As a veteran NFL scout now serving as a scouting consultant on the college and NFL levels, I focus on about 500 or so of the top high school prospects, as established by the college coaches I assist.
It is from that list that I begin my process of evaluating players over the summer to determine who meets the “football criteria” of being able to best contribute at the major-college level, leaving the grades and character to the coaches who ultimately have to coach them.
Here are my scouting summary notes on three members of Clemson’s recruiting class.
QB Hunter Johnson (6-4, 200), Brownsburg (Ind.) High
He has good size and the athleticism to extend plays to go along with good instincts. He slides in and out of the pocket well, and possesses a smooth, classic throwing motion with some mustard on the ball.
He doesn’t have great upper body bend to throw well when rolling to his left.
His frame is a little slight, but will be fine once he fills out. He is a run-to-throw guy, not a playmaking runner.
Johnson is an outstanding pro-style pocket passer who excels with timing and rhythm throws. I think he will adjust well onto the college level.
OL Blake Vinson (6-5, 300), Sparr (Fla.) North Marion
Vinson is a physical, tough, power blocker who I see as a college right tackle or guard. I like his size and power, and he is quick to recognize stunts and blitzes. He plays with heavy hands, delivering a pop at the point of attack.
He’s a bit stiff and not a natural knee-bender. Vinson will take false steps when working to the second level and needs to learn how to replace his hands better.
Vinson doesn’t excel in space, but he should be an early factor in the running game.
LB Logan Rudolph (6-3, 225), Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern
Rudolph is well put-together, and flashes strength as well as an initial burst.
He has the ability to fire out with pad level and shoot heavy hands and quickly press blockers when he brings hands and stays low; he displays the ability to fight and anchor. He has adequate lateral ability to quickly squeeze and take away cutback lanes, and possesses enough speed, coupled with good effort, to be factor in backside pursuit. Rudolph shows that he can be effective transferring speed-to-power, and he can fire off low and jolt blockers on initial contact and knock them off balance; this can be an effective weapon and aspect of his arsenal he needs to continue to develop.
He has played on both sides of the ball in high school. He has a high motor who shows flashes and has some upside as a defensive endE or potentially a 3-4 outside linebacker.
To read scouting reports on the rest of Clemson’s recruiting class, visit www.LandryFootball.com
If you want true evaluations of recruiting, you can receive them from amateurs or from someone who has been a major-college recruiting coordinator and NFL scouting director and now serves as a scouting/coaching consultant to major-college programs and NFL teams. Have access to your own NFL and college scouting department for less than a yearly magazine subscription. By joining today, you’ll receive 25 percent off for a year; use the code = Gridiron.
Chris Landry is a veteran NFL scout who has worked for the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Previously, he ran the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and served as an assistant at LSU. Landry is a consultant for multiple NFL teams and major college programs.
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