DO OR DIE BOWL IX: Your Duerrisms Running Blog (UPDATED June 24th)
Greetings everybody and welcome to this Special Summer edition of DO or DIE BOWL IX Duerrisms. From now until Game Day on June 28th, we will be posting a running blog in this space on the Tri State's premier pigskin event.
Due to some lingering storm issues in America's Hometown, we have moved our game time up one hour (to a 6pm kickoff) at Porter Stadium on the campus of Hannibal High School. Tickets are on sale in advance for eight dollars on line at ConnectTriStates.com and will be ten dollars at the door. Past game alumni who show up in their old Do or Die Jersey get in for free. We will also offer a special student football rate of seven dollars to players who show up wearing their team jerseys to the game. That is cheaper than a trip to the burger joint, these days. We want a large contingent of future Do or Die Bowl Players in the stands for this event, because it's your game as much as it is mine. And trust me, if you have hopes of playing in this game in the future, I want to see you at the game in the here and now. And trust me, I notice every face that comes through those gates and sits in those stands.
As usual, we will have plenty of Ice Cold Pepsi on hand and the Hannibal Booster Club is preparing tasty BBQ just in time for the dinner time start. We will also have plenty of entertainment for you on the grounds at Porter Stadium. More than that, it's a great chance to meet with all the great football crazed fans in the Tri States. This is as close as we get in this area to an all encompassing Gridiron Summit with college and high school coaches from across the area all in attendance. You never know who you will get to meet and network with.
DO OR DIE BOWL BREAKDOWN: EAST VERSUS WEST, POSITION BY POSITIONã??
RUNNING BACK: Ground yards figure to be very hard to come by in this year's Do or Die Bowl. That said, this shapes up to be a stage for a couple of the Tri States most "unsung" runners to get the credit they richly deserve.
For Erle Bennett's West Squad, which will operate behind a gigantic Offensive Line that features three All State honorees, the spotlight may well fall on Mark Twain's Tyler Steinkamp; a sprinter with great balance and toughness. Due to lack of team success, Steinkamp wasn't exactly a household name but his production, especially given the circumstances, was incredibly impressive with over 1500 ground yards and 16 touchdowns. This will be the best protection Steinkamp has ever enjoyed and this leveling of the playing field should give us a true barometer on just how good the future Central Methodist Eagle can be. I suspect we will see plenty of CCC Offensive Player of the Year Austin Egley in the running game as well; albeit transferring from running as a Quarterback to actually taking handoffs. The man had over 1800 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, so there's that...
Another QB convert, Paris Coyote Steven Hayhurst headlines an intriguing group of "B" backs in Erle Bennett's scheme. When his name came up in the roster sorting process, the Centralia Coaching staff got very excited about Hayhurst's potential in their system playing a position that perfectly fit his skill set. Centralia homegrown speedster Jesse Arnold, arguably the toughest pound for pound kid in this game, will get to resume his role from the regular season here as well. The West also has a legitimate Power Back in play in Nick Nesbitt; who will be doubly valuable here because he is both the roster's best short yardage option and a really accomplished lead blocker. The other X-factor to watch in this equation, like Egley, is Clopton/Elsberry's multi-dimensional Charles Fraction, who had 800 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards for the Indian Hawks as a Senior. Fraction's speed and burst will make him a kid that Erle can deploy from both running back spots and as well as the Wide Receiver positions. Kid is a tremendous athlete. There might be some play her for Macon's Tyrone Walker in a similar role, but he may be stolen away by the West Defensive Coaching staff as well.
For the East, I envision Zach Abney as the kid (and there is one every year) who the casual fan takes a much greater notice of when playing "up in company" against a higher level of competition. A 1400 yard rusher for the Saukees this season, Abney is a grinder who just quietly goes about chewing up yardage and bouncing off initial contact. In potential combo with Macomb Fullback Eli Cousins, we are talking about a pair of fearless between the tackles runners who enjoy delivering the blow to would-be tacklers. Both are "wrestling mentality" kids whose motors rev constantly and who are ridiculously difficult to bring down one on one, despite huge size. The rest of what Don Bigley opts to do with his embarrassment of running back riches probably hinges on what he does with his secondary. Jarrod Rockhold and Dalton Heubner are probably the two most prolific runners in this game; both are arguably more valuable in coverage. Do one or both draw Offensive Backfield duty instead. The same dilemma may occur at Fullback with Connor Obert and Cody Curry's toughness being debated between Linebacker or the Offensive Backfield. I suspect we may see both Douglas Weese of Central-Southeastern and Bubba Patterson on Offense, but Coach Bigley could possibly move both back and forth between Wide Receiver and Running Back to force coverage issues. Honestly, those are two kids I like a lot in this game for Sleeper MVP honors. Weese has a tremendous natural knack for creating space. Patterson is not only gifted, but has one of the highest "figure it out on the fly" football IQs in this game. These are the type of kids who tend to make big splashes in this kind of window.
