January 3, 2008

Offense-Defense West: Expert View

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Several prospects are making strong cases for higher rankings at the Offense-Defense All-Star game practices this week, including wide receiver Jeff Fuller. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons provides his quick hitters from the West squad's Wednesday workout.

Under Armour: Red Team

Kemonte Bateman, 6-0, 176, WR, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw

Assets: He has great quickness and body control.

Needs improvement: His size is not quite what it is listed at so he will need to compensate with hard work in the weight room to get off of press coverage.

What was most impressive: He is an artist in his route-running. He uses his speed and sets up his defender well to create separation.

Conclusion: Provides every indication that he will be a great receiving threat for Arizona State.

Jeff Fuller, 6-4, 202, WR, McKinney (Texas) Boyd

Assets: He has great size, uses his body well and has a great set of hands as well.

Needs improvement: Fuller is a little raw in his route running and had some problems picking up terminology.

What was most impressive: Despite his size, Fuller catches the ball as naturally and effortlessly as any receiver on the field.

Conclusion: He has been the most difficult receiver for defenders to handle and has been stating a case for a bump in the rankings.

Aaron Hester, 6-0, 180, CB, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez

Assets: He is fantastic in coverage and has a huge advantage with his extremely long arms.

Needs improvement: He needs to put on weight at the next level. He is rail thin right now.

What was most impressive: He showed great instincts in one-on-ones and looked fluid and loose on a cold day.

Conclusion: Hester has the ability to be a great 'field' corner who can be left on an island.

Marc Anthony, 6-0, 182, CB, Chandler (Ariz.) Chandler

Assets: Anthony displays quick active feet and a very smooth and natural backpedal.

Needs improvement: Because he is such a natural going backwards, he can get high at times in his backpedal. It is easily correctable and more of a concentration issue.

What was most impressive: Anthony went up and intercepted a pass at its highest point, showing great ball skills.

Conclusion: Completes a stellar duo at cornerback between him and Hester.

Armond Armstead, 6-4, 287, DT, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove

Assets: He is versatile because of his many skills and his size.

Needs improvement: He needs to dominate on a consistent basis.

What was most impressive: From his tackle position, Armstead slanted inside hitting the quarterback before he could hand the ball of. Just a play or two later at left end, he pressured the quarterback into an incompletion on a safe three-step drop pass.

Conclusion: Armstead will be an impact player at the next level regardless of position.

Everrette Thompson, 6-5, 240, DE, Burien (Wash.) Kennedy

Assets: Thompson is a very good athlete with the frame to put on a lot of weight in college.

Needs improvement: He needs to get stronger and more physical at the line of scrimmage.

What was most impressive: He moves very well athletically and was one of the more impressive linemen during position drills.

Conclusion: Thompson looks great and will continue to get stronger to become a very good defensive end in the Pac-10.

Cyrus Gray, 6-0, 190, RB, DeSoto (Texas) DeSoto

Assets: He has a good strong body with a physical downhill running style.

Needs improvement: He had some trouble handling the ball in the cold weather.

What was most impressive: His explosiveness between the tackles and his ability to work inside and out.

Conclusion: Whoever gets Gray will be getting a complete back that will be able to handle a heavy workload while still providing a breakaway threat.

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