February 27, 2021

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LA High School Football

Diamond In The Rough: Will Stallings Jr

Will Stallings Jr. is a hard hitting safety who has a knack for filling any running lane and stopping the other teams running back in his tracks. He has great side to side movement and has the speed to keep up with any receiver and make a play on the ball. On the other side of the ball as a running back he has the ability to be patient enough to find the open hole and gain yards and has big play potential anytime he touches the ball.

To continue reading about Will, download our app today. Look for “Gridiron Football” on Google Play or “Gridiron Football USA” on Apple. For one low price of $10 per year, you can read all of our Diamond’s in The Rough as well as much more.

Finally! No. 18 SLU Opens Spring 2021 Campaign at No. 17 Sam Houston

HAMMOND, La. – After a 447-day hiatus, the No. 18 Southeastern Louisiana football team will return to competition on Saturday, opening its six-game Southland Conference spring schedule with a 6 p.m. game at Sam Houston in Bowers Stadium.

Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPN+ and can be heard on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU 90.9 FM, Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Lions Game Day Experience and TuneIn Radio apps.

Nearly 15 months have passed since the Lions walked off the field after a second-round loss to Montana in the 2019 NCAA FCS playoffs. Southeastern head coach Frank Scelfo, the reigning Southland Conference Coach of the Year, has his team ready to play.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to get back on the field and compete,” Scelfo said. “We don’t practice just to practice; we practice to compete. We’re looking forward to seeing how we measure up against an opponent.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Southeastern returns many of the key pieces that contributed to one of the most prolific offenses in the nation in 2019. Cole Kelley, who led SLU with 10 rushing touchdowns and threw for 10 scores in his debut season in Hammond, and newcomer Cephus Johnson III will be the leaders under center for the Lion offense.

Southeastern was the lone school in FCS to have five players with 50-plus catches and 500-plus receiving yards in 2019 and three members of that quintet return for the spring 2021 campaign. CJ Turner, Austin Mitchell and Javon Conner lead a deep group of pass-catching options for SLU, which also returns preseason All-Southland tight end Matt DeBlaiso.

Taron Jones and Marcus Cooper are the top returners in the backfield for Southeastern. A stalwart Lion offensive line is led by senior returning starters Drew Jones and Rendon Miles-Character.

Chris Lachney is in his first season as the SLU defensive coordinator after serving as the linebackers coach in 2018 and 2019. All-American cornerback Ferlando Jordan, All-Southland linebacker Alexis Ramos and safety Donniel Ward-Magee are the returning starters on the Lion defense, which will be fortified by the return of linebacker Mike Mason and safety Matt Wright from injury.

Austin Dunlap will return to handle the punting duties, while junior newcomer Mateo Rengifo is expected to take over as the place kicker this spring. Mitchell gives the Lions a dangerous weapon in the return game.

Sam Houston is coming off a 7-5 finish in 2019, though the Bearkats’ five losses came by a combined 22 points. Scelfo knows SHSU poses a particularly tough challenge in the spring 2021 opener.

“We’ll definitely have a good indication of how we measure up after this opening game,” Scelfo said. “Sam Houston has the second most wins in all of FCS over the last decade and we have a ton of respect for its program. They return one of the top defenses in the nation and an offense led by a veteran quarterback with plenty of talent at the skill positions. We’re facing a great team on Saturday.”

Eric Schmid leads a Sam Houston offense that also returns All-Southland running back Donovan Williams. Consensus preseason All-American defensive lineman Trace Mascorro leads a stacked Bearkat defense that returns all-conference performers in Jaylen Thomas, Zyon McCollum, Jevon Leon and Joseph Wallace. All-American punter and Ray Guy Award candidate Matt McRobert highlights the SHSU special teams.

Sam Houston leads the all-time series, 13-6, over Southeastern. The two teams last met in 2018 with the Bearkats holding off a late SLU rally for a 28-25 victory.  

Up Next

The Lions host McNeese at 6 p.m. on March 6 at Strawberry Stadium to open their home slate. The SLU home opener will be will be televised on ESPN+ and can be heard on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU 90.9 FM, Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Lions Game Day Experience and TuneIn Radio apps.

TICKETS

For ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net/tickets. Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2020-21 season. All tickets will be available via e-mail or text message in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet. SLU is scheduled to host McNeese (March 6), Northwestern State (March 13) and Lamar (April 3) this coming spring. Current state and local health and safety regulations limit capacity at Strawberry Stadium to 2,518.