THE DUERR DIAGNOSIS: A push on paper between two deep and talented groups with lots of speed. Advantage to the West, however, when you factor in Offensive Line Play; which we will talk about in greater depth here Tuesday...stay tuned
SECONDARY: As we saw from last year's game, the days of the boring "ground and pound" All Star approach are probably over. If you want to win this game, you have to throw the football effectively. Which makes great secondary play so much more critically important than it was even three years ago in this game. As I mentioned earlier in this column, the East squad is particularly loaded with pass catchers this season. So it is a good thing Erle Bennett finds himself with such a deep well of Defensive Back talent. And make no mistake: the West is flat loaded here.
Obviously, when you can start the building process around a three time All State Safety of the caliber of Caleb Bieniek, that kind of skews the needle in your direction. The Hannibal stalwart posted more than 300 career tackles and 13 career interceptions. Irregardless of position, Bieniek is without question one of the three best (and most complete) football players in this game and the fact that he will have such a great cast around him will allow Caleb the freedom to roam and destroy at will. He's my pre-game favorite for Missouri Defensive MVP honors in what may well be the final of game of his football career. I expect the kid to go out with a huge splash.
The interesting thing here is that even if you took Bieniek out of the mix, the West might still have the best assemblage of Safety talent we have gathered together in the nine years this game has existed. Part of that stems from the ability to move South Shelby's ultra-active Alex Blackford back to his natural position after a year of glorified Rover duty. Even with Bieniek in the mix, Blackford might have been the best run support Defensive Back in our area. He might not have been as spectacular with his hits, but he was as certain a stopper as their was with 51 solo stops and 122 total tackles. Adding to the "fear factor" here, Centralia's Austin Kinkead is a relentlessly physical kid who plays much larger than his smallish stature and brings legit cover corner burst to the safety spot. The West staff is also enamored of the idea of playing Greg Pitzer at Safety and taking advantage of the Louisiana star's mobility to help seal off the over the top threat that the burst guys on the East (Ortiz and Bratton) present.
The West cornerback spot is a quieter strength, absent a Bieniek type superstar. But it is a very interesting spot. I am a big Dan Williams mark. The Keokuk star has ideal size and the jumping ability to lock it up with some of these great East Wide Receivers one on one. He's really a terrific athlete. Logan Prewitt doesn't have anywhere near prototype size but he will be the fastest cover guy on the field for the West and has that ridiculous vertical leap of his to fall back on. Lots of teams picked on Logan last season because he doesn't look the part. Let me remind you, he led the region in interceptions with eight. Throw on him at your own risk. The West might look at Hannibal speedster Jahwaun Cassidy as a potential size/speed matchup to try and throw at Reggie Bratton; a fellow sprint star with the kind of size and range to make that pairing more interesting. Louisiana's Brendan Ross is another really interesting potential option at corner who brings not only the athleticism to help patrol the passing lanes; the kid brings a needed element of run support from the edge here to boot. On top of that, Ross probably has the surest hands in this eight man mix.ã??
