The Creeper Van travelled to Novi on Friday night to check out 2012 commit Matt Godin and 2013 athlete Wyatt Shallman suit up for Detroit Catholic Central as they destroyed Inkster, 48-0, to improve the Shamrocks to 3-0 on the season. The game was a strange one, as a thunderstorm delayed the proceedings after a little over a minute had passed in the game, but once the game resumed after an hour-and-a-half break both Godin and Shallman excelled against an undermanned Inkster squad. Unfortunately, there's no video this week, but this did allow me to get a very detailed scouting report on each player.
Matt Godin: Godin had a phenomenal performance, playing nearly every snap in the first half at either defensive tackle or offensive tackle. Since he's being recruited by Michigan for the defensive line, I focused on his play on that side of the ball, where he recorded (by my count) two tackles, three QB hurries, and a sack.
The senior had a relentless motor, pushing his way into the Viking backfield on almost every snap—even though he played both offense and defense, his effort never wavered, and I must say it was easy to contrast his performance in the regard with Chris Wormley, who seemingly took some snaps off when I saw him play against even more inferior competition. Godin simply didn't stop on a night when the circumstances could've easily allowed him to take it easy on a few plays.
Godin showed a nice variety of moves as he made a living in the opposing backfield. He was very quick off the snap and did a great job of staying low and getting his hands right into the chest of the offensive linemen tasked with blocking him—his bull-rush was his most effective move, as he was able to maintain leverage despite having a distinct height advantage over his Inkster counterparts.
Godin's power moves set him up perfectly for unleashing the rest of his arsenal, which included a few swim moves, one very nice spin around a befuddled guard, and a straight-up speed rush in which he simply ran right by linemen bracing for the bull-rush. When single-blocked, he overpowered his man every time, and when he commanded a double-team (which was often) he still managed to get a push that opened things up for his teammates—I counted at least three plays in which Godin collapsed the pocket and either fed the quarterback into a DCC sack or forced him to throw the ball away.
Against the run, Godin was strong as well, although he didn't get many opportunities with Inkster playing from behind the entire night. On one inside run he used his swim move to shed a block and stuff the back for no gain, and on another he just crushed an Inkster double-team into the backfield, blowing up the the play before it ever had a chance to develop.
Godin said after the game (more from him later in the post) that he thinks he fits best as a five-tech (strongside) defensive end, and after seeing him play I'd have to agree. He holds up well against multiple blockers, shows a well-developed variety of moves on the pass rush, and tracks running backs well. While the competition in this game was lacking, Godin did everything you could realistically ask of him.
Wyatt Shallman: Shallman really stood out on offense, amassing 72 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including a great 25-yard TD run in which he juked two defenders back-to-back, making cuts in two different directions and displaying nice agility for a back his size in the process. He lined up at fullback for DCC and mostly ran right up the gut while also serving as a decoy on run-fakes that opened up both the play-action passing game and outside pitches to the tailback.
Shallman is at his best running North-South, and while he doesn't have top-flight speed, he does get to the second level of defenders in a hurry. When he reaches the back seven, he has a tendency to put his head down and try to bowl defenders over, which often works but also limits his big plays—to his credit, however, there wasn't a single run in which Shallman didn't fall forward for at least an extra yard or two.
I was impressed, as I pointed out earlier, with Shallman's agility. He's not going to utilize a lot of fancy jukes or spin moves, but his go-to move—the quick jump-cut as he approaches an oncoming defender—worked really well for him. Shallman isn't going to make a lot of guys completely whiff at the next level, but he's shifty enough to get defenders off-balance, and with his power that's enough to shed tackles—Inkster defenders were bouncing off of him all night.
Though he only was asked to do this on a couple of plays, Shallman showed that he was a capable lead-blocker, getting to the second level and pushing his man several yards downfield on a couple of occasions. I didn't get to see him in blitz pickup, as Inkster couldn't generate a pass rush on the few occasions the Shamrocks attempted a pass, but his strength is definitely an asset in the blocking game.
I wasn't as impressed with Shallman on defense, where he lined up as a defensive tackle for a few possessions after spending most of the night at fullback. Unlike his teammate Godin, Shallman had a difficult time staying low, and he got stood up a few times when double-teamed at the line. He gets a quick jump off the snap, but he doesn't keep leverage and use his hands as well as Godin, which keeps him from getting a good push into the backfield.
Shallman does read plays well, even if initially stonewalled at the line—on one play, he sniffed out a QB draw and shed a block to make a tackle for no gain, his only one in limited defensive action. He also recorded a pass defended when he read a screen pass and quickly got out to the sideline, forcing the quarterback to sail the ball high. Shallman has the physical tools and football acumen to be a solid defensive lineman, but he needs to work on technique. I'm more impressed with his potential as a running back, and apparently the Michigan coaches are as well.
After the jump, you can read the transcripts of my post-game interviews with both Godin and Shallman.
MATT GODIN INTERVIEW
ACE: First of all, strange game with the rain delay, but once you got going you played pretty well. How would you assess your game today?
MATT: I think I played pretty well. I got in there a lot, I think I had two sacks. I could've had four, I missed two, just got to break down my legs, but I'm happy with two sacks. The team played great, too. [Ed-Ace: If Matt says he had two sacks, I'm not going to argue with him, though I only saw the one.]
