2019 Final Top 50 Montana Recruits (20-11)

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2019 Final Top 50 Montana Recruits (20-11)

Post by VimSince03 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:13 pm

20.) Kris Brown – Bozeman (6’4”, 210 lbs.)


• UM signee - QB
• 2018 1st Team All-State AA – QB
• 2018 Badlands selection - QB
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – QB
• Career Passing – 361/584 for 5102 yards; 44 touchdowns/20 interceptions
• Career Rushing – 165 carries for 486 yards; 6 touchdowns
• Averaged 16 yards a completion along with a 68% completion rate his senior year
• Threw for 6 touchdowns and 257 yards on only 20 pass attempts against Butte his senior year
• 2nd ranked QB

On Brown: In my opinion, no football player in the state improved more than Kris Brown from their junior to senior year. He had the same arm and stature his junior year while also playing under the same coaches, scheme, and personnel. Kris just simply got better. When evaluating QB’s, the first thing I look for is what the kid can do when the pocket is clean. By starting there, you can look at how clean the player’s mechanics are when the play is lining up successfully. If a kid can’t compete with a clean pocket, its usually an uphill battle. This was an area Kris needed to improve going into his senior year and he did in a big way. He went from being a QB who wasn’t really a threat when given time in the pocket to a QB who was downright dangerous when protected. As said above, Kris has great size and a live arm which are two things you notice immediately when turning on his highlight film. He has good accuracy, especially on intermediate and deep throws. Kris really improved his touch his senior year as he used to be inconsistent when choosing to throw with heat or touch. He throws a very catchable deep ball and can drop it in the bucket on corner routes over corner’s heads. Kris has a beautiful throwing motion and quick release. His consistent footwork allows him to drive the ball effortlessly on deep throws. Plays with excellent coordination between his eyes and feet. When leaving the pocket, Kris shows the ability to reset his feet before throwing. His live arm gives him the ability to drive the ball downfield with accuracy. Showcased his ability to scramble for production his senior year which made Bozeman’s offense even more dangerous. Like every prospect, Kris still has plenty to work on. When his initial reads are covered, his processing time is still a little sluggish. Sometimes he stays on covered targets too long instead of finding better/safer options. This is mostly due to Kris relying too much on his arm talent. He improved his ability to deal with poor protection his senior year, but his pocket movement will need to continue to improve as he still walks into sacks when under duress. Kris also will need to improve his decision making and timing of throws outside the pocket as it sometimes looked like he didn’t have a plan while on the move (know when to throw the ball away). Overall, Kris is getting a shot to develop as a QB at the FCS level because he put the time in and improved during the offseason. It also helped that he played in an attack offense while at Bozeman so he got a load of experience at reading coverage and throwing with anticipation. Most colleges will gladly take a 6’4”, 210 lb. QB prospect with a live arm, effortless throwing motion, and good overall production while under center so it’s obvious to see why the Griz were happy to sign Kris.

19.) Anthony Jones - Kalispell Flathead (6’2”, 210 lbs.)


• MT Tech signee – WR
• 2018 1st Team All-State AA – WR
• 2017 1st Team All-State AA – WR
• 2018 GFT Super-State – WR
• 2018 Badlands alternate - WR
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – WR
• 2017 2nd Team All-USA Today Montana – WR
• Career - 111 receptions for 1957 yards; 23 touchdowns
• 11 catch, 199 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns performance vs. Missoula Big Sky in 2018
• 2x All-State AA Punter
• 3rd ranked WR

