February 6, 2008

Prospect Evaluation: Shenard Holton

Warren East's (Ky.) Shenard Holton is getting looks from Purdue, Kentucky, Nebraska, and UConn. We got his film, and immediately saw why those schools are already on him and based on his on field performance, more are sure to follow suit.

Holton's a play maker as a running back. We could probably stop writing right now, because that's the best adjective to describe him playing football. He's lethal with the ball in his hands, and high school defenses just look silly trying to tackle him.

He plays with great instincts and vision, and seems relaxed on the field. Holton runs hard and is extremely shifty, in fact we'd say he's slippery. He can pick and slide inside the box and when playing in a phone booth.

He seems to slip his way out of short space and is good at
cutting in stride. Once in the open field, good luck trying to tackle Holton, as he'll put some shakes on you, make you miss and proceed to do the same thing to 10 of your other teammates.

He's also a a vital threat in the passing game for his team's Multi-faced offense. We even saw him line up at tight end a few times, after he lined up at wide receiver and in the slot. He catches well in traffic and has great ball skills.

As a defender, Holton plays as a ball hawking safety. He patrols the back end well due to athleticism and will pluck on gong balls out of the air.

Not to go unmentioned, just because he plays the third level of a defense well, do not think Holton won't stick his nose down low in the box. He'll come up and tag ball carriers and play the run solidly.

As he's quick, Holton's not a great stop and go type athlete, though he's good enough in this area, but we question his overall top end speed.

He'll put on some flashy runs with ball and make great moves, but he probably won't be a consistent home run threat in college.

He'll also need to add weight, he looks only to be around 190 pounds, if that. His strength will need to improve to be adequate in pass protection against collegiate linebackers.

From his safety position, Holton just needs more overall coaching. He's a natural athlete so his backpedal, transition break, key diagnose and coverage ability will be pretty easy to improve.

As exciting he is to watch with the ball in his hands as a running back, we like Holton as a safety. He has great range, shows a willingness to play the run, with great ball skills to go along with nice athletic ability and that shouts a safety position projection in our eyes.

He'll make some picks and have an added skill effectively returning interceptions from reflecting on his offensive days.

A lot of times, when NFL scouts see skill players at the same position as equals, the tie breaker they use to see who should be ranked higher is, "who's more of a play maker when they have the ball in their hands?"


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