Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scouting Report: Willie Henry

Willie Henry
Glenville Academic Campus
Cleveland, Ohio

Height: 6’3 Weight: Low: 230 High: 270
40 time: Low: 4.78 sec
Offer Sheet: Michigan, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Syracuse, Hawaii, Cincinnati
(Received Interest from Iowa)
Best Case Comparison & Projection: Ryan Van Bergen
Most Probable Comparison & Projection: Adam Patterson

McGuffie Rating: 2.5 ‘Guffies (out of 5)

PROs: Downhill attacker with good speed and football instincts. Athletically built, Henry possesses a long wingspan and is capable of using it effectively against cut blocks. He is able to disengage from offensive linemen using his long arms and good hands to rip off blockers. Henry has good lateral quickness and show an ability to jump off the snap. Demonstrates good tackling technique for the high school level.

CONs: Plays too upright whenever he gets engaged with blockers. As a result, linemen are able to square up Henry and gain significant leverage. Needs to better utilize his lower body against opposing linemen. Lacks penetration when maintaining gap responsibility against run plays. Lacks ideal size.

Highlight Video:

Quote: "Willie's speed stands out. He's a versatile player too. He played D-End, D-Tackle, played offensive tackle and he even played a little running back. His speed and versatility and his size. He has real big hands, long arms and his wing span is almost for a guy that is 6-10.” - Todd Overton, Glenville Assistant Coach

Bottom Line: Recruited to compete as a 3-tech defensive tackle, Willie is most effective when he is attacking downhill as an inside pass rusher. In order to be equally efficient in the college level, Henry needs to dedicate himself to improving his strength and technique. Given Henry’s need to develop into his playing weight and refine his play, he will most likely redshirt season for his freshman year. I feel that Henry will eventually serve a role similar to that of Will Heininger during the 2011 season. But don't be mistaken, Willie has the talent and capacity to do more. It will be interesting to see how Montgomery, Hoke and Mattison develop and ultimately utilize Henry as they look to maximize his potential.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Scouting Report: Dennis Norfleet

Dennis Norfleet
Detroit Martin Luther King HS
Detroit, Michigan

Height: 5’7 Weight: 170
40 time: Low: 4.34 High: 4.75 sec
Offer Sheet: Michigan, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Tennessee
(Received Interest from Alabama, UCLA)
Best Case Comparison & Projection: De’Anthony Thomas
Most Probable Comparison & Projection: Jeremy Gallon

McGuffie Rating:
3.5 ‘Guffies (out of 5)

Norfleet has both excellent speed and quickness. Shows good vision and a decisive burst through open lanes. Possesses an excellent cutback move and acceleration to full speed. Has good hands and deadly in open space. Defenders rarely gets an second chance at bringing Norfleet down due to his athleticism. Possesses a good frame to develop into an efficient blocker in both the running and passing game.

Size. Quarterbacks must be more accurate when targeting Norfleet due to his lack of height. Will be physically challenged coming off the line of scrimmage. At full speed, Norfleet has a tendency to carry the football away from his chest and rib cage. At times, Norfleet is an upright runner with a high center of gravity- this diminishes his ability to break away from tackles, especially at the next level.

Highlight Videos:

"He ran like how he was: New Money. Coach Harvel calls him 'Pit' because he runs like a pit-- like a pit bull.'' – Detroit King defensive tackle, Mike Bruise

Bottom Line:
Norfleet is a true BCS caliber athlete. His tapes really remind me of Vincent Smith, but faster. Given his pass catching ability, quick burst, and excellent vertical speed - my assessment of Norfleet is that he can be an excellent third down back. It’ll be interesting to see how the coaching staff will ultimately utilize him.

Norfleet is recruited as a slot receiver and return specialist, but he has made clear that he sees himself as a running back. It is always hard to forecast any recruit’s future but I unfortunately feel that Dennis is slotted at positions in which opportunities for him to make plays with the football are rare. With his athletic talents, there is no doubt that Dennis will be on the field, but will he be lost in the shuffle between slot receiver and running back? Will he be able to out-finesse physically imposing BCS defenders who will are his equal in athletic talent? With these questions in mind, I have reservations about his productivity. His development in run block as a slot and pass protection as a third down back will also ultimately determine Norfleet’s true value.