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September 16, 2008

From the Road: Offensive explosion

MORE: From the Road Gallery

Rivals.com recruiting analysts were out again this past weekend, taking in games or scrimmages involving some of the nation's top prospects.

Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia RB Trent Richardson and Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook OT Morgan Moses were a couple of the big-name prospects that showed out in front of Rivals.com analysts.

Here are some rundowns on the top Class of 2009 offensive prospects they saw in person, listed alphabetically.

WR JOSHUA ADAMS (6-4/200), Cheshire (Conn.) Cheshire Academy
COMMITTED TO: North Carolina
PERFORMANCE: Adams caught two touchdown passes (70 yards and 16 yards) in Cheshire's scrimmage against Pawling (N.Y.) Trinity Pawling. On defense, he had a couple of tackles and a pass breakup playing free safety. Score was not kept.
STRENGTHS: Adams has really improved his hands since his junior season and goes up and fights for the ball in traffic. He's also much stronger and a bit faster, as evidenced by his 70-yard touchdown catch where he broke a tackle and outran everyone to the end zone. On defense, he showed no fear of hitting.
WEAKNESSES: Adams isn't a burner, so he'll be more of a possession receiver at the next level. He also potentially could be an excellent free safety, based on his ability to read and react to the quarterback. – MIKE FARRELL
G CHRIS BURNETTE (6-2/301), LaGrange (Ga.) Troup County
COMMITTED TO: Georgia
PERFORMANCE: Has made the shift from tackle to guard. He did an excellent job in pass protection in Troup's 14-7 loss to Dunwoody (Ga.) High.
STRENGTHS: Burnette is light on his feet, has above-average lateral movement and really knows how to use his arms and hands while blocking.
WEAKNESSES: Even though he is not overweight, he could reshape his upper body, making him even stronger. – BARRY EVERY
OT MORGAN MOSES (6-7/347), Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook
»FARRELL'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CONSIDERING: Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Clemson, Alabama and others.
PERFORMANCE: Moses played left tackle in Meadowbrook's 20-13 win over Richmond (Va.) Hermitage and had six pancakes. On defense, he played defensive end and tackle and had five tackles, including one for a loss.
STRENGTHS: Moses has great feet for such a big man and uses his arms well. Once he locks onto an opponent, it's over. He went against Duan Perez-Means, a I-A prospect, and dominated every snap. Moses is agile and quick for his size, and is in superb condition.
WEAKNESSES: If there is a weakness, it's that Moses sometimes plays too high. His pad level could be lower at times. – M.F.
ATH THERON NORMAN (6-2/200) Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
COMMITTED TO: Virginia Tech
PERFORMANCE: Norman was 12-of-20 for 191 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Hermitage's 20-13 loss to Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook.
STRENGTHS: Since Norman projects as a defensive back, it's hard to gauge him when he's under center exclusively. He throws a good ball and is especially accurate on slant routes. Norman was a bit dinged up from the previous week, so his scrambling ability was not on display. He has good size and was still one of the best athletes on the field.
WEAKNESSES: Norman isn't a true quarterback, as he tends to telegraph his passes. He is comfortable on quick drops but struggles to see the field on longer drops. – M.F.
RB TRENT RICHARDSON (5-10/215), Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia
»SIMMONS' PLAYER OF THE WEEK
COMMITTED TO: Alabama
PERFORMANCE: He had 29 carries for 420 yards and six touchdowns in a 41-7 victory over Milton (Fla.) High. His touchdown runs covered 52, 28, 31, 63, 4 and 80 yards.
STRENGTHS: Where do you begin? Richardson is physically a man among boys. He is thick, muscular and strong. He is great between the tackles, and his patience and ability to read his blockers is amazing. He doesn't race for the edge but takes what the defense gives him, and once he gets the edge there is no catching him. He also can cut-block and pass-protect. He even showed good hands out of the backfield.
WEAKNESSES: The question with Richardson has been durability. He needs to prove that he can stay healthy with his heavy workload this season. – BARTON SIMMONS
QB NATHAN SCHEELHAASE (6-3, 185), Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst
COMMITTED TO: Illinois
PERFORMANCE: Scheelhaase struggled to get on track, throwing for two interceptions in a 28-21 overtime loss to Blue Springs (Mo.) High. He did have 95 yards rushing and two touchdown runs.
STRENGTHS: Scheelhaase was the only offensive weapon for Rockhurst. His elusiveness and speed was on display on a 54-yard touchdown run when he broke four tackles and rambled down the left sideline.
WEAKNESSES: He made two mistakes with the ball, throwing a key interception that put Blue Springs in perfect position for a touchdown. He seemed to try to do too much when his teammates wouldn't respond. – JEREMY CRABTREE
OT BRANDON THOMAS (6-4/280), Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman
COMMITTED TO: Clemson, though he says Illinois and South Carolina still are recruiting him hard.
PERFORMANCE: He is playing tight end/H-back this season. Most of his team's 399 rushing yards were run to his side of the formation in Dorman's 28-10 victory over Greenwood (S.C.) High.
STRENGTHS: Has great feet and lateral movement, and runs better than most college fullbacks. His body type will allow him to play four of the five offensive line positions (all but left tackle) at the next level.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to be more consistent moving his feet after contact. When he does, he is one of the most devastating blockers in the country. He is also just getting use to playing without the cast he wore on his arm most of last season. – B.E.

UP NEXT: Class of 2009 defensive prospects and underclassmen from the weekend.



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