The East Squad secondary is also loaded at corner. Jacksonville's Aaron Vasquez and Macomb's Jarrod Rockhold are tremendous cover guys who hit like linebackers. The pair had 13 interceptions between them a year ago and they are two of my favorite players to watch because they are absolutely ruthless when the ball goes into the air. Vasquez is probably the most seasoned coverage man, for either team in this game, given his CS8 pass happy pedigree. Rockhold might have the most college upside of any DB in this game and could even play Safety here to help out on this squad in a spot of need as well. While the Firm of Vasquez/Rockhold is a potentially outstanding pair of bookends that gets even better if Don Bigley decides to use Central-Southeastern's All Time interception leader Dalton Heubner at Defensive Back as well. Honestly, I don't know at this point if Heubner is more valuable to the East as the squad's most explosive game breaking running threat or if the East wants to line him up in coverage and let him do what he will do for Quincy University the next four years. Heubner's worth to the East probably can't be overstated here and I don't envy Don Bigley the decision of where he serves his team better. Rushville Industry's unsung Taylor Fiegl is a candidate for the "small school kid who most surprisingly turns heads on this stage" award and will be an integral part of the coverage tree. Quincy High's Ethan Rockhold is a Quincy University signee himself and for our purposes, the guy injects a bit of physicality and intimidation here to the last line of Defense. Triopia's Cody Curry could an option at any one of three positions in this game, but I think he ultimately ends up being a stopper at Safety; one of the really hard nosed kids and true winners in this game. The kid who could really expand the overall athleticism of this unit is Bearstown's Bubba Patterson, who has looked as natural as any area Defensive Back in coverage since his Sophomore year. Like Heubner, Patterson is a guy who might be too tempting to play on Offense to get reps here. By the same token, Bubba can flat break on the football and if this game turns into a passing frenzy, he'd be a good man to have around.
THE DUERR DIAGNOSIS: Both teams are really good at Corner. The West Squad is all time good at Safety, largely because of the Bieniek/Blackford/Kinkead factor. Decided advantage: West. And they will flat need it to level the playing field.
Coming Monday: Running Back and Offensive Linemen....Under the Do or Die Microscope
QUARTERBACK: Let's not mince words, we were spoiled with exception quarterback play in 2012 thanks to small school wonders like Pleasant Hill/Western's Matt Gunterman and Clopton/Elsberry's Scott Kroeger standing huge upon the big stage. See also the nearly 400 yards of passing we had in last years 20-14 thriller (for my money, the best Do or Die Bowl ever played) That will be a tall order to match but as a collective, this might be the most balanced set of four quarterbacks we've ever brought in. Both teams have basically been armed with a true spread offense superstar and a super smart option signal caller who throws the ball really well. For the West, Erle Bennett will go to battle with Keokuk's Gabe Vandenberg and Hannibal's Dalton Powell slated to take snaps under center. Let me pause here because I know what you are thinking: where's KHQA MO/IA Offensive MVP Austin Egley in this mix? The short answer: Erle Bennett has a ridiculous package of options he plans to employ to utilize the CCC Offensive MVP's speed in ways that would be "limited" by a traditional QB role. I can really say no more than that. Just know that Gabe and Dalton will love having the kid around as a weapon. Lets start with Vandenberg, who is probably the most pedigreed spread passer to play in this game, at least since Joe Gilliam and maybe ever, to take the reigns for the West. Gabe, who has signed with Iowa Western, threw for 2370 yards and 24 touchdowns as a Senior in the Gate City and completed better than 63% of his passes. And to be honest, if ever there was a kid who seemed suited to All Star Game pace and rhythm, it's probably Gabe. Dalton Powell is probably more celebrated for his outstanding read/diagnose ability, but don't forget that he is a guy who completed better than 55% of his passes in a more limited window and that his mobility will be a huge asset here give the quality of the pass rushers the East Squad can throw on the field. One intangible you have to like here for the West is that both of these signal callers are " big school" guys who are used to the level of talent and speed that this game brings.
Don Bigley's East Squad will roll with a pair of smaller school standouts in Triopia's Tanner Huddleston and West Hancock's Coy Dorothy. Huddleston, to an even greater extent that Powell, was limited in his passing attempts for the Trojans, finishing with just 799 air yards; but a very efficient 12 touchdown passes. Interestingly, when given more freedom in the passing game this past weekend in the West Central All Star Classic at SHG, THudd went nuts throwing the football and had two TD passes to fuel the North Squad to victory; including a 70 yard bomb. He is a super smart, really tough leader in that spot. Dorothy is the guy I think who profits most from this stage because so few people really got to appreciate him given West Hancock's modest win total. People are quick to dismiss his ridiculous numbers in the pass game (an area best 2581 yards and 36 total touchdowns) because of the Titan's system and lack of great success. I can personally dismiss this assessment: the kid was as poised, smart, and tough as any QB I have seen. And I can tell you that first hand watching him make incredible passes by extending plays Ben Roethlisberger style with two of the very best Defensive Players in the Tri States (Macomb's Brett Taylor and Nick Severs) breathing down his neck. He's a legitimate star and I think a steal and a half for MacMurray and this is his stage to prove it to the entire region.
