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Takeaways from the weekend

Sam Spiegelman10/04/22
Article written by:On3 imageSam Spiegelman

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shelton-sampson-sam-spiegelman
Shelton Sampson (Sam Spiegelman- On3)

Football season is in full swing. Week 5’s slate was headlined by an interstate showdown between two of the Southeast’s most talented teams in Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic and Montgomery (Ala.) Carver, who between the two featured a trio of five-star recruits.

On3 National Recruiting Analyst Sam Spiegelman was on hand for the primetime showdown on Southern University’s Bluff. Here are some takeaways from the action and around the region:

LSU commit shines in interstate tilt

Five-star Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic WR Shelton Sampson Jr. went down as the game’s most impactful player coming up with two touchdowns and even more critical first-down receptions, including the game-sealing catch on third-and-long after Carver made it a one-score game in the final minutes. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Sampson’s 4.3 speed was on display beating coverage on the perimeter and down the seams, and in the process drew three pass-interference calls.

Sampson was sharp firing back to the football amid press coverage on the outside and used his frame and length to overcome multiple defenders in coverage. He showed great range on throws downfield and on end-zone fades, and was up to the task when pressed on a goal-line slant. He finished the game with eight receptions and 126 yards, including two red-zone touchdowns, chain-moving catches on several third-and-longs and a one-handed grab on a go-route with a hand in the face to seal the win. Sampson showed so many different angles of what makes him a future high draft pick.

As an underclassman, he averaged 20 yards per catch. As a senior with more volume, the five-star LSU commit is averaging north of 108 yards per game and about 14 yards per catch. On the season, Sampson has 548 yards and 8 touchdowns and is inching closer to even more records at Catholic High. On3 is higher on Sampson than the rest of the industry, which the Louisiana playmaker is justifying in a big way as a senior.

Alabama five-stars flash in road comeback effort

The Montgomery (Ala.) Carver defensive linemen tandem of James Smith and Qua Russaw is as formidable as it gets around the country, and both of the trenchmen were up to the task against arguably Louisiana’s most physical offensive line.

Smith, On3’s No. 1-rated DL, didn’t have a box score-filling type of game as the subject of double- and triple-teams up front. Nonetheless, the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder played with a high motor, fighting off blockers and generating pressure inside, and also playing a supporting role in slowing down the run game (holding the Bears to less than 3 YPC).

Smith bends and twists well for a massive-sized interior lineman and his impactfulness on a snap-to-snap basis is not something you routinely witness. Alabama currently holds the lead on On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine over Georgia and Auburn.

Russaw complements Smith on the EDGE

As impactful as Smith is in the middle of the defensive line, Russaw is an elite complement off the edge. The five-star EDGE is instinctive and takes direct paths to the ball from all over the second level of Carver’s defense.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Russaw was forced to fight off double-teams from a talented Catholic offensive line, but found ways to beat blocks, seal off running lanes to the outside and also close in on rushes up the middle. Russaw was equally as dynamic as a pass rusher, popping Daniel Beale and demonstrating that speed and quickness around the corner to collapse the pocket in a hurry.

The in-state Crimson Tide currently leads the way on the RPM significantly over Auburn.

Additional notes

  • 2024 Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic QB Daniel Beale completed 19-of-30 attempts with 3 TD as his breakout junior campaign continues. Beale, who helped the Bears to a Division I title as a freshman, is excelling with an increased workload this fall. He’s averaging 229 yards per game and completing better than 68-percent of his throws with 13 touchdowns compared to 2 interceptions. Beale has 1,144 yards midway through the season and is efficient and has good awareness from the pocket and impressed with his his ability to roll right and deliver accurately on the move. Colorado State leads early on the RPM.
  • 2024 Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic RB Barry Remo drew early comparisons to Clyde Edwards-Helaire as a freshman, and after a brief stint on the defensive side of the ball Remo is leading the Bears rushing with 762 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 6.35 yards per carry. Like Edwards-Helaire, Remo is a powerful runner in a compact frame (5-foot-9, 185 pounds). He runs hard and can churn out yardage between the tackles as well as in space, and is beginning to draw attention from schools around the South.
  • 2026 Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic DB Blaine Bradford pulled in four SEC offers in a 48-hour stretch after the first month of his freshman season. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound safety roams and covers a ton of ground for the Bears defensively and puts himself in good positions to make plays on the ball consistently, which is just rare for such a young player. Braford isn’t shy about lowering his shoulder either. LSU, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Mississippi State all offered recently.
  • After stopping by Shreveport (La.) Northwood last week, I created a new On3 profile for 2024 DB Jeremiah Reed. The 6-foot, 205-pound junior is a hybrid strong safety/linebacker that is built like a backer but comes downhill with authority and darts to the football. He has great range and a good open-field tackler that can play near the box and also can drop back into coverage.
  • Three-star 2024 Lake Charles (La.) College Prep WR Elijah Garrick has been dynamic midway through his junior campaign. Garrick has shined whenever he’s had the ball in space — after the catch, in the return game, or as a ball carrier. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has been a big-play source for LCCP and thriving in contested-catch situations.
  • Three-star 2024 Lake Charles (La.) College Prep S Erick Franklin Jr. notched his second pick-six of the season over the weekend and has been a playmaker on the back end of the Blazers’ defense for the first half of the season. Franklin is reactive with short-area quickness in coverage and equally as imposing defending the run with a knack for jarring the ball loose and a nose for the ball.
  • Another junior DB emerging in The Boot is 2024 Denham Springs (La.) S Da’Shawn McBryde/ The 6-foot-3, 190-pound not only has a Saturday-ready frame, but is an imposing defender that has been making plays in coverage and coming down and defending the run. Largely playing as a high safety, McBryde’s length has been pesky in coverage over the top. He has three picks and three forced fumbles already, and McBrydge has also shined patrolling sideline to sideline, punishing ball carriers and taking good angles to the ball.
  • Created a new On3 profile for 2024 Houston (Texas) Langham Creek TE Jordan Washington, who has emerged as a major cog on offense as a junior this fall. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is a big-framed receiver that’s been dynamic in the passing game as a moveable Chess piece out of the H-back role and in the slot. He’s averaged 17 YPC with 15 catches for 255 yards and 3 TD, and has been able to use his size and athleticism as a plus-sized target to body up defenders in the middle of the field. Washington has also been superb as a blocker. Washington clocked an estimated 40 time in the 4.7-second or 4.8-second range over the spring. Ohio State is one team monitoring him.
  • After throwing seven touchdowns and climbing up the New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman record books with a road victory last Friday, Arch Manning has a chance to become the school’s all-time leading touchdown scorer on Friday. Manning is three total touchdowns shy of matching former Stanford standout Jay Tyler for the all-time mark. A fourth would give the five-star Texas commit the lead in career passing yardage, passing touchdowns and touchdown touchdowns in the Newman record books.