On Jones: Anthony was the featured receiver in Kyle Samson’s offensive attack the past two years, producing back to back years of 950+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns. His well-proportioned frame, physicality, and explosiveness jump out on film. Anthony’s size is a plus at 6’2”, 210 lbs. He gets into his routes aggressively with a decisive vertical push and forward lean. Anthony is a talented route runner who shows the ability to dip his hips in and out of breaks. He has one of the better releases of any receiver in this class as his physicality and quick-feet/hands make him hard to jam at the line. This attribute also makes him very effective in the slant game. Anthony is a willing hand fighter downfield and has no problem being physical when the ball is in the air. Made several highlight-reel, contested catches during his high school career. He can track the ball well downfield and shows a consistent ability to snatch and tuck the ball quickly. Sideline catches were not a problem for Anthony during high school. He’s tough to bring down after the catch not only because of his toughness, but underrated elusiveness. Anthony improved his blocking his senior year. He played well against top competition. Anthony also has decent long speed and another gear to get behind coverage. There is room for improvement in a few key areas. Anthony has fluctuations when it comes to play speed and focus. When he knows the ball isn’t coming to him while running route, his play speed sometimes dips. Sometimes Anthony relies on his size over his technique while running routes. He loses focus when run blocking at times. On one play during his junior year, he blocked a kid 15 yards down the field and thought the play was over. Instead of sustaining his block, he just walked away and eventually that same kid made the tackle to save a touchdown. These instances plague Anthony’s game but I will say he definitely improved his blocking from his junior to senior year. He started to sustain blocks more than just going for the big hit and his senior tape highlights that improvement. Overall, Anthony is a WR prospect with a good combination of size and speed who has a natural feel for the position. He understands coverage, can attack a defense with speed, and can attack all three levels of a defense. Anthony has a chance to become a very good receiver and an instant contributor on special teams at MT Tech. Honestly, the sky is the limit with him as I believe he has legitimate FCS talent.

18.) Alaric Greil – Helena Capital (6’3”, 235 lbs.)


• MT Tech signee – DL
• 2018 2nd Team All-State AA – DE
• 2017 2nd Team All-State AA - DE
• 2018 2nd Team All-USA Today Montana – DL
• 2018 Badlands alternate - DL
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – DE
• Career 221 total tackles (178 solo); 20 sacks; 22 TFLs; 7 PBUs
• 3 Yr. starter on the defensive line for the Bruins (not easy to do)
• Had a 4 sack game his sophomore year vs. Flathead
• 3rd ranked DE

On Greil: Alaric was a highly productive three-year starter for Helena Capital who used his pure strength and motor to beat up on opposing offensive lineman from either DE or DT. He has a physical, tough demeanor and has the desired football makeup (length/strength) and character (plays with passion) a team would want out of a defensive line prospect. Alaric is a weight room junkie who doesn’t have any real weak spots in his frame. He plays with a good pad level out of his stance. Alaric flashes upper body power to shed blockers to make plays behind the line. His relentless effort lead to monster performances against both good and bad competition. He gets upfield with solid quickness and uses a forward lean at the top his rush for momentum. Alaric usually finishes the job when he gets into the pocket. He shows decent awareness of blocking schemes. His lateral agility is decent when he must hold the edge in the ground game. Alaric also played some TE and OG his junior and senior year, respectively. In those spots, he showed the same toughness and physicality that brought him success on the defensive line. If Alaric wants to round out his game, here are some areas for improvement. There is a question of where he fits in a college scheme. If he wants to develop at DE, he will have to improve his hip flexibility because I saw too much stiffness at the point of attack in high school. He has a willingness to set the edge in the ground game but I’m not sure he has the athleticism to be a 3-down defensive end in college. Running backs are much faster and I don’t see him consistently closing out runners looking to turn the corner. Therefore, I believe he will be moved inside. He will need to figure out a plan when he rushes the passer from the interior because he didn’t really have one in college. Alaric racked up 20 sacks in high school by out-muscling/hustling the guy across from him. He can start by becoming more effective with his hands when firing off the ball. In high school, Alaric’s hands were more aggressive than skilled. But since he knows he can win with a bull-rush, adding a go-to counter move simply be the next step in the process. Not every kid can establish the bull-rush like Alaric so he’s off to a good start. He will have to improve his technique against double teams as he got pushed around by quality ones in games. His upfield burst is great but he will need to learn to play with more control as he sometimes lost sight of the play. He is nowhere near a finished product yet which is such a positive thing for him. It’s mostly just technical improvement needed from Alaric because he has the mass and play strength to become a disruptive, highly productive defensive lineman in college. I personally felt the two in-state FCS schools should have shown more interest in him. Instead, Chuck Morrell gets yet another recruit with a high ceiling and borderline FCS talent.

