Area scout Todd Brunner is back for year three of his popular Brunner's Blog. Find out what he's been up to while he travels the East Coast looking for future 49ers draft picks.
Last Monday, I started my week at Villanova University. There was a linebacker there and two other guys, who are certainly good IAA players. But, we'll have to wait and see if they have what it takes to get to the next level.
That night, I drove over to Maryland and began my work on campus early Tuesday morning. They had 23 seniors to look at, which is the highest number of seniors I've evaluated at one school.
On the following day I visited Georgetown University, which is another IAA school. The Hoyas have a defensive lineman, Ataefiok Etukeren, who has some nice athletic ability. He's a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end.
In high school he was actually coached by Duane Carlisle, our head strength and conditioning coach with the 49ers back at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Etukeren asked that I please tell his former coach hello, so Carlisle, if you are reading, hello from your former player.
Following that visit, I drove down to UVA again since they were playing Maryland that Saturday. I thought it would be a good chance to catch them play again after seeing them open the season with USC. They've had some more games under their belt, so I wanted to see how they're performing at this point of the season.
A couple of the Virginia players really stood out, one of which was their left tackle Eugene Monroe. He's 6-6, 315-pounds and he's a big athletic kid, who is going to make a name for himself on Saturday of the upcoming National Football League Draft.
What was nice too was that the St. Louis Rams were on their bye week, so Chris Long was in town. I was able to spend some time with him, and I got his view on Monroe since he practiced against the big left tackle in practice every year.
I asked Chris, "Who would normally win those matchups?"
And he said, "Definitely not me all the time."
On Sunday, I drove 300 miles over to Marshall University and got there in time to type up some reports, while watching the Phillies baseball game. Once I wrapped up my reports, I walked across the street to a sports bar and watched the first half of our game against the Patriots.
I didn't have time to watch the whole game because I needed to catch practice at Marshall on Sunday night. They practiced again Monday morning, so I caught them then as well and then also watched tape of a wide receiver and a free safety. Both of which are very good and athletic. They are both names who will be popping up, in the All-Star games and during draft weekend.
My next stop was Blacksburg, Virginia to check out Virginia Tech. I visit the campus a lot, but this was the first time I had time to check out the memorial for the students who were involved in the tragic on-campus shooting. It was so surreal to see it because you see all the names of the people who perished that day, and the memorial itself. It was very tragic, but you can really see how the school has bonded together ever since that day.
As for the football team, they have a handful of guys with pro potential. The top guy everybody was here to look at was Macho Harris. He's a punt returner and corner. What makes him special is that he's a very athletic kid, and he has all the tools.
I had a 430 mile drive ahead of me after I wrapped up my time in Blacksburg, and when I'm in the car for that long, I usually listen to talk radio, playoff baseball games, football games when I'm lucky. I'll also call a couple of buddies, talk to my family, and when I get really bored, I usually listen to the comedy channel. Thankfully, I have satellite radio, which I think is an essential part of every scout's equipment. Especially in parts of the country that I travel to, it's hard to get good radio reception so satellite radio has been a life saver.
Until the next time…