THE DUERR DIAGNOSIS: Slight Advantage in a vacuum to the West Squad. The needle goes to slight advantage East Quarterbacks when factoring in the quality of Wide Receivers/Tight Ends as targets.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END: Maybe it's just the natural evolution of football in this era, but the passing game has become more and more pronounced with every incarnation of the Do or Die Bowl. Last summer, our two All Star Squads COMBINED for a grand total of 57 rushing yards with Monroe City's Shane Williams leading all ground gainers with a whopping 22 yards on seven carries. Bottom line, if you want to win here, you better be able to put the ball in the air and come up with guys who can catch it.
Triopia's Jansen Joehl led all 2012 Do or Die Bowl Receivers with 6 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns and the smart money says it will be another East Wide Receiver who sets the bar in this game. Jacksonville's Reggie Bratton, Beardstown's Delaney Ortiz, and West Hancock's Kolbie Schilson are your prime candidates. Bratton is a monster; a two-time IHSA Class 3 State Sprint Champion who will be the fastest player on the field on Friday. He also caught 52 passes as a Senior for the Crimsons for 1145 yards and 15 touchdowns; averaging 22 yards per catch along the way. Ortiz is no slouch in his own right as an athlete, earning 2nd Team All Conference honors in both Football and Basketball this season and is likely set to see a much higher volume of work this week in the spread than he did in a month in Beardstown's Triple Option. Schilson might just be the most reliable pass catcher in Tri State Football the last two years running. He's got incredible hands, see also his 68 receptions this year and will probably make a killing in the intermediate routes this game with Bratton and Ortiz running off coverage. Plus, the kid gets the chance to work with his own quarterback here in Coy Dorothy, which is the epitome of comfort level. Would not be surprised to see Central-Southeastern's multi-talented Douglas Weese slotted into pass patterns as well, which is just going to be a Defensive Backfields worst nightmare. Weese is terrific in space and showed tremendous passing game IQ and body control in summer workouts, even though CSE rarely put the football into the air. I am also told converted Quincy High Quarterback Connor Kelle could line up at Wide Out in this game and has the kind of ability to separate after the catch that could make him one of the week's biggest sleepers.
When the East Squad goes to a more traditional set, they can lean on one of the region's very best blocking tight ends in Illini West's Ethan Neally. Ethan has good hands and runs good patterns and may get a chance to showcase the skill set here in this game. Only misgiving in this whole equation for the East is that Illinois State signee Dalton Keene isn't able to play. He and Neally would have made a stellar set of bookends had Don Bigley decided to go to the two-tight look.
West Wide Receiving Corps will have be armed to the teeth as well. Clopton/Elsberry slot man Charles Fraction is a tremendously explosive weapon who finished with over 1500 All Purpose Yards; the kind of guy you wanted to get isolated in space. In concert with Keokuk blazer Darrion Sanders, the West will have plenty of speed to get over the top in its own right. Sanders had 49 receptions for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season. Fellow Chief Dan Williams (669 receiving yards) might also be in the mix here, but I suspect Erle Bennett will employ Williams as a Defensive Back. Monroe City's Blake Grice seems a guy who would have thrived in the spread offense and his skills and toughness should certainly be on display on this stage; especially against one on one coverage. I suspect Coach Bennett coach also move some guys who played other positions in High School into the pass pattern to try and create even more speed mismatches. Hannibal return specialist Jahwaun Cassidy and Scotland County speed merchant Zach Miller are guys that make some sense here. The sleeper in this mix may be converted Paris Quarterback Steven Hayhurst, who could end up playing any one of about four positions for the West squad given his size, strength, and athleticism; Tight End potentially being one of them. The thing I am learning fast about working with Erle Bennett in this game is that every player you give him is a blank canvas and he finds amazingly creative ways to maximize them.
THE DUERR DIAGNOSIS: Pretty strong groups across the board. Still think that Bratton might be the best skill position on the field in this game period and I like the proven strength of the East at Tight End. I give Don Bigley's team the slight nod here.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Predictably, the needle here points to the West Squad. Though on deeper reflection, I am not sure the margin between the two squads at this position is as wide as it seems on initial glance.
