College area scout Todd Brunner has updated his weekly blog. Last week was mostly a second visit back to some schools he's already been to, but as the scouting process goes, getting additional looks on players is what helps you hit on draft day. Find out where he was and who he took a look at this week, as well as an update on his high school reunion in this latest Brunner Blog.**
I started off last Monday at Howard which is in Washington DC. I'd been in there before during the first week of the season before they had played a game, so I wanted to take a second look at some of their players because the first time I had only seen them on tape from last year. I watched some of their recent games and got a better feel for those players. The one game I especially wanted to watch was when they had played Rutgers because that's the best team they'll play this season and the best way to project them. They've got a corner who has athletic ability, height, weight, and speed and that showed up on tape.
From there I went to Maryland. I've seen them play two games live and I had watched them on tape from last year so I went in there and watched tape from this year and went to practice and visited with coaches. They all wanted to know how Vernon is coming along with the leg injury. One of the coaches I had talked to his grandmother right after it happened so he was pretty up to speed on it. They've got a corner, Josh Wilson, who is a very interesting player because he's a kickoff returner too and he's averaging 30-plus yards as a return. He took one back against Georgia Tech that will go down as 100 yards although he was two yards deep in the end zone. He's got all of the intangibles and will be with an NFL team next year.
I then went to Towson State which was another second visit for me. If you remember, they've got a left tackle who is very big. I watched practice, last year's tape and this year's tape. He has great size, and he's athletic. He's playing a lot nastier than he was earlier in the year, so I'm glad I got to go back in and I think I have a better feel for the kid. I also watched more Maine tape because they had played Maine the week before. The safety at Maine is becoming a more and more intriguing player with his size and athletic ability, and he's got a chance to if not be a safety, possibly play at linebacker.
On Thursday, I was back at home just working on reports, being a dad and trying to get on the good side of my wife Nancy.
It was back to work on Friday evening when I went to the Brown/Princeton game which was the first Friday night game in Ivy League History. It was on ESPNEWS. I was there to see a linebacker from Brown who I talked about a few weeks ago in my blog, Zak DeOssie. He's got great size. He can run. Even though he's been at linebacker all four years at Brown, he had played quarterback up until that point, so he's still got a ways to go in terms of being a top notched defensive player. He's still learning things like recognizing different plays and getting off blocks, but once he sees it, he goes and he can really run like crazy. Unfortunately, his team did not win. It was close in the first half but Princeton really took it to them in the second half.
I enjoyed my 20th high school reunion, Lawrence High in New Jersey, on Saturday night. It was really a lot of fun, much better than I anticipated. I've kept in touch with a handful of guys but there were tons of people I hadn't seen in 20 years and once you start talking, it's like they haven't changed at all. My high school is 40 years old and a current class there is doing a documentary and they chose our class because we are the halfway point so they had a film crew at the reunion. My best friend is now the high school football coach there, and we all played together back in the day so as always, my night included a little bit of football as we rehashed old high school football stories.
I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning just catching up with my old friends, so Sunday I just caught up my rest and recharged my batteries for another long week on the road. I checked the scores on 49ers.com on our game.
This morning I left the house and drove 450 miles to Virginia Tech and I'll be going in there tomorrow. I try to just have snacks while I'm driving so I can avoid Fast Food spots, and then get a decent meal in the evening. Tonight I'm meeting up with a Bears scout and we'll watch the Monday night game between the Cardinals and the Bears which obviously has an impact for both of us.
I told my wife I would not whine about cell phone or elevator etiquette this week, but I'll be back to my ways by next week and I'm sure I'll have a few things to gripe about!
- Todd Brunner