Friday Film Session: 9/15/17

Ralph Amsden, Publisher
Arizona Varsity

I'm bringing back a feature I started in the spring, where every Friday I'll take a look at the HUDL film that's sitting in my inbox at azhsfootball@gmail.com and give an honest assessment of what I see, and/or highlight a couple of things I think you need to see.

This week I'm taking a look at: Luke Aschenbrand, Tamerat McLeod, Elijah Carey, Damaria Norris, Cameron Gardner, Tyler Duncan, Cade Matthews, Kylan Weisser, Ricky Rivas, Jordan Porter, Alex Escobar, Austin Enteman, Andre Johnson, Nash Giffin, Jayse Burkett, Clayton Hooper, Braeden Kaowili, Edward McClendon, and Riley Langton

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Luke Aschenbrand (Pinnacle)

Position: OL/DL

Class: 2018

Height: 6-4

Weight: 270

What I liked: There's some Eddie Rivas and Steven Bailey (both NAU commits out of high school) in this kid- and what I mean by that is he's meaner than he looks. I want to criticize pad level in some of these highlights, but he's still blowing players up at the point of contact, and seems to understand leverage just fine- he especially understands when the player he's blocking doesn't have it.

Elijah Carey (Canyon del Oro)

Position: RB/LB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-10

Weight: 185

What I liked: Runs like Wesley Payne. Tackles like Wesley Payne. Similar size to Wesley Payne. I think you get the gist of who he reminds me of... but Carey seems more suited for the offensive side of the ball. Look at his instincts at the 5:00 mark- there was no hole, there was no good angle, but he used his physicality and anticipation of the pursuit of the defenders to turn what should have been a 2-3 yard gain into 12 yards. You can't teach that.

Tamerat McLeod (Pusch Ridge)

Position: SB/K

Class: 2018

Height: 5-7

Weight: 165

What I liked: There's not much film out there on Pusch Ridge's McLeod, who kicks, catches passes, throws passes, and runs the ball out of a wing-style offense. Here are some highlights from his recent dominant performance against Safford, he's #22. I like him as a kicker. I'm also pleasantly surprised by his ability as a ballcarrier- I see some similarities to 2016 Hamilton graduate Tyler Alexander.

Damaria Norris (Cactus)

Position: RB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-10

Weight: 195

What I liked: Norris is a true throwback workhorse style-RB. I've seen him play in person, and because there's no updated HUDL, I went back to the junior film that I've watched a few times in the past. Norris' running style is fun in that his legs are all over the place, while his shoulders remain square. It gives the illusion that he's off-balance, and that he could be headed in any direction at any time. Even if a tackler does guess currently and square him up, they're surprised by his power.

Cameron Gardner (Casa Grande)

Position: WR/DB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-10

Weight: 180

What I liked: It's his 2016 film, but he's just been doing more of the same anyway. He's the state's most dangerous kick returner- and I say that with all due respect to Keishaud White and the many others out there doing incredible things. Gardner's acceleration is his best asset, and the fact that he runs with an attitude makes it all the more fun to watch.

Tyler Duncan (Greenway)

Position: QB

Class: 2018

Height: 6-0

Weight: 165

What I liked: I pulled this film out of curiosity. this is a kid who from junior to senior year just had something click, and all of the sudden he's become one of the most dangerous passers in the state. He's got a wind-up throwing motion- or maybe more of a cock-back and fire motion. Either way, it gets the job done for Greenway. I absolutely love the way he keeps his focus downfield when he's in trouble in the pocket.

Cade Matthews (Higley)

Position: LB

Class: 2018

Height: 6-1

Weight: 220

What I liked: Will somebody please block him? He's got good vision, good pursuit skills, doesn't hesitate, and takes what you give him. What I really like about Matthews is that he's concerned with where ball is, and nothing else. Is 6-1, 220 big enough to play on the inside at the next level? Air Force seems to think so. I think so as well, and it'll be interesting to see which other schools agree.

Kylan Weisser (Notre Dame Prep)

Position: QB

Class: 2018

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

What I liked: As a person and leader alone, I'd shoot an offer Weisser's way to have him be part of my college program- but he can also play the position pretty darn well. The first throw on this highlight- a defender hitting him low as he fires a 45 yard laser, hitting the WR in stride, is incredible impressive. He's accurate on the move, and relieved any concern about being able to put touch on passes with the throw at 2:14. Weisser, to me, is one of those QB's who pays big dividends for a Mountain West-level team that needs someone to get the ball into the hands of their best athletes. I'm looking at you San Diego State. Offer up.

Ricky Rivas (Moon Valley)

Position: SB/DB

Class: 2019

Height: 5-5

Weight: 135

What I liked: I don't care if you're the smallest guy on the field, if you ball out, you deserve recognition. Two weeks in a row Rivas has been one of the top performers in the stats, and he's been doing it as the resident mighty mouse. Heart is what it's all about, and Rivas has plenty.

