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Someone on 11W started a thread about Deveon. One of the posts came from a former teammate of his that I found to be pretty interesting. The post responds to the level of competion, initially.
From ShaunOSU over at 11W
Funnily enough, I attended Howland and actually played one year of football with Deveon before I graduated. I can tell you that our level of competition is not great, but we have a couple tough games every year. Poland and Canfield are traditionally very tough tests, although I don't know much about teams this past year. Lakeview usually gives us a tough test but don't usually have a ton of talent.
Our schedule isn't usually this bad, since we stopped Liberty from having an undefeated season a couple years back (proud to say I have tackled Michigan's Fitzgerald Tousaint and we held him under 80 yards rushing if I recall correctly), but obviously they have fallen apart. Also, Harding (of Maurice Clarret and Boom Herron fame (infamy)) traditionally is very strong, but also had a rough season due to coaching troubles (not talent I believe).
Our offense is straight out of the Bollman playbook, but we usually have a bigger and stronger line and talented tailbacks that make it pretty effective. Due to this, our running backs get the ball almost every down and are workhorses. Deveon played varsity as a freshman when I was a senior, and we knew already that he was headed for the big time. Nice kid, never had any real problems as far as I know. I'm sure our level of competition isn't as great as some, but just know that on pretty much every play the defense knows that Deveon is getting the ball. Most of the time they just can't stop him.
I didn't see their playoff loss, but I am told that he pretty much single-handedly carried the team to keep it a game, as Roosevelt's (possible Buckeye target) Chapman just tore up our traditionally very strong defense.
I have no idea how he will translate to a higher level of competition, but I have every reason to believe he will do very well for himself as a tough bruising back that never goes down without a fight. He does not have breakaway speed, but he hits the hole very fast and is a great smashmouth runner. His brother was doing pretty well at Wisconsin until he got himself into off-field issues. Most people would tell you he is better than his brother.
I hated to see him go up north, and wish him luck in every game except the last of the regular season.
Thanks for the post!
The same knock about the level of competition was made when discussing Toussaint's ridiculous high school highlight videos. I've always felt discussing level of competition was overrated when trying to figure out if a player would succeed. As the 11W post mentions, does it matter that the competition is weak if your own team is also not filled with D1 players and the other team knows you're getting the ball? And if you do play top competition, but your team is loaded with D1 caliber players, doesn't that sometimes make you look better? Tony Posada played at powerhouse Tampa Plant and washed out before his first season even started at Michigan. Desmond Morgan played weak competition up in Holland, MI, but managed to land a starting LB spot his true freshman year. It's fun for discussion, but I wonder how much coaches actually worry about it when reviewing film?
Thanks for sharing! From Smith's film, I really think he was a major get for the Wolverines.
Even if Smith isn't playing against great competition by Ohio high school standards, it's still likely better than most other states due to the overall quality of play at the high school level in Ohio.
I think that level of competition is a good indicator of how much time it would take said person to make contributions, but not how they will develop over all. Smith has all of the intangibles to be a great power runner. He isn't afraid of contact, runs well between the tackles, has a great first step, and keeps moving after first contact. I am glad he is in this class, but I think we have a great future with the backs we have now for at least 3 years so we aren't hurting for someone to come in right away and take the #1 spot. I believe Rawles and Hayes will be the best 1-2 punch we have seen in years, not to mention the FB we took in the 2012 class looks to be a great get with Shallman right behind him (if he doesn't move to DE). Everyone is so high on getting Isaac this year, but honestly, I am happy with Smith because he showed he wants to be a Wolverine. He will do what it takes to be the best player he can, and that is all we can really ask of these kids.
This is a phenomenal post here! You make an outstanding point about players possibly looking much better than they really are due to playing at powerhouse programs, and vice-versa. I've never been a fan of schools taking the token one-year starter at Powerhouse High School based off of making a few plays here and there, when any average Joe could make plays surrounded by those teammates.
Well said ^
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
Competition played against certainly needs to play some role in an evaluation. IMO, its importance varies from player to player. Just to use two obvious extremes, if a kicker has a very strong and accurate leg with a quick "release," then it really doesn't matter who he's playing against. But if there's a 6-5, 320-pound offensive lineman playing eight-man football in rural South Dakota, the fact that he's standing out against players he's much bigger and stronger than may not be nearly as impressive as it would be at a higher level. That doesn't mean that that lineman isn't any good, but there needs to be a deeper analysis of WHY he's dominating - is it just the size/strength disparity, or does he also possess the tools to dominate at any level?
Your point is spot on, and I hope my point wasn't lost in that post. High School athletes need to be evaluated on a multitude of things, and it seems that Ohio fans seem to pick and choose from those to bring our recruits down. (offer sheet, if they had an osu offer, competition, state they are from, etc.) It has even gotten to the point to were they are making up things that are not based on facts. I am just trying to say that we are not hurting for a back right now but I am glad we have him as an early commit because it shows where is heart and mind are.
My fault there! I was agreeing with your post, and then went off on my own tangent that was separate from the focus of your post.
Smith is real deal and a great get for you guys that root for this place up north with a Skunkweasel as a mascot! I wish he was playing for the good guys of Scarlet and Gray!
yea, but your mascot is a bald hairless nut....
Apparently, that's just how their fans like them.... zing.
Good one lol! I give up! + 1
Who is Smith's brother that played at Wisconsin?
Lance Smith. His career didn't turn out as he had hoped it would, but he seems to have learned from his mistakes.
Lance Smith was dismissed from Wisconsin's football team Monday, a month after he was expelled from a first-offenders program for failing to meet its requirements.
I'm from the Warren area...if he can light up Warren G. Harding, you guys got a stud...there was a reason Urban Meyer offered him even though he is not Meyer's prototypical speed back
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