Name: Henry Coley
Hometown: Virginia Beach
Scout: two stars
In yesterday's post I mentioned I was a little bit tired of looking at the group of defensive commitments we have and wondering what we see in them that nobody else does. That's basically Henry Coley, only with a little bit of a twist: here I have to find a reason why nobody else offered.
See, Coley's got all the looks and attributes of a perfectly solid mid-to-high three star talent that half the mid-Atlantic ought to be coming after. He's a two-going-on-three-year starter at a big high school in a football hotbed. (Bayside is actually pretty mediocre, but it's their offense that sucks, not their defense.) He's got quality measurables (40, shuttle time, etc.) He's got a college-ready body. He's got the stats to back it up (93 tackles and 9 sacks.) What he doesn't have is offers or stars.
I'm gonna take this opportunity to go off on a little tangent and riff on the inexplicability of star ratings. Here's Andre Whitmire. To Scout, he's the 35th best middle linebacker in the country. Take a look at his measurables from the Scout combine and compare to Coley's. Coley is bigger, stronger, and faster, the main difference between the two being that Coley registered forty fewer tackles. But Coley is a two-star and Whitmire earns three. If stats were all the difference, Kevin Parks would certainly have more than the measly two they threw his way. So either I'm missing something by not watching barrels of film on the guy (and admittedly I don't see things through the eyes of a coach or talent scout) or star ratings are random as hell. I'm going with both. Once you get past the top, oh, 25 or so players in the country at each position, there's a lot less space separating everyone else in the top 100.
It might not help his cause in the star-ratings department that he's an outside linebacker in most of his film but projects inside at UVA. That's good for us. As I mentioned, Coley is already a college-sized kid at 230 pounds. Darren Childs is a projected starter at ILB and he's listed as 6'1", 233.
So, again: why the collective overlooking of Henry Coley by schools and scouting services alike? Here's my SWAG: Coley isn't completely overlooked; we know this to be true. Tech, Maryland, UNC, the usual suspects, they've all been looking at film and whatnot. However, Coley's film is mostly at outside linebacker, and these schools took a look at how big he is now and figured there's no way he's gonna stay on the outside in college, he's too big for that, or he will be by the time he shows up on campus. So they wanted to wait and see how he does in the middle in actual game situations and offer after that. Temple and Navy and such can afford to go ahead, he's better than anyone they got anyway. Al Groh is a big linebacker guy, though, and he thinks he can mold everyone into Lawrence Taylor. And he's often right. So he pulled the trigger, and Coley duly committed.
Coley will be walking into a favorable situation, too. Not counting the true freshmen coming in, ILB's a little thin. Steve Greer looks ready to beat out all comers for one of the starting spots, and nothing against Steve Greer, he looks solid (if smallish), but he's a redshirt freshman, and if the sophomores and juniors in the battle can't beat out a freshman, then Coley, who doesn't need to bulk up much to play right away, should at least be poised to give them a run for their money.