Category Archives: NCAA FB

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Chazz Surratt 6’2 225 LB- UNC


What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths):
Excellent closing speed. Grades well against read option (App St ’19) and as a QB spy (Syracuse ‘20). Trusts his eyes and gets to the ball in a hurry. Fluid hips. Has the ability to pick up running backs on option routes and/or cover slot receivers in short space (Clemson ’19). Hustles to the football and plays through the whistle. Doesn’t cross his legs on front side run schemes but instead chops his feet so he can play the back side cutback if needed. Special teams contributor. Plays on the kickoff team as well as the field goal block unit. 

Weaknesses: Can be picked up by backs when blitzing (Clemson ’19). Surratt is a converted QB and has limited reps as a linebacker although he did play safety in high school. At times he gets caught in the wrong gap or overpurses. Needs to get more violent with hands in order to get off blocks of bigger players. Played in one game in 2018. One of 13 Tar Heels suspended for selling team issued shoes in 2018 and missed four games (https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/article216175450.html). Missed seven games later that year with a right wrist injury. 

Other Notes: Attended East Lincoln High School (NC.) • Named state Gatorade Player of the Year and broke the state record for career total yards (16,593) • First-Team All-ACC (2019) and runner up for ACC Defensive Player of the Year  • Passed for eight touchdowns, six interceptions and 1352 yards as a QB in two seasons (10 games) • Brother, Sage, plays wide receiver for Wake Forest  • 2017 (9 games): 1342 passing yards, 210 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns,  8 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 58.5 completion percentage • 2019 (13 games): 66 total tackles, 49 assisted tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 pass deflections. 


Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): If you go back and watch the 2019 Clemson tape, Surratt jumps off the screen. Clemson’s offense stresses the eye discipline of opposing linebackers with its formation variety (bunch sets, etc..), which can lead to defenders overthinking and playing a step slow. Surratt didn’t have that problem and arguably played one of his better games. The Tar Heels converted QB will be judged by his ability to learn the intricacies of the position, but in a short time he has shown the raw talent is there.

Justus Reed 6’3 255 DE-Senior Virginia Tech: ‘Eight-Mile Road?’

Justus Reed (who now wears No. 9 for Virginia Tech) opened up the 2020 campaign with a solid outing against NC State’s veteran-laden offensive line. He was able to split two blockers (RT Justin Witt and RG Joe Sculthorpe) early in the contest versus turn protection to post the first of his two sacks on the evening. In addition, his right-handed pole move (from the LDE spot) long-armed Witt and got him off-balance a couple of times.

On the downside, he was inconsistent once staying frontal versus a gap-schemed run when having to spill the football versus the pulling guard (1st half, NC State ’20). Reed also lost contain on the quarterback during the first half of the contest.

Justus Reed (No. 97 pictured above at the six-technique DE spot vs. Michigan in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl posting a tackle for loss on this play) got off to a huge start for Virginia Tech this past Saturday.

Nevertheless, his five-tackle, two-sack, two-tackle for loss performance versus the Wolfpack all started with a seventh year of eligibility.

Reed initially signed with Florida as the 285th-ranked player in the ESPN300 Class of 2014. The former Clearwater Central Catholic High School (Fla.) star posted two tackles for loss in 2015 for the Gators (see video above). The two tackles for loss in that season were sandwiched in-between a normal redshirt season in 2014 and a medical redshirt in 2016.

Injuries in Gainesville led him to leave the school for Youngstown State, where he was solid in 2017 (5 QB sacks, 6 TFLs) despite missing four games due to an arm injury (https://www.ysusports.com/sports/fball/2018-19/bios/reed_justus_swjx?view=bio). Reed finished his three-year run for the Penguins with 58 tackles, 17.5 quarterback sacks, 25 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three pass break-ups.

VTScoop did a piece in April 2020 chronicling the cavernous journey of Reed’s career (https://247sports.com/college/virginia-tech/Article/Justus-Reeds-Perilous-Journey-leads-to-Virginia-Tech-146165755/), which included a medical redshirt for an Achilles injury in 2018.

Reed (who now wears No. 9 at Virginia Tech) played three seasons at both Florida and Youngstown State before arriving in Blacksburg, Virginia.

NFL scouts may be put off by the extensive injury history, but pass rushers find a way to get home. In Reed’s case, getting back on the field was home plate. He broke down his own personal satisfaction after the Penguins win over Illinois State on November 17, 2019:

“Worked really hard this offseason (2019). Shout out to Terry Grossetti (Youngstown State strength and conditioning coach),” Reed said with a smile. “Just came out and did everything I could do. So it feels good.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb7Geymqq3I)

Now that Reed has gotten this far, the only question is whether or not he will stay on Virginia Tech’s campus for an unprecendented eighth year.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, this season will not count against any player’s eligibility. Reed became just the fifth player to earn a seventh year of eligibility this century when he opened the 2020 season in the ACC. In 2021, he will have yet another opportunity to take advantage of that rare seventh year next fall.

