I would like to preface this by saying that I am a football fan in the more conventional sense. I watch the ball when I watch football, generally. Watching a player specifically was an entirely different animal for me. I really enjoyed it, but though I have studied the game for a long time, my observations could easily be mistaken. Anyhow...
Tonight, I watched Whitmer host Central Catholic, the two high caliber teams in the Toledo, OH area. This was a big tilt, and the stands were full. I did not stay for the whole game, because it was cold, and it was starting to turn into a bit of a rout. I went to observe Chris Wormley, DE for the Whitmer Panthers and 4-star Michigan verbal. Ace also attended this game. I think I saw him come in, but he was in a hurry and got away from me in the crowd. Ace, were you wearing some M gear and carrying some electronics in a shoulder bag? Did you finish a can of something and throw it away as soon as you arrived?
Continuing on to Wormley, first a note on his size. He's a big kid, but a lot of room for muscle, it looks like. He's well built, but not THICK in the chest, so I think he can hang some big slabs on there. THe only kid bigger than him on the field was one Whitmer OT who spent most of the time at LT, fantastically named Storm Norton. Norton is 6'8", 290 lbs and committed to Toledo, so it's a good thing Wormley isn't that big. You don't want a 6'8", 290lb DE. Norton had some great power but was easily beaten by some simple swim moves. WIth some coaching, he will be a GOOD player for Toledo.
On the first series of the game, Wormley recorded 2 half-TFL's, by my count. One sack and one on the RB. He blew though the line and backers followed him in. It was fantastic. Following this, he played on the o-line a bit, where I didn't pay much attention. He is NOT going to play O-line. Didn't seem interested in it. If he didn't have anyone to block, he didn't look for anyone.
Starting with the second offensive series, he seemed to diappear a bit. Many people have questioned his motor, and I somewhat agree. However, I believe that in part, he is being coached not to run down plays away from him. Whitmer has a good defense all across the line, for the most part. He was able to rely on his teamates to shut things down away from him. On one play I noted, Central ran away from him, only to reverse field. Wormley had been jogging lightly towards the ball carrier prior, but when it turned back, he put on some speed and followed him all the way down the LOS, until a corner caught the ball carrier right near the edge of the field. there was no lack of effort. I believe the DE's are being coached to stay a bit wide when the play goes away from them, just in case.
Plays often went away from Wormley. They didn't run at him, and they didn't throw to his side. Chris was getting a very good pass rush for the most part. I saw him defeat double teams with ease. I saw him blast a single block by literally throwing his blocker back about 2 yards with one push. Even when his blocker got into him, they went backwards, not forward, whether it was a pass or run. He had little opportunity to peel off his blocker and make a tackle because they so rarely ran to whichever side he was on (It varied). I did see a ball carrier slip his grasp on one or two occasions.
Both teams ran the shotgun with a variety of one and two back looks, mixing in two, three and four reciever sets, mostly with one or no TE's. I saw 4 wide on a few occasions. I think Chris would have more success against an under center O, as he had a good/ not spectacular first step and consistendly drove his blocker at least a yard back. With the shotgun setup, CC was going to 4 and 5 yard sideline routes with incredible regularity, which didn't give Chris' pass rush time to hit home. He will need to work on his speed off the ball to get to faster moving O's, OR have more help at NT to split the line so he doesn't have to go around.
Overall, I was impressed with the size and ablility, but less so with the actual product, which I think was a result of offensive scheme and the talent he had around him. In a defense that doesn't easily allow short routes and consistently running away from him, he'll be a star.
I know that Ace mentioned he was going to take the Creeper van to Whitmer this Friday to watch Chris Wormley against reasonably sized humans. I myself am from just north of that state's border, about a 10 minute drive from Whitmer. I'm thinking about going to check it out for myself. Given that, I thought I would inquire about a possibility.
Who would be interested in an MGoMeetup to watch Wormley's Whitmer Panthers take on Central Catholic this Friday at 7 PM? It's a big game and I'm sure he'd appreciate the support. We could all wear M gear, which would actually work out really nice for this game. Why would it work out nice?