INSIDE SOUTHEASTERN FOOTBALL WITH FRANK SCELFO

Inside Southeastern Football With Frank Scelfo, presented by Louisiana’s First Choice Auto Auction, will air every Monday through the end of the season at 7 p.m. on the patio at Pour House Pizza and Beer Garden (505 West Thomas Street) in downtown Hammond. Hosted by Scelfo, the reigning Southland Conference Coach of the Year, and Allen Waddell, the hour-long show will air on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM WFPR). Fans can also listen live at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Lions Game Day and TuneIn Radio apps.

Diamond In The Rough: Delvin Brown

Delvin Brown is a class of 2022 defensive back from Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge LA. Brown stands at 5’10 162 pounds with a bench press of 160lbs, a squat of 265lbs, and a 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds. At the defensive back position, Delvin is great at both man and zone coverages. He plays with good pad height and aggressiveness. Delvin shows that he can balance being a student and an athlete with his GPA of 3.4.

Check out Delvin’s highlights HERE

What things are you looking for most in a football program?  I look for Loyalty and Drive most in football programs because those two things tell me that when I step onto the field, the men on my team have my back and has the same mindset I have when playing

What motivated you to get into playing this sport? The competitiveness of this sport, I’ve always been drawn to football.

What does football mean to you? Football means everything to me; I love this game so much I’ve cried tears over it.

What’s your favorite thing about your position? My favorite part of my position is being able to lock down my opponents.

What would you say are your main strengths on the field? My main strengths on the field are my IQ, my aggressiveness, and the fact that I’m fundamentally sound.

Three words to describe yourself. Three words that describe me are Hardworking, Dedicated, and instinctive.

How do you balance your schoolwork and football? I think about things like this if I’m not smart in school then how will I be smart on the field.

Do you have a favorite NFL or College Athlete? I AM MY favorite football athlete

What would you like to major in? In college I’d like to major in either law or business.

What’s been the highlight of your football career? The highlight of my career is this offseason because I didn’t play my Junior year and my sophomore year, I played OLB. I’ve taught myself to play Cornerback and when I go up against other players during 7v7’s I dominated them.

What type of things do you do in your offseason to keep yourself in shape? During the offseason, I do a lot of footwork drills and resistance drills to increase my endurance and explosiveness.

What has football taught you about yourself or life? Football has taught me that you’ll get knocked down, but you have to get up and go FULL speed at the same obstacle that just knocked you down. That’s how I look at life and something knocks you down then get up and go back at it.

What would you bring to a college team? To my future college team, I’ll bring a work ethic that’s unmatched and I’ll bring Great Leadership.

What would you say are some of your strengths? My strengths are my work ethic and IQ.

How do you prepare for an upcoming game? I prepare for an upcoming game by focusing on my opponents’ strengths and weaknesses so I can figure out how to counter their strong moves.

How did you even get into football? Is there anything specific that motivated you to keep playing? I got into football when I was young, I never really was good until I began working and that’s when I became who I am today. My dad’s death has always motivated me to keep pushing and kept me close to the game of football.

How would your coaches and teammates describe you? My coaches would describe me as a humble leader, even though I may be better than someone I’ll never look down on them. I’m an uplifting person.

Diamond In The Rough: Carson Willich

Carson Willich is a class of 2022 inside linebacker for Blue Springs High School football in Blue Springs, Missouri. Carson is 6’1 and weighs 205 pounds with room to add more weight to his frame. Carson aggressively flies to the ball and has a high motor on the field, along with great anticipation skills as he routinely accelerates to the line and into the backfield to rack up the tackles for loss. Willich also takes great angles when pursuing the ballcarrier in the open field and is a strong tackler. In addition to his defensive skills, Carson shows great versatility and plays the h-back position on the offensive side of the ball. As an h-back, Carson is an aggressive blocker and showed reliable hands when being used in the passing game. Off the field, Carson has a 3.8 GPA which shows he is capable in the classroom as well.

Check out Carson’s highlights by clicking HERE

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What is your favorite lesson that you have learned in your football life? My favorite lesson is learning how to overcome adversity and stay resilient through those moments.

How would you describe your game? I am a fast, long runner and a physical player who plays with great energy from start to finish on both sides of the ball.

Who do you model your game after? The player I model my game after is Ray Lewis. I admire his physicality and his strong leadership in every moment.

What made you want to play football? I just gave football a shot and liked it from the beginning, so I continued to play. In Missouri, most people do not start playing tackle football until second grade, but I started in the first and just played up.

What is your favorite aspect of playing linebacker? My favorite aspect of playing linebacker is racing to the ball and anticipating the snap count. I like the challenge and how impactful I can be in the outcome of a game.

How would you describe yourself as a person? I am intelligent person and a great leader who is willing to do anything to help others in need. I also have great integrity.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of playing football? My hobbies include lifting weights, fishing, and other outdoors activities.

Why do you feel a college should take a chance on you? From a linebacker standpoint, I am more athletic than most other linebackers and play with the greatest energy. I believe these characteristics will carry onto the next level well.

