January 3, 2008

Offense-Defense East: Expert View

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Several prospects are making strong cases for higher rankings at the Offense-Defense All-Star game practices this week, including defensive end Earl Okine. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons provides his quick hitters from the East squad's Thursday workout.

Offense-Defense: East Team

Melvin Ray, 6-2, 185, WR, Tallahassee (Calif.) North Florida Christian

Assets: He is very quick in and out of his cuts, is a smooth route-runner and has good hands.

Needs improvement: He doesn't have ideal speed but he is plenty fast enough.

What was most impressive: He caught the ball naturally and was one of the few receivers that looked unphased by the cold weather.

Conclusion: He is a very effective big target who runs great polished routes.

Dejuan Miller, 6-6, 210, WR, Metuchen (Texas) Metuchen

Assets: His size and strength is what sets him apart.

Needs improvement: He tracks the ball well in the air but needs to work on catching it clean.

What was most impressive: He uses his big frame effectively and is a terrific option offer the middle.

Conclusion: He'll need to polish up his routes but he will progress very well in Oklahoma's offense.

Earl Okine, 6-6, 235, DE, Gainesville (Fla.) Gainesville

Assets: He has a long body, a huge wingspan and a great motor.

Needs improvement: He needs to gain strength in his upper body to be more effective in the pass rush.

What was most impressive: His effort off of the edge was impressive in the pass game, he really wants to get to the quarterback.

Conclusion: A big game on Friday night could mean a higher rating for a guy with an extremely high ceiling.

Nick Moody, 6-1, 220, OLB, Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic

Assets: Though he has the body to play linebacker, he moves extremely well at safety. He is very strong out of his cuts.

Needs improvement: He can work on his hips coverage.

What was most impressive: He rolled down to the line of scrimmage in man coverage on the tight ends and wouldn't give them an inch of room in their pass routes.

Conclusion: He has outstanding upside as an outside linebacker. There isn't a tight end he can't cover and he has a great frame to build on.

Devoe Torrence, 6-2, 210, RB, Massillon (Ohio) Washington

Assets: He has great size and strength and showed good feet in tight spaces.

Needs improvement: He didn't show elite straight line speed.

What was most impressive: Torrence broke off some nice runs where he showed quick feet and instincts. He looks natural with the ball in his hands.

Conclusion: He could play a number of positions at his size and athleticism however it is clear that he can be a productive back for Jim Tressel at Ohio State.

Bobby Massie, 6-8, 335, OT, Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy

Assets: He has a massive body and is very strong.

Needs improvement: He needs to be more aggressive and physical.

What was most impressive: He was patient with a flurry of pass rush moves by Keith Wells, holding him in check in pass protection.

Conclusion: You can't teach size and Massie has plenty of it but he showed that he is more than just a big body. He will be a good one.

Cordy Glenn, 6-6, 315, OT, Riverdale (Ga.) Riverdale

Assets: His strength is what sets him apart, he doesn't need to extend himself very much to hold off rushers.

Needs improvement: He is a little slow out of his stance.

What was most impressive: He went up against Okine and wouldn't budge, knocking him back with a strong punch.

Conclusion: He is still learning to pass protect but has good athleticism and loads of upside.

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