17.) Landers Smith – Charlo (6’0”, 190 lbs.)


• MT Tech signee – ATH
• 3x Class C 8-Man All-State - QB/LB
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – OLB
• 2017 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – LB
• 2017 GFT Super-State – LB
• Career Passing – 175/290 for 2324 yards; 50 touchdowns/18 interceptions
• Career 387 carries – 4106 rushing yards; 83 touchdowns
• Career 12 receptions – 212 receiving yards; 3 touchdowns
• Career 357 total tackles (139 solo); 6 interceptions; 4 sacks; 36 TFLs
• 4 Yr. Varsity (3 as starter both ways)
• Had 40 carries, 380 rushing yards, 102 passing yards, 8 total touchdowns, 17 total tackles vs. Superior/Alberton in 2018
• 2x All-Conference Class C basketball
• 2018 State Track Placer – 5th in Pole Vault (12-6)
• 2017 State Track Placer – 3rd in Pole Vault (12-0)
• 3rd ranked RB; 4th ranked LB; 5th ranked S

On Smith: Landers is the highest rated Class C player on the list and rightfully so. This is a kid who accounted for 138 total touchdowns (per MaxPreps) during his four-year career and he literally did everything for Charlo. Landers played QB, LB, and S while also booking time at kicker, punter, and return specialist. Like most of the best players in high school, he rarely left the field…if at all. He played QB but his two projected positions in college will be RB or LB so that is where I evaluated him. Landers has a compact, well-defined frame. He can create additional yardage through elusiveness, vision, and feel for space in the open field. Landers appears to have boundless energy and an “all gas, no breaks” playing style which makes him tough to contain for an entire game. He goes from patient to urgent instantly as a runner and it all starts with his vision. Offensive lineman will love him because he has a good feel for blocking development and has the talent to dismiss penetration with nifty footwork. When he gets to the second level, he does a good job of making the first tackler miss and exploiting voided cutback lanes with a good burst. Landers has quality vision, but he is not afraid to drop his pads when its time to finish off a run. He shows good balance while running with the ability to steady himself through contact and continue to roll without losing much juice. Landers is what you would call a “buffet runner” as he gets stronger the more carries he gets. As a hybrid linebacker/safety defender, his instincts are off the charts. Landers diagnoses and breaks on plays shortly after snap. He has the unique ability to keep his eyes on the action beyond blockers in front of him so if they take a poor angle, they won’t touch him. When blockers do get to him, he does a good job of working to the edge of their pads making it hard to center him up. He rarely allows runners to find their way to him instead triggering downhill filling run fits and initiating the contact. Landers runs sideline to sideline and can run the alley effectively to wash out outside run plays. He has a good feel in zone coverage and trusts his drops. Based off this evaluation, it would appear Landers is a can’t-miss prospect by FCS teams. However, there are some nitpicky deficiencies to point out in his game. Landers along with the rest of the Charlo team had a hiccup near the end of their senior season which forced them to forfeit the rest of their games/season. He further paid the price by not being considered for the Badlands Bowl or GFT Super-State team. He did get invited to the Shrine Game so I’m glad they gave him a shot to redeem himself. Anyway, back to football. He does not have breakaway speed. Landers is not slow but he isn’t going to compete at State in the 100m dash either. He’s more of an effort runner than speed runner. Landers has some tightness in his hips and it shows when he’s dropping back in coverage. He is patient at the first and second levels but when he breaks into the open field, his running style borders on manic at times. “Manic” meaning he would rather cut back into traffic into five defenders rather than just cutting his losses and ending the run. I love the mindset but this style will lead to durability issues down the line. The level of competition he played at allowed for huge rushing lanes but I firmly believe his traits would translate to any level of Montana football as a runner/defender. Landers is also going to be classified as a tweener, especially on defense, so he may need to pack on more pounds to play RB/LB in college. His instincts make up for his lack of speed. Overall, Landers’ possesses a unique feel for the game. He provides instant roster flexibility with his versatility on offense or defense. Landers was the leader of his team for three years and he plays with tremendous heart and toughness. His durability and productivity throughout his illustrious career can’t be questioned. I’ve said this from the beginning, but a legitimate comp. for Landers is Mac Bignell because of his instincts, toughness, and position versatility along with his lack of elite size/speed coming out of high school. I really wanted to see Landers on either the UM or MSU roster to see how he stacked up but instead its MT Tech who gets to develop him.

