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Dixon l Kentucky methodical in victory over Gamecocks

Photo by Jim Dedmon/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Dixon l Kentucky methodical in victory over Gamecocks

Kentucky Wildcats @ South Carolina Gamecocks

09/16/2017

Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC

Score:  Kentucky (23), South Carolina (10)

Kentucky Wildcats

CJ Conrad, TE #87 (Jr) He has a big body frame at 6’5” 245 lbs. so he is a handful to tackle in space. He also runs well for a big guy. he did well to jolt power into his initial strike as an inline blocker and he worked hard throughout the play to maintain his blocks. he did drop while going over the middle in the red zone. One dropped pass is not a reason to kill downgrade a stock but as a big body TE, NFL teams will be counting on him to make contested catches over the middle. Therefore, I will be evaluating his toughness and concentration during contested catches over the middle during the season. Stock: Up

Mike Edwards, S #7 (Jr) It was obvious that he was a vocal leader of the defense. Although he did not dominate as much as his 2016 stats would suggest, he did fly around and make his presence felt. He consistently flew up to make tackles on the RB. He even full-length dove to intercept a tipped pass. Stock: Same

Courtney Love, LB #51 (Sr) He made some nice plays filling in for the injured star Jordan Jones. His robust play made the ball carrier feel his presence with each tackle. Several times he was a key piece on stops during short yard running situations. He was also violent with his hand swipes against blockers. I became concerned with his man coverage ability against RBs when he grossly over ran a RB angle route. He didn’t dominate but to fill in for the team’s star LB and physically make several key plays warrants a 2nd look. Stock: Up

Derrick Baity, DB #8 (Jr) Further evaluation of him is going to be needed because he made some nice plays but he also was beaten badly. He was patient in zone coverage. While in zone, he waited and cut through the WRs legs for smooth tackles.  He also intercepted a pass to finish the game by floating backwards and jumping high to snag the pass intended for a go route behind him along the sideline. However, Deebo Samuel blazed past him on the first play of the game by running a simple slant route then racing to the end zone. Stock: Same

Garret Johnson, WR #9 (Sr) He showed some nice ability to be an above average route runner. He powerfully planted his last step in the ground to suddenly turn during a stop route. During a 10 yd. out route, he fully sold the DB that he was going inside by turning his hips while taking a full step inside before cutting out. I also saw ability to gain YACs. After catching a swing route, he used an in-out-in juke move to fake the oncoming defender and gain a first down. After he caught a simple sit route on 3rd down, he cut across inside 2 defenders before getting up field 8 yards. to gain another critical first down. His route running quickness is not elite but he ran them with subtlety to fake the defenders.   Stock: Up

Jordan Jones, LB #34 (Jr) He did not play in this game due to his week to week shoulder injury.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Deebo Samuel, WR #1 (RS Jr) His speed and play-making ability is dynamic. On the first play of the game, he caught a slant vs man coverage and outran everyone to the end zone. He was also the kickoff returner. However, the opponent sky kicked the ball to avoid him because in Deebo’s previous game, he caught 2 kickoff returns and returned both for touchdowns. Each time he had the ball in his hands, I could sense his capability to take it the distance. He also showed impressive hands by reaching up and snatching a high pass out of the air while running back to the QB on a curl route. He got hurt late in this game and he has had a history of injuries which could hurt his stock. Without the injury concern, Deebo is one of the elite play-makers of this class. Stock: Up

Skai Moore, LB #10 (RS Sr) Very fluent hips while dropping into zone coverage to change direction while reading the offensive play to intercept a pass to a TE running a dig route. He showed soft hands on the interception. As a run stopper in the trenches, he smoothly avoids blockers and scrapes off them using sidesteps and his hands. Although he doesn’t always take advantage, he does have the speed to shoot the crease and tackle the RB behind the LOS. He is not a very physical LB. He didn’t take the opportunity to smash a TE trying to catch a pass among the middle. He would rather sidestep blockers rather than take them on. He doesn’t physically jolt blockers with his hands but rather naturally uses his hands in conjunction with his sidestep to avoid them. This game further solidified what we already knew about him; he is a finesse LB that can be very effective as a coverage LB. Stock: Same

Hayden Hurst, TE #81 (Jr) His athleticism is very apparent. He sprints off the ball almost as fast as a WR. His natural athleticism was on display when he had to contort his upper body to catch a pass thrown behind him. I also saw strong hands during a pass across the middle during which he was hit immediately after the catch. He did very well as a in line run blocker; initiating physical hits at the point of contact and gaining leverage to open running lanes for the RB. His unique blend of natural athleticism and willingness to be a physical in line blocker could make him a top TE prospect in this class. Stock: Up

Zack Bailey, RT #78 (Jr) I do not believe that he was beaten by his matchup the entire game. He has above average mobility, which allowed him to stay in position during his kickback while also getting to the 2nd level when run blocking. Several times, he easily moved among two blocking assignments. His kickback speed is fluent enough to not allow the rusher to get around his outside edge. He was a very physical run blocker; down blocker the rusher several gaps down. There is a nastiness to his game that is subtle yet consistent. During one pass protection, he struck the rusher only using his outside hand but it was so violent that it stopped the rusher dead in his tracks. Stock: Up

Best Players on the Field

Deebo Samuel, WR #1 (RS Jr)

Zack Bailey, RT #78 (Jr)

Eli Brown, LB #32 (Soph) of Kentucky

Flash Players

TJ Brunson, LB #6 (Soph) of South Carolina

Jamyest Williams, #21 DB (Fr) of South Carolina

Forgettable Performances

Chris Westry, DB #21 (Jr)

Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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