Gorman: Time to scout the best football players
Now that the high school football season is about to kick off, let the real recruiting evaluations begin.
In this era of skills camps and combines, so much is based on measurements such as 40-yard dash and pro shuttle times, broad jump, vertical leap and maximum reps on the bench press.
Finally, we get to find out who the football players are.
“When you take guys based on 7-on-7s, which is like touch football, you can measure athletic ability,” Metro Index scouting director Joe Butler said. “But colleges need to be a little bit more careful on their assessments of kids during the summer months.”
Butler believes colleges rely too heavily on offering players based upon junior film and summer skills camps, then fill their scholarship allotments before the season starts.
“That, to me, is a mistake,” he said. “They should leave a handful of scholarships available so they can assess a kid his senior year, just in case a player develops.”
Butler mentions NFL players such as Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis as WPIAL alums who became big-time prospects based on outstanding senior seasons.
Here are 10 WPIAL players Butler believes could have breakthrough senior seasons, with a short scouting report on each:
Luke Brumbaugh, 6-1, 180, QB, Seton-La Salle: Strong arm, accurate passer.
Dane Brown, 5-7, 180, RB, Franklin Regional: Short but strong, a quick, tough, downhill runner.
Alex Caratelli, 6-1, 200, WR, Blackhawk: Nice hands and some good speed.
Justin Spencer, 6-4, 275, C-DT, Indiana: He's got a lot of upside, a shot to be a I-A guy.
Xavier Severns, DT, 6-1, 275, Trinity: He's a quick-twitch nose guard type.
Jaylin Kelly, 6-1, 220, Sr., LB, Washington: A sure tackler who makes plays. Has Eastern Michigan and Youngstown State offers.
Pat Kline, 6-3, 230, ILB, Pine-Richland: Good football player who could be an inside linebacker or grow into a defensive end.
Demetrious Lewis, 5-10, 185, DB, Ringgold: Can play safety or corner. Has speed and quickness.
Malik Shegog, 5-11, 175, DB, Aliquippa: I like him at corner. Look for him to have an under-the-radar year.
Tyler Roth, 6-2, 185, ATH, Mt. Lebanon: He plays quarterback, but he's an athlete who is going to be a wide receiver and punter.