLB who sugared the A-gap (fake blitz), and then send the delayed SS blitz. It gets nowhere near the QB but the coverage is good on a deep ball and VT has to punt. (Not pictured)

It’s telling to me that the DT is further off the LOS than our WR’s after just smoking Gaynor right at the snap here. We throw an out route to Harley with a clear out from Osborn and Harley makes a man miss to pick up a 1st down, but you just see how quickly this OL is losing. Gaynor was supposed to dump down with Jakai pulling, but teams are onto that pull and are simply jumping the gap before the OL can dump down.
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So we go under center and bring in Parrot at FB. VT walks into a five man front and then brings their SS down to add six defenders on the LOS. This drives me nuts that we are still making these mistakes on offense. We have 16 seconds on the play clock here, Jarren has to see this and at the very least slide protection to that side, at worst, change the play to a quick hitter to the other side of the formation.
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Instead, what happens is the protection stays heavy to the opposite side and we end up blocking the DE with both the RT and RG, the NT with both the C and the LG, and then the other DE with the LT, the blitzing edge with a FB and then the blitzing SS with the RB. The result is a sack from the strong side. On the previous VT possession, Miami tried something very similar and VT ran a play right behind the blitz and picked up easy yards.
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Another mistake along the OL. On this play Zion has to understand he has help inside. Donaldson is responsible for the inside shoulder of Zion, so he only has responsibility outside and yet he still gets beat outside. That is absolutely unacceptable. Gaynor once again struggles with a stunt and the RB doesn’t step up strong and take this blitz. It leads to Jarren not having a way to get outside or step up and he is hit in the legs just as he releases the ball. It was a poor decision and is intercepted, but it all starts up front on this play. Ideally, Miami would’ve slid protection down to the other side and Donaldson would’ve crashed down on the DT and Gaynor could crash down on the stunt inside, Jakai could slide and take #34 and then you have an extra blocker or an outlet but making protection calls are not the strong suit of either Jarren or Enos.
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I called Garvin our best defender, but he’s getting blocked 1-on-1 by #29 right here and the RB cuts behind his blocker. If Romeo doesn’t make this tackle as he goes through the hole it’s a TD. Garvin has to beat this block and make a TFL.
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Here is #29 sneaking to the backside here. Finley has flat to that side where #35 is threatening, Knowles is blitzing with the standard SS blitz we do, Gurvan is picking up that WR in the middle of your screen. It was Shaq who blew this one, he’s supposed to run with the TE after he releases but he thinks he’s blocking and doesn’t go with him.
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Garvin almost got the QB, but you see Shaq knows he’s been got.
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We seemingly make a mistake on every play. Here, Brevin falls down on the jet sweep. Forces Harley wide with no one out there, tries to make a play and puts the ball on the ground. Luckily they called him down on the field or VT picks it up and walks into the end zone.
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Bethel beats his guy right off the snap and gets pressure in the face of the QB who turfs an attempted slant. (Not pictured)

On a 3rd and long you let a running QB pick it up again on a simple QB draw. Missed tackle right here by Shaq, Bubba Bolden is hesitant to attack here, Amari Carter can’t get him down, he nearly houses this. Then Bolden hits him late out-of-bounds. Flat unacceptable.
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Pinckney missed tackle on the edge. TD.
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Perry hits the screen-n-go to Brevin and he nearly scores (fakes screen block for Jeff Thomas). It’s an excellent play by Perry as he’s getting crushed and has to anticipate the throw before Brevin has even gotten 5-yards past the LOS. If Zion makes his block it gives Perry time to set and get it out there further and it’s a walk-in TD.
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Disliked the route combinations on a sprint-right with Mallory running to the goal line and turning around, Irvin running a little dig, and Hightower running a corner. I wish we ran man beaters and set natural picks for our receivers more in the red zone. (Not pictured)

We run the same play on 4th down (minus the Mallory stop route). While the CB interfered and held Wiggins on the play, it still had little chance of working. (Not pictured)

They had Rousseau doubled on this play and he still uses power to get off the first blocker and speed to get around the second one. Point blank, Rousseau has to play more.
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I tend to be like a lot of fans during games and watch it with my heart. When I re-watch these games is when I learn and see what’s really happening. Perry showed me something in this game because he showed toughness, anticipation, and serious arm strength. Toughness by taking some absolute shots. Anticipation on that throw to Brevin I showed earlier. Serious arm strength on a bunch of throws, but this one in particular he’s sprinting to his right, unable to step into this throw and flings it downfield while taking a shot from both sides for a huge play to Jeff Thomas. This is 43-yards in the air while sprinting and just flinging it while being crushed. This is Pat Mahomes-esque.
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By the way, on the same play you’ve got two OL who don’t touch a soul (Zion and Donaldson) and Scaife gets his lunch money completely taken by this spin move which flushed Perry to begin with. I wish the OL worked together as a unit here. Clark steps down to take inside shoulder, Donaldson crushes this guys’ ribs, Zion sees a guy coming off the edge to his left and hits him (None of these things happened. Zero).
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I hate to keep harping on this communication and lack of understanding from our OL, or whomever is calling the protections, but look at what happens here. We realize the TE and Dallas has to block two guys. One comes free and just drills Perry.
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Catch the ball, Harley. This is an unbelievable throw with a dude taking Perry’s head off. Harley had a benchable half.
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Scaife hold.
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Donaldson trips over his own feet on the hail mary and never touches this guy.
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Catch the ball, KJ.
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Miami is able to attack the outside edges of the field so much more with Perry at QB. He hits the honey spot down the sideline against cover-2 for a big 3rd down conversion against man coverage. It is clear that Bud Foster didn’t fear the WR’s on Miami and played press-man a ton. It worked in the first half, but Perry had the arm strength to test the edges more and it paid off. That’s not a slam on Jarren- who had an obvious shoulder injury hampering him in this game. This is an NFL throw.
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I’ve been begging for Miami’s offense to take advantage of the rules, which allows the offense to block downfield in college if the ball is caught behind the LOS. We finally do that on a tunnel screen to Jeff Thomas and it’s a big play. (Not pictured)

