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ASU Sun Devils vs USC Trojans 10/1/2016

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

ASU Sun Devils vs USC Trojans 10/1/2016

Arizona St. Sun Devils @ USC Trojans

Saturday, October 1, 2016 @ 8:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Score: 20 Arizona St. – USC 41

 Notable Prospects

USC OFFENSE

Sam Darnold, QB, Freshman #14 (6’4” 225 LBS)

I was impressed with his mobility and athleticism. He showed naturally quick feet to juke and avoid tacklers whether it was on running plays, like draws or read options, or passing plays where he extended his time to throw the ball. During one play, he kept his eyes downfield while he was stiff arming an oncoming tackler before eventually deciding to throw the ball away. On another play where he rolled out, he spun off of a tackler and then jump cut to the side to avoid another tackler before throwing a completion. I also like the character he displayed when he decided to attend USC despite the #1 QB recruit in the nation committing to them as well.   Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young

Justin Davis, RB, Senior #22 (6’1” 200 lbs)

He is an overall very good RB. His running style is to make powerful decisive cuts while hitting the hole hard. Because he runs a little high and jukes with powerful plant steps, I want to compare his running style to Adrian Peterson but he does not have quite the same speed as Peterson. However, he does have the speed to break a long run as showed in this game to get a td. He also has natural hands while catching the ball. In this game he flipped his head around fast before catching a wheel route and then used his lower body strength to maintain his balance despite a tackler hitting him immediately after the catch. I like his competitive spirit because he fought through all his runs even when they were winning by 30 points. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Zach Banner, RT, Senior #73 (6’9” 360 lbs)

Did not play in this game

Damien Mama, LG, Junior #51 (6’4” 325 lbs)

He had a solid game. In pass protection, he automatically puts his hands up at the snap of the ball before he even begins his kickback; I like this because he is ready to strike but I also do not like it because it gives the rushers an easier target to swipe away. He fluently moves his feet in conjunction with his hand strikes. He stays low while moving toward the rusher when run blocking and he immediately attacks the shoulder of the rusher to establish leverage before flipping his hips to totally shield the rusher away from the ball carrier. He has the speed to get to the 2nd level in a hurry. I liked that he kept his head on the swivel to help his O linemen with their blocks in pass protection; during one play, he helped against a D linemen that was in the middle of a spin move and he put him on his butt. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Junior #9 (6’2” 220 lbs) for USC

Throughout this game he had some fantastic plays and plays that made me scratch my head in disbelief. Some of his better plays were when he ran a great bench route vs man bump coverage. He dipped his shoulder to get inside leverage and then powerfully swim moved at the top of the route to throw the defender by and gain enough separation that can make him a star in the NFL. Another play, he caught a 5 yd. hitch route and used his strength to break the 1 on 1 tackle by the DB, then used his speed to cut across the field for a long td. He sprung a long td run for his RB by blocking downfield and using great inside hand placement on the block. However, during a fade route on the goal line, he didn’t put any move on the DB and allowed him to completely block his path to the ball; he maybe got 3 yds. off of the los. During a jet sweep to his side where he had to block the outside DB, he didn’t break down and ended up in recovery mode the entire block while the DB obstructed the ball carrier’s path. On 3rd down and 10, he caught a shallow route and ran out of bounds 2 yds. short of the 1st down marker without giving effort to get up field and fight for the first down. Even worse, he show boated after running out of bounds, completely oblivious that he didn’t get the first down. I seriously question his focus and character because he “dabbed” twice after a td catch that could have been a penalty, he danced after running out of bounds and not gaining the first down, he taunted a defender 5 yds. before the endzone during his td catch and run, and he “airplane glided” to the sideline after another player scored on a different play. I understand having fun during a game but I would like for him to focus more and save the dancing for the NFL where he won’t be penalized. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd round talent but picked 5th round because of character concerns

 ARIZONA ST. DEFENSE

Kareem Orr, S/LB, Sophomore #25 (5’11” 198 lbs)

As a freshman last year he had 6 interceptions and was voted as a Freshman All American. I was impressed with his coverage skills during this game. He played coverage with great technique and quick reactions. Against JuJu Smith-Schuster on a fade route, he quickly shuffled laterally to keep his base square and struck the WR with powerful arm extension and didn’t allow the WR to have a path toward the ball. He has the confidence to talk after an incomplete pass thrown his way. When he was in off coverage vs a post route, he stayed square and redirected the WR after 10 yds. and then timed his jump to bat the ball away before it hit the WR’s hands. Although, he was beat on bench route by JuJu Smith-Schuster, he still showed fluent hips to recover soon after the WR’s cut. Against a go route in which he had bump coverage, he kept a high angle after the his initial strike to stay on top of the WR and then quickly turned his head around at the last second to bat the ball away. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young but keep on the same track and I’ll say 2nd

