Last Friday I took in the Middletown vs Springfield High School game. Middletown boasts Ohio State commit Jalin Marshall and Springfield is led by Ohio State targets Thaddeus Snodgrass and Davonte James, both of whom are juniors.
Middletown controlled the entire game and was able to take out starters during the 4th quarter. They defeated the Wildcats of Springfield 31-0. With Springfield keying on Marshall's ability to run, and Middletown having no problems with the Springfield defense, Marshall showcased his ability to get the job done through the air. He threw for three touchdowns in the first half. Marshall is probably not even 6 foot but did well from the quarterback position. Despite his success last Friday, Marshall projects as a wide receiver at the next level. I could also see him get action from the backfield in some cases.
Thaddeus Snodgrass showed off his blistering speed a few times against the Middies during the game last Friday, burning the Middletown secondary badly on three separate occasions. Snodgrass did not have a chance to catch any of the three passes, however. The first pass was a post pattern to the middle of the field which was underthrown by about ten yards. The other two were also underthrown balls and Snodgrass got mugged by the defender each time, resulting in pass interference calls. Snodgrass ended the game with only one catch.
I would like to see Springfield attempt to get the ball in Snodgrass's hands more. If they can not get it to him down the field, then other ways shoud be tried, such as getting the ball to him off the line of scrimmage. His speed and athletic ability are not in doubt at all from the two games I have seen. To get results, he will need better opportunities. Fans of teams hoping to garner the signature of Snodgrass on National Signing Day 2014 should not be worried at all by the lack of production in the box score from Snodgrass.
Davonte James had a quiet, but effective game from the defensive side of the field. He was used as a spy on Jalin Marshall to limit his running space for much of the game. He accumulated a few tackles in the losing effort before being hobbled by an ankle injury towards the end of the game. Davonte James is definitely good enough to play high level college football but with Ohio State in good shape with some other elite linebackers, he may struggle to get an opportunity to claim an Ohio State offer.