We’re back at it today, scouting live from the Illinois vs Northwestern game in Champaign, Illinois. This is our second live film post of the year from the press box, and we’ll have more throughout the year.
I previewed some of the top prospects in this game earlier this week – so brush up before the game.
#94 Akeem Spence, DE, Illinois
-Stout at POA.
-Drawing some double teams.
-Looks winded at times.
-Very productive – 6 tackles in the first half.
-Tries to split defenders whenever he can. Quick.
-Rarely gives any ground against one blocker.
-Lined up at NT, pushes pocket, misses sack.
-Feisty player, looks fresher in 2nd half.
-Shedding blocks well in the run game.
-Stays nice and low.
-Delivers a pretty big hit in the phone-booth. Looks very strong.
#9 Trulon Henry, S/CB, Illinois
-Comes on blitz, holds edge v TE.
-Smart coverage, allows 5 yard gain on 4th and 6.
-Stayed with WR on whip-route.
-Sees some time on multiple special teams as well.
-Didn’t see much out of Henry.
#8 AJ Jenkins, WR, Illinois
-Terrible decision on KO return, tried to bring out his fumble. Downed inside the 5.
-Big catch, wide open.
-Ran away from CB for 14 TD after catch.
-Good route (deep-out), gets some easy separation from corner.
-Great body control on sideline, fantastic catch.
-5 for 109 in 1st half.
-Fantastic snag on tough pass. CB’s are respecting his speed.
-Lining up in slot and outside.
-Runs right through the jam and makes long TD catch.
-Settles in hole, makes easy catch.
-50 yard bomb is good for a TD, Jenkins again running away from DB’s.
-Sells the post, then cuts out and makes another big catch for 24 yards.
-Held on with heat coming – NW called for late hit.
-Shows some slipperiness after the catch, turning quick hitter into 1st-down.
-Blocked out CB well, but doesn’t make the catch or draw the interference.
-Another long catch, adjusts route well to coverage.
-Sold the post and cut to the flag, draws PI in end-zone.
-Incredible game out of Jenkins.
-Relatively humble after the big game.
#71 Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois
-Playing mainly LT, switches to RT in some formations.
-Dominating Vince Browne early.
-Decent kickstep, nice wide base.
-Knocked a bit off-balance by Browne.
-Holding call – beat outside by Browne, pulled him down turning the corner.
-Good bend, arms look enormous.
-One of the better pass-blockers we’ve seen this year.
-Spoke after the game about how he was switched from LT to RT to scheme against Browne.
#76 Graham Pocic, C, Illinois
-Getting to the second level on blocks.
-Not over-powering, but holds his own one-on-one.
-We’ll key on Pocic more during our film review.
#94 Vincent Browne, DE, Northwestern
-Playing RDE. (7-tech)
-Getting dominated early by Allen.
-Buried by LT Allen on multiple plays.
-Sits out an occasional series of downs.
-Gets a little bit of push on a bull rush.
-Sacks the QB, but will need to re-watch this one, didn’t see it develop.
-Tries outside/inside move, picked up by guard.
-Delivered good punch on Allen.
-Good pursuit on screen play, fought through some trash.
-Gets past Allen’s shoulder, turns corner, draws holding.
-Needs to use hands better, keep blockers at bay.
-I don’t see anything special here.
#7 Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern
-Coming off nasty achilles injury.
-Taking a lot of hits, WR’s not getting open early.
-Steps into the rush and delivers big TD pass.
-Doesn’t look quite as fast as he was pre-injury.
-Showing some great touch.
-Great pocket awareness, then throws a dart on 3rd down.
-Drops a perfect ball over the corner for a long TD pass.
-Makes three potential sackers miss (Over, Under, Around)
-Eludes two more sacks, then finds open WR for 4th down conversion.
-Hits Ebert for another TD, looked like a blown coverage from here. Good touch again.
-Nice timing on screen pass – held it just long enough.
-Unknown injury – offense not the same without him.
#11 Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
-Great route on deep in, gets open but QB doesn’t find him.
-Gets catch broken up by corner.
-Looked like a stronger receiver could have made the catch.
-Another perfect route, gets separation in back corner of end-zone for TD.
-Doesn’t give up on play, gets open late picks up big first down on tough catch.
-Runs away from CB down the middle and makes TD catch.
-Same route as first TD, same result. Too easy.
-Could be a good #4 WR in the NFL, with a Wes Welker light as his ceiling.