August 31, 2011

Film Vault: Breaking down the Taft duo

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Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft came up short in Sunday morning's season opener but it wasn't due to a lack of effort. The Senators played extremely hard against an opponent that was just simply better, falling 12-6 to Friendship Collegiate Academy (DC) in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

In the game, Ohio State targets Dwayne Stanford and Adolphus Washington both made an impact. Stanford had four receptions for 56 yards and Washington notched 12 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.


Coming into the season I had Adolphus Washington ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the state of Ohio and boy was I wrong. Washington was everywhere on Sunday afternoon, chasing plays down from the backside, getting after the quarterback, stopping runs between the tackles, and even chasing down running backs from 20-yards behind.

Washington answered every single question that I had of him coming in and didn't take a single play off despite playing both ways against a team littered with division I football prospects. In a sport where statistics can often times over-value a player's impact on the game, Washington's 12 tackle and two sack performance may have undervalued his impact. Washington singlehandedly stalled two potential FCA scoring drives and kept his team from getting blown out early on.

Washington showed a more varied arsenal of pass-rushing moves than I had previously seen out of him and the few times that FCA was foolish enough to run the ball in his direction, he was very strong at the point of attack. One of the first things I look for in a weakside defensive end prospect is to see if he can make plays outside of his area, Washington did that in spades on Sunday. It didn't matter where FCA went with the football; No. 11 was going to find a way to get there.

For Dwayne Stanford, nothing really changed for me in terms of my opinion of him as a prospect. He has outstanding physical tools but still has some things he needs to work on. The route running wasn't as crisp as I would like to see and he's going to need to get stronger before being able to make an impact at the college level.

That being said, his ability to run and jump at his size does make him an intriguing prospect as colleges are constantly looking for tall receivers that can cause match-up problems and make plays in the redzone. With some added polish to his game, Stanford has a chance to be a solid receiver at the next level.


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