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October 7, 2008

From the Road: Outstanding offense

MORE: From the Road Gallery

Rivals.com recruiting analysts had the opportunity to scout some of the nation's top prospects in games this past weekend.

This week's evaluations include a look at the top talent in the Batesville (Miss.) South Panola vs. Olive Branch (Miss.) High School.

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

RB SHAWNE ALSTON (5-11/220), Hampton (Va.) Phoebus
COMMITTED TO: West Virginia
PERFORMANCE: Alston had 185 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries in a 65-13 win over Gloucester (Va.) High.
STRENGTHS: Alston is a big and strong back, and he's hard to bring down on first contact. He has deceptive speed and can run outside or inside.
WEAKNESSES: Alston runs a bit upright at times. While his speed is enough at the high school level, he could have trouble bouncing things outside in college. MIKE FARRELL
G DON BLEVINS (6-2/295), Batesville (Miss.) South Panola
CONSIDERING: To be determined
PERFORMANCE: Anchored a dominating South Panola offensive line in a 21-13 win over Olive Branch (Miss.) High.
STRENGTHS: Blevins has tree-trunk legs and a thick, stocky body structure. He is a powerful drive blocker and has a nasty streak. He epitomizes the South Panola offensive mindset in that he may not be as big as some other players but he has a physical, no-mercy mentality.
WEAKNESSES: He already looks as if he has maxed out his body. Though he plays tackle for South Panola, Blevins is a guard all the way. Not a lot of pure pass protection looks from him because South Panola is so run-heavy. When they pass, it generally is off a bootleg or sprint-out package. BARTON SIMMONS
ATH RAY HARRIS (6-0/185), Gloucester (Va.) High
CONSIDERING: Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Maryland and others.
PERFORMANCE: Harris threw for 197 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 48 more and a touchdown in a 65-13 loss to Hampton (Va.) Phoebus.
STRENGTHS: Harris is a good athlete with excellent speed. He is creative at quarterback and can make something out of nothing, but he projects more as a defensive back, running back or wide receiver in college.
WEAKNESSES: Harris makes some bad decisions as a quarterback and threw two bad interceptions. M.F.
RB PERRY JONES (5-8/177), Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith
COMMITTED TO: Virginia
PERFORMANCE: Jones rushed nine times for 72 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-7 win over Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch.
STRENGTHS: Jones is naturally low to the ground and doesn't provide a big target for defenders to hit. He has good quickness and quick feet, and isn't afraid to run inside.
WEAKNESSES: Jones isn't a big target in the passing game and appears to be too small to be an every-down back in college. He was limping on the sideline in the second half and durability will be a question. M.F.
WR BRYCE McNEAL (6-2/170), Minneapolis Breck
COMMITTED TO: Michigan. But he plans on taking some visits and has set with Colorado.
PERFORMANCE: Recorded four solo and two assisted tackles while catching five passes for 55 yards and a two-point conversion in a 36-21 victory over Minneapolis Minnehaha Academy.
STRENGTHS: Has excellent hands as he reaches out and snags the ball out of the air. He also has good change of direction and runs with a really smooth gait.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to work on his blocking and move his feet after contact. McNeal also needs to add about 10-15 pounds of muscle mass along with strength. BARRY EVERY
OT AUBREY PHILLIPS (6-5/320), Olive Branch (Miss.) High School
COMMITTED TO: Tennessee
PERFORMANCE: Worked at defensive tackle and offensive tackle for Olive Branch in a 21-13 loss to Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.
STRENGTHS: A well-proportioned big-bodied player, Phillips is light on his feet and looks versatile enough to play tackle or guard at the next level. He runs well and showed the ability to line up on the defensive line as well.
WEAKNESSES: Would like to see more explosiveness out of his stance and better punch at the point of attack. B.S.
QB DAVID RENFROE (6-3/190), Batesville (Miss.) South Panola
COMMITTED TO: Ole Miss for baseball
PERFORMANCE: Threw one touchdown and did a good job handling all of the kicking duties in a 21-13 win over Olive Branch (Miss.) High.
STRENGTHS: Renfroe is a great all-around athlete. He showed good mobility dealing with pressure and does a good job of throwing on the run. He also has a monster arm. He is the type of natural athlete who can be successful in a lot of different capacities athletically and could definitely be a college quarterback if he were to focus on it.
WEAKNESSES: Despite his big arm, Renfroe at times can't harness it and lets the ball get away from him. Would need to focus on football to be a legitimate prospect, but there is no doubt he has the tools. B.S.
WR TIM SMITH (6-0/182), Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith
CONSIDERING: Boston College, Louisville, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.
PERFORMANCE: Smith had five catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns and also scored on a 50-yard punt return in a 48-7 win over Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch.
STRENGTHS: Smith is fluid and an excellent route-runner. He adjusts to the ball well in the air and has nice open-field moves after the catch. He has sneaky speed and can run away from cornerbacks.
WEAKNESSES: He's not a huge receiver and likely won't do a ton of work over the middle in college. While he has sneaky speed, he won't be a burner in college. M.F.
QB CLINT WILSON (6-1/200), Olive Branch (Miss.) High School
CONSIDERING: To be determined.
PERFORMANCE: He was 9-of-15 for 153 yards in a 21-13 loss to Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.
STRENGTHS: Though he doesn't wow you with his arm strength, he can make all the throws. He has a quick release, and mixed in some nice deep balls with some quick hitters and timing routes. Has adequate athleticism and escapability.
WEAKNESSES: Wilson doesn't have great size so he needs to compensate with a strong arm or athleticism, and neither of those qualities are outstanding. Had a big fumble late in the game to seal things for South Panola. B.S.

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



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