October 14, 2009

Talent in the Unlikeliest of places

Choctaw, Okla. - Coach Bill Bays may not have been there for all of them but as a second-year coach he is well aware his Choctaw Yellow Jackets have gone through many tough seasons through the years. In fact, the Jackets have only had one non-losing season in the past 30-years. But on Friday night, Choctaw had the look of a team turning the corner in a 24-21 win over Enid and could have a few more wins coming their way.

Leading the charge for the Yellow Jackets on defense is 2011 prospect Hunter Davis. Davis is one of the most physically imposing juniors in the state. Standing at a staggering 6-foot-4 and 255-pounds, Davis stood taller than any other member on his team and played bigger than any player on either side of the ball.

Lining up at linebacker most of the night, Davis would occasionally spin down to the defensive tackle position and tirelessly pound into Enid's large front line.

Davis had a slow beginning in the game, but really turned it on as the night wore on by making consecutive plays on his own in the fourth quarter, slowing down Enid's attempts to tie, or take control of the game. He made many plays tracking down ball carriers from behind in a display of speed and agility.

When he wasn't able to make the play the double teams he was given throughout the night allowed other members on his defense to make plays.

But throughout the evening, Davis and the Yellow Jackets would have to deal with Enid's star junior tailback Jonathan Burton who on the night rushed for over 100-yards and showed good hands by being used as a target in the passing game as well. Burton is a back with a powerful lower body making him a running back who has the opportunity to bruise the defenders who come in contact with him, but on this night Burton showed more speed and elusiveness by busting two long runs in the game that were both called to be dive plays and ended up being taken to the outside and becoming a foot race to the end zone. Most of his runs were led by teammate and large left tackle Brock Enmeier.

Enmeier did his part in blocking for Burton by giving him the lanes to run through. Enmeier is not overly powerful or fleet of foot, but he did everything well on Friday night. Most importantly he kept his quarterback safe from the left side, a feat that did prove to be the difference in the game.

Enmeier showed that he is a player Enid will be relying on for this year and the next to anchor that line and block for Burton and the rest of Enid's ball carriers.

Burton and Davis are both well known stars of their team, but Choctaw's quarterback, Tanner Hessman, was the player of the game, making every important run and throw in the second half to secure Choctaw's win on Friday night. As the team's best athlete he starts under center but it's unclear what position he best projects at. He could have a real future as a receiver where going across the middle may seem a mild ask of a player who was impressive toughness against Enid's big front seven.

Choctaw showed on Friday night that they are on track to having a program with more wins coming its way, and with players such as Hunter Davis and Tanner Hessman leading the way, the future looks to be near.

Prospects:

2011 LB/DL Hunter Davis - Known as one of the most physically imposing players in his class, Davis proved the physique is not just a show by blasting by and through blockers throughout the game.

Davis has grown even more since SoonerScoop.com saw him last, during this summer's Oklahoma football camps. In that time he has made the transition from a player that could be defensive lineman in the future, to a sure fire collegiate lineman. Do not be mistaken, however, for a junior to be playing at 6-foot-4 255-pounds he really moves well. Throughout the game he would line up as a linebacker and quickly spin down to a defensive tackle and either gobble up double teams or burst through the line and cause pressure on the ball carrier. Davis moves so well right now, and at such a good weight, it makes one wonder if he does not actually have a future as a strong side defensive end with the capability to spin down and possibly be a quicker three technique. His most impressive play came on a crucial moment in the fourth quarter when Enid's quarterback dropped back looking to make a play down field and was sacked almost immediately during his drop back. He followed that up with a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, once again moving through the middle of the offensive line before they could even get a hand on him.

Hunter Davis is one of the most impressive athletes I have seen in his class with his ability to move and make the tackle all around the field at such a weight. The scary thing is that he has the frame to put on another 20- pounds or more, which could turn him into a nightmare defensive end in college if that is where he is called to play. He will be one of the more recruited players in his class with such a physical upside, expect many offers to come his way throughout the spring and summer once schools catch sight of his sure-to-be impressive highlight film.

2010 ATH Tanner Hessman - Choctaw's quarterback relied on athletic ability and a very big heart to pull out the win for his team. He put the team on his shoulders in the final quarter and made play after play to keep Choctaw's lead intact. He has good throwing mechanics and he made good throws throughout the night, but it was his legs that led the team to victory. On several instances he would scramble and find creases to run through, or he would simply use the quarterback draw and get good yardage with each attempt. His most impressive plays were on Choctaw's final drive when their goal was to keep the ball from Enid.

Hessman ran up the middle on two third downs in the drive to move the chains and keep the ball from Enid. He showed impressive toughness by taking hit after hit and continuing to get right back up quickly and making plays for his team. He claims interest from a few division one schools and is open and willing to play wide receiver or defensive back. He has also been said to be a very impressive baseball player so he may have to make a choice of what sport he wants to play in the future if he does, in fact, pick up scholarship offers in both sports.

2011 RB Jonathan Burton - The stout running back from Enid kept the Plainsmen in the game with his power and speed on offense and his tireless effort on defense. Burton is a compact running back that is built to make the tough yards throughout a game and possessing the speed to be a threat for the home run on any given carry. He also showed great versatility by catching the ball on a few occasions and even making a key catch on a fourth and four in the fourth quarter to gain the first down, eventually running the ball for a touchdown causing the Plainsmen's deficit to be only one field goal. Burton has qualities of a division one running back with his consistent running style, power, speed, and knack to push for the extra yard. There is no doubt that as long as he stays on course, there is no good reason he will not fulfill that dream. Burton has not received much interest from colleges to date, but expect that to change once he hits more camps this upcoming summer and his film is spread throughout the Big 12 region.

2011 OL Brock Enmeier - The large left tackle for Enid gave up no sacks on the game, and most of the big runs on the game came from his side. He is a well-built tackle who moves well for a player with his size. He was not greatly tested throughout the game, but did show good discipline in not allowing himself to get beat on an inside move the entire night. He would wash every outside rush right out of the play, and he would stonewall any defensive lineman that would attempt a bull rush. He is skilled at getting his feet in place to fulfill his blocking assignments. He does need more work on getting to the next level and actually getting engaged with a linebacker, but all in all, he looks like a very promising prospect to keep your eye on in the future.

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