What sets you apart from other recruits? I feel the way I run is different from other recruits and I am always giving my full effort on every play.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player? My strengths are in the passing defense and stopping the outside run. My ability to run from sideline to sideline is a strength of mine as well. My weaknesses are shedding blocks and fitting in the gaps.

How are you working to improve your weaknesses? I am focused on getting bigger and filling out my frame more while also gaining strength in the weight room so I can shed off blockers more efficiently. I also make sure to put extra time into my agility drills so I can improve my mobility and range.

Why do you think you belong at the next level? I am more athletic and versatile on the field than most linebackers and I feel that I will excel in any role on a college roster.

What characteristics do you value most in a college? I value a good coaching staff that would help me develop as a player. I also value a college that has good locker room leadership and has great bonds among teammates.

What goals do you have for this year and beyond as a person and a player? I want to make the all-conference team again, along with making the all-district and all-state teams. I also want to win the Buck Buchanon award. In the future, after my playing days, I want to coach at the college and NFL levels.

Diamond In The Rough: Alec Falk

Alec Falk is a class of 2022 Offensive Tackle for Palmer Ridge High School in Monument, Colorado. At 6’5 276 lbs., Alec has the perfect build to protect the quarterback from anywhere on the line of scrimmage. Falk has a universal build that allows him to play any position on the offensive line, but his versatility isn’t the only thing defensive coordinators have to worry about. His ability to climb to the next level and block up field is his specialty. Linebackers always have to watch out for Falk pulling around the edge; if they don’t, they are going to be on the ground as he had 34 pancakes in 7 games. Even at such a young age, Alec has a great understanding of the game and in the classroom posting a 3.4 GPA. Look out for Alec Falk to be a key part in his team’s success this season.

Check out Alec highlights HERE

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Why did you choose to play football and when did you start? I chose to play football because I grew up all around it, from my dad playing and watching it my whole life. I started in 6th grade and have been playing ever since.

What life skills has football taught you over time? Football has taught me how to put in hard work and to be determined, as well as the importance of teamwork and leadership.

Where do you prefer the Defensive lineman to line up on you? Why? I prefer them to line in a 5 technique when I’m at tackle, because it’s easy to get my hands on them.

As an Offensive Lineman, what’s your favorite play? Any play where I get to pull around and hit linebackers.

Favorite part about playing on the offensive line? Just dominating defensive lines with my brothers.

What current or past player, do you think your game mirrors the most? Ben Garland.

Does your jersey number hold any significance to you? My dad was number 68 in college so that’s where I get my number.

I see you can be lined up as a tight End as well, have you caught a pass? I started as a blocking tight end for my two first years of high school, and then I was moved to the offensive line my junior year.

Have you always played right tackle, or have you moved around? I played as a guard in my sophomore year, and then I played tackle my junior year.

What’s your favorite spot to line up on defense? I like to play off the edge in a 5 technique, my favorite move was a stiff arm.

How has discus and shot put made you a better football player? For discus, you have to focus on all the little things and pay attention to detail, so your throw won’t be altered. I transition this to Football every play.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you like to do? I like to play video games a lot and to hang with my teammates.

What your favorite pre-game song to listen to? I usually put on a playlist before games.

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your game? I’m pretty smart when it comes to being on the offensive line, I can learn my responsibilities fast, and help my teammates if they are confused.

How do you think Covid-19 impacted your junior season? It definitely shortened it, there were a lot of restrictions on things we could do.

Do you have any goals for your senior year? One of my goals is to have more pancakes tan last year (34) and to get to state.

At the end of the day, who is someone you look up to? I would have to say my dad, he worked hard and got into Air Force.

Describe a time where you were going through adversity, how did you get through it? In our state game, we were down by a lot and I just tried to keep the offensive line positive.

Finally, what are colleges going to get out of you? Colleges are going to get a smart and hardworking guy that will play anywhere they need me. 

Diamond In The Rough: Billy Sanford

Billy Sanford is a class of 2022 athlete for Lewisville High School in Lewisville, Texas. Sanford primarily plays on the defensive side of the ball in the linebacker and safety positions.  He has the ideal build for this linebacker/defensive back hybrid at 6’1 185 lbs. His raw physicality and ball skills allows him to make plays all over the field. Sanford can either make the hard hit, causing fumbles or pick the quarterback off and take it to the crib.  Billy isn’t just a physical specimen though; he also has a great understanding of the game. His vision helps him recognize the play and adjust accordingly. Billy may be a star on the field, but he is also one in the classroom with a 3.0 GPA. With all of his talent and knowledge of the game, Billy Sanford is a player to look out for in his senior season.

