Prospect Preview: Miami vs Ohio State

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko

One of the more intriguing matchups in college football this week is between two perennial super powers that currently have a black cloud hanging over their programs.

The Ohio State Buckeyes travel to South Florida to take on the Miami Hurricanes. Here is a preview of 6 draft eligible players whom we will be watching closely Saturday night.

The game has definitely taken a hit from a prospect scouting prospective with arguably the top prospects on each team suspended for this game. Ray Ray Armstrong, one of the top safety prospects is suspended for Miami and OT Mike Adams, WR DeVier Posey and RB Boom Herron are all suspended for Ohio State.

#50 C Mike Brewster, Ohio St – It seems like every game I have scouted this season has had a prospect at center for this year’s draft and Mike Brewster maybe the best of the bunch. With the Patriots surely looking for a center of the future, I will be watching very closely to see if Brewster could possibly be a fit for the 1st-2nd round of this year’s draft.

Brewster is the stabilizing force on a Buckeye line that has been hit hard by graduation and suspension. Brewster is a big center, who has long arms. He plays with great balance and doesn’t get over extended. He’s a tough player to beat one on one. I want to see him pull and lead runs off tackle as that is something that the Patriots ask their interior lineman do a lot of.

#99 DT Marcus Forston, Miami – Forston is next in the long line of NFL defensive lineman produced by the Hurricanes. Forston is a huge, athletic interior lineman. He should be able to play in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

Forston lacks good fundamentals, but his strength and athleticism allows him to succeed. When I watched him last year he would be invisible at times and then make a big play, I need to see him be more consistent and disruptive before I call him a first round talent.

#31 OLB Sean Spence, Miami- Spence will play his first game this season Saturday night as he was suspended for his alleged connections to booster Nevin Shapiro. Spence is an undersized LB measuring at a listed height of 6’0”, but he is closer to 5’11”. A very good athlete for the position, his speed allows him to be a very good coverage linebacker.

He is also able to move sideline to sideline due to his speed. However, at the next level his size and lack of strength will definitely cause him to get swallowed up by blocks. It’s unlikely he would be able to stay at OLB in the NFL, so he looks like a late round prospect right now.

#43 OLB Nathan Williams, Ohio State – Williams is the hybrid end in Luke Fickel’s defensive scheme. Utilized as a stand up edge rusher, as well as out of a 3 point stance, Williams is that blue collar player who isn’t overly athletic or overly gifted, however he seems to always be in position to make a big play. He is a smart, physical player who has very good size for OLB position at the next level.

He is being coached by former Patriot star Mike Vrabel, who wasn’t overly athletic or gifted either, but ended up making huge plays in huge games. Williams uses his strength to take on blockers and set the edge. He’s solid in the run game as well. I think he will find a home in the NFL, although he won’t go in the early rounds.

#54 DE John Simon, Ohio State- Simon is a productive DT who started for the Buckeyes as a true freshman. Simon is an extremely hard worker who is one of the strongest players in college football. Plays the game the right way, always seems to be in the right position and gets off blocks. Simon is only a junior and I doubt he would enter early but he is a prospect to watch for 2013.

#6 RB Lamar Miller, Miami- Miller is a player who I think is really going to see his stock skyrocket this year. He is one of the most naturally gifted runners in all college football. Miller is a dynamic runner who can make defenders miss with jump cuts but can also run a defender over. He has a great balance of size, speed and agility.

Listed at 5’11” 210 Miller has the size to be an every down back at the next level. Miller is a red shirt sophomore so he is eligible for the 2012 NFL draft. With a big season we could see Miller declare, especially with Miami facing possible strict sanctions from the NCAA.

Other Players to Watch:
#2 WR LeRon Byrd, Miami – #45 OLB Ramon Buchannan, Miami- #26 S/LB Tyler Moeller, Ohio State- #76 OT JB Shugarts- #6 MLB Etienne Sabino, OSU

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