Player Notes – Week 7

* There were quite a few pro prospects on the field in the UNC/Miami game. CB Charles Brown isn’t one of the big names, but he had a solid showing. Projects to the NFL as a Cover 2 CB. Physical hitter. Broke up WR screen vs Miami with a big hit and left the WR on the ground. Finished the game with 3 tackles and 2 pass breakups. One of the PBUs came in the endzone. The pass was poorly thrown, but Brown was still in position to knock it down and make sure there would be no miracle catch. The questions with Brown are about speed and athleticism. Can he run with speedy receivers? Is he purely a Cover 2 type CB? He does have RS skills and could be a good cover guy on STs.

I’ve talked about WR Dwight Jones already this year. He’s been a big play guy mostly. Against Miami, he was more of a possession receiver, going 9-82-1. Big, tough receiver. Does a good job of working the middle. Tough to tackle. UNC lists him at 6’4, 225. Moves the chains. Good RAC ability. Made a LB miss on the run and got additional yards after short catch.

* I’m going to jump to the Miami side now. LB Sean Spence has been at Miami since 1987, or at least it seems that way. By the end of this year he’ll have 300 career total tackles. He has an outside shot at 200 career solo tackles. Spence gets to the ball a lot and the UNC game was no different. He was in on 14 tackles (7 solo). Love that part of his game. His ability to deal with blockers is all over the place. There was a play late in the 1st half when Spence shoved an OL out of his way and went after the RB. Beautiful LB play. Other times he was bobbing and weaving to dodge blockers. I’m not as big a fan of that. Spence blitzed off the edge late in the game and came up with a sack that essentially sealed the win. There are times when he is a really impressive LB. I wish he was more of a playmaker. I also wish he was more consistently physical with blockers. I do think he can excel in the right system.

Vaughn Telemaque is a 4th year Junior at Safety for the Canes. I enjoy watching him play. Good hitter/tackler. They list him at 6’2, 200. Looks like he has long arms. When he spreads his arms prior to making a tackle I can’t help buy think of a pterodactyl attacking some prey a couple of million years ago. Telemaque just engulfs runners/receivers with the long arms. He isn’t an impact player, but is a quality Safety prospect at a time when NFL teams can’t find good Safeties.

* The best CB in the nation is LSU’s Morris Claiborne. He’s only a Junior, but should be a very high pick so I expect him to come out early. He made a great play vs Tennessee. Claiborne had a terrific leaping INT on a downfield pass. Perfect position. Played the WR inside-out and then went up for the ball. Never gave the WR a chance to make the grab. He then went into playmaker mode and ran the ball back from deep in LSU territory to almost scoring a TD. The return covered 89 yards. Special player. I like him better than Patrick Peterson, if you can believe that.

* Every week I seem to write about DT Devon Still from Penn State. He’s got 10 TFLs this year and has at least one in each game. He guessed the snap count on 3rd/1 against Purdue. Got lucky (guessed right) and fired into backfield and got a TFL. That killed a drive and forced Purdue to settle for a FG.

* Florida star RB/RS Chris Rainey had a long night vs Auburn. For some reason, he had issues with catching punts.  On one of the plays it looked like Auburn could have been called for penalty, but the other muffs were due to him getting a case of the yips. He was officially credited with 3 PRs for -4 yards. Not good. Only ran for 33. Bad night.

* LB Vontaze Burfict didn’t help himself with his showing vs Oregon. He had a dumb late hit penalty that helped keep alive an early TD drive by Oregon. Burfict later got another late hit penalty. Both times the players were clearly out of bounds. I’m not sure what confuses him. I love the fact he wants to hit someone every play, but there’s aggressive and then there is just flat out dumb. You can’t give an explosive offense like Oregon 30 free yards. Burfict was in on 7 tackles, but made no impact plays (of the positive variety). He was out of position numerous times as he guessed wrong when dealing with Oregon’s spread rushing attack. The Ducks had 49 carries for 327 yards. And that was without LaMichael James, the nation’s leading rusher. Burfict is torturous. Lots of talent, but very undisciplined. Just as troublesome for me, he doesn’t like engaging blockers and has poor instincts. Love his highlights, but not the whole games. He’s like a bad cake with great icing.

* There have been some reports that Iowa LT Riley Reiff will head for the NFL after the season. He’s only a Junior, but has NFL talent and potential. Put simply, he looks like a LT. Smooth blocker who looks like a natural pass protector. Began his career at LG in 2009 and then took over for Bryan Bulaga at LT. Has started there the last couple of years. Not huge at only 6’6, 300. Isn’t going to drive many DL off the ball. I watched part of his game vs Northwestern. Iowa didn’t allow a sack. Reiff won his battle most of the time. Good effort as a run blocker, even if he lacks ideal power. Very effective when cut blocking on quick passes. Has pretty good feet. Plays with a real wide base. Moves well. Has potential to be a 1st round prospect. I want to see him go against a good pass rusher.

There are a couple of Senior Hawkeyes to talk about. DT Mike Daniels is interesting. He is exceptionally quick off the ball. Really explodes. Problem is that he’s a bit of a one-trick pony. If he doesn’t beat you with the initial get off, he can be blocked. Daniels lists at 6’1, 280. He looks undersized as well. I love his motor. He will battle every second of every play. I just think he’s substantially less of a prospect that previous small DTs like Karl Klug and Jonathan Babineaux. Those guys were very good, if not great, college players. Daniels is an effort guy, but hardly an impact player. I think it would be interesting to see him lose 20 pounds and try to play ILB in a 3-4.

S Jordan Bernstine has had a tough career at Iowa. He spent some time at CB. He missed all of 2009 due to injury. I’m happy to report that Bernstine is emerging as a Senior. He’s 5’11, 205. Has some pop as a hitter. Obviously plays a lot of Cover 2. Comes down quickly vs the run. Looks like a solid tackler. Effective blitzer. So far this year he’s got 34 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, a FF, and 2 PDs. He’s also averaging 23 yards per KOR. Always good to see a young man making the most of his Senior season. Limited prospect.

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