Why did you choose to play football and when did you start? I chose to play football because my whole family played it. I started playing flag football at the age of 3.

What life skills has football taught you over time? Football taught me how to be disciplined, how to deal with adversity, and what it takes to be a handworker.

I see you come off the edge a lot, what’s your favorite blitz to run? Why? My favorite blitz to run is just any blitz off the edge because I’m always going to be faster than the tackle.

Do you like to be more of a zone defense or a man to man? I like to be in a man to man.

Would you rather press up on the receiver or play off? Why? I rather press up and get my hands up on him because I bring the physicality of a linebacker to the defensive back position.

What current or past player, do you think your game mirrors the most?  My game mirrors Derwin James and Jamal Adams.

What do you look for as soon as the ball is snapped? First, I look for my run keys and then I look for any pass drop.

What are some advantages of having a safety build playing linebacker?  Some advantages I have is that I have more speed and physicality that makes me a swiss army knife in the defense.

Does your jersey number hold any significance to you? My jersey number doesn’t really have much significance to me.

Do you play any sports outside of football? If so, how have they helped you become a better player? I ran track last year, it helped me with my acceleration and my get off on the line of scrimmage.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you like to do? I like to play video games a lot and listening to music in my free time.

What your favorite pre-game song to listen to? My favorite pre-game song to listen to is Back in Blood by Poo Shiesty.

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your game? The best aspect of my game is just how physical I am.

How do you think Covid-19 impacted your junior season? At first, we had to go quarantine, there was no spring ball, so I ended up losing a lot of weight. I eventually had to gain it back during the regular season.

At the end of the day, who is someone you look up to? I look up to my mom.

Describe a time where you were going through adversity, how did you get through it? In my freshman year, I didn’t pass the eye test playing linebacker. Everyone was doubting my size so every time I touch the field, I try to prove them all wrong.

Finally, what are colleges going to get out of you? Colleges are going to get a motivator, handworker, a leader, and someone who can handle adversity.

Gridiron Football Top 300 Prospect: Derell Bedingfield Jr

Derell Bedingfield Jr is a 6’2’, 190lb outside linebacker from Cleveland, Ohio. He attends Benedictine High School, which is one of the most prestigious college preparatory Catholic schools in Ohio. Bedingfield is long, athletic, and quick off the edge. He’s an excellent run defender with solid cover skills. He is in the class of 2022. He has held a 3.3 GPA while attending and is the head of the Black Cultural Organization where they pride themselves in accepting and teaching everyone about the presence black culture has had on society. Bedingfield has been 3rd team All-Ohio in Division 2 and led the team his Junior season in tackles and sacks. He is also a part of the Track & Field team at Benedictine. He holds offers from Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Old Dominion, Toledo and Akron.

Click HERE to view Derell’s highlights.

At what age did you begin playing football? I began playing football at 6 years old.

What motivated you to get into playing this sport? I didn’t want to play at first, but being the only child for about 8 years and then growing up around all females, football gave me the brothers I never had.

What does football mean to you? Football is life! it’s an opportunity to earn everything you ever dreamed of and wished for.

What would you say was your favorite part of the past season? What’s the biggest thing that you learned? My favorite part of last season was losing to Archbishop Hoban(state champions) in round 4 of D2 playoffs. I heard the announcer say, “We will now commence with a running clock” and since we’ve lost, I’ve used it to motivate and push myself to heights I’ve never reached.

How was the playing atmosphere with the new restrictions? The new restrictions helped more of the mental aspect of the game to have discipline to not hang out with yours guys or go on vacations. You had to be mentally strong.

Even though next season isn’t very close yet, is there anything you are looking forward to or wanting to work on yet? I honestly just want to get my scholarships so my family doesn’t worry about college tuition. I want to work on my pass coverage the most.

What’s your favorite thing about your position? The favorite thing about Outside Backer/Edge Rusher position is I get to sort of pick the biggest guy and make him look silly trying to chase me around every day.

What would you say are your main strengths on the field? My strengths are that I’m self motivated on the field. Usually, guys need music or trash talk, I go out and can do my job in a full or empty stadium. My hands and feet are quick and coordinated and I can come around an edge with velocity that most guys can’t.

How do you think coaches and teammates would describe you? I would probably be described as a guy who would run through a brick wall for his guys. A hard nose, blue collared man who’s disciplined and confident yet remains humble.

What’s your favorite thing about playing football in Ohio?  In Ohio you get the toughest guys to play every week. They play in hot autumn and the toughest winters year in and year out, we have grit so to play these guys every year is a rush.

Three words to describe yourself?Persistent, if i want it I’m going to try my best and get it.

Courageous, I’ll take the steps others won’t in order to achieve a certain goal, whether football, a job or in my daily life.

