Grayson vs Miami Central Scouting Report

by - Senior Writer -

ATLANTA , GA. – I am sitting here in a hotel room in Atlanta early on Saturday morning, realizing that Clemson is going to kick off the season against Auburn in about 18 hours but I am trying to write a scouting report on what I saw at the Grayson-Miami Central game in Loganville Friday night.

In case you missed it, Grayson routed Miami Central 35-3 in front of the home crowd, using a ball control offense and a smothering defense in a lopsided contest between two of the nation’s best programs this season. The game featured four Clemson commitments – the Grayson Trio of Robert Nkemdiche Robert Nkemdiche
Defensive End
6-5, 275
Loganville, GA

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, Wayne Gallman Wayne Gallman
Running Back
6-1, 195
Loganville, GA

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and David Kamara David Kamara
5-11, 185
Loganville, GA

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and 2014 running back Dalvin Cook Dalvin Cook
Running Back
5-11, 190
Miami, FL

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of Miami Central.

However, before I get into the scouting report, there is something I think that Clemson fans ought to know. There has been a lot of talk in the national press about Nkemdiche’s decision to attend Clemson when so many more high-profile programs are after his services – he told me Friday night that Alabama is still coming hard. For those of us who are lucky enough to be around Clemson, we get it. Or at least we think we do.

However, none of us can know what is going through the mind of a 17-year old, and it wasn’t until after the game Friday night that I believe I got a glimpse into what the kids who make up the Grayson Trio see in Clemson.

I wore a shirt with a Clemson logo to the game, and felt welcomed from the beginning until the very end, and many of the fans wanted to stop and talk about the game, about Clemson, or about the commitments. It was after the game, however, that I really got a glimpse into what head coach Mickey Conn has going on at Grayson.

I spent some time talking to Gallman’s mother, and she said that Clemson and Grayson are a lot alike – fan bases that rally around the school and the students with a true sense of family. While I was speaking with Gallman’s mother, Conn’s wife and two little boys came over to introduce herself, and I was immediately struck with how much like Kathleen Swinney – Dabo’s wife – she happens to be. It is almost like the two are sisters, and Gallman’s mother said that Wayne had said the same thing.

Leaving the stadium – where I finagled a free burger – a group of people told us that they were going to make it to all of the Clemson home games next season, and I asked if they had kids who were going to school at Clemson. The answer was yes, but not in the strict sense of the word. They are just fans who think of all the Grayson players as their own, and they plan on making the trip to Clemson to see their “kids” play.

At that point, it really hit home that Grayson is much like Clemson – everybody knows everybody else and it makes you feel like a part of the same family. The old adage says there is comfort in familiarity, and with that in mind, it isn’t hard to see what the Grayson players see in a place like Clemson.

Now on to the scouting report.

Dalvin Cook – We didn’t get to see a lot of Cook at the running back spot because Miami Central got down early and was never able to establish much of a running game. He had a few flashes early, but Grayson’s defensive line and linebackers were in the backfield almost as soon as the ball was handed off a lot of times, nullifying the running game. However, Cook made a splash on special teams, getting loose on one 66-yard kickoff return and almost breaking loose on another. He has the quicks to play on the next level, no doubt. Just wish we could have seen more.

Wayne Gallman – Gallman told us after the game that his nickname at Grayson in the past has been “butterfingers” because of the troubles he has had catching the ball out of the backfield. However, he told us Friday night that he has been working extra hard on that part of his game, and it showed up Friday night. His 38-yard reception early in the game set up Grayson’s first touchdown, and he slipped loose on a wheel route in the second quarter – a la C.J. Spiller – taking the pass 54 yards for a touchdown. He didn’t run the football a ton because of the way Grayson runs the offense, but showed his toughness and elusiveness on his limited chances. And he is a beast at the linebacker spot. He doesn’t mind sticking his nose in on bigger players, and it seems like he is on the field for most of the plays. One of the coaches told me he thinks that Gallman will get up to 220 by the time he reaches Clemson, and he could be that big, speedy back that Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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David Kamara - Kamara plays defensive back, and he told us he embraced the challenge of playing against Central’s speedy receivers. Except there wasn’t much of a challenge. He had a few nice breakups as the Rockets tried to push a few plays deep; otherwise, Central’s quarterbacks just didn’t have much time to allow plays to develop downfield.

Robert Nkemdiche – Central’s plan was to run right at Nkemdiche, using two players to go after the big guy on almost every play. It worked in the fact that Nkemdiche didn’t have a ton of tackles, but it opened things up for Grayson’s linebackers to come in and make plays, as well as some of Nkemdiche’s line mates. He still pushed the pocket on passing plays, and made some nice pursuit plays on running plays. He draws attention on each and every play, something he will have to get used to. He also made his appearances in the short-yardage running game, and had some ball security issues. Twice he lost the football, but was called down by the officials before the fumble. Still, there was no doubt he was the best player in terms of sheer athletic talent on the field.

Ryan Carter Ryan Carter
5-11, 175
Loganville, GA

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– Grayson’s Carter has offers from Ole Miss and East Carolina, and I came away thinking that he is almost always in the right spot and is much quicker in person than he appears on film. Heck, if I was a college coach, he would get an offer simply because of how dangerous he is in the return game. He will wind up with more than two offers before the season is over.

Emilio Edelman – I had never heard of Edelman before this game, but I took notice of Central’s specialist when he was booming 70-yard punts in warm-ups. He punted fairly well, and even hit a 51-yard field goal – with plenty to spare – for Central’s only points. He actually nailed a 46-yard field goal on the previous play, but the officials waved it off and said a Central player had moved before the snap, moving him back five yards. A lot of kickers can hit that first one, but miss the second. He didn’t, he simply stepped and drilled the second one. He has offers from South Florida and Florida International.

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