16.) Lucas Gibb - Billings West (6'2", 175 lbs.)


• Attending Duke for school
• 2018 AA Defensive Player of the Year - S
• 2018 1st Team All-State AA – S, HM All-State – WR
• 2018 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – DB
• 2018 GFT Super-State – DB
• 2018 Badlands selection - S
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – S
• 108 total tackles (58 solo); 7 interceptions (2 for TDs); 11 PBUs; 3 TFLs
• 2018 State Track Placer – 6th in 400M (50.78)
• 4th ranked S

On Gibb: Lucas earned the coveted AA Defensive Player of the Year this past fall with a 100+ tackle, 7 interception performance. He’s a rangy post safety with great length and athletic ability. Lucas really shines in the middle of the field. He possesses above-average cover skills and “sticky” hands. Lucas plays with instincts and timing. He has no stall at the top of his plant-and-drive as he instantly triggers to the throw. Lucas has a nice burst when bolting into coverage as his transitions are quick and decisive. He recognizes opportunities to undercut routes and make plays on the ball. Lucas also does a good job of anticipating plays outside of his coverage area and this is where his range and length set him apart from other safety prospects in the state. He has good leaping ability and can naturally high-point the ball. When Lucas must line up in man, his length and quick feet make it hard to get on top of him in coverage. He also does a good job of taking the ball to the house when he jumps on a throw and gets a pick. However, despite his impressive interception total, Lucas dropped a bunch of interceptions as well. The kid literally could’ve had 5-6 interception touchdowns based on the ones he dropped in his senior highlight alone. If he were to play football again, here are some things to work on. Lucas runs high as an athlete and it hurts him in run support. He lets ballcarriers dictate the contact instead of doling it out himself. Lucas did not have a physical presence in the middle of the field as he was clearly a ballhawk. As for his tackling ability, he was inconsistent and not always trustworthy to bring down the ballcarrier himself. Lucas picked and chose when to square up to tackle with good technique. Many times, he opted for ankle diving instead of using his length as leverage to take down ballcarriers. A lot of this could’ve been fixed his first few years in college by Lucas getting more meat on his bones. His playing style is similar to current Bobcat safety Keaton Anderson though Keaton was a better all-around athlete/football player in high school. But both struggled with being physical in high school mostly due to their lack of strength. They were both willing hitters but the tackling results were inconsistent. I fully believe he would’ve developed into a quality safety at either UM or MSU. However, Lucas won’t be playing football in college and instead will be attending Duke University to pursue an Engineering degree…which is an incredibly impressive accomplishment. There was a great article in the Billings Gazette highlighting his accomplishments and what his future holds. I highly encourage everyone to read it: http://406mtsports.com/high-school/bask ... 0474a.html.

15.) Connor Paul - Billings West (6'2", 250 lbs.)


• 2018 1st Team All-State AA – OG/DT
• 2017 1st Team All-State AA – OG, HM All-State – DT
• 2018 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – OL
• 2018 GFT Super-State – OL
• 2018 Badlands selection - DL
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – DL
• 66 total tackles (27 solo); 3 sacks; 3 PBUs; 18 TFLs (senior year)
• 2nd ranked interior OL; 2nd ranked DT

