Matt Godin and Drake Johnson observations

Submitted by MGoGarbs on November 12th, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Disclaimer: I am not a football coach, football player, or football commentator. My analysis is purely amateur. That said, MGoUser joeyb and I were at the game today, so I figured I'd share my thoughts on DT Matt Godin and ATH Drake Johnson after DCC's manhandling of Pioneer:

  • When Ace said Drake Johnson 'was' the Pioneer offense... man, he wasn't kidding. Drake got every carry on the first two possessions, and then lined up as a wildcat QB for most of the rest of the game. From that position he would hand off, run, and throw with about equal frequency.  I think that this was mostly an attempt to work around the aggressive DCC defensive line. He was also their main kick returner (more on that later), and handled the punting duties as well.
  • DCC's D-line is either very good, or Pioneer's O-line is very bad. Every single pass attempt ended in an incompletion, interception, or sack. Johnson was never really able to find any holes- most of his yardage came on two carries for 12 and 9 yards. While some of this was definitely Godin being Godin, a lot of DCC's dominance came from their right-side defensive end.
  • While it was tough to really see Drake's talents on display, he did have a few touches that weren't blown up right away. He seems to be a one-crease-and-go kind of guy, not really interested in dancing or cutting back unless the cutback lane was gapingly open.
  • I don't think he's going to take over the halfback passing duties from Smith anytime soon- he had a few passes to 'relatively' open guys that went to Tacopants instead- but he's got decent arm strength.
  • On kickoff returns, he has the nasty habit of catching the ball over his head rather than setting up behind it so he can get his momentum going forward. He didn't drop any, though, so... good hands? He had three kick returns.
  • The first he took at the goal line and hit a major crease on the right sideline for about 40 yards. Once he got through the first line, he was off. Had 2 guys to beat to the end zone, the first one knocked him OOB. He never slowed down or looked to cut.
  • The second he took at about the five, the coverage was a lot better. He had no hole to hit, but that didn't stop him from running straight into the pile and getting dropped at around the 20. Maybe he thought he could just plow through them, but I would like him to try and set up a block and maybe reverse it.
  • The third, he started left and had nothing, so he cut back right and got about 25 yards. Looked much more like a collegiate return.
  • As a route runner, he only had around three or four snaps, but showed off his speed and actually ran some nice crisp routes. Quick to get out of his break and got separation on a few post routes. If his QB had any time, they could have thrown to him.
  • Matt Godin played LT on every DCC offensive snap save the last few. Since we're recruiting him as a DT, I won't spend much time talking about his blocking, but I will note that he had a really hard time finding anyone in the second level to block. His best snaps were when he had ends lined up directly over him, but those came few and far between as DCC often lined up a tight end to his side. He took a lot of plays off on offense when the run wasn't to his side.
  • As a DT, I know I'll sound like every other football commenter ever, but man... pad level, pad level, pad level. Sure, he's four inches taller than everyone else out there, but his stance pre-snap was mostly bent at the waist, not the knees. Unofficially, I had him with four tackles, three right at the line of scrimmage.
  • As I mentioned before, DCC's D-line was in the backfield all game. Most of the passing pressure came from the ends, but Godin was consistently pushing single blocks back on passing downs. On runs, he seemed content to hold people right at the line, whether he was being single or double blocked.
  • His best play by far came in the third quarter. The play was a run off the left guard, Godin was lined up outside the right guard. Off the snap, the RG dove at Godin, trying to cut him. Godin took a half-step back and pushed the RG down, ran over him and wrapped up Drake in the backfield, tackling right at the line for no gain.
  • The worst thing I saw about Godin, though, was his effort. There were far too many plays where he'd simply stop playing after making his initial move off the line, whether on offense or defense. Hoke is gonna have to coach some serious effort into this guy. He's got all the physical tools to be a standout, but needs some serious technical and mental refining.



November 12th, 2011 at 5:11 PM ^

I think you're being a little hard on Godin's effort probably, playing both sides of the ball is super tiring, you can't really blame him for conserving his energy a little bit.



November 12th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Godin's lollygagging started on the first series, before he had even played a snap defensively. Maybe I'm being a little hard on him, but I could count on one hand the number of times I felt like he was going balls-out on the field. Maybe he knew he could manhandle the other team's linemen with 60% effort.


November 12th, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

for this. I still don't really understand the Johnson offer, I feel like we had so many better options. At least he gets to live his dream though. And it's that effort thing that scares me. We see it in Campbell, and we've heard about it for Godin and Wormley. I hope it doesn't translate over to the college level.


November 12th, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

Thanks for taking the time and effort to write this up.  I wouldn't worry about the lack of effort from a linemen playing both ways.  The pad level is always a concern, but then again it's a concern for most tall/large players.  Glad to hear Drake is athletic enough to play all over the field.

Red is Blue

November 12th, 2011 at 7:51 PM ^

On kickoff returns, he has the nasty habit of catching the ball over his head rather than setting up behind it so he can get his momentum going forward. He didn't drop any, though, so... good hands? He had three kick returns.

I was at the game as well, I don't think is a "nasty habit" but more a HS necessity.  In HS if the ball goes in the endzone on a kickoff, it is an automatic touchback.  It looked like most of the time Drake was catching the ball over his head he was just out of the endzone.  If he had caught it more conventially, he would have been in the endzone and because of the automatic touchback rule, he couldn;t have returned the ball. 


November 13th, 2011 at 11:12 PM ^

I would take Ty Issac over Wyatt Shallman everyday of the week. Shallman hasn't played for 6 weeks on an apparent "hamstring issue" while I know many kids on that CC team are playing with broken feet, one kid is playing on a dislocated elbow, and yesterday their 2nd string tight end, who had a compound fracture in his tibia 6 weeks ago, suited up and led CC out onto the field. Call me crazy but if Shallman can't play during a playoff run on a bum hamstring, I can't see the toughness going into college. The kid hasn't dominated high school games at all either. Only 300 yards and 6 touchdowns this year. All of his yards were against Inkster and Highland Park, two teams that combined 2-16 this year. Obviously he is a camp freak, but I would rather take Ty Issac who takes over camps, while also taking over actual football games. 


November 13th, 2011 at 11:45 PM ^

I think that if anything the coaches will want him at DE or FB, wouldn't be as concerned with his stats as a everydown HB.

Additionally, I hate speculating about the nature of an injury, remember what happened with Jay Cutler last year when everyone was freaking out about him being a whuss and it turned out the injury was serious.  I think guessing how serious someones injury is isn't the smartest thing to do.