Gaudy, I’m a good person and player and you’re going to know it if you meet me, I brighten up a room.

What hobbies do you have outside of sports? Outside of sports, I’m a casual person, I don’t party or do big events. I like to chill with family and friends most of the time.

How do you balance your schoolwork and football?  I manage school and football by always remembering I am a student-athlete. I have to be a great student in order to be an athlete.

What would you tell younger players who want to play high school football one day? Some advice to younger guys would be to always ask for help. It can get tough sometimes, don’t be afraid to ask a teacher for help on work or ask a coach to spend some extra time in film sessions. Always be open for new opportunities, the best ability is availability.

Do you have a favorite NFL or College Athlete? y favorite NFL player is Jerome Baker, Miami Dolphins OLB. We came from the same neighborhood, same little league team and same highschool. The same colleges that pursued him are pursuing me, so I feel as if divine intervention has made our relationship possible right now.

What is one thing you can’t go a day without? I cannot go a day without my sports shows, whether Undisputed or First Take, I’m tuned in whenever I can.

Diamond In the Rough: Caleb Merritt

Caleb Merritt is an athlete in the class of 2022 for John Borroughs High School in Saint Louis, Missouri. Merritt stands in at 6’0 and 175 lbs., this build allows him to excel anywhere in an offense. This is shown in his play as he not only pounds the rock at running back, but also slices through defenses at wide receiver. At either position, his speed and agility are what defenses fear the most, as he ran a 4.5 40-yard dash. Although he shows off his exceptional athleticism in game, he credits his success to his football IQ. His intelligence isn’t just on the football field though, he also does great in the classroom with a 3.76 GPA. With this combination of skill and smarts, Caleb Merritt should be an exciting player to watch in the future.

Click HERE to Caleb’s highlights.

When did you start playing football and what got you into it? I started when I was 6 or 7 years old, I watched the NFL with my dad and started loving the sport.

Favorite moment of your career so far? My favorite moment is to come in the future.

What current or past player do you think you play like the most? Antonio Brown and Odell, both of them are super elusive and win routes outsmarting the CB rather than just outrunning them.

Do you play any sports outside of football, and what do you think you adds to your game? Track, it teaches you how to be an individual and work on yourself rather than in other sports.

Do you have any pregame rituals? Wake up at 8:30, eat some pancakes, and take some pre workout before games.

Going into this season, what are you looking forward to? Leading the team, I have gotten to do that in the past but now I’m excited to hopefully be a captain and do great this season.

Do you have a quote or anything that pushes you daily? “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.”

What do you think a college would get out of you as a player? Leadership, I always push others to get better whether that is working out or helping with things outside of football. I’m a very smart player, I like how football is like a chess match, I love watching the defense and seeing what they are doing before the play.

What motivates you to get up and train everyday? Knowing that there are other kids that will take my spot if I don’t, there will always be people hungry for my spot.

What do you think makes you a good leader? I motivate others and help them stay on the right path; I help the team get better as a whole rather than staying as individuals.

Who has pushed you most in your football journey? God, he gives me the strength to do everything I do.

What do you think sets you apart from other athletes? I’m a nerd, I like playing chess and doing Rubik’s cubes, I have hobbies outside of football, I love learning to do new things and keep improving myself daily.

What do you think the best part of your game is? I am a lot bigger and stronger than most DBs, this helps with blocking a lot, I can block most DBs and a lot of linebackers on the field.

Would you consider yourself a speed, physical, or route running specialist? I won’t put a label on myself cause then I would be limiting myself, I want to be balanced, if I were to answer though it would be route running.

Do you like playing inside or outside? I like the outside more because there is more space to run, you have more time to analyze the defense, it all depends on the game plan though.

Favorite route? The fade, it’s the most exciting route in football.

Favorite skill move? Juking, I don’t normally do that though, I normally just try to run past people.

Best catch you have ever made? There was one at Elite Football, I made this one hand catch on a post route and after the play everyone there went crazy and it got all over Instagram.

Favorite part of playing receiver? I like playing receiver because there is so much you can control, although the QB is making the choice, I like manipulating the defense and I make the choice whether I’m open or not.

Gridiron Football Top 300 Prostepct: Omari Murdock

Omari Murdock is a class of 2022 Tight end for Allen high school in Allen, Texas. Omari will be playing for Lovejoy High School in Lucas, Texas for his senior season. At 6’5 200 lbs., the senior tight end possesses an incredible build at such a young age. Omari can line up anywhere on the field, creating mismatches wherever he is. His versatility as a tight end isn’t the only thing that creates issues on the field, he also specializes in route running. Because of his impeccable footwork and agility, linebackers have extreme trouble guarding him in the passing game. Don’t let his size fool you, or you might pay, as he ran a 4.7 40-yard dash. With this incredible skill set and unlimited potential, Omari Murdock is a player to look for in 2021.