Suffice it to say, it was a banner year in the Clarence Cannon Conference for Line talent and Erle Bennett reaps the benefit of being able to build his line around a Kyle Kovar/Bobby Gruenloh/Luke Ross/Jacob Hockman/Kendall Kothe nucleus. How often does a coach get a 100 plus tackle All State Defensive Linemen to build around, let alone three of them in Kovar, Ross and Gruenloh? The plan here is to have Kovar (105 tackles, 9 QB sacks, 30 tackles for loss) and the rangy Kendall Kothe (7 Quarterback Sacks) play as true Defensive Ends. Hockman and Ross will serve as Erle's Dash Linemen. And Northwest Missouri State Signee Bobby Gruenloh (124 tackles) will play at Nose. But there is some considerable intrigue her beyond just the "big names" as well. Monroe City's Brenden Williams missed the majority of his Senior Season with injury issues but is now fully healthy and is an absolute load to move off the football. He's slate to play Nose Guard for the West along with the criminally underrated Brandon Billings, a First Team All EMO selection with a tremendous non-stop motor. If you look at this group, it's hard to find any fall off in either rotation. West Defensive Coordinator Quentin Hamner loves to create mismatches through schemes and he has an unbelievable amount of up front athleticism at this position to do so. Again, I am not sure that Defensive Line isn't, relative to everything else, the West Squad's most pronounced strength in 2013 going into this game.
The Illinois Defensive Line isn't nearly as celebrated, absent any All State Selections, but when you start doing really looking at equation here, two things standout: the East Squad will be absolutely gigantic (and put bluntly, nasty) in the middle and tremendously athletic on the edge. From an interior line standpoint, Don Bigley has some huge, active bodies to employ inside with a couple of future college players in Pleasant Hill's Braden Damon (Central Methodist) Beardstown's Rolando Luna (MacMurray) and Jacksonville's Harley Van Bebber (Lindenwood-Belleville) in the mix as well as one of his own incredibly talented, if somewhat overlooked Saukee stars in Austin Beard. I really like all of these guys. Damon was on his way to All State honors when a knee injury derailed his season season five games in. Luna is a man-mountain of a kid at 285 pounds with great feet. And for my money, Van Bebber was the heart and soul of the Crimson Defense; a guy who didn't get much in the way of statistics because he was too busy tying up Offensive Linemen and making everyone else around him look good. And Beard, as I remarked during the season, had moments of sheer dominance for a Defense that ran hot and cold most of the year. The East Squad has great promise on the edge as well. Though he spent most of the season playing at about 80%, Jacksonville's Diontue Armstrong is now healthy and possessed of the fastest first step of any lineman in this game. Illini West's Kaleb Spiekermeier is an All WCC Defensive End with prototype size and a very high football IQ who is a prized recruit for Saint Ambrose. Quincy Notre Dame's Ben Holtschlag (a first team All Mid State Six pick) is a weight room warrior with tremendous motor and tremendous productivity. And Raider Teammate Jeremy Frieden, a Second Team All MS6 Selection, is arguably as tough as any kid who came out of that league. Again, the East Squad may lack the marquee value of some of their West counterparts, but when pieced together, this group is really gritty, nasty, and again huge.
DUERR DIAGNOSIS: Any other year, I might be able to talk myself into this unsung collection of whole heart players from the East. But this West Squad D-Line is about as star studded, top to bottom, as we are ever going to see in this game. And the mere idea of Kovar and Gruenloh playing on the same line at the same time should sell tickets all over Northeast Missouri of its own accord.
LINEBACKER: It's the nature of the All Star beast: we never lack for good linebackers in this game. Generally speaking, its where coaches stash their most talented Defensive Playmakers and as such, we get an unending run of stars for the Do or Die Bowl every Summer. In evaluating this year's crop, I've come to the conclusion that this is probably the most subjective position group on the field. You can assign an "advantage" in position group to either side this year, just depending on who you personally like, stylistically. From a productivity standpoint, there really isn't a whole lot of discernible difference.