On Paul: Connor is a highly-decorated offensive lineman from State AA champion Billings West. The two-time 1st Team AA All-State guard possess an intriguing combination of power, balance, and athletic ability as an offensive lineman. Connor has a compact, powerful frame with noticeable power in his upper body. He also has a broad waist with a stout lower body which makes him an excellent fit on the interior of an offensive line or as a nose tackle on a defensive line. Along with his powerful build, Connor is relatively light on his feet. This isn’t just proven by his play as an OG but also as a DE/DL on defense. He possesses impressive natural movement for a kid with his frame. Connor plays with a good stance to start off the play (wish more high school OL coaches would harp on this more). He is a plus run blocker who can naturally bend his knees to unlock his hips and explode into opponents at the point of attack. Connor does a decent job of keeping his feet churning and applying an optimal amount of force to sustain and center run blocks. Good luck running through him in pass pro as he has an instant stop-and-drop anchor to thwart the bull-rush. I like his awareness to find work in pass pro if a defensive lineman isn’t lined up on him. Connor plays with an aggressive, ornery demeanor with a finishing mindset on every snap. Once he digs his hands into an opponent’s frame, they are done. There are some traits that Connor lacks/needs to work on. He lacks ideal height and length (short arms) to play guard at the FCS level. Connor’s lateral movement in pass pro needs work as he sometimes lunges at defenders instead of trusting his base to absorb contact. In the run game, he is sometimes too willing to initiate contact without gathering his feet under him. Connor will need to improve his hand placement and technique in college as he “wide arms” defenders too much on contact, giving up useful leverage. He could work on his climb to linebackers as sometimes he hits the second level off balance and will whiff on blocks. Connor will have to prove that he isn’t just a straight-line mover at guard. Again, he has the athletic ability to improve his lateral movement. I only spoke about Connor as a future offensive guard but he may intrigue teams as a defensive line prospect as he earned 1st-Team honors both ways his senior year. The Billings West coaching staff played him at all four spots on the defensive line at one point or another throughout the year. Overall, Connor had a pretty cool ending to his high school football career. Not only did his team win state but he made the game winning block to secure the win. Billings West needed one first down to run out the clock against Flathead. With about 3rd and 2 to go, they decided run RB Cade Nelson through the left B-gap between LT Kobe Nelson (#47 on my list) and Connor at LG. Kobe kicked the DE out and Connor took his man five yards down field before pancaking him with Cade running right behind him. When the game was on the line, the coaches believed their best play was to run behind Connor and that speaks volumes about his leadership and level of play. I truly believe he could stick on an FCS roster along the interior of the offensive or defensive line. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

14.) Brody Grebe – Roundup/Melstone (6’2”, 205 lbs.)


• 2x Class B All-State
• 2016 Class B 1st Team All-Conference - LB
• 2018 All-USA Today Montana Defensive Player of the Year - LB
• 2018 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – LB
• 2018 GFT Super-State – LB
• 2018 Badlands alternate - LB
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – MLB
• 41 total touchdowns (28 rushing/13 passing) his senior year
• 111 total tackles; 3 interceptions (2 returned for TDs) his senior year
• 4x Class C All-State basketball
• Eclipsed the coveted 2,000 point club in basketball this season and has a shot to be in the Top-5 All-Time scorer list
• 2018 State C Track Placer – 2nd in Long Jump (21'10"); 3rd in Triple Jump (42'11"); 4th in Shot Put (45'4")
• Has been offered full-ride Rodeo scholarships from multiple schools (champion steer wrestler)
• 3rd ranked LB