Jordan Porter (Cholla)

Position: QB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-10

Weight: 178

What I liked: Video Game Highlights. This film against Pueblo will just make you shake your head... but here's the thing- his last 6 games have all been exactly like this. He's not a quarterback, right? He's out here on the verge of destroying Chase Cord's record of being the only 3,000/1,000 QB in Arizona High School history, and he's not even a quarterback. Or is he? I have no idea what to even do with this film. All I know is I like watching it.

Alex Escobar (Centennial)

Position: RB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-8

Weight: 180

What I liked: On talent alone, this is the starting RB for all but maybe 5 of the teams in the state. He plays for one of those 5 teams. He's athletic, strong, fast and smart. He's the unquestioned leader of the best team in the state. And he's 5-8. This isn't someone that colleges come looking to recruit, but he's the kid who makes them wrestle with their preconceived notions about the type of kids they should be bringing in versus the ones they have to bring in. I like Escobar as a potential Big Sky prospect- if Chandler's Ryan Johnson can find a home at Southern Utah as a taented slot receiver, I feel like Escobar is worth similar consideration as a 3rd down, versatile running back.

Austin Enteman (Peoria)

Position: LB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-11

Weight: 195

What I liked: Enteman had a big junior year, and has picked up where he left off. I went back to his junior film and found a kid that respects his assignments and makes plays. He's everything you could hope for in a high school linebacker- what I wonder is if he'd have the speed to make a transition to a strong safety prospect. He's the type of player you see all over the RMAC- the best players on their high school defenses, and that's why that conference has some great football.

Nash Giffin (Horizon)

Position: RB/LB

Class: 2019

Height: 5-9

Weight: 165

What I liked: The first two plays on this Paradise Valley highlight will tell you exactly what you need to know about this talented junior. After you've given up, he still hasn't. This is a fun one- I expect to see much more from Nash in the future.

Andre Johnson (Tolleson)

Position: WR/DB

Class: 2019

Height: 6-3

Weight: 178

What I liked: There's something for everybody in this highlight. Touchdown receptions, interceptions, blocked kicks, downfield blocking... and that's just against Agua Fria. I'm intrigued. I'm not saying we've found the next Isaiah Pola-Mao, but I'm telling you, Isaiah Pola-Mao would look at this film and smile, because this is the tyre of player he was at Mountain Pointe. If Johnson keeps dominating all aspects of the game out at Tolleson, I'm going to have to make a trip out to see him in person.

Jayse Burkett (Benson)

Position: WR

Class: 2019

Height: 5-10

Weight: 155

What I liked: Benson has been on my radar since their great 2015 season that ended in a championship loss to Pusch Ridge. I've been curious about the players that would follow in that team's footsteps, and Burkett is one of the first legitimate receiving threats I've seen them ring into the fold. In the Arizona Lutheran game, he had 4 catches for 111 yards, and he scored twice the week before agains Morenci. I'll be watching him closely- especially if he's going to keep it up with these over the shoulder catches.

Clayton Hooper (Hamilton)

Position: DB

Class: 2018

Height: 5-10

Weight: 165

What I liked: Hooper has been collecting NAIA offers like trading cards the last couple of weeks. I saw him play against Queen Creek, but that wasn't the team's best game overall, so I'm glad I got to check out this week 1-4 highlight. It's obvious Hooper has good hands, and can bait QBs into testing him when he's got the better position, but the positioning and the pass break-up at 1:15 is what shows me that he's got the right instincts to keep playing corner at the next level.

Braeden Kaowili (Moon Valley)

Position: OL

Class: 2018

Height: 6-3

Weight: 270

What I liked: I had heard from a couple of people at Seton Catholic that Kaowili gave them fits, so that's the film I checked out. He's definitely got some serious punch at the point of contact. Knockout power even. This is a small sampling, so I'll make sure to keep up with him as the season progresses.

Edward McClendon (Mesa)

Position: WR

Class: 2019

Height: 6-0

Weight: 180

What I liked: Some playmakers are playmakers because of their talent, some are playmakers because they have great field awareness, and some have a combination of both. McClendon's highlights show the latter. Whoever decided to include his blocking as a WR, and lead blocking on an interception return greatly increased his stock in my eyes, because this is a highlight that shows you're dealing with a player who know what to do in every situation.

Riley Langton (Campo Verde)

Position: WR

Class: 2018

Height: 5-8

Weight: 155

What I liked: Hands. Adjusts with the ball in the air. Hands. Route Running. Hands. Makes the most of his opportunities. Hands. Speed in the open field. Did I mention his hands? I've been watching Langton's game highlights since last year, and only this season when Coach Ragsdale mentioned it to Chilly, did it click that Langton was only 5-8. He's open, so size sort of becomes moot when you shake your man of find holes in the zone.

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