So could the current Hokie actually add another mile to his seven-mile hike?

For now, the 24-year old is attempting to make another lengthy topic take over the headlines.

“I think I have pretty good length, my arms are pretty long. I can’t remember when, but we had scouts come, and they were freaking out because my arms are so long. I’ve been told I’ve been good with my hands. Converting speed to power using my long arms. Doing whatever I have to do to get back there,” Reed said in the aforementioned VTScoop piece (https://247sports.com/college/virginia-tech/Article/Justus-Reeds-Perilous-Journey-leads-to-Virginia-Tech-146165755/).

If he can continue to get to the quarterback in the ACC, then the former Florida Gator may not have to go down the eight-mile road.

Miami (Fla.) vs. Florida State game preview, 9-26-20 (Gallery): Five for Five

Assuming everyone is healthy, we picked five prospects (click pictures for write-ups) to keep an eye on in tomorrow night’s Florida State versus Miami (Fla.) contest in Week 4 of the 2020 college football season. One of the potential key matchups could be between Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and Miami (Fla.) offensive guard D.J. Scaife, Jr. It is a battle that could get grimy between the two talented linemen. In addition, there is a big challenge for FSU safety Hamsah Nasirildeen -if available- versus Hurricanes tight end/H-back Brevin Jordan.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Sage Surratt 6’3 215 WR- Wake Forest

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Big and physical target. Surratt has the ability to get on top of smaller corners and “stacks” them in order to gain leverage in the deep passing game (FSU ‘19). Makes a number of possession routes as a No. 2 slot WR crossing the face of DBs with pure strength (Rice ’19). Uses subtle hesitation (nods) to set up his post corner patterns (Virginia Tech ’19). High-points the ball and has strong hands. A legitimate red zone threat (15 touchdowns in two seasons). Willing blocker in the read option game (Louisville ‘19). Punt return capability (91 return yards on 12 returns). 

Weaknesses: Struggles at times to get separation in shorter routes. How quick can he get in and out of breaks? Plays his best in a straight line. Scouts will watch his shuttle times at his Pro Day and Combine. Works his way to top speed, not naturally explosive off the ball. Suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in November 2019 against Virginia Tech. 

Surratt, pictured, scored 11 touchdowns in 2019 despite not playing in the season’s final four games.

Other Notes: Attended Lincolnton High School (NC.) and was the school’s valedictorian • Played basketball in high school and finished second in North Carolina high school basketball history with 2,951 points scored. Named the state’s Player of the Year in basketball and football • Set state records for receptions (366), yards (5,926) and touchdown receptions (80) • Brother, Chazz, plays linebacker for UNC • 2018 (10 games): 41 receptions, 581 yards (14.2 YPR) and 4 TDs  • 2019 (9 games): 66 receptions, 1,001 yards (15.2 YPR) and 11 TDs  • Career:  107 receptions, 1,582 yards and 15 touchdowns.  

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Surratt has prototypical NFL size for an outside receiver. He could immediately translate into a red zone threat. Like most young receivers, his success will be measured by his ability to master the entire route tree. Look for Surratt to be a Day 2 prospect, but it would have been intriguing to see him produce for a full season in school after missing the last four games of the 2019 season.

2020 NCAA FB, Week Two Standouts: ‘Who got Nasty?’

In a weekend full of defensive standouts in college football, Tulane’s bookends -Cameron Sample (6’3, 280) and Patrick Johnson (6’3, 255)- perhaps gave a preview of things to come for the American Athletic Conference in 2020. They were joined by two Sun Belt defenders who thrived in terms of versatility.

5 Cameron Sample
6’3 280 DE-Senior
Tulane

Most of the Green Wave’s attention from NFL scouts has been centered on defensive line mate Patrick Johnson. On Saturday, Johnson posted two sacks to take his career total to 16.5. However, Sample’s performance in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game versus South Alabama gave credence to the feeling that this will be his breakout year.

In the past, his lower body extremity issues have limited his development. Transformative weight gains have taken him from a 245-pound high school senior into 280-pound behemoth. The Snellville, Georgia native described the process in an interview with www.nola.com back in August 2019 :

“It was just a little bit of everything — God, genetics and hard work,” he said. “Eating, working out and my trainer back home helped me out by getting me working with NFL guys. I started really taking it seriously and just blossomed.”

Sample, pictured, posted 9 tackles, QB sack and 2.5 TFLs versus Ohio State in 2018.

While he has played some as an inside-shade defensive end, the team is now using him to stand up and rush (as has it has in the past) with his hand in the dirt. His increased feel of influencing the offensive tackle off of his third step up the field now complements his unique combination of power and hand usage.