Click HERE to watch Omari’s highlights.

Why did you choose to play football and when did you start? I started playing football because I always wanted to play, and I started my 8th grade year.

What life skills has football taught you over time? Football has taught me how to work with a team and how to be a selfless player. I learned one player can’t win the game by himself.

Would you consider yourself a RAC (Run After Catch), Possession, or a go up and get it type of tight end? I feel like I’m a go up and get it type of player, but I’m working on my run after catch.

Do you act as an agile tight end who avoids contact, or do you not shy away from it? I used to embrace it a lot, but it now kind of depends on the situation. Like if I’m near the endzone, I’m obviously going to try to score.

As a Tight End, what is your favorite route to run? Why? My favorite route to run is either a stop and go or a comeback. They allow me to use my size to get open and make plays.

In your film, I see you line up almost everywhere. Where is your favorite spot to line up on the field? Why? My favorite spot to line up is on the outside so I can use my speed and size to create separation.

Would you rather have the corner press up, or play off of you? I prefer the corner to press up so I can win the battle on the line of scrimmage.

Would you consider yourself to be more of a run blocker, or a pass catcher? I’m more of a pass catcher but I can do both.

What’s your favorite blocking play? My favorite blocking play is probably an outside zone where I can set the edge.

What’s your favorite move to do in game? A spin move, but I’m trying to get a hurdle.

What current or past player, do you think your game mirrors the most? Julio Jones or DK Metcalf.

Does your jersey number hold any significance to you? Not really, but I’m getting 14 this season which is DK’s number.

How do you think running track and playing basketball has helped you be a better receiver? Basketball has helped me with jumping and explosion while track has helped me improve my speed.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you like to do? I like to fish and play video games.

What your favorite pre-game song to listen to? Anything by Sleepy Hallow.

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your game? My physicality.

How do you think Covid-19 impacted your junior season? It impacted the lot of the recruiting process. A lot of coaches really focus on that junior year.

At the end of the day, who is someone you look up to? My mom, she always has pushed me to be my best self.

Describe a time where you were going through adversity, how did you get through it? When I moved to Allen, I had to adjust to a new environment with new people.

Finally, what are colleges going to get out of you? They are going to get someone who doesn’t quit. I’m always working throughout the week.

Gridiron Football Top 300: Nico Davillier

Nico Davillier is a 2022 linebacker/defensive end that plays for Maumelle High School in Maumelle, Arkansas. The junior stands at 6’5 and weighs around 270 pounds. Davillier is a very versatile player on and off the field. He has made it known that he will do whatever it takes to help his team win. Being a student-athlete can be hard, but Niko shows that with his overall 3.0 GPA he can handle it.

Click HERE to watch Nico’s highlights.

What things are you looking for most in a football program? A few things I’m looking for in a football program would be a great coaching staff, a home-like feeling, and somewhere that makes me a better man in the end.

What motivated you to get into playing this sport? My whole family played football and my dad handed me a football when I was younger, and I fell in love with it.

What does football mean to you? Football means everything to me because it allows me to hold myself to a higher standard, builds character, and it has made me humble in life.

What’s your favorite thing about your position? My favorite thing about my position would be getting to hit people and show my athleticism on every play!

What would you say are your main strengths on the field? Some of my strengths on the field would be fast, good footwork, big, and athletic

Three words to describe yourself. A leader, learner, and very humble.

How do you balance your schoolwork and football? Normally I do my work during school hours then I go to practice and when I get home, I do homework.

Do you have a favorite NFL or College Athlete? My favorite NFL player would have to be Aaron Donald.

What would you like to major in? A major I am looking into the would-be business,

What’s been the highlight of your football career? A big highlight in my football career would have to be my 11th-grade season.

What type of things do you do in your offseason to keep yourself in shape? A few things I do to keep myself in shape would be playing basketball for conditioning and lifting weights before basketball practice.

What has football taught you about yourself or life? Football has taught me to never give up in life or a game, it has also shown me what kind of character I have and what kind of person I am.

What would you bring to a college team? I would bring hard work, dedication, a player willing to learn, and a monster on the D-line.

How do you prepare for an upcoming game? I prepare by getting a good amount of rest, drinking plenty of water, stretching, and watching films.

How did you even get into football? Is there anything specific that motivated you to keep playing? When I was little around 5 years of age, I played on a flag football team and fell in love with the game. my family always told me I would be good at football, so I kept playing and now I’m glad I did.

How would your coaches and teammates describe you? They would describe me as someone who was a leader, learner, hard worker, great teammate, and motivator.

