Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the recruit: Kirk Garner

Name: Kirk Garner
Position: CB
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
School: Good Counsel
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180

24/7: 89, three stars; #28 S, MD #12
ESPN: 79, three stars; #38 CB, MD #12, Atl. #67
Rivals: 5.8, four stars; #30 CB, MD #9
Scout: three stars; #48 CB

Other offers: Florida State, Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia, NC State, Michigan State, Boston College, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Purdue, Navy, various others

June's commitnent frenzy brought in its biggest fish as a pleasant start to a weekend in the form of a Kirk Garner commitment on a Friday.  Garner had been a UVA lean all spring, but unsurprisingly took a little longer than his Good Counsel teammates to decide for UVA, given the heavy interest he earned from all over the country.  Besides those listed, for example, Michigan, among others, was moving in the direction of an offer, and the only thing that held Michigan back was that they basically finished their class of 2013 in like 2010.

Garner is a defensive back with average size but good speed and the flexibility to play safety or corner, though I'd call him a cornerback lean at the moment.  He's got fan-pleasing skills as a corner: ESPN praises his aggressiveness here, particularly against the run, and Rivals goes even farther: "In run defense, he does a great job coming downhill, locating the 'back and finishing with a violent hit. Garner has been known to fly in like a tracking missile: hard, fast and on target."  Rivals is prone to hyperbole, but you get the message.  They also like his physicality in coverage, and ESPN further points out a highly underrated skill for a cornerback: the ability to play a receiver's block and force the run inside where the help is.

So he's a likely cornerback, and both Rivals and Scout think his size will be the determining factor there, both calling him too small for safety.  They're probably right; Garner probably can't put on another 25 pounds to get himself to safety size.  Cornerback, of course, is going to be the toughest place on the field to break into in the next couple years.  Demetrious Nicholson will be there until 2014, Drequan Hoskey will not be disappearing any time soon, and the staff really likes Maurice Canady.  Competition is hot.

Still, you've got to like his odds.  A feisty player like Garner tends to endear himself to coaching staffs, and he's a high-three-star guy to the services but has a four-star offer list.  Part of that is from playing at a high-profile school where everyone wants to establish a presence.  But when you look that good even when playing across from Kendall Fuller, you're doing something right.  There could be some special teams work in Garner's freshman-year future, perhaps as a returner as he's had some success there this season.  Personally, I'd rather not see this; hopefully next year there'll be enough depth and talent in the program that we don't have to throw true freshmen out there on kick coverage, but London likes to honor guys' play-right-away wishes.  The better thing would be to put a little extra separation between Garner (and Tim Harris while we're at it) and the current starters, so that Garner is a redshirt sophomore when it's time for him to step up and start.


I'm really enjoying myself here watching Justin Verlander be Justin Verlander and if you're a baseball fan and you don't watch this guy pitch you're missing out on something special.  Non sequiturs aside, we check in on Senior Seasons.

Damascus 44, Rockville 0: Zach Bradshaw had two first-quarter touchdowns, one on yet another punt return, as his team had it easy this weekend.  Damascus is 7-0.

Good Counsel 22, Bishop McNamara 0: Quiet day for UVA's commits as Kirk Garner hauls in two passes and Brendan Marshall is 6-for-12 for just 68 yards.  OLGC is 6-1.

South Iredell 24, Bandys 13: LaChaston Smith ran for a 39-yard touchdown in his team's closest win of the year.  South Iredell is 8-1.

Hickory Ridge 63, A.L. Brown 42: Keeon Johnson is still injured and not playing, but I thought this was worth passing on: A.L. Brown (which also simply goes by Kannapolis) is such a force in their area that this was their first loss to another team in Cabarrus County since 1976.  Brown is 7-2.

Bayside 44, Tallwood 0: Taquan Mizzell went apeshit on Tallwood, racking up five touchdowns of assorted varieties and 150 receiving yards.  Bayside is 6-2.

Oscar Smith 47, Western Branch 13: Zack Jones caught a pair of touchdown passes at crucial times, before his team blew the game open.  Oscar Smith is 5-2.

St. Christopher's 44, Pope John Paul the Great 3: Playing tight end, Jack English caught a 68-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.  St. Chris is 4-3.

Salisbury 27, Worcester 21 (Sadiq Olanrewaju) - Salisbury is 4-0.
Gilman 47, Loyola 7 (Micah Kiser) - Gilman is 5-2.
Potomac 35, Osbourn Park 0 (Donta Wilkins) - Potomac is 4-3.
BC High 28, Marlborough 12 (Jack McDonald) - BC High is 2-3.
Monsignor Donovan 42, Pinelands 0 (Brad Henson) - Donovan is 4-1.
Houston Lamar 42, Houston Westside 7 (Hipolito Corporan) - Westside is 4-3.
Varina 56, Atlee 21 (Tim Harris) - Varina is 5-1.
Liberty Christian 36, Fork Union 33 (Malcolm Cook) - FUMA is 6-2.


Anonymous said...

There should be absolutely zero, absolutely zero reason to play Kirk Garner or Tim Harris next year at CB. Now, if the staff wanted to play them at safety ... okay (but Garner makes so little sense there, so really, the only two freshmen that could get consideration would be Harris, maybe Corporan if they thought about him there, and maybe Cook ... hopefully NONE of them play next year and all get red-shirted).

But CB is arguably 4 deep, with CJ Moore rounding out the foursome of Nicholson/Hoskey/Canