Scouting Dorman vs Gaffney

by - Senior Writer -

SPARTANBURG – One of the state’s biggest high school matchups happened Friday night when Dorman High School, last year’s Division AAAA state runner-up, hosted the Gaffney Indians in a battle of powerhouses.

As expected, there were several good players on hand – as well as college coaches – and TigerNet roamed the sidelines taking a look at some of the state’s best prospects, including Dorman lineman and Clemson commitment Patrick DeStefano Patrick DeStefano
Offensive Line
6-4, 275
Roebuck, SC

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I was actually a little bit surprised to see DeStefano wearing No. 88 when the Dorman offense took the field, instead of his usual No. 71. DeStefano had moved to tight end during the week as the Cavalier coaches endeavored to get some more muscle on the line in an effort to help the ground game.

DeStefano made a nice block on Dorman’s second touchdown drive, and I’ve always been impressed with his hands and footwork. Playing tight end – and trying to block out of the position – is different than his usual spots at guard and tackle, and DeStefano was less than pleased with his performance following the contest.

He said that he didn’t want to make excuses because of the position change – he actually moved back to the line and donned No. 71 later in the game – and felt like he let his entire team down. As the final seconds wound down on the game clock, DeStefano was in obvious anguish on the sidelines, and you can just tell that this is a young man who just wants to win.

One of the Dorman coaches came up to me, and said that while some coaches have problems with kids who would rather do a thousand things than lift weights or do reps in the summer sun, DeStefano is 100 percent football.

Gaffney dominated with the ground game, but we still took a look at Indian wide receiver Quinshad Davis Quinshad Davis
Wide Receiver
6-3, 185
Gaffney, SC

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. Davis had a big catch near the sideline that he turned into a nice gain, and he actually turned a quick slant into a 73-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. He finished with five catches for 126 yards and the one touchdown.

Davis is more than likely going to have to go out of state for college – the in-state programs have their wide receiver classes filled up for 2012 – and that out of state school is going to get a good football player. He made one catch over the middle where he had to go over the defender, and overall showed good hands. The only thing you can say bad about the kid is that he is still pencil thin, so he will have to add 10 or 15 pounds once he lands on a college campus.

Dorman running back Raymond Smith started suffering cramps in the second half, which limited his carries, but he still carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards and had a 50-yard touchdown run just two plays after Davis’ touchdown. Smith is listed as 5-9, but he runs much smaller at times and defenders have a hard time finding him as he weaves in and out of traffic. I could see a school using him like South Carolina used Bryce Sherman a year ago – coming in as a changeup back and running out of the wildcat.

Another Gaffney player that stood out was defensive lineman Jaylen Miller Jaylen Miller
Defensive Line
6-2, 235
Gaffney, SC

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, a 2013 prospect who is a solid 6-3, 260-pounder. He played a lot of defensive end on the night, and I was impressed with how quick he gets off the edge. And when he can't blow past the offensive lineman, he is strong enough to bull-rush his way to the quarterback or ball carrier.

He said after the game that he felt like he “did his job.”

“I got to the quarterback, and I stayed home and filled the gaps when I needed to so we could cut off the backside run,” Miller said. “My coach came up to me a few moments ago and told me I played a great game. I felt like I needed to prove something out there tonight.”

It’s always nice to hear a player talking about playing within the system, and taking pride in doing his job even if it means not getting stats. He said after the game that he is hearing from several schools – Clemson, Florida St., Florida, LSU, Miami (FL), South Carolina and Tennessee are who he hears from the most – but hasn’t received a verbal offer as of yet. If he keeps playing the way he did Friday night, that will change in a hurry.

Another Gaffney player who certainly passes the eye test is linebacker Savon Miller ((6-2, 210), but he told us after the game that the offer he is really waiting on is from South Carolina.

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