Clearly, the East Squad would have profited from the play Macomb All Stater and KHQA Illinois Defensive Player of the Year Brett Taylor, but if there is one place this group can afford to absorb a talent hit of that nature (sitting out due to Division One Commitment) it is at Linebacker. Don Bigley can start with a couple of clear headliners in Triopia All Stater Blake Richardson, QND stalwart Nick Weiman, and Illini West All Conference selection Ben Gittings; all of whom were First Team All Do or Die Selections at the position this past fall. Richardson, the Jacksonville Journal Courier Player of the Year, has 170 tackles this season and proved his versatility in dropping back in coverage with seven total interceptions over a two year span. This is an interesting window for Blake because I am not sure people really understand how good he is; having only been seen the last two years in WIVC Circles. He is probably the best "small" school player in Illinois in this game and as Macomb's Reid Fulkerson pointed out to me after participating in last year's Do or Die Bowl; the top end kids at the 1A powers can generally play for anyone and that they come into this game with something to prove. Richardson will earn plenty of respect. Weiman is the most fundamental tackler in this game; made in the history of this game. Seems criminal that this will be his last football game, but he's likely the kid that the West Squad walks away remembering most from this contest. Gittings is the deceptive guy in this mix; who looks a little undersized but plays with ridiculous motor. The real key here for the East though may be it's depth. Quincy High's Jaydon Summy is a hit and destroy type physical run stuffer who takes some of the sting out of Taylor's loss. QND's Connor Obert is a relentless tackler who probably would have been a consensus First Team All Area pick for everyone if he could have stayed healthy. If you are looking for a sleeper pick as this games Defensive MVP, Obert makes sense for two reasons: QND kids have constantly excelled in this game and Connor is healthy enough here (and free enough with protection around him) to run around and just belt people. Central-Southeastern's Marcus Landes is another unsung guy and maybe the best overall athlete in this mix; although he could well end up as a Tight End/Wide Out type in this game, depending on how Don Bigley wishes to use him. The kid I really like here, as a sneaky play, is Rushville-Industry's Stoney Haines, who was a rock solid Defensive Force for the Rockets the last two years. He's not a kid who is likely to stand out with spectacular play; he's just the guy who quietly finds his way to the top of the tackle total. Options aplenty.
For the West Squad, Erle Bennett has a couple of absolute enforcers inside in All Stater Chris Sparks and Lincoln Jones. Easily the best Highland product ever to play in this game, Sparks is a relentless dynamo who will play this game with the best Defensive Line protection he has ever received in his life. Mind you, this was a kid who posted 163 tackles behind a Defensive Line that was branded "suspect" at the beginning of the year. All the kid does is blow people up. And if you are Central Methodist Coach Jody Ford, the prospect of having Sparks and Kyle Kovar play together the next four years makes your heart sing. Jones is your enforcer against the run; the biggest linebacker Quentin Hamner will have on the field and the guy he can use to take away the interior power running game by fighting off Offensive Linemen one-on-one. The West won't lack for other intriguing options here with a pair of incredibly versatile athletes in Centralia's Jason Anders and Brookfield's Ramzie Cooper shaping up as ideal blitz guys when Hamner channels his inner Dick LeBeau. The West has plenty of options to the edge as well. I've long been on record saying Mark Twain's Kacey Simmons was maybe the most underrated Linebacker in Tri State Football; this week he gets the chance to prove his worth among the best in the game. If Erle Bennett wants to ratchet up the speed quotient at Linebacker, he can give Q. Hamner Monroe City's Blake Grice as an option on the edge. Clark County's Bryson Bertelli gets the chance to line up for his former coach one last night and knows Hamner's schemes better than anyone else. There's even some possibility that the West could go with a "heavy" look and play Palmyra's bruising Dilan Parrish inside to pair with Jones to overpower the East Offensive Line inside. I expect Hamner to go nuts with all these new toys under his Christmas Tree and we could see some really bizarre schematic looks that could put a half dozen linebackers on the field at one time. Bottom line, this game could look like a a shark feeding frenzy on both sides of the ball.
THE DUERR DIAGNOSIS: Learned my lesson last year: if you like Defensive Carnage (especially in destroying the run game) this is your ticket. Linebacker play will be an absolute push. Although at game's end, I do think in finally getting to see so many of these really top end guys on the field at the same time, we will probably be able to declare a true "second best LB" in Tri State Football behind Taylor. My hunch is Weiman but I am hedging that bet in advance as well.