If Jakai gets his block this is a TD as the S had dropped down and Harris cuts it back right into that alley.
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Brevin sells the fake, sneaks out to flat, walk-in TD. It’s difficult when an offense throws PA into a play and the TE looks like he’s run blocking. LB’s lose eyesight and it’s over.
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CB is just roasted on this play and the S is nowhere to be found. The QB overthrows it, but this was a bad play by Ivey and Carter. Why are you jumping a short route on 3rd & 11? Carter faded way into the middle of the field when they’re in a two-deep coverage.
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Really cool play where we use misdirection, Brevin leads around edge, Scaife pushes down on edge there and then releases onto the LB right on hash. Brevin gets the S standing on the 20 and it’s a nice gain. Rather use it with Jeff Thomas, who is more dynamic and Harley is our best blocking WR. A wrinkle on this could be to fake this toss, then have Perry on edge with an option for DeeJay.
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Comments (84)

This is embarrassing for Donaldson. A LB blitzes and completely knocks him off balance and into Gaynor, which frees up both blitzers and it’s a sack. Donaldson is 6-5, 330+ and he gets ragdolled by a 6-1, 225 lb. LB. Brevin comes wide open on the out route if he had time.
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This is the interception from Perry that was called back. Another stunt that we don’t pass off. Jakai is engaged already and Scaife doesn’t see it in time so the defender loops around him and flushes Perry. Three guys block one. A 3-man rush gets home and Donaldson never does hit anyone. He is so obviously out of gas on this play he’s taking a break.
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Next play Perry puts way too much air underneath a post route and the DB plays it was better than Pope does. It needed to be driven in there low and outside and give Pope a chance to make a play. (Not pictured)

Perry runs a play fake and someone goes the wrong way and it leads to a huge sack on Perry. Sigh. (Not pictured)

3rd & 8 and they spy Hooker and run a bandit blitz with Pinckney (essentially he blitzes if no one threatens his coverage area). Incomplete and punt time. (Not pictured)

I’ll give Patke credit on this return as his guys were smart with their technique. You can’t do blindside blocks anymore, so they throw their arms up and run in front of the defender. It also prevents the urge to block in the back as well. 15 & 3 are both doing it on this return.
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Scaife in at RG and him and Gaynor do not communicate on an A-gap blitz and it’s a straight rush to the QB for a sack. He got the LB’s to step up as well and had #3 behind them if the pocket holds.
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I’m just completely over watching OL issues. This is a wide-9 edge rush and DeeJay runs up instead of chipping for Zion here. Donaldson literally never touches a soul on this play. A sack/hold on Zion, but DeeJay could’ve chipped and helped him out. He’s a true freshman playing LT, you can’t expect him to make this kind of block right now.
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Ford knocks a pass down or VT has a big gain on a square-in where Carter slipped down.
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2nd & 8 and Garvin takes the cheese on the zone-read and lets the QB outside of him. It brings up a 3rd & short and that opened the playbook for VT. (Not pictured)

3rd down and they run a switch concept in which the TE comes underneath the WR. Bolden gets confused and runs into the WR on a terrible angle and the TE is streaking uncovered down the sideline. Bolden tackles him at the 3-yard line.
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What did we learn?

  • We learned that this coaching staff has a long way to go. To come out of a bye week with that much time to prepare and to not be ready for a running QB on 3rd downs was inexcusable. To not be prepared for Bud Foster to play man-to-man aggressive coverage and blitz your QB in the A-gaps is indefensible.
  • The OL is averse to contact as any OL I can remember. There were plays all over this film where the OL just refused to hit somebody. Navaughn Donaldson will want to burn this tape with how soft he played. A guy that big with his talents should not be playing the way he is.
  • I sometimes have fans reach out to me and ask my opinion on topics and Barry has been a pretty consistent topic of questions. This game started to tip me towards a lot of this is on him. The communication errors and inability to slide coverages effectively is at least partially on Barry. Too many times I see three blocking one and no one blocking another. An OL is like a flowing quintet and ours are on different sheets.
  • The offense can move the ball when defenses get spread out and have to cover the entire field. Perry threatens areas of the field that Jarren cannot with his shoulder injury and getting in the shotgun helps your OL. If Enos puts them back under center against Virginia I will be about ready to call for him to go as well.
  • This team plays hard for Manny. That says a lot about him, but the inability to get this team ready for the start of games is not a good sign for this coaching staff. You probably aren’t getting rid of Manny after one season, but the other guys are all coaching for their futures in my view.
  • The LB's may have regressed from their Junior seasons. They really were not a factor in this game and left me wanting more the entire time I watched this game. Zero impact plays from that group right now.
 
