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 Ohio State’s recruiting class.
CB Shaun Wade (6-2, 175), Jacksonville Trinity Christian
Wade is a technically sound cornerback with great size, ball skills and athleticism. Great height and frame. He’s a heady player who quickly recognizes routes and flashes the ability to make plays on the ball. Excels in press and possesses the foot quickness and smooth hips to stick in man coverage. Wade is a tough kid who is not afraid to mix it up in run support.
He will need to add bulk, and lacks ideal closing speed. Inconsistent form as a tackler limits his effectiveness in run support. Does not always finish with an interception when he jumps a route.
Wade is a rangy cornerback who can play both man and zone coverage. Although he is not super-explosive, he is a smooth athlete who will only get better with added bulk and more refined technique. I like his length and athleticism, but may be better fit at safety at the next level with added strength.
CB Jeffrey Okudah (6-1, 190), Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie
He’s a big, strong prospect with outstanding speed and athleticism.
He’s an aggressive athlete who is not afraid to mix it up in the run game. High points the football, has good body control and possesses the ball skills to make big plays.
He will need to continue to fill out frame and work on taking on and shedding. Very raw as a receiver and lacks experience in zone coverage on defense.
He is a talented athlete who will need to polish his skills. Overall, he is an intriguing prospect who should make an immediate impact on special teams.
LB Baron Browning (6-4, 230), Fort Worth (Texas) Kennedale
He’s an active linebacker with the strength and versatility to play inside or outside. He will need to add bulk.
Browning shows the burst to chase down in pursuit. He has the long speed and fluid hips to excel in pursuit and on the perimeter. Flashes the ability to rush the passer and is a physical player who closes with a vengeance.
I’m not crazy about his instincts and he is a step slow reacting. He’s raw in pass coverage. Browning overruns too many plays and does not always show proper technique when tackling.
I like his natural athleticism, and once he adds the bulk and strength to go along with improved technique, he will be an outstanding prospect.
To read scouting reports on the rest of Ohio State’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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