Maize & Blue Represent!
Huge game in NW Ohio and includes 2 possible michigan 2013 recruits ( o line/ d line miller, and qb roback sp?) and also current commit Chris Wormley.
Mason Lowry ( he writes the wormley round up in aces weekend warriors segment) from wrsc radio is calling the game that is being simulcast with ihigh tv. some of the replays make his voice sound a little disturbing but its a great game to watch.
first drive involved a Wormley sack.
Whitmer is Dominating early
This just got sent along to me by an MGoBlog reader (thanks, Daniel!). It appears the Toledo Whitmer football program, home to Chris Wormley, is under investigation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association due to an "unusually high number" of transfer students on the football team, according to the Toledo Blade:
If Whitmer is found guilty, penalties could include suspension, forfeiture of games, forfeiture of championship rights, probation, public censure, denial of participation, or fines not to exceed $2,500 per occurrence, or such other penalties the association commissioner deems appropriate.
Neither Tom Snook, Whitmer athletic director, nor Joe Palka, the head coach, returned phone messages seeking comment Tuesday night.
This shouldn't affect Wormley or his playing status at all, since he's a Toledo local who's played at Whitmer for his whole high school career, while the investigation is focused on players who have joined the team since last season. Still a situation worth keeping an eye on, however, as Whitmer has started to produce a lot of Division I talent in recent years.
Whitmer vs (some team from Canada)
My friend is one of the voices of the Whitmer Panthers, Mason Lowery.I got a text last night saying that he will have ace on at half time. Might be worth a listen. in other game notes, Whitmer is also the home of Chris Wormley. Just figured I would pass it along for the board to give a listen. Have a great gameday-eve.
St. Ed's O-Line (minus Kalis). Duane Long's Top Ten doesn't have room for all of them. (Image: Lonnie Timmons | Cleveland.com)
This is an addendum to Ace's Thursday Recruiting today. In that post Ace noted he was worried Long's prO-hio biases might have led him to leave some important future Wolverines off the list:
Meanwhile, Duane Long has rated 11-50 of his top 50 prospects in Ohio [parts 1, 2, 3, and 4], and here's the Michigan commits included so far: Tom Strobel (12), Pharaoh Brown (17), Jarrod Wilson (18), Joe Bolden (26), A.J. Williams (31), and Caleb Stacey(48). That means Kyle Kalis and Chris Wormley are almost assuredly in his top ten, but it'll be interesting to see if Kaleb Ringer and Allen Gant make the cut or are (unjustifiably, in my somewhat-biased opinion) left off the list entirely. For context, the #50 prospect, Mason Monheim, is unrated on Rivals and holds offers from Illinois and a handful of MAC schools.
Here's a list of guys rated highly by Rivals who did not make the Top 50 (yet):
|Kyle Kalis||OL||St. Edward||****||Michigan|
|Se'von Pittman||DE||McKinley||****||Michigan State|
|Josh Perry||LB||Olentangy||****||Ohio State|
|Kyle Dodson||OL||Cleveland Heights||****||Wisconsin|
|Warren Ball||RB||St. Francis DeSales||****||Ohio State|
|Bri'onte Dunn||RB||Glenoak||****||Ohio State|
|Chris Davis||ATH||Austintown Fitch||***||Pittsburgh|
|Demitrious Davis||ATH||Austintown Fitch||***||Pittsburgh|
|Allen Gant||DB||Sylvania Southview||***||Michigan|
|Anthony Stanko||OL||Howland||***||Penn State|
|Sam Grant||TE||St. Edward||***||Boston College|
|Ryan Leahy||DE||La Salle||***||Cincinnati|
|Greg Kuhar||DT||St. Edward||***||Northwestern|
|Tyler Orlosky||OL||St. Edward||***||West Virginia|
|T.C. Klusman||OL||Elder High School||***||Louisville|
|Ross Martin||K||Walsh Jesuit||***||Duke|
Thats' 26 dudes with BCS offers and whatnot. Long has 6 guys in his Top 50 who aren't rated by Rivals yet. Those guys and their offers:
|Name||Long's Rk||Pos||Best offers|
|DeShawn Dowdy||27||WR/TE||WVa., Cincy, Iowa St|
|James Sanford||34||DB||MSU, Cincy, BG|
|Eric Williams||37||QB||Cincy, Toledo, EMU|
|Terrell Jackson||42||DE||Duke, CMU, Ohio (NTO)|
|Mason Monheim||50||LB||Illinois, Miami (NTM), Akron|
Dawson is a legit freak athlete none of the sites (Scout, ESPN, 247) have heard of except Rivals, and they little more than his name. Scouting Ohio lists his deeds as a running back, but Long is excited about him as a DT. I couldn't find any schools that offered since he apparently has grade issues that will likely see him head to a JUCO and reemerge at some SEC school in 2 years. The rest have maybe one BCS offer (if you count the Big East as BCS). This is the level one must pass to be in the Top 50. If you might fit that description, you are not in the Top 50. That about does it for Klusman, Kuhar, Leahy, Draper, S.Smith, and A.Jones. Spencer, Anthony Stanko and the Austintown Finch athlete Davis duo might have an argument for Top 30 but not Top 10.
