NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
Scouting this game was a nightmare. First there was a 2-3 hour lightning delay; they then resumed play up until midway through the 4th when they had another delay. The TV coverage was cut off after the second delay, so this report is based on the first 3 quarters.
The top prospects:
#3 WR Michael Floyd-
Floyd was the best player of the field. He looks poised for a monster year and ready to solidify a top 20 selection.
-Catches the ball with his hands, has a huge catching radius for the QB to throw to
-Great YAC for a big WR; was thrown a bunch of bubble screens and was able to gain positive yards on each one
-Good downfield blocker, was called for a hold which negated a TD, but he held the block for a long time
-Takes a little while to get up to top speed, but once he’s there he can get by the CB with ease.
-Uses his strength and quickness to get off jams nicely, on his first TD he got off the jam quickly and was able to beat the corner over the top
- Can get lazy with his routes, on one slant he appeared to stop and if he kept running the ball would have been caught, can’t do that at the next level
-Is so big and strong that he often breaks the first tackle with ease, also utilizes a strong stiff arm move
-Was able to read the zone coverage and sat down in the soft spot for a completion
Summary- Floyd was absolutely uncoverable all game. He caught everything thrown his way. He is able to be used as a deep threat, but also on short routes and screens. If Floyd stays out of trouble he is a lock for the first round.
#5 MLB Manti Te’o –
Watching Te’o in this game, I saw exactly what I expected to see. Te’o is a smart player who is always around the ball. The best ND defender by far.
- Te’o is in on every play it seems.
- Takes good angles to the ball carrier which puts him in position to rack up the tackles
- Took him a little too long to recognize the play a couple of times, however when he does recognize it, he gets there. (Watching Luke Kuechly the game before, Te’o doesn’t anticipate and read as quickly as Luke.)
- Great form tackler, puts head on the ball and drives the legs through
- Looks even stronger this year
- Never comes off the field, was able to drop into coverage both into the flats and into the middle of the field
Summary- Te’o is as versatile a MLB is there is. He should be a sure fire 1st round pick and an every down LB at the next level.
#20 RB Cierre Wood-
Nobody surprised me and stood our more than Wood. I came away extremely impressed, and believe he is a very good RB prospect.
- Catches the ball naturally out of the backfield
- Explosive with the ball in his hands
- Hits the hole, makes one cut and goes, no dancing what so ever
- Initiated the contact and got some positive yards after contact
- Looked great running between the tackles but also was fast enough to get to the edge
- All around RB
Summary- It looks like Wood has finally figured out his potential. He has all the tools necessary to be a second day NFL draft pick. If he builds on this game he could have a huge year for Notre Dame. He’s definitely on my radar now.
#22 Harrison Smith
- Plays sideline to sideline
- Aggressive in run support
- Likes to hit
- Looks like a real good athlete, not stiff, fluid in his movements
Smith is a smart, physical player. He got called for two personal foul face masking penalties on back to back plays. He’s a legit safety prospect for the 2012 draft.
Other Notre Dame Players:
QB Dayne Crist-
Not impressed with his decision making at all, which was evidence by an awful INT in the end zone. Not very accurate. Was benched at half time. I was optimistic about his chances of being a prospect before the game, not so much anymore.
OLB Darius Fleming-
Lost contain too easily. Didn’t show up as a pass rusher. Will definitely have to get stronger. Late round – UDFA right now.
South Florida Prospects
I came into the game not knowing what to expect out of South Florida. However, after watching this game they have a number of players who are NFL prospects, many who are underclassmen.
#1 S Jerrell Young-
Young is the best pro prospect for this year’s draft. He is a big safety, who made the play of the game. Notre Dame marched down the field to the goal line and were about to score when Young stood the running back up in his tracks and ripped the ball loose. It went on to be returned for a touchdown, taking all the momentum away from Notre Dame.
Other Players on South Florida who impressed me:
MLB DeDe Lattimore, WR AJ Love, DT Keith McCaskill, CB Kayvon Webster, RB Darrell Scott, DE Julius Forte