Recruiting

Friday Night Lights: Watching Ohio State Commit Jaelen Gill

Jaelen Gill TD Ohio State Recruiting

Friday night was the start of the high school football season for most of the state of Ohio, so I ventured out to catch Ohio State running back commit Jaelen Gill and his Westerville South team take on Dublin Scioto. I don’t know what kind of team either school has this season, but it was clear that Scioto didn’t have enough, as Westerville South won 50-14.

Jaelen Gill scored four touchdowns, but I only saw three of them as I left at halftime because Dublin Scioto had a lighting issue and they asked people to leave the stadium as they tried to fix the issue. After an hour or so, they got the lights turned on, but I had already been home for 45 minutes.

I had seen enough by that point anyway. When I left, South led 36-7 at the half and Gill had three touchdowns. He scored a fourth touchdown in the second half for good measure.

So what did I see?

The description that keeps going through my mind is that Jaelen Gill is what Ohio State would like Parris Campbell to be this season.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 177 pounds recently, Gill plays all over the field for Westerville South, and I think he even has the biggest arm on the team because late in the first half he was throwing hail marys. A roughing the passer penalty then moved the ball close enough to let the regular quarterback throw the ball.

And then this happened.

And yes, that touchdown came a few plays after Gill intercepted a tipped pass.

Gill had a very similar catch early in the first quarter, which almost ended in the end zone as well.

The thing that is easy to see is just how comfortable Jaelen Gill is as a pass catcher. He doesn’t fight the ball at all. His timing is natural and his hands do the work. The routes are simple and the coverage is lacking but the skill is easily apparent.

As a runner, Gill took hand-offs out of the I-formation a few times, and was also heavily utilized on jet sweeps. I don’t know his total numbers, but he had to be close to 140 yards rushing and receiving in the first half.

What did he look like out of the I-formation, you ask? Like a guy that you can’t let get to the corner.

Here he is out of the I again. This one was called back, but you can see just how quickly he can get the edge.

Gill can rip off 4.4s all day long, and he shows that in the 41-yard run above. Furthering the Campbell comparison, Urban Meyer has said that Campbell will get some time at running back, and this is the kind of run that I would expect him to have. I’m not saying it’s gonna go all the way, but I expect him to quickly try to get outside.

The jet sweep was also a big part of the offense, and it provided Gill’s first touchdown of the day. Followed by his first O-H-I-O of the day.

You can see the way Gill plants his foot and immediately cuts upfield to find the shortest distance to the end zone. His lane got cut off and there was no hesitation in going away from it. He’s a slicer. He gets skinny squeezing past defenders.

In this next clip he is at quarterback and you can see his decisiveness. He looks inside, but there’s nothing there, so he goes wide away from the first layer of defenders, then looks to go back inside, but there’s still nothing there, so he kicks it out even further. Jaelen Gill isn’t a speed guy who just tries to get everything wide and isn’t looking to turn it up until he is forced to by the sideline. He is always looking for a straight line.

Gill was simply too much for Dublin Scioto. While I would have liked to have seen a second half — and a more competitive game — it was impossible to walk away from this game (in the dark) and not be impressed by Gill.

The fact that he didn’t do much between the tackles doesn’t bother me in the least because that’s not what he’s going to be doing at Ohio State. At least not at first.

Gill is going to be an H-back, and based on what I saw tonight, he and that position were made for each other.

As to what he can be in the Ohio State offense, I would advise you to keep an eye on what the Buckeyes do with Parris Campbell this season. The two players are very similar in skills and attributes, but I think Gill is further along as a receiver at the same stage.

And by the way, in a completely non-Gill-related clip, here is Buckeye safety commit Josh Proctor returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.

Watching Ohio State Running Back Commit Master Teague

2 Responses

  1. This Paris Campbell stuff is just idiotic at this point. He has done absolutely nothing in 3 yrs at OSU…yet this guy is hyped like nothing I have seen. If anything this kid would compare to Curtis Samuel…and prayerfully for OSU he will be more Samuel than Campbell. Please, until Campbell had at least ONE GOOD COMPLETE GANE, let’s stop the nonsense.

    1. “The description that keeps going through my mind is that Jaelen Gill is what Ohio State would like Parris Campbell to be this season.”

      “…would like Parris Campbell to be…”

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