Mortal Locks: (3) Ifeadi Odenigbo, Kyle Kalis, Bri'onte Dunn. Each were mentioned in reviews of the other guys in a context of almost/just as good as...
Almost Certainly: (3) Se'Von Pittman, Adolphus Washington, Greg McMullen. Long has been all-up-on's for these guys all year. They are consistently rated the tops in their respective positions, or near enough to it because they all play the same position (...as Wormley and Odenigbo too)
Because it's Long you know he'll have: (2) Warren Ball, Josh Perry. Two more 4-star guys committed to Ohio State. Eight other OSU commits (every one but Pat Elflein) have already been profiled, and Ball, Perry and Dunn (see mortal locks) are OSU's three most highly rated recruits this year.
"Is _____ better than a MAC player?"
Why: He's the last consensus 4-star not among the pretty.
Why not: Ohio State and Michigan passed on Mount Dodson -- Wisconsin likes road graders but Long does not necessarily share that opinion.
Is he better than a MAC player: Absolutely.
Why: Long once said Grant might be the best among the St Ed's group, which includes Kalis and previously profiled Darryl Render.
Why not: The nice things slowed when the Ohio State offer didn't materialize.
Is he better than a MAC player: Probably.
Why: Long has long had Ringer listed as his top linebacker in Ohio.
Why not: Concerns about his size. Wolverine.
Is he better than a MAC player: Absolutely
Why: As of March made Long's 1st team All-Ohio, ahead of Pittman and McMullen; Washington was starting SDE.
Why not: Wolverine.
Is he better than a MAC player: Uh....
Why: Most sites rate Gant higher than Bradley.
Why not: Wolverine. Son of Wolverine. Long may think Sylvania is part of Michigan. Also it's almost certain Gant won't make the Top 10 because Bradley's writeup called Bam the second-best safety in the class, and Jarrod Wilson was placed above him.
Better than a MAC player: Pretty sure.
Why: He's a really good QB
Why not: Long has been pretty consistently leaving Mauk off lists since last year.
Better than a MAC player: Probably.
Why: Like Grant a St. Ed's guy ahead of Render. Long called Orlosky "the most underrated lineman in the state" and put him 2nd team at both guard positions ahead of #44 Jacoby Boren (YTB), but behind Michigan's Stacey (48) and MSU's McGowan (14).
Why not: Behind #48 means out of the running.
Better than a MAC player: Yes.
Why: Might be the best kicker prospect in the country this year
Why not: Is a kicker
Better than a MAC player: Yes.
Best guess is Wormley almost has to get one spot unless Long has found a reason to hate him (other than committing to Michigan). Ringer is a good bet for the last one, being the top LB in the state and all. That still leaves Gant off the list. However there's plenty of reason to think some of these other guys might take their places, especially Dodson and Grant. That could mean some of M's recruits are slipping, or that I just need to learn to take Duane Long lists with a Bleacher Report serving of salt.