ACE: What are you working on in terms of getting prepared for Michigan?
MATT: I work on different things every game—I'll try new moves. [In the] offseason I work my butt off, too, every day lifting, running.
ACE: You're playing DT for Catholic Central, but people say you can play defensive end or tackle. Where do you think you fit best?
MATT: I fit best at the five-technique, defensive end.
ACE: I know you're coming to visit tomorrow (Matt: "So excited"). Have you been talking to other recruits that are coming besides Wyatt?
MATT: Obviously Danny [O'Brien]. I talk to [James] Ross a lot, Royce [Jenkins-Stone], Terry [Richardson], those guys.
ACE: How would you assess Wyatt Shallman's game? How do you think he fits [at the college level]?
MATT: He's just so athletic. His athleticism is through the roof, and I think the sky is the limit for him. He's only a junior, he's young still.
ACE: Are you pushing for him to join you at Michigan?
MATT: Oh, I'm definitely pushing for him. He's obviously got to make his own decision, but we all know Michigan is the greatest decision.
WYATT SHALLMAN INTERVIEW
ACE: How would you assess your play today? You came out and ran pretty well after the lightning break.
WYATT: I thought I did pretty well. I give everything to my line—I can't run the ball without my linemen, so I gotta give it up to them, they did a great job. It was tough, though, with the rain delay, getting your legs warmed up, then cold, then trying to warm up in five minutes, so that was a little tough. We came out as a team, it was a great atmosphere, and we worked hard and it paid off. We've had a great week of practice this week and we got better, so that's all you can ask for.
ACE: I know you were dealing with a hamstring injury and you were playing mostly defense before, I'm assuming to protect the injury [Wyatt: "Yeah"]. Offense is what you're being recruited for at Michigan. Is that where you think you fit best at the next level?
WYATT: You know, I've been talked to for D-line in a bunch of places, but I'm also being talked to for running back in a bunch of places. I'm being recruited more as an athlete than anything, but all of my offers right now are for tailback. I love running the ball, it's fun, and I love knowing that the game is kinda in your hands, literally, with the ball. I just like that, it's exciting. I don't mind playing defense either, I love hitting people, so it's all just fun to me.
ACE: You'll be up at the Notre Dame game. What's your relationship like with the Michigan coaches? Who have you been in contact with the most?
WYATT: I've been in contact the most with Coach J, the running backs coach, Coach Jackson. He's an awesome guy, really funny, and he knows his stuff. If there's a running backs coach that you want to be affiliated with, it's him. He's proven his worth at that coaching position. Not only is he a great coach, he's a great guy, a family man. Just the whole coaching staff is awesome, they're really great guys, they're funny, they joke around, but when they have to get serious they do, they get down to it. That showed in the first game, and we'll see how it shows the second game, but I think they'll do pretty well.
ACE: You watched the game against Western. What do you think about the offense, and how do you think you can fit in and make it better?
WYATT: Right now they're still running more spread because of the personnel that they have, they don't really have the 'I' type of thing that they were talking about to me, because they want me to play tailback. When they did go to the 'I', it was very interesting because they were getting six-yard chunks, and that's the type of football I like. I like lining up, going straight ahead, and hitting some people straight in the face, so that's what I like to see. Not only is their offense great, their defense is great, too.
ACE: I know it's early in the process, but do you have any favorites out of the schools that are recruiting you right now?
WYATT: [Laughs] No, not really. Not yet.
ACE: I know you're going to visit with Matt. Does him being committed to Michigan affect your recruitment at all?
WYATT: Well, Matt's a great guy. He's a great worker, he comes out every day in practice, and he plays like a Michigan recruit. Not only is he a great player, he gets the rest of the team better by his hard work. It's pretty exciting to have another D-I athlete on your team. He's really funny, me and him work well together, and I think there's a little to be said that he's there, though he's pushing the point a little bit.
ACE: Have you been talking to any other 2013 recruits?
WYATT: Well I'm friends with Shane Morris. He's a great kid, committed, next Tom Brady I think. That kid is an animal. He'll be there. I don't really know too many others, I haven't paid too much attention to who else is going, but Shane is always up there, he's all about Michigan, which is great. I'll see him, I'll see Godin, and I'm sure I'll see everyone else up there.
ACE: Speaking of Matt, I asked him to assess your game, how would you assess his?
WYATT: Well, Matt is a big dude that plays with speed, which you don't see too often. Usually when you get big guys in high school they're plodding around. He's like 6'6", 280, and he can run like a deer, so you can't really ask for anything more than that. He's just very athletic, and he's very quick inside and outside, too. He can pull on offense, he can do everything you want him to do. He's great, everyone loves him, he's funny, he works well with the team, and he's a team player. You really can't ask much more of a player.
ACE: I know it's still early, but what are you looking for in a potential school?
WYATT: I'm just looking for a school that has a family-based football team, like [Catholic Central]. I owe everything to CC, I would not be in the position I am right now without CC. They've taught me how to be tough, how to keep my head up and work through things. Everyone, it's just fun, there's no division between the team, no one that is fighting, so I just like having that sort of feeling, and I like walking into the locker room and having my other brothers ready to suit up and go to battle every day. That's what I'm looking for.