USC DEFENSE

Josh Fatu, DT, senior #96 (6’1” 320 lbs) for USC

He has tremendous strength at the initial poa to knock back O linemen and create penetration. His explosion off the snap is fast and he keeps a low pad level. He knocks the O lineman backwards during almost every rep he took. He had decent speed laterally down the los vs run plays. He showed good reaction during a RB screen pass when he stopped, re-tracked, and then batted the ball down. He showed slow hands against a cut block. I also saw that he turned sideways against a run up the middle when he had to go against 2 lineman. He needs to learn to stay square and just use his strength to defend multiple gaps on run plays. I feel good about my evaluation of him because my previous report on him is saying almost the same as this one. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

Porter Gustin, DE, Sophomore #45 (6’5” 260 lbs)

He is very patient when making sure that the ball is not coming toward his gap first. Then he was consistent with hustling to re-track toward the ball carrier. He stays square along the los to maintain good position on the edge of the los to turn ball carriers back inside. When rushing the edge, he ran high and did not show good upper body flexibility. Rather he tries to use his hands to chop down the tackle’s arms or use his strength to find a way around him. However, he attacked the blockers with wide arms and usually ended up placing his hands on their shoulders which didn’t give him much control of the blocker. He does not have natural initial pass rushing moves. Lastly, he is stiff when moving laterally in reaction to the ball carrier’s jukes. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 7th-undrafted

Uchenna Nwosu, LB, Junior #42 (6’3” 235 lbs) for USC

I appreciate his versatility. He has good burst and speed when rushing the edge and running down sweep plays. In combination with his speed, he showed that he can powerfully rip upwards through the blocker’s arms when bending the outside edge; he had a sack in the game using this move. He used the same move effectively vs a TE to shoot the inside gap and tackle the RB for a minimal gain. It was good to see that he used long arm extensions to keep the blocker away from his body while running laterally down the los. I say that he is versatile because he is natural in his drop back coverage almost to the point he moves like a LB and he was quick enough to react and disrupt the pass. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd

Adoree Jackson, DB/WR/PR, Junior #2 (5’11” 185 lbs)

He was hard to judge this game because he was going against a freshman WR. Even so, he stayed square at the los in bump coverage. He closed fast and made a 1 on 1 tackle on the WR after a screen catch. He used his speed to recover and hit the WR’s hand as he was catching to cause an incompletion on a slant route. His versatility as a punt/kick returner makes him valuable and dangerous. I think he still needs work on his bump coverage technique and that an NFL team should initially use him in off coverage to utilize his natural athleticism. I believe that a team should plan to develop and take a few years for him to become a dependable corner but in time he will prove to be a valuable asset to a team. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 2nd

Arizona St. Offense 

Demario Richard, RB, Junior #4 (5’10” 219 lbs)

He runs with extremely low pad level and likes to go downhill. I liked when I saw him smoothly jump cut to the side vs multiple outstretched arms on the los and then run over DB, Adoree Jackson as he made the first down. I believe that he is “first down” conscious because on 3rd down after a swing pass catch, he immediately went forward and lunged for the first down despite a defender being in front of him. Although I don’t see the same talent, I compare his running style to Doug Martin because he hits the hole vertically with low pad level and lower body strength. I question his hands because a swing pass bounced right off him on one play. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Tim White, WR, Senior #12 (5’11” 175 lbs)

He is an extremely quick route runner. He needs to improve his hands because he dropped several easy passes and didn’t properly adjust to other catchable passes.

Players that Flashed

Jonathan Lockett, DB, Junior #23 (5’11” 185 lbs) for USC

Early in the game he had an interception. Later in the game, he had tight coverage against their quickest WR when he ran a flat route on 4th down. Against the same WR later in the game, he reacts smoothly to a improvisation quick route and attacked the ball to knock it away. He plays with passion and hype. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Leon McQuay III, DB, Senior #22 (6’1” 195 lbs) for USC

He flashed because he had great coverage against a slot receiver’s go route where stayed in the WR’s hip and then turned his head around at the last second to shoot his hands up and knock the ball away. I was also impressed when he physically picked up a WR’s leg and drove him into the ground during a tackle. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Best Players on the Field

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Junior #9 (6’2” 220 lbs)

Justin Davis, RB, Senior #22 (6’1” 200 lbs)

Forgettable Performances

Chad Wheeler, LT, Senior #72 (6’6” 310 lbs) for USC

He leans forward while striking in pass protection when going against a speedy rusher. On one play he had to almost clothes line the rusher to disrupt him from getting the sack. He had high pad level on a run play and was blown backwards when going against the other team’s better rusher. He couldn’t find the 2nd level LB even though he had no one to block on the line. He had some plays where he blocked using sound technique but there were too many instances where he did not. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 7th

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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