spoiler alert: i linked this
For round 2 of The Great Ohio Creeper Van Trip, Paul and I traveled to Dayton to consume part of the Skyline Chili™ Crosstown Showdown, wherein the Talbott brothers' Huber Heights Wayne team took on the Princeton Vikings of Cincinnati.
Terrence Talbott missed the game with an injury to his left leg or foot (he was on the sidelines in an aircast and crutches), but Terry was a full-go, and the defensive tackle performed well for the Warriors. Also playing for Wayne was 2011 QB prospect Braxton Miller, who impressed as well (don't hold your breath M fans, he's highly likely to end up a Buckeye).
The Warriors shot themselves in the foot many times, including on their first drive. A big kickoff return gave them possession well into Viking territory, but QB Braxton Miller fumbled a snap on the goal line, which Princeton recovered. The Vikings drove the ball past midfield on the ensuing possession, but a long pass was intercepted by Wayne at the 1-yard line. This didn't turn out so well for the Warriors, however, as the very next play resulted in a loss of yardage and a safety. Wayne was able to strike back before half, as a big Miller run on a speed option gave the team good field position, and he finished it off with a 20(ish)-yard touchdown pass.
After the half, Wayne struck again, as the Vikings fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage, which the Warriors recovered inside the 10-yard line. Miller ran the ball in on an option from about a yard out, giving the team a 14-2 advantage. As the game turned to the fourth quarter, the rain picked up, and the play became a little sloppy. As Wayne was trying to run out the clock, a shotgun snap over Miller's head went out the back of the endzone cutting the lead to 14-4. As Princeton started driving the field to bring the game within a single score, a fumble led to a scoop-and-score for the Warriors, providing the final 21-4 margin.
Talbott was the Warriors' defensive MVP, e-fact. He was constantly in the opposing backfield, whether he was lined up at tackle or end. He was a quick-penetrating type, and even when the Vikings started trying to counter against that (eventually), he was harassing QBs, forcing running backs into his teammates, and generally being a disruptive force. He doesn't have the biggest frame in the world, but there is certainly potential to add some mass and be a quick-penetrating "SEC-style" (ugh, shoot me) defensive tackle when he arrives in Ann Arbor. Trust me, he may be a little underrated because he's a tweener, but I think this kid is an absolute steal.
Miller had some struggles, be it from a wet field, first game jitters, or even just a bit of inexperience. That said, the dude can freakin' play. Though his dad says he doesn't want to play in a college offense where he'll have to run the ball much (note: Terrelle Pryor ran 139 times last year, and passed for 165 attempts), he is rather fast, and has super quickness and agility. Though he's likely to end up playing in Columbus, he's someone that Michigan should really try to sway for next year's class. Wayne was running a spread-zone offense, with a QB read much of the time, so it's not something he'd be unfamiliar with. He's a very good fit for Michigan's offense, and would allow for Cornelius Jones to switch positions if need be.
Photo Gallery (Video in next week's Friday Night Lights post)
With the 2010 class is mostly full, so it's time to take a look at some prospects of interest for next year's recruiting class. Several references are made to user likwid's diary on the top 75 instate prospects, which has a 2011 (and 2012!) watchlist for the truly obsessed.
Braxton Miller, 6-2 190 4.45, Huber Heights OH Wayne. Miller (seen at right) is guaranteed to be one of the top 2 or 3 players in Ohio for the 2011 class, but he's long been considered an Ohio State lock. Though his dad has said that Braxton won't play in an offense where the quarterback has to run around all the time, Miller attended Michigan's summer camp, so there's still a chance he might be interested in the Wolverines.
Christian LeMay, 6-3 200 4.49, Charlotte NC Butler. LeMay was also in attendance at Michigan's summer camp, with a number of his high school teammates. Butler is the alma mater of Michigan alum (and current Seattle Seahawk) Jamar Adams.
Demetrius Hart, 5-9 175 4.35, Orlando FL Dr. Phillips. Hart is a lightning-quick running back who reminds many of a smoother Jeremy Gallon (video). He should be one of the top prospects in Florida, and already has an established relationship with Ricardo Miller. Hart has stated that he may commit to Michigan as soon as he receives an official offer. Michigan can extend one on September 1st.
Justice Hayes, 5-11 190 4.55, Grand Blanc MI Grand Blanc. Hayes is the top running back in the state of Michigan for the 2011 class. He's a bigger back than Hart, but Michigan has taken several backs in the past two classes, and may not need another. The teammate of 2010 Northwestern commit Tony Jones is on likwid’s 2011 Watchlist.
DeAnthony Arnett, 6-0 170, Saginaw MI Saginaw. Arnett is a combo inside/outside receiver much akin to current Wolverine Je'Ron Stokes. He has quickness and top-end speed to go along with his solid hands. He already holds Michigan, Michigan State, and Eastern Michigan offers. He picked up a camp MVP award this fall; Allen Trieu on that:
"It is tough for underclassmen to take home that honor, but Arnett had an impressive day all-around," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "It all started with his 40-yard dash. He had sprained his ankle earlier in the week and even looked a little gimpy running his 40, yet his 4.51 was one of the top times on the day. He then followed that up with a 4.23 shuttle, which tied for tops on the day. In footwork drills the coaches consistently remarked at how smooth and quick out of his breaks he was. However, during one route, he let out a scream and said he felt something pop. After a few minutes and against the advice of his family members, he returned to the field saying he wanted MVP.
"In one-on-ones, his route running was impressive and his quickness allowed him to get off the line against some of the more physical defenders. He made a couple of great leaping grabs and drew some oohs and aahhs on several double moves where he left his man."
