October 11, 2011

Top Sooner Targets Meet Up in Dallas

RICHARDSON, Texas - While Richardson (Texas) J.J. Pearce class of 2012 athlete Corey Coleman may have been the well-known four-star recruit when he hit the field against Wylie East last Thursday night but the second year East program came with plenty of talent on their own sideline in the class of 2013.

That's because the Raiders have not just one highly thought of offensive weapon but a quartet of them. The most well known of the bunch are receivers Marcell Ateman and Quan Jones who camped at Oklahoma last summer and both already hold offers from Arizona, Tennessee, and Baylor. Though the pair of jumbo-sized receivers have grabbed many of the early headlines they are joined on East's offense by tight end Jesse Brubaker and running back Jabari Anderson.

Not surprisingly the Pirates found plenty of success moving up and down the field as East claimed a 40-21 win over Pearce.

Leading the way was Anderson who rushed for 261-yards and a 7-yard touchdown on 33-carries along with Ateman gathering 11-catches for 89-yards and a 4-yard score. Meanwhile Jones had eight-catches for 36-yards and two-catches for 45-yards and a 31-yard touchdown for Brubaker.

Though it was Ateman that was leading the way statistically among the receiving duo it was Jones that helped free Anderson into opening running lanes on the perimeter of the East offense. On the night both players showed plenty of ability in the open field but due to a controlled East passing game each player only really got loose once.

Ateman's long catch would have been good for a score however the pass being slightly underthrown allowed the cornerback to track him down. Jones wasn't even that fortunate as he stepped just out of bounds in an effort to run around the cornerback covering him and though the play was all for not it showed considerable burst from Jones on a pass that, when thrown, it looked as though he had no chance at reaching.

Both players did a very nice job of taking the ball with their hands and unlike many receivers neither shied away from contact at any point in the game.

At the Sooner camp it seemed that while both were tall and athletic vertical threats in the passing game it was Ateman that seemed more of a straight line player while Jones showed off more footwork. The most notable change from that point in time was that Jones seems to be filling out and perhaps catching up with Ateman physically.

Coleman Fights Through Pain

Early in the game it seemed that Coleman was having trouble finding his rhythm as part of the Pearce offense. The Mustangs seemed to be using Coleman as a decoy and little action was headed his way, at least in relation to his impressive talent. However as the game wore on word got out that the 5-foot-11, 180-pound was struggling with some health concerns that would limit any player, particularly one at his position.

His hands were in such mangled shape he was cycling through antibiotics to try and slow swelling and blisters. Though it's not known what caused the skin issue Coleman still managed a few crucial catches including a five-yard touchdown as well as seven more catches for 112-additional yards.

Not surprisingly Coleman, a well-known track star, showed off incredible speed and a near unmatched ability to damage a secondary both vertically and laterally. It's safe to assume that his drops and body catches were due to the issues with his hands and in no way a reflection of his actual ability to catch the ball in traffic.

Coleman clearly seems a player that you get on campus and let his college position figure itself out. That being said he did spend roughly a dozen snaps at cornerback lined up against either Jones or Ateman and what Coleman lacked in refinement he made up for in overall athleticism.

Regardless of everything else, Coleman could have easily found a way to miss the game until his health was closer to normal but he played all but a handful of offensive snaps, helped in the return game as well as on defense. Any idea that he is simply a track guy playing football should no longer be part of the conversation.

NOTES:

*Jabari Anderson didn't come in well known to many but showed off great footwork and a lot more toughness than one might expect from a 5-foot-7, 175-pound back. Anderson is powerfully built and with his low center of gravity he gave the Pearce defense never-ending headaches as he managed to pick up extra yardage nearly every time he touched the ball.

*Brubaker is a h-back type of tight end who could factor in to several different offensive gameplans. Though he shows the ability as a blocker his 31-yard touchdown catch showed an ability to take the ball and get up field, breaking a few tackles on his way.

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