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September 29, 2008

Smith leads talented Washington past Carver

ATLANTA Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down some of the Division I-A talent that participated in the Sept. 26 game between Atlanta Carver and Atlanta Washington.

In a showdown of two Rivals100 prospects, Branden Smith and Washington got the best of Darren Myles and Carver in a 20-7 win.

A closer look at some key players, listed alphabetically:

Carver-Washington Standouts
OLB Freddie Aaron, 6-4/175, Carver
ASSETS: Has excellent height and tremendous lateral movement.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Will his frame allow him to gain enough weight in order to be an effective linebacker at the next level?
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He really demonstrated hustle by running down the running back from behind, preventing a TD late in the fourth quarter.
CONCLUSION: Currently has no DI offers, but that could change as soon as his senior film gets out. If he is to be a linebacker in college, he will need to add some serious size in order to hold up physically at that position.
SDE Brandon Bryant, 6-4/240, Washington
ASSETS: Has excellent size and long arms.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to come of the edge with a fire in his belly. Also needs to add some upper body strength.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: In the third quarter had a really nice tackle for a three-yard loss where he whipped the offensive tackle and was in the backfield for the handoff.
CONCLUSION: Looks the part of a future college defensive end. Also was an emotional leader for his team. Says Kentucky and UCF have stopped by the school recently and are showing strong interest.
RB Demond Dennis, 5-9/190, Carver
ASSETS: Is put together like a rock and has excellent change of direction.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Would like to see him work on his top-end speed.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: In the first quarter on a key 4th-and-2, Dennis was able to put a move on Branden Smith and gain a key first down.
CONCLUSION: There was no doubt that he was the entire offense for Carver in this game. He may not appear to be the biggest back on paper but he will square his pads up and run defenders over. I feel more offers are on the horizon for this running back.
WR Antonio Goodwin, 6-2/170, Washington (2010 class)
ASSETS: Has good speed and change of direction.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to look the ball into his hands and concentrate on making all catches.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: His most impressive plays came on defense, coming out of his backpedal to make tackles.
CONCLUSION: Currently has one DI offer from Georgia. He may be the next in line of big-time B.T. Washington recruits. He could project as a wide receiver or a free safety.
WDE Phillip Harvey, 6-3/206, Washington
ASSETS: Has very good lateral movement and runs extremely well.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add size and strength in order to play weakside defensive end at the next level.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Did a nice job shutting down the run on his side of the field.
CONCLUSION: His athleticism has garnered him a couple DI offers to date. Has the frame to add the weight he will need to battle linemen at the point of attack.

OLB Marcus Hightower, 6-4/190, Washington
ASSETS: Has very good speed and lateral movement.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add strength and size in order to play at the next level.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Made a beautiful 23-yard catch in the third quarter that kept a drive alive.
CONCLUSION: With the recent coaching change at Washington, colleges are just starting to find out about Hightower. He definitely will get some looks because he could project as a safety or an outside linebacker and be an asset on most special teams.
S Darren Myles, 6-0/185, Carver
ASSETS: Has excellent size, great speed and loves contact.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Has a tendency to get down on himself if he makes a mistake. He just needs to forget about mistakes and keep competing.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Tracked down the Washington running back from 10 yards behind at the two-yard line. Not only did he save a TD on the play, but Washington did not score on that drive.
CONCLUSION: When he only has to worry about playing on the defensive side of the ball, he will only get better. He has great ball skills, likes contact and is extremely athletic. Look for him to be an impact freshman next season.
CB Branden Smith, 5-10/170, Washington
ASSETS: One of the fastest high school football players in the country also has good ball skills.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add strength and become more aggressive in run support.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Caught a pass thrown up in duress. It looked as though Smith was shot out of a cannon racing underneath the pass, catching the ball on his finger tips and racing into the end zone for the game's first score.
CONCLUSION: There is no question that this is one of the elite football players in the nation. This is not just another track kid trying to play football. He will make an impact as a freshman, most likely on special teams first as a return man. Wherever he goes, they will also have specially designed plays for him on offense because he is just too much of a threat to score at any time.
CB Mark Williams, 5-9/180, Carver
ASSETS: Extremely tough kid that loves to hit and has good change of direction.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Would like to see him work on overall speed.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He had a beautiful open-field tackle on Branden Smith in the second quarter.
CONCLUSION: Currently has no DI offers. This is a high-academic kid with football smarts. There is no doubt in my mind that he could play in several DI conferences. He could play either corner or slot receiver at the next level.
OTHERS WITH DIVISION I-A POTENTIAL: ATH Kevin Myles, Carver; OLB Dimitri Holmes, Carver (2010 class) ; OG Deric Scott, Carver (2010 class) ; ILB Patrick Etuk, Carver (2010 class).



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