He will be one of the top 2011 players in-state; early rumors have him leaning to Michigan.
AJ Jordan, 6-3 190 4.41, Trotwood OH Trotwood-Madison. Jordan is the top wideout in Ohio, and a true split end. He's the former teammate of Michigan's Roundtree, Shaw, Moore combo, so the Wolverines have a good selling point. As with most Ohio prospects, he'll probably favor the Buckeyes if offered.
Tacoi Sumler, 5-8 160, Miami FL Gulliver Prep. Sumler is a tiny guy with great speed and moves. He'd be a perfect fit at the slot position in the Michigan offense.
Kelvin Benjamin, 6-6 210, Belle Glade FL Glades Central. Benjamin is a tall wide receiver who might end up at tight end in college. He's from the muck, where Rich Rodriguez has recruited well in the past (think Pahokee). Michigan might be on the hunt for a tight end in 2011, and Benjamin's one of the best.
Taiwan Jones, 6-3 210, Anchor Bay, MI Anchor Bay. Jones is an athlete who could play a number of positions in college, but his skill set might be most dangerous at tight end. If the Wolverines land him, it could also be as a linebacker or defensive end.
Tyler Moore, 6-5 280, Clearwater FL Countryside. Moore was one of the first 2011 prospects offered by Michigan. He is also expected to be one of the top tackle prospects in the nation:
According to Countryside coach John Davis, Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio said Saturday that Moore could end up being the top offensive line prospect in the state for the Class of 2011 — perhaps even the best in the country.
"Coach Addazio told me (Saturday) that Tyler is probably the best 16-year-old offensive lineman he's ever seen," Davis said.
Unfortunately, he is a Nebraska legacy and has no real connection to Michigan.
Cyrus Kouandjio, 6-6 300, Hyattsville MD DeMatha. If the school sounds familiar, it's because Michigan offered several DeMatha prospects in the class of 2010, including Kouandjio's older brother, Arie. Cyrus is expected to be the better rospect.
Anthony Zettel, 6-3 260, West Branch MI Ogemaw Heights. An in-state guy who reportedly likes Michigan a lot. If he's good enough to earn an offer, he could end up in blue. He made likwid’s 2011 Watchlist. For more in-state prospects, check out the diary.
Tim Jernigan, 6-3 270, Lake City FL Columbia. He's already been offered by a who's-who of bigtime football programs, including Michigan. Perhaps the top DT in 2011.
Jesse Hayes, 6-3 240, Cincinnati OH Moeller. A teammate of former Michigan target Marcus Rush (now an MSU commit). He's very light for a DT, but presumably still growing.
Steve Miller, 6-4 230, Canton OH McKinley. One of the top 2-3 players in Ohio for the 2011 class. He's visited Michigan in the past, and the Wolverines are looking at his 2010 teammate Jewone Snow. If Michigan wants to return to the bigtime, they'll have to start beating Ohio State for good Ohio prospects.
Bryant Dubose, 6-4, 227, 4.91 Oakland Park FL Northeast. A strongside DE with a good frame, "BJ" is among Florida's top 2011 prospects. Michigan likes to recruit the sunshine state, and Dubose may be a beneficiary.
Trey DePriest, 6-2 225, Springfield OH South. Yet another top Ohio kid, but this one grew up a Michigan fan. Trey likes Michigan enough to wear a Wolverine shirt to Ohio State camp (seen at right), but the Buckeyes are on the top LB heavily, and there will be a battle for his services .
Lawrence Thomas, 6-3 210, Detroit MI Renaissance. Thomas is probably the top player in Michigan in the class of 2011. Unfortunately, he is leaning to Michigan State early. His recruitment will be a good chance to prove that Michigan does indeed recruit instate, however unlikely they are to actually land him. Remember, Renaissance's coach is the guy who said the way grad assistant Andre Criswell and punchy malcontent Carson Butler had been treated "hurt my heart."
Anthony Wallace, 6-2 210, Dallas TX Skyline. Tony Drake's teammate is one of the nation's top weakside linebackers in the class of 2011. He'll be hotly pursued by several national programs, and unless Michigan gets involved early, they may be out of luck.
Karlos Williams, 6-0 185 4.5, Davenport FL Ridge. Williams is an elite athlete who could play a number of positions in college, but his best upside is at safety. Michigan has already offered him, showing that he is of the highest priority to the coaching staff.
Sheroid Evans, 6-2 185 4.35, Sugarland TX Fort Bend Dulles. Evans is a super-speedy defensive back with good size. He plays at the alma mater of current Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Brandon Herron, and Darryl Stonum.
Greg Brown, 5-11 155 4.50, Fremont OH Ross. Brown has already been offered by Michigan, and favors the Wolverines. The multi-year summer camper is known for his physical play from the corner position. He hails from the alma mater of Charles Woodson, whose name you might recognize.
Doran Grant, 5-10 165 4.69, Akron OH St. Vincent-St. Mary. St. Vincent-St. Mary is a traditionally strong program (Maurice Clarett and LeBron James are notable alums), but Grant is still god enough that he was named the team's MVP as a freshman. He camped at Michigan in the summer of 2008.
Delonte Hollowell, 5-9 160, Detroit MI Cass Tech. Cass Tech is a Michigan pipeline, and Hollowell is the school's top 2011 player. He's a little corner in the mold of Boubacar Cissoko or Dior Mathis, so Michigan would probably want to take a taller guy to complement him. Hollowell (and many others not listed here, so check it out) is on likwid’s 2011 in-state watchlist.