I appreciate you bot holding back and feel for you that you have to live through it multiple times a week. Nice work as always and holy crap we look even worse round two
 
I already said it a while ago after the CMU game. Barry and Enos sucks both needs to be fired after the season. This is head banging into a wall type of stuff and we know it not going to change because these are small time coaches who only think there is only 1 way of doing things. Enos has already laid on his under-center offense sword and it Manny's job to tell him he won't do. The "spread coast" Enos probably sold Manny on was complete BS.

Once again, we continue to bail out Alabama and Temple from keeping terrible coaches or terrible recruits.

Also these defensive coaches suck. We are starting to see the affect of the misses in recruiting at DB. All of our CBs are slow and Bandy has regressed. Rumph and Panda built there success off Golden's players. Patke is actually the only unit that is performing. Our special teams (besides Bubba Saxa) has improved A lot.
 
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Great post and I agree that like the players I like Manny and I can see why they fight. My problem lies with the coordinators. Enos, Baker and Patke.
Enos seems like a legit QB coach. He needs to adapt to this team with his calls. Spread!!
Baker is over matched. He’s lucky our D plays hard but they are always out of position.
Patke took over a failing unit and the fg kicking has gotten worse. Maybe not his fault but sheesh.
 
These things continue to be way too long.

I usually skim the play breakdowns, then flip to the bullet points at the end, but "coaching is questionable, OL stinks, LBs are underwhelming" was not very insightful. In other articles you do a great job of mixing qualitative and quantitative analysis - can you bring some of that to these? It feels like you're not playing to your strengths.

For example, you said "There were plays all over this film where the OL just refused to hit somebody". That sounds like something any angry Canes fan could say. It would be more insightful if you said how often this happened. What % of plays were there when there was an unblocked defensive player AND an OL not blocking anyone in the same play? Or something along those lines.

Here's another one. You said, "It is clear that Bud Foster didn’t fear the WR’s on Miami and played press-man a ton". How often? And how did Miami due vs. press-man?

I would be 1000x more interested in reading an article with that type of insight than flipping through ~50 screen shots of the game with undifferentiated commentary.

Just my 2 cents.
 
These things continue to be way too long.

I usually skim the play breakdowns, then flip to the bullet points at the end, but "coaching is questionable, OL stinks, LBs are underwhelming" was not very insightful. In other articles you do a great job of mixing qualitative and quantitative analysis - can you bring some of that to these? It feels like you're not playing to your strengths.

For example, you said "There were plays all over this film where the OL just refused to hit somebody". That sounds like something any angry Canes fan could say. It would be more insightful if you said how often this happened. What % of plays were there when there was an unblocked defensive player AND an OL not blocking anyone in the same play? Or something along those lines.

Here's another one. You said, "It is clear that Bud Foster didn’t fear the WR’s on Miami and played press-man a ton". How often? And how did Miami due vs. press-man?

I would be 1000x more interested in reading an article with that type of insight than flipping through ~50 screen shots of the game with undifferentiated commentary.

Just my 2 cents.

I see you Banda!
 
These things continue to be way too long.

I usually skim the play breakdowns, then flip to the bullet points at the end, but "coaching is questionable, OL stinks, LBs are underwhelming" was not very insightful. In other articles you do a great job of mixing qualitative and quantitative analysis - can you bring some of that to these? It feels like you're not playing to your strengths.

For example, you said "There were plays all over this film where the OL just refused to hit somebody". That sounds like something any angry Canes fan could say. It would be more insightful if you said how often this happened. What % of plays were there when there was an unblocked defensive player AND an OL not blocking anyone in the same play? Or something along those lines.

Here's another one. You said, "It is clear that Bud Foster didn’t fear the WR’s on Miami and played press-man a ton". How often? And how did Miami due vs. press-man?

I would be 1000x more interested in reading an article with that type of insight than flipping through ~50 screen shots of the game with undifferentiated commentary.

Just my 2 cents.
this is what is so funny about people.... if you know what Lance should have said and how he should have said it .... why the hell dont YOU do a game analysis thread ? we will be eagerly looking forward to your thread after the Virginia game, Junior.
no doubt Canes fans will benefit a lot more from your keen insights and football knowledge than reading someone being just a pissant critic. Like Grandma used to say "Be an Asset, Not an Asshole".
 
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has Miami ever stuck with a single line as much as they have this year? Seems like most guys are playing every offensive snap and like you said Donaldson was pretty much gassed at one point. Do they really lack depth that much that guys can't get a blow here and there?
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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