In a weekend that featured a handful of FCS standouts, we have game scouting notes from three of the better team's talent-wise in the country with Eastern Washington (and their stud offensive tackle), Princeton (with two fringe NFL draft picks on the defensive line) and Harvard (with an H-Back that reminds of Chris Cooley and Garrett Graham).
That plus many more must see notes from around the non-FBS level in this week's Small School Scouting Notebook.
Princeton vs. Harvard
Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton, 6’2, 292
A well built, especially in his lower half, defensive tackle, Reid has been moved from a 3 to 5 to 7-techniqnue in the team’s game vs. Harvard. He’s smooth laterally initially and as an upfield rusher, extends and adjusts his hands well. His extension with force as an outside rusher can be very effective in collapsing the pocket, but he’s not as quick nor as able to get slow and bend as an outside rusher. His high motor and consistently active nature as a rusher is always fantastic to see for a next-level interior rusher, has the natural size, physicality, and ability to adapt that NFL teams will likely. He needs to develop more consistent balance vs. pivot blocks in the run game, be more efficient in attacking inside/outside shoulders, and be quicker as an extend rusher in space. But as a whole, Reid has the quickness laterally and initially, motor, and natural size to challenge for a 2013 NFL Draft selection.
Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton, 6’4, 272
Also on the Princeton defensive line, Catapano is the physical edge rusher that contains the edge very well in this defense. He has some bend and body control on the edge, but is more effective as an inside power rusher with strong hands to gain separation on the outside, He plays wide in run support on the edge, but also flashes inside stunt ability to adjust his body to go from skinny as a rusher to absorbing contact and staying wide to fill gaps. His strong hands, inside arm drive ability, and active/physical hands at the line has allowed him consistent success so far, and could make him a fringe draft pick/solid UDFA in the 2013 draft.
Kyle Juszcyzk, TE/H-Back, Harvard, 6’3, 245
The true focal point of the Harvard offense, Juszcyzk’s versatility, subtle athleticism, and brute strength are a deadly combination that could have scouts thinking about a mix between Chris Cooley and Garrett Graham. The “tight end” lines up as a full back, H-Back, in-line tight end, and slot receiver, and is effective in getting initial separation at every spot. His seam hitch and vertical routes as well as breaking across zone coverage are very impressive for an H-back, and his ball grabbing skills as well as run after catch physicality are very impressive. It’s unclear if he’ll be taken in the NFL draft yet, but based on his physicality, versatility, and production (192 yards, 3 TDs vs. Princeton), if he can test well, teams like the Patriots and ones hoping to mimic their system will be excited to get Juszcyzk.
Colton Chapple, QB, Harvard, 6’2, 195
Not expecting a whole lot coming into the game, Chapple was a pleasant surprise at quarterback for Harvard, showcasing more NFL skills than I was expecting. While he has a bit of an elongated release and doesn’t feature a ton of pre-snap to post-snap progressions, he does have adequate short-medium velocity, running ability, and does a great job of anticipating pressure and a great internal pocket clock. Uncertain thus far what his NFL prognosis is, but he’s put up great numbers this year (448 yards, 5 TDs vs. Princeton) and has wowed in other ways as well.
Will Post, OT, 6-6, 295
Post is an experienced starter who has had a solid senior season thus far. The Eagles clearly favor Post’s side of the line on critical run downs and he displays good flexibility to engage opponents beneath their pads at the point and the leg power to drive them off the line. Post is not a mauler and is actually undersized at just over 290 pounds. He can get pushed around a bit by thicker linemen but he generally handles his opponents convincingly with nimble feet and striking power at the point.
Greg Herd, WR, 6-3, 200
Herd consistently shows possession abilities and has converted on several critical downs late in games. He remains a project as a route runner and has underwhelming body control often rounding his routes. His production this year is likely a result of defenses focusing on standout receivers, Nick Edwards and potential ’14 draftee, Brandon Kaufman. He also needs to bulk up to beat the press at the next level.
Nicholas Edwards, WR, 6-3, 200
Edwards continues to be the focus of defensive backfields, often seeing double coverages. He is not the explosive athlete that can consistently beat these coverages but he understands and settles into windows and gets open with short area quickness. He also has a high conversion rate on key 3rd downs late in games I’ve watched. He could stand to be more physical when the ball is in the air as he doesn’t win as many battles you’d like for a receiver with his length.
-Travis Davidson, running back from Morgan State, has continued to build off his senior season, finished with 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s not a dynamic athlete nor a likely NFL Draft pick, but he’s done enough in my book in terms of his consistency and how he runs to potentially get an NFL shot.
- While Winston-Salem State quarterback Kameron Smith beating up on Livingston isn’t an all that impressive win and was expected, 7 passing touchdowns on just 16 completions is very impressive.
- Linebacker Bill Ross has been a consistent force in the Arkansas Pine-Bluff defense, and his role as a behind, at, and far past the line of scrimmage factor has been impressive to watch. He finsished last week’s game with 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and an interception.
-Joseph LeBeau of Jackson State had another big pass rushing day last weekend, finishing with 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 more quarterback hurries. He’s working his way into the NFL Draft selection area.
-Kutztown quarterback Kevin Morton (senior) set the school record for passing yards in back to back weeks. After a 479 yard performance last week, he threw for 490 yards this past weekend on 35-42 passing. He had four total touchdowns, including one on the ground. Too bad he’s just 5’11, 190.
-Richmond senior fullback Kendall Gaskins ran for over 100 yards and a touchdowns against the 2nd ranked FCS team in the country, James Madison. Gaskins is a Top 50 non-FBS prospect for us.
-Miguel Maysonet for Stony Brook had another fantastic game against Gardner-Webb with 169 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries. I was told the other day that he’s the most likely non-FBS running back to get drafted by far, and it’s fairly likely (if he tests well likely) that he will be selected.
-Lehigh receiver Ryan Spadola has been dealing with Mono for much of the season and sat out this past weekend’s win over Bucknell. Despite his lack of production, NFL scouts likely realize he lost his elite QB Chris Lum and has been dealing with this Mono. NFL scouts certainly haven’t forgotten about Spadola.
-North Dakota senior quarterback Braden Hanson (former North Carolina transfer) threw for 660 yards and 5 TDs (and unfortunately 3 interceptions) in the team’s win over Montana. Wow numbers for a fringe NFL prospect.
-Sam Houston State’s linebacker Darius Taylor and SE Louisiana’s Kevin Roberts were suspended for one game after illegal hits in their teams’ game on October 13th