Diamond In The Rough: Carl Nixon Jr

Carl Nixon Jr is a 6’2 230-pound defensive lineman out of L.W. Higgins High School in Marrero, Louisiana. Carl was a consistent force on the defensive line for the Hurricanes’ defense, wrecking through offensive lineman to make plays in the backfield all season. He showcased the ability to shed blockers and get pressure on the quarterback from either defensive end spot. Carl is the true definition of a warrior, coming back from two injuries as strong as ever. To go along with his on-field production, Carl has a 3.0 GPA.

Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9963868/Carl-BEAST-Nixonjr

At what age did you start playing football and who/what motivated you to do so? “I started playing when I was 13 years old. I was not a big fan of football. Most of the men in my family played. I was always a small kid and never really played any physical sports. I ran track in 6th grade, and I played soccer. My whole family tried to get me to watch but I did not like it. My uncle is my biggest motivator. He is the one who got me in sports, and I have a lot to thank him for on this journey. My first year was very crucial. I did not know anything about football. I was just a student of the game, taking it day by day. My coaches got upset over certain things, but I grew every week and won a championship eventually at 14. I Started playing at Higgins in 8th grade. It was amazing that I had played in a high school football in 8th grade, still not knowing much about football. I just got in there. I started to realize my potential and that helped kick my football career off.”

Talk to me a little bit about the injury you suffered your junior year? “I was participating in a drill at a football camp. As I was going to make a tackle on a dummy, I did a spin move and the guy was still holding on to me. When I turned, my leg implanted the wrong way, and I heard a pop in my knee. I immediately thought I tore my ACL, but I did not know for sure until I had an MRI. I had to miss my entire JR year because I needed knee reconstruction.”

What was the recovery process like after finding out about the injury? “I suffered back spasms before but that was minor. I never thought I would have a major injury like that and finding out that I would only play if I had ACL reconstruction was hard decision between me, my family and uncle. It was a major surgery, and I had many doubts about it not working. The recovery time was long. I went and got a second opinion and it turned out to be a torn ACL. I made the decision to get the surgery. My expected recovery time was 1 year but I recovered in 6-7 months.”

What would Carl Nixon Jr bring to a program at the next level? “A player that comes motivated every day, on and off field. I will put in work in the weight room and classroom. I am a player who leads by example and gives 110% every play in practice and in games. Wherever I am put on the defense I will give my best effort.”

Which NFL players do you try to model your game after? “Chase Young from Washington Football Team and Von Miller from the Denver Broncos. They are both versatile. Chase young plays a pass and run style rush. Von is a stand-up edge rusher, Chase has his hand in the ground. These are players I want to be like soon.”

What do you love most about playing the game of football? “I love the grind of the sport and just having the opportunity to get better every day. Every time I line up, I think of the person in front of me as standing in the way of my future. I am a person who challenges myself. If someone in the weight room benches more than me, I will put in the work to pass their weight. In the classroom, I’ll challenge myself to get the grades I want.”

Gridiron Football Top 300: Quinton Conley

Quinton Conley is a class of 2022 student athlete at Pembroke High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Standing at 6’5 and 205 lbs., his build has made him an absolute nightmare to any defense. With his height and athleticism, it makes it nearly impossible for defenses to stop him; this is on full display in his film where he often jumps over opposing players and makes incredible catches. His height is not the only thing that defenses have to look out for, he is also faster than anyone on the field. He even ran the same 40-yard dash time as Dallas Cowboys rookie star receiver CeeDee Lamb, at 4.5 seconds! This combination of size and speed has made his name known all over the state as he received the honor of being an All-State Receiver last year. His work on the football field is not his only impressive feat in high school, he also achieved a 3.2 GPA! Conley has shown what he can do so far, and we should definitely be excited to see him in his senior season next year.

Click HERE to watch Quinton’s highlights.

When did you start playing football and why? I started playing around 1st grade and just always wanted to play, got into it with some of my friends.

Favorite moment of your career so far? Freshman year we were playing south east, I hadn’t played much safety before, but I ended up getting a pick 6.

What current or past player do you think you play like the most? A lot of people compare me to Megatron because of my size and ability to win jump balls.

Do you play any sports outside of football, and what do you think you adds to your game? Basketball, the ability to rebound translates to football by helping me win more 50/50s, and overall work ethic.

Do you have any pregame rituals? Listen to my music and then pick out my cleats, I switch cleats at halftime.

Going into your senior season, what are you looking forward to? Off the field I’m excited to visit some schools, in football I’m excited cause I want to make a deep playoff run, I also want to improve on myself and my speed.

What do you think a college would get out of you as a player? They are going to get a leader out of me, I’ve been a captain for a while and I’m a real vocal leader and will always work hard on and off the field, they also won’t have problems with me in the classroom.

What motivates you to get up and train everyday? I know other people are working hard too.