For his efforts on Saturday, Sample was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week (https://tulanegreenwave.com/news/2020/9/14/football-sample-named-american-athletic-conference-defensive-player-of-the-week.aspx).

Saturday impact:
7 tackles, 2 QB sacks, 3.5 TFLs, FF

94 Jeffrey Gunter
6’4 260 DE/OLB-Junior
Coastal Carolina

Gunter is yet another defensive lineman/outside linebacker who takes a backseat to a teammate. Gunter plays the Bandit position for the Chanticleers. Fellow DE Tarron Jackson actually set a Coastal Carolina record with 10 quarterback sacks in 2019 and also recorded a quarterback hurry and tackle for loss in Saturday night’s 38-23 win versus Kansas.

It was Gunter, however, who made the types of plays on Saturday that will catch the eyes of scouts. In the second quarter, the team’s Bandit linebacker jumped up to tip a pass to himself off the edge to make an athletic grab for an interception. His linear frame allows him to cloud passing lanes.

Back in 2018, Gunter posted five quarterback sacks and 14 tackles for loss for the Chanticleers before transferring to NC State for the 2019 campaign. The Riverside High School product decided to return to Coastal Carolina in 2020 and got off to a fast start this past weekend. HIs fluidity on line games stands out when filtering inside to slither through gaps.

Saturday impact:
4 tackles, QB sack, 2 TFLs and INT

10 Traveion Webster
5’11 209 LB-Senior
ULM

How could a player who participated in a 37-7 blowout loss versus Army make this list?

It’s easy. He was simply the player with the most energy of any of the Warhawks on Saturday afternoon. Up until this season, his career-high in tackles was just 27 (2019). In fact, he had not been a legitimate starter in any of his previous three years on campus.

HIs ferocity stood out in the second quarter of the game on an outstanding kickoff cover down the field. In Saturday’s contest, he flashed an ability to time delayed blitzes, scraped well to handle some of Army’s triple option schemes and overall flashed explosiveness on contact throughout the contest.

Saturday impact:
11 tackles, QB hit

DraftNasty spotlights Penn State RB Journey Brown

After a breakout sophomore season that saw him rush for 890 yards and 12 touchdowns, Brown is continuing to add elements to his game. The Meadville High School (Pa.) is efficient running in-between the tackles and contains the home run speed to stretch defenses. Brown finished the 2019 campaign on a high note, as he was named the 2019 Cotton Bowl MVP. Brown set a Pennsylvania prep level record with a 10.43 time in the 100 meters, besting the mark by former Olympic sprinter and gold medalist Leroy Burrell.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Travis Etienne 5’10 210 RB-Clemson

Etienne -the back-to-back ACC Player of the Year (2018-19)- began his senior campaign with a 17-carry, 102-yard performance versus Wake Forest (9-12-20). In typical fashion, the all-purpose playmaker added three receptions for 47 yards. His collegiate production has largely matched the Louisiana native’s high school resume’, when he accounted for 115 total touchdowns at Jennings High School (La.). We break down his versatile skill-set in our highlight feature on Etienne.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Penei Sewell 6’6 330 OT-oregon

Sewell’s entry into the 2021 NFL Draft comes on the heels of a 2019 campaign at Oregon that saw him win the Pac-12’s Morris Trophy (top offensive lineman), earn unanimous All-American honors, the Outland Trophy and Polynesian College Football Co-Player of the Year honors. Perhaps the most dominant offensive lineman in all of college football, the American Samoan native earned Freshman All-American honors in 2018 despite missing six games due to injury. His rare combination of power and agility has been evident since his days as a U.S. Army All-American at Desert Hills High School (Utah).

Sewell earned Freshman All-American honors in 2018 despite missing six games due to an ankle injury.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Reed Blankenship S-Middle Tennessee

We talked about Blankenship’s ability to disguise last season after he earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors following a two-interception performance against Tennessee State (see below). After a strong start to the 2019 campaign, the senior defensive back went down to an ankle injury in mid-October. Blankenship enters 2020 with over 200 tackles (233), 15.5 tackles for losses, eight interceptions, 18 passed defensed and two blocked kicks. The former West Limestone HS (Ala.) star has a chance to hear his name called in the 2021 NFL Draft.We break down his diverse, well-rounded game in our video feature.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Thomas Graham, Jr. CB-Oregon

It didn’t take long for Graham, Jr. to make an impact on Oregon’s campus. The preseason 2020 All-Pac-12 corner has now made 39 consecutive starts due to a combination of agility, football smarts and toughness. We go inside the game of one of college football’s best perimeter defenders in our video spotlight. Heading into 2020, Graham is the active FBS leader in passes defensed (40) and has eight career interceptions.

Graham had four tackles, one interception and one pass break-up versus Auburn in the 2019 season opener.
Graham’s ability to maneuver his frame allows him to get in-and-out of his breaks quickly when playing either press-man or off-man coverage.