On Grebe: How good of an all-around athlete is Brody? He’s earned all-state recognition in four sports (football, basketball, track & field, and rodeo). Not many kids have had the level of individual success in as many sports as Brody has had during high school. In my opinion, basketball is his best sport. His ability to create his own shot is arguably the best in the state and he does it through a combination of agility, athleticism, effort, skill, and toughness. Brody does the same on the football field. He’s a long and “springy” athlete who has a bounding running style. Brody was a star QB/RB during his time at Roundup but college coaches are recruiting him at linebacker. He’s very hard to block and one of the best block-shredders in this linebacker class. Brody uses effective shuffle steps to elude second level blockers and mirror runners cutting from gap to gap. He also has a great feel for playing under blocks and finding ballcarriers in tight quarters. Brody makes a ton of plays in the backfield with an excellent burst to the ball. When his eyes see it, his reaction time is instant. Brody is an excellent tackler who uses his long arms and play strength to his advantage (his rodeo background doesn’t hurt either). He takes good angles when the play is going away from him to make sure he has a shot to run it down to save a touchdown. Brody is a smooth mover on the football field as it just doesn’t seem like he is moving that fast but he closes quickly. Possibly his best attribute is his relentless pursuit to the ball. The kid is an energizer bunny as he just doesn’t stop giving effort…ever. He is more of a leader by example but he isn’t afraid to be vocal when necessary. Brody also has a physical edge to him on the football field as he plays with a ton of competitiveness and confidence. The only real knock on Brody is his speed. If he guesses wrong on a play, his recovery speed is a concern. At times, he’ll choose not to get ahead of blockers and allow them to initiate contact because he trusts his ability to defeat the block every time. This will hurt him in college if it doesn’t get improved. I’m not sold on his ability to cover in college, specifically in man. Overall, Brody is a player you want on your roster and on the field. He raises everyone’s level of play due to his effort and energy. It also helps that he’s going to make a fine linebacker in college if given the opportunity. Brody literally played like he had a GPS to the football during his high school career. The kid has a long history of achievement in multiple sports so his competitiveness should never be questioned. Brody is a future every-down linebacker and has the talent to fill up a stat sheet rather quickly. Whether is future is on the football field, basketball court, track, or in the rodeo arena, it is fun to watch kids like Brody compete.

13.) Blake Thelen – Great Falls High (6’3”, 185 lbs.)


• MSU signee - QB
• 2018 2nd Team All-State AA – QB, 1st Team All-State - Punter
• 2018 GFT Super-State – QB
• 2018 Badlands selection - QB
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – QB
• 228/365 for 3005 yards; 28 touchdowns/6 interceptions; 8 rushing touchdowns (senior year)
• 26 receptions for 364 yards; 8 receiving touchdowns (sophomore year)
• Put up 486 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in a loss to Glacier his senior year
• 2018 Eastern AA 2nd Team All-Conference basketball
• 1st ranked QB

On Thelen: Blake started his high school career at wide receiver where he was a productive target during his sophomore and part of his junior year. Coach Mark Samson decided to move Blake to quarterback halfway through his junior season to spark the Bison offense and Thelen did just that. Like Kris Brown, Blake has the prototypical size and physical traits coaches look for in a QB prospect. He is a long, athletic athlete who stands tall in the pocket and can get rid of the football from a variety of arm angles. He shows the ability to slide in the pocket for clean launch points and is rarely a static target for pass-rushers. While pressured, Blake keeps his eyes trained downfield and shows poise to extend plays to find open receivers. Because of his pocket mobility and scrambling talent, he can let routes develop and allow his receivers to clear traffic. He isn’t always necessarily looking for the big play when scrambling out of the pocket. I think some evaluators labeled him as a gun-slinger who likes to only play hero-ball but Blake actually hurt teams more by just finding open receivers at all three levels, not just deep. He’ll take what is given to him often. However, it is no secret Blake likes to attack downfield and his arm strength/talent is a big reason why. In my opinion, he has the best arm talent in this class as there isn’t a throw he fears. Blake puts good touch on his deep ball but also shows the ability to drive throws downfield with accuracy and velocity. On the move, he doesn’t really lose any accuracy or velocity and, if anything, it improves outside the pocket. Blake does a good job of putting the ball in spots where only his receiver can make a play. For instance, Blake led AA in pass attempts and threw the 2nd least amount of interceptions with six (Billings West QB Josh Erbacher was 1st with five on 100 less pass attempts) in 2018. This is a direct result of his consistent ball placement accuracy at all three levels of a defense. He operated out of a zone-read offense in 2018 and showed natural ability as a runner on QB keepers or designed bootlegs. Blake has some wiggle to him and can be physical when necessary. He runs an offense with command and plays with a ton of moxie. Blake isn’t a kid who shies away from a fight which is the mindset you want in a QB. There are some things for him to improve in college. His release is a little slow and elongated which he mitigates by throwing with zip. Blake sometimes leaves the pocket prematurely rather than standing in and staying in rhythm. This is something that will improve with experience…and a better offensive line. He will need to take the next step in full-field scanning and manipulating coverage with his eyes as he trusts his arm to rip throws into tight windows instead of making those windows more open prior to the throw. Blake’s footwork will need development as he operates out of a narrow base and allows his upper body and arm to race ahead of his feet. However, if adjustments diminish his accuracy, I would let him play under his current technique. Blake’s backyard style of play will likely lead to some butt-chewings, big plays, and unnecessary mistakes. He could make selling play-action more a priority in his game instead of going through the motions at times. Overall, Blake has the size, arm strength, accuracy, pocket mobility, and poise to succeed in college. He proved in high school he doesn't need perfect protection to succeed. Blake can do more with less (poor offensive line, no large targets) better than any QB in this class. He has an undeniable swagger and confidence to his game. Many people couldn’t believe MSU got him as a PWO and I would have to agree with them. Blake is a high ceiling, low floor QB prospect who simply needs a few more years of playing the position to fine-tune his game.

