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Dixon l UCF cracks Top 25 with blowout win over Memphis

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Dixon l UCF cracks Top 25 with blowout win over Memphis

Memphis Tigers @ Central Florida Knights

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET

Bright House Networks Stadium – Orlando

Memphis (13), Central Florida (40)

Central Florida Knights

Shaquem Griffin, LB #18 (R Sr) He was arguably the best player on the defensive side of the ball. He showed very quick reactions to set the edge of the defense and force runs back inside. I believe he has legitimate 4.5-4.6 speed. His speed was lethal blitzing off the edge and he has the balance to dip and shorten the outside edge without losing momentum; he forced a sack fumble this game. His effort was superb. Sometimes he had difficulty disengaging with blockers to make tackles. Stock: Same

Jordan Akins, TE #88 (Sr) He is a big body TE who will use his frame to run through would be tacklers after the catch. As evidence when he caught a 1-yard pass but rumbled forward for a 10-yd. gain and when he spun off a tackler after catching an over route. He also has decent speed within running routes but he does not have the quickness necessary to defeat press coverage or avoid sudden resistance. His effort as a run blocker is enough to stay with blocks but his technique needs to be refined. He must bring his hips through the block once he latches on to gain more leg drive. He will be a TE that I continue to watch because he could possibly contend for mid round value. Stock: Slightly Up

Tre ‘Quan Smith, WR #4 (R Jr) He did not get the ball thrown his way too often but made the most of them when he did. Two of his three catches went for TDs. He runs with a long stride and sort of glides through his route giving me the impression that he is faster than he looks. He also has a smooth feel for defeating press coverage. I like his competitive nature when he showed some violent run blocks. His athleticism does not wow me but it’s enough to be worthy of NFL consideration. Stock: Up

Jamiyus Pittman, DT #5 (Sr) At just 6’1”, he plays with low pad level. There were several plays that showed explosive hand power. He physically swiped and clubbed offensive linemen to the side like he was going through D line bag drills. His explosive power was best suited for close confines because he didn’t move laterally down the line of scrimmage well. Stock: Same

Mike Hughes, DB #19 (Jr) He has the foot speed to shadow quicker receivers in press coverage. During this game, he covered the electric Anthony Miller very nicely. He caught an interception off a tipped pass and almost had another interception when he broke on a curl route. He did the little things like committing to a physical run presence and going after the strip when possible. Overall, he had a great game and may be a very good DB to watch for next draft class. Stock: Same

Memphis Tigers

Riley Ferguson, QB #4 (Sr) He was largely inconsistent in respect to passing accuracy. He has the arm strength to throw comebacks from the opposite hash. However, I didn’t see him consistently work through his progressions. In fact, he threw several passes up for grabs. He also took huge risks by scrambling with the ball swinging in the air. Stock: Down

Anthony Miller, WR #3 (R Sr) Statistically he did not have a good game. However, I enjoyed his feisty, competitive attitude. His toughness enabled him to effectively block LBs during run plays all game. He brought the fight to the defender when he blocked. During one jet sweep, he successfully created an edge by crack blocking the LB. He reminds me of Antonio Brown with his knack for continuing to work through his route even when the DB initially wins the rep. He doesn’t give up and sometimes ends up making the catch simply because he doesn’t stop moving and fighting. He is the type of WR I would look to take a flyer on once 4th round comes around. Stock: Same

Genard Avery, LB #6 (Sr) He did a nice job scraping downhill through the trenches to physically meet RBs in the hole. He also showed the speed to run down RBs once he lasered in on them. I don’t think he has great long speed but his short area explosion was great for closing the distance on ball carriers in a hurry. He also was a physical blitzer off the edge and recorded a sack this game. Sometimes he committed to a side of the blocker which created unnecessary lanes for the RB. More film is needed to evaluate his pass coverage but he looks to be mid to late round value as a LB protecting against the run.  Stock: Up

Austin Hall, DB #25 (R Soph) He isn’t the most athletic player on the field but he plays smart, and with stiff and balanced explosion. He played with high football IQ and always maintained outside leverage when he needed to. However, he understood when it was necessary to just run the blockers overs while in pursuit. His effort was above average and he was a very solid tackler. Stock: Up

Jonathan Cook, DB #14 (Sr) As a safety, he was a very solid tackler the entire game and had a knack for finding the ball carrier. He even subtly glanced to the outside to check for crack blocks while running down a RB to the sideline. During multiple jet sweeps, he flew up to make the tackle for a short gain. During one play against a bubble pass, he initially fell after his first attempt at tacking the WR but he immediately jumped up to tackle the WR again. He attempted several strips. Overall, I liked his energy and sure handed tackling but he will need to show the total package as a safety. Stock: Same

Best Players on the Field

UCF’s McKenzie Milton, QB #10 (Soph)

UCF’s Adrian Killings, RB #9 (Soph)

UCF’s Shaquem Griffin, LB #18 (R Sr)

Memphis’ Genard Avery, LB #6 (Sr)

Forgettable Performances

Memphis’ Riley Ferguson, QB #4 (Sr)

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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