What do you think makes you a good teammate? I will support my teammates; I will lead by example and help them improve.

Who has pushed you most in your football journey? Some of my 7v7 teammates push me to be the best I can.

What do you think sets you apart from other athletes? Knowledge of the game, I am also a very fast learner and coachable.

What do you think the best part of your game is? Being able to go up and get 50/50 balls, also my consistency.

Favorite route to run? I like the dig route, I think I can always win those, whips and china routes as well.

Would you consider yourself a physical, speed, or route running specialist? Physical, with my releases I get more physical than others.

Do you like to be pressed by CBs? Prefer being pressed because I think my release will help me win routes more.

Favorite skill move to do in open field? Depends on the situation.

How would you rate your blocking ability? I put my blocking ability really high, with my physicality, I take pride in blocking whoever.

What is the best catch you have made in game? I had a one-handed interception while playing defense.

Favorite part about receiver? Being able to go downfield and only having one or two people to beat, being able to use my speed to score.

Gridiron Football Top 300: Ollie Gordon

Ollie Gordon is an electrifying running back in the class of 2022 for Trinity high school in Euless, Texas. At 6’1 210 lbs., Gordon’s build allows him to be effective in any offensive scheme. Although his build gives him success on the field, we have to attribute it to his football IQ and ball carrier vision as well. Gordon’s ability to find the open hole gives him a competitive advantage at any level of football. When he finds open field, which is very often, he is nearly impossible to tackle one on one. He proved this his junior year, posting 2,083 rushing yards on 209 carries. Gordon was able to frustrate defensive coordinators by averaging 9.96 yards per carry, or nearly a first down every time he touched the ball. Running the ball isn’t the only thing Ollie is good at, he can also catch the ball out of the backfield. He can line up as a wide receiver or expose the defense through screen passes. His speed helps him create issues for defenses wherever he is lined up as he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash. Gordon excels on the football field and in the classroom posting a 2.9 GPA. Gordon is definitely a player to look out for in his senior year.

Why did you choose to play football and when did you start? I started playing football around the age of 4, because it was my favorite sport.

What life skills has football taught you over time? Football has taught me to keep a level head and to stay humble.

Would you consider yourself to be a power, elusive, or a receiving back? I would consider myself to be a versatile running back that can do it all.

As a running back do you prefer runs inside or outside? I like inside runs so I can to make cuts and see what hole is open.

What’s your favorite move to do in game? (Juke, Spin, Hurdle) Although my chances are limited, my favorite move to do in game is a hurdle.

What’s your favorite play to run? My favorite play to run is any counter play, so I can have blocks set up and make my move.

What are some goals you have for your senior season? For my senior year, I want to make a state championship appearance and have more yards than last season.

What current or past player, do you think your game mirrors the most? I think Derrick Henry mirrors my game the most.

Does your jersey number hold any significance to you? The number 2 represents me and my mom, because it’s always just been us.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you like to do? Play the game and hang out with friends.

What your favorite pre-game song to listen to? I’ll listen to anything by NBA Young boy.

Do you play any sports outside of football? If so, how has that helped you on the gridiron? I run track, it helps me get faster and become more of a powerful runner.

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your game? Pass blocking and just how I run are the two best aspects of my game.

Speaking of pass blocking, how would you rate your blocking? I would rate it 10/10.

How do you think Covid-19 impacted your junior season? It really didn’t affect my season, games got cancelled but I wasn’t playing due to injury.

At the end of the day, who is someone you look up to? Someone I look up to is my mom.

Describe a time where you were going through adversity, how did you get through it? In one of our playoff games, we were down early, and we had to come together as a unit and win.

Finally, what are colleges going to get out of you? Colleges are going to get my best effort.

Diamond in the Rough: Carter Arceneaux

Carter Arceneaux is a wide receiver out of St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, LA. The senior measures at 6’0 180 lbs. with a 40 of 4.45, 250 bench, 300 squat, and 200 clean.

To continue reading about Carter, download our app today. Look for “Gridiron Football” on Google Play or “Gridiron Football USA” on Apple. For one low price of $10 per year, you can read all of our Diamond’s in The Rough as well as much more.

Gridiron Football Top 300: Judah Jackson

Judah Jackson is a class of 2022 Left tackle/defensive end from Steilacoom High School in Steilacoom, Washington. Judah is 6’4 and weighs around 250 pounds. Jackson is a very versatile player on and off the field. He seems to pinpoint where the action will be, and he always finds a way to stop the opposing team from making big plays.

To continue reading about Judah, download our app today. Look for “Gridiron Football” on Google Play or “Gridiron Football USA” on Apple. For one low price of $10 per year, you can read all of our Diamond’s in The Rough as well as much more.