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October 20, 2008
Sumter's 'Rocket' takes off against West Florence
SUMTER, S.C. – Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down some of the Division I-A talent from last week's Florence (S.C.) West Florence-Sumter (S.C.) High game.
Roderick "The Rocket" McDowell's 274 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on just 12 touches was too much for Malliciah Goodman and West Florence to overcome in Sumter's 42-20 win.
A closer look at some key players, listed alphabetically:
Sumter vs. West Florence Standouts
OT John Coleman, 6-5/275, West Florence
ASSETS: Excellent lower body structure and keeps feet moving in pass protection.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to improve lateral movement.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He was practically impossible to beat in pass protection in the first quarter as he kept his feet moving and his hands on the attack.
CONCLUSION: This could be a real sleeper for Duke. He has excellent size and grades, and could possibly play any position on the O-line for the Blue Devils.
SDE Malliciah Goodman, 6-4/257, West Florence
ASSETS: Has really long arms, gargantuan-sized hands and runs with the speed of a small outside linebacker.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to use his powerful hands to keep blockers from cutting him down low.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He ran down Roderick McDowell and caught him from behind 18 yards downfield in the first quarter.
CONCLUSION: This future Tiger has more upside than almost any recruit I have seen this year. His frame will allow him to play at around 265-270 pounds and he still will have the agility and speed to be an effective pass rusher.
OLB Quinn McClendon, 6-3/215, Sumter
ASSETS: Has good height and lateral movement.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to work on shedding blockers at the point of attack and he could add about 15 pounds on his frame.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: In the fourth quarter he made a quick read and shot the gap on the left side of the offensive tackle, making a nice solo tackle for a loss.
CONCLUSION: McClendon currently has two DII offers. He has the size and athleticism to play DI football, just needs to be more aggressive against the run. Sumter should make a good run in the playoffs, allowing more exposure for all of its prospects.
RB Roderick McDowell, 5-10/180, Sumter
ASSETS: Simply the fastest player in South Carolina, with good change of direction and excellent ball skills.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Will need to add some upper body mass and strength in order to take the pounding at the next level.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: His 97-yard TD return broke the spirit of the West Florence team. He did not hesitate from the instant he caught the ball, hitting top speed by the time he reached the first West Florence defender on his way to paydirt.
CONCLUSION: McDowell can do so many things at the next level. He can return kicks, play slot receiver, tailback and if he chose he would make an excellent corner. But there is no doubt that he is most dangerous with the ball in his hands.
OLB Avery Murray, 6-0/219, West Florence
ASSETS: Has excellent upper and lower body structure and loves to hit.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He will need to improve his speed if he is going to be an outside linebacker.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He was able attain perfect form on a tackle in the second quarter. Murray kept his feet running while tackling the elusive McDowell for a short gain.
CONCLUSION: An excellent find for the Terrapins, he has the ability to play Sam and Mike 'backer at the next level. Murray should also excel on coverage teams since he has an affinity for finding contact.
DT Carrison Oxendine, 6-3/260, Sumter
ASSETS: Has good pad level, uses his hands well and has the lateral movement of a ballet dancer.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Will need to add about 20 pounds at the next level in order to take on 300-pound guards and centers.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: He threw the center to the ground like a rag doll, and then made a solo tackle on the ball carrier for no gain in the third quarter.
CONCLUSION: Oxendine is a new name to Rivals.com. He has the size, frame and athletic ability to play DI football, but his academics may need some work.
OT Marques Pair, 6-6/255, Sumter (2010 class)
ASSETS: Has good height, long arms and is light on his feet.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Really needs to get much stronger, especially in the upper body.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Pair did an excellent job in pass protection against Goodman when they were matched up. He did not allow a sack.
CONCLUSION: There is no doubt that this will be the next heavily recruited prospect from Sumter.
SDE Sydney Sarmiento, 6-4/255, West Florence
ASSETS: Has very good height and a frame that can easily hold 30-40 more pounds.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to work on pad level at the point of attack and his lateral movement.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: At the 4:50 mark of the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach, he was still sprinting all-out to the sideline in order make a tackle from his interior defensive line position.
CONCLUSION: Another good pickup for the Duke Blue Devils. Sarmiento is currently being recruited to play strong side defensive end, but don't be surprised if he ends up as a 290-pound defensive or even offensive tackle.
OTHERS WITH DIVISION I-A POTENTIAL: DT Darius Bethea, West Florence; QB Stephen Curtis, Sumter (2010 class); ATH Timmy Rogers, Sumter (2010 class)