Key Matchups at FNL (RB07OSU)
By now, everyone is likely aware that FNL will be stocked with talent spanning from the class of 2016 all the way down to the class of 2018. With so many Ohio State commitments and prospects with the Buckeyes high on their list, this Friday may well give a glimpse into the future of matchups in practice. Regardless, there will be a number of elite matchups that will catch the attention of our loyal recruitniks here at BP. In particular, here are the matchups I cannot wait to see unfold (bear in mind that the visitor list morphs almost every day, so the list is subject to change and certain players may not end up actually competing if they do attend):
- 2016 WR Austin Mack vs. 2016 DB Damar Hamlin: With Mack (Buckeye verbal) opting to participate, there will be plenty showdowns to watch with the great talent on hand at the defensive back position. The big matchup in my eyes is with Hamlin, who the Buckeyes are rumored to lead for (I have him all but penciled in this class). I love this matchup because while both players are athletic, they both have great intangibles and play the ball well in air. With Mack lighting it up recently at The Opening, I am very anxious to see if Hamlin can contain him. This is a big Midwest battle and I have both players in the top 5 for their respective positions nationally.
- 2016 WR Donnie Corley vs. 2016 DB Andrew Pryts: Though I am not high on the Buckeyes landing Corley, this will be a premiere matchup if it happens. The Buckeyes are trending strong with Pryts but I'm not positive Pryts stays at safety for the long haul. On film, I see a great player in Pryts but he is a little stiff in flipping the hips and his frame may translate to the LB position. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely want Pryts in the S&G and he is one of the biggest hitters I have seen on film, but I just don't think his film is definitive on what position he fits at best...I see a Tyler Moeller type athlete. Corley on the other hand is an absolute blazer who can get the best DB turned around, so I want to see how Pryts handles Corley and other athletes at FNL in the open field.
- 2017 OL Josh Myers vs. 2016 DE Jonathan Cooper: If this matchup transpires between the two Buckeye commits, it is at the top of my list to watch. Cooper has absolutely set the field on fire this summer and recently earned his 5th star on 247. Cooper was once a tweener project between LB/DE but now standing at 6' 4" and packing on muscle to get close to a lean 240 lbs without losing an ounce of athleticism, he is a force to be reckoned with on the edge. On the other side stands the top OL in the country for 2017 (and perhaps the top player overall) in Josh Myers. At an athletic 6' 6" and 290 lbs, Josh is awfully tough to get by on the edge and almost looks college ready despite only heading into his junior season. This will be a matchup in the future that will make both athletes better players and I would love an early peek at it on Friday.
- 2016 OL Terrance Davis vs. 2016 DL Malik Barrow: This will likely be a future matchup but on Saturdays, as Davis is expected to select that wretched state up north, or potentially stay close to home at Maryland. Davis is one of the top interior OL in the country for 2016 and Barrow is one of the better 3-tech DTs in the country. Davis is a mauler at 300+ lbs with some surprising athleticism, whereas Barrow is incredibly nimble at 6' 3" and 270 lbs. Davis undoubtedly has the size advantage and Barrow has primarily played DE in the past, so I am curious to see how Barrow has developed his game on the interior. With Davis holding the strength advantage, Barrow will try not to allow Davis into his body, and use his quickness to beat Davis.
- 2017 QB Danny Clark vs. 2016 QB Tristen Wallace: Ok, so this is not an actual matchup per se but it is the future of Ohio State at the quarterback position, and these two will be battling for the starting spot down the road. The two QBs are very different players and both have thrown for the coaches this summer. Clark has taken a big hit in the ratings for a very lackluster 2014 season on film, but the coaches are unwavering in how they feel about Clark. I want to see Clark throw to all the elite talent on hand, as I think his subpar performance last season had a lot to do with the team around him. As for Wallace, I also want to see him throw to all the talent on hand at WR and see how he stacks up with Clark.
- 2017 OL Josh Myers vs. 2017 DE Corey Malone-Hatcher: I have already listed Myers, but I also want to see how he handles the athleticism and speed rush of Malone-Hatcher. I feel that Malone-Hatcher is severely underrated and could follow in the steps of Cooper in boosting his ratings by adding some strength. I am really excited to see him match up against Myers, who is certified blue chip OL prospect.
The above list tabs just a handful of exciting matchups at FNL. After the event is over, I will follow up on how the premiere matchups played out.
- 2018 ATH Jalen Gill vs. 2017 DB Paris Ford: Gill is a dynamic athlete who already has an OSU offer and is likely to be one of the top-rated players in the country for the Class of 2018. Ford is one of the best DB prospects for the Class of 2017, and he likely projects at safety. Both prospects are incredible athletes (and both currently favor Ohio State), and I want to see how Gill stacks up against the elite DBs in the classes ahead of him at FNL.
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Top Match-Ups at FNL 2015