Area scout Todd Brunner checks in again after a busy week out on the road. Catch up with him again in this season-long blog.
Let's see, going back to where I left off with everyone a week ago Saturday, I was going to hit the Rutgers vs Illinois game. The Rutgers game was good for Rutgers, not very good for Illinois.
I drove up to Penn State on Sunday after that game, got there in time to watch a little film and then catch the 49ers game against Arizona. I was happy we played well, but I was disappointed with the loss. It was good to see the offense play as well as they did in particular.
As a whole, all the scouts going in to Penn State were a bit on edge because you never know with Joe Paterno, but things were okay despite the loss to Notre Dame. He joked with us at practice so our visits went well. He always calls us all a bunch of dirty birds which is pretty funny.
People were asking about Michael Robinson when I went in on Sunday to watch tape. I'm sure they wish they still had him, but we'll keep him.
Their defense struggled in the game against Notre Dame but they have a few prospects including the Butkus award winner from 2005, Paul Posluszny. In watching him, you can see why he was given such an award.
I then went to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 96 miles deeper into western Pennsylvania. They have a 6'9 offensive lineman who transferred from Pittsburgh that I wanted to look at. With his size, he's obviously a person that 32 teams will venture to go see. I got to sit down with him and talk to him and you just hope with his rare size, that he'll play up to his full potential and dominate the way he should at a Division 2 school.
Next, I ventured on to Pittsburgh and my first stop was Duquesne University. They've got a wide receiver who I took a loot at and met with.
On Thursday I made my first trip ever to West Liberty State which is in West Virginia and it is a school that is VERY difficult to find. There are no signs for it, it doesn't come up on google or mapquest. You have to know where you are going and you had better go in daylight or you'll never find it. It's a very mountainous road and on one side of you, you're either falling off into this huge hill or crashing into a mountain on the other side, so it's a little treacherous. While I was driving I saw a nice sized deer and if he'd jumped even a foot, I would have hit him which would have gotten me in big trouble with my daughter. Daddy killing Bambi would not go over well.
They've got a wide receiver too at West Liberty State, a tall kid who transferred from Marshall. He's very productive for them and he's only played WR for the last two years. He's got some things to work on but there's promise. That evening I drove down to Morgantown for the West Virginia vs Maryland game. I went down with scouts from Baltimore and Chicago and you have to drive thru campus and all of the tailgating, which makes you want to be out there with them. It makes you appreciate and enjoy the college game and atmosphere.
We were on the field before the game and talked to some of the coaches and watched the players. It was a good game if you were a West Virginia fan. What could go wrong did go wrong for Maryland in the first half and they could never recover. There were 30 scouts and one GM at the game which tells you that they're were a lot of prospects worth watching.
Friday I went to Pittsburgh and looked at a handful of players who I also watched live Saturday night against Michigan State. It was a close game in the first half when Pitt played well. Then Michigan State scored 31 unanswered points and ended up beating them. Tyler Palko, Pitt's quarterback, played well but in the second half they couldn't get the ball in the end zone, and they looked like a totally different team.
I caught the Pirates/Mets game Saturday night with a couple of scouts and then headed back to Morgantown to go into the school talk to some people and watch tape today. I'll head home tomorrow and hit schools in my local area for the rest of this week.
One thing that has been interesting out on the road is how many 49ers fans I run into. They find out I'm a scout or just see me wearing a 49ers shirt and they want to talk about the team. That's kind of fun to see, and the other night this guy had on a Rollin' with Nolan shirt, so I gave him a bunch of schedule magnets and other small stuff I had on me. He's all fired up about the team.
One of the things that is not so fun out on the road has to do with elevator etiquette at these hotels I've stayed at. It's very annoying when you are getting off an elevator and someone waiting to get on gets on before the other people get off. It is very rude and this seems to happen to me everywhere I go at hotels. And another one that happened to me this morning, when you are sitting down eating breakfast and people come in still in their work out clothes, sweating buckets, and sit down to eat next to you. That's rather disgusting. Would they want me sitting next to them dripping in sweat? I think not!!! Those are the two things that I don't understand why people do that and they've really gotten to annoy me during my time on the road.
But so it goes….
- Todd Brunner