Thoughts from BCast on the North-South Game
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS — Verlon Reed was named the MVP of the North-South High School All-Star game for his electric 37-yard touchdown run, but there's no question the best performance of the night was wideout Chase Hammond. The 6-foot-5 wideout headed to Wisconsin caught a pair of 56-yard touchdowns for the North and would have been the MVP had they won.
Instead the South came away with a 23-20 win at Ohio Stadium Friday night, giving Reed the MVP.
“It was a big play. It was a designed draw but I had to be more patient on it than I was in the first half,” said Reed, who will join the Buckeyes in June.
“I didn't expect to get the MVP from that but whatever comes, comes my way. Everyone deserves what they get.”
ON VERLON REED...
As for Reed, I did not think he played all that great outside of the one run, and even he was surprised to get the MVP award. He did not look good as a passer, missing his first five attempts and not completing his first pass until the third quarter. He was intercepted in the first half on a ball that was thrown behind his receiver, and after the game he said he felt he had an off night throwing the ball.
The run itself was a thing of beauty, however. He should have been tackled two or three times but run through one tackle and made a couple guys miss with nice jukes. The main thing that impressed me on the run was the speed. With kids like that you wonder how they would look against better competition, and on that play he looked like the fastest player in the game.
ON CHRISTIAN BRYANT...
One of the biggest names in the game, Bryant had an up and down night for the North. He didn’t get burned for any of the South’s big plays, but also didn’t make many big plays. His biggest play did come in the end zone when he broke up a pass intended for tight end Alex Welch (Notre Dame) on third down.
He wasn’t very impressive as a return man, not because he lacks the speed and athleticism but more because of the way he approaches the whole process. He comes across as a maverick back there. On the first punt of the game, Bryant scooped a ball that bounced inside the 15 yard line despite the fact there were players from both teams all around. He did it again later, scooping up a ball that he had no business trying to field and then there’s the matter of the way he carries it. Talk about a loaf of bread, Bryant holds that thing out almost like he’s enticing defenders to go for the ball so he can pull it back and take off the other way. That’s not going to be tolerated at the college level.
Lastly Bryant did make some nice tackles, showing good pursuit and effort, but he was ejected late in the game for throwing the ball back to the ref with what was deemed too much velocity.
ON TYRONE WILLIAMS…
I’m a little disappointed we didn’t see Williams dominate the game the way I had expected after watching him in practice during the week. At 6-foot-7, he literally could have had his way with any of the South defensive backs, but they simply didn’t look for him. He caught a pair of 9-yard slants where he did an excellent job of catching the ball traffic with his hands away from his body, but they hardly ever used what I consider to be their most dangerous weapon.
He did draw a pass interference call late in the game and they finally went to him in the red zone on a successful two-point conversion, but I would have loved to see them target him more often throughout the game.
ON J.T. MOORE…
It was hard to see exactly what was going on in the trenches from up in the press box, but Moore did make a big play on the drive where Bryant broke up the pass in the end zone. Two plays before the breakup, Moore sacked quarterback Patrick Angle for a five-yard loss that ultimately led to a 27-yard field goal for the South squad. Pryor to that, Moore had not done anything noteworthy, either positive or negative.
ON DARRYL BALDWIN…
On looks alone, Baldwin was the most noticeable player in the game not named Ty Williams. His game on the other hand, went largely unnoticed. He nearly had an interception, but missed a few tackles he should have made. Afterward he was not very excited about his performance, saying he had a lot to learn from before he gets to Ohio State. Hopefully the Buckeyes can toughen him up once he gets to Columbus, because if he ever learns to play to his size and ability, they will end up with a solid football player. If not, they can hope for another Rob Rose at best.
Related Article - South Rises to Defeat North in North -South All-Star Game
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