12.) Marcus Wehr – Billings Central (6’3”, 220 lbs.)


• MSU signee – DE
• 2x Class A All-State - OL/DE
• 2018 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – DL
• 2017 2nd Team All-USA Today Montana – OL
• 2018 GFT Super-State – DL
• 2018 Badlands selection - DL
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – OG
• 46 total tackles (38 solo); 5 sacks; 15 TFLs (senior year)
• Had 7 solo tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 TFLs vs. Fergus his senior year
• 2018 State Track Qualifier – Shot Put
• 1st ranked DE; 4th ranked exterior OL

On Wehr: Marcus passes the eyeball test for a DE/DL prospect due to his height, weight, and build. He has a long, lean, muscular frame despite weighing around 230 lbs. Marcus was a major piece to Billings Central’s dominant 2018 campaign that ended with yet another State A title for the Rams. He develops an explosive burst out of his stance that translates to power and lateral agility that is hard to contain. Marcus plays with a good level which makes him even tougher to block. He attacks with his pads square to the line of scrimmage and displays a wide, balanced base. Marcus can sink his hips and create quick arm extension at the point of attack. He plays with violent hands and can physically displace offensive lineman if their footwork/base is spotty (go to :55 in highlight film for example). His point-of-attack technique allows him to set the edge, find the ball, and spot play-action quickly. Marcus consistently plays with good football awareness and intelligence. His lateral quickness is underrated and allows him to disrupt plays at the line of scrimmage at a high rate. After displacing blockers, Marcus does a good job of finding himself in tackle-ready position and his long, strong arms bring down ballcarriers with ease. He rarely gets bullied at the point of attack due to his strong core and sturdy base. For pass-rush moves, Marcus mostly goes with a bull-rush but has a nice punch/rip move to counter. When he does get locked up on a pass-rush, he shows the awareness and ability to knock down balls in the air. On top of every other trait, Marcus has an excellent motor and it takes him to plays that other will quit on. His change of direction talent and consistent effort allows him to stretch out plays and hound quarterbacks consistently. There are a few areas for improvement. Marcus is more a max effort/physical-at-the-point-of-attack defender than twitched-up pass-rusher. He’s missing that plus athleticism and bend that make quality pass-rushers in college. Marcus shows a tendency to play top-heavy when he gets into the backfield and will overrun plays at times. He puts a lot of effort into defeating blocks at the line of scrimmage so he will just have to fight to stay more in control when getting into the backfield. I was also surprised Marcus didn’t have more sack production in high school but there were other factors likely working against him (scheme, double-teams, Eastern A style of football, etc.). He will likely never become a big-time edge rusher at MSU. However, he may never have to as he will carry an imposing frame once he adds more mass/muscle and will likely fit as either a strong-side defensive end or 3-Tech defensive tackle in the Bobcats’ scheme. Marcus has the chance to become a starter early in his career because of each trait described above. He is a very consistent competitor and plays with a violent edge (in a good way) that’s required along the defensive line to succeed in college. I would not at all be surprised if Marcus turns out to be the most productive player in this class at the next level. He has every tangible/intangible trait college coaches want in a stong-side DE.

11.) Ryder Meyer – Fairfield (5'9”, 170 lbs.)


• UM signee – S
• 2x Class B All-State
• 2016 Class B 2nd Team All-Conference - DB
• 2018 1st Team All-USA Today Montana – DB
• 2018 GFT Super-State – DB
• 2018 Badlands selection - S
• 2018 Shrine Game selection – S
• 112 total tackles; 3 interceptions; 2525 total offensive yards; 43 total touchdowns (senior year)
• 44-2 career record as a four-time letter winner book-ended by State B titles in 2015 & 2018 (semifinal losses in 2016 & 2017)
• Voted 2017-2018 Basketball Team Defensive MVP by teammates
• 2018 State Track Qualifier – 100M
• 2018 Finalist - U.S. Army/Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence (based on athletic, academic, & civic achievements of students)
• 3rd ranked S

On Meyer: Ryder only experienced two losses during his four years of varsity football and those happened in the 2016 and 2017 Class B semifinals. He played in the secondary each year and moved from WR to QB for his final two years. Ryder is a high character kid who plays every down with the same level of grit and urgency. He’s what you want from a team captain/leader and leads by example with his fearless, physical play. Ryder began to get on in-state program’s radar his junior season when he played QB and FS for the Eagles. As a QB, he never really threw the ball well but like the true competitor he is, he made it work. Ryder excelled as a slash-and-dash runner who was hard to tackle in the open field because of his agility and toughness. He was productive as a QB and was a major reason for Fairfield’s offensive success in 2017 and 2018. But Ryder’s best position has always been free safety. His football intelligence from the safety position is up there with the best safeties Montana has produced the last five years. He’s quick to diagnose what an offense doing and is rarely caught out of position because of his play recognition pre-snap. When Ryder reads run, he comes downfield with vigor and straight-up thumps ballcarriers. For a kid his size, he is a forceful hitter and washes out plays to the sideline with a “smack” at the finish. Ryder’s pursuit speed is adequate as his strides are fluid and powerful. He takes consistently optimal angles in pursuit whether it’s in run support or helping in coverage. As stated above, he rarely has to gamble because he diagnoses plays really well pre- and post-snap. There are numerous examples on his junior and senior tape where he easily sniffs out reverses, play-action bootlegs, and counters. On top of that, his tackling is excellent so those trick plays usually lose yards when he’s in pursuit. His lateral agility also helps his tackling ability as its hard to shake him. In pass coverage, he sticks his foot in the ground and accelerates to squeeze routes approaching his cover area. Ryder has good speed to range over the top on deep throws and bring down running backs in the flat starting from his free safety position. He doesn’t give up a ton of extra yards in his coverage if the ball is caught in front of him. Ryder is patient in pattern recognition but not too patient to let plays expose him. He trusts what he sees, plays with an edge, and is very strong for his size. Ryder always surprised bigger kids with his physicality and he laid out a bunch of dudes that were much bigger than him. As for things to improve, he doesn’t have too many issues. The obvious deficiency is his lack of length and overall frame to play safety in college. He could struggle to handle size when covering down field or supporting the run at the next level. Ryder also doesn’t have top, straight-line speed so that may hurt him in coverage or in pursuit. But really that is about it. His agility, first-step, instincts, speed/burst, and tackling technique are all pluses. Ryder’s will to compete and play-demeanor should earn him playing time early in his career, especially on special teams. An easy comparison for Ryder is current Griz safety Robby Hauck. They almost have the exact same playing style. Everyone got to see how Robby overcame his size limitations his first year in Missoula so Ryder should be seeing the field sooner than later for the Griz.

"There's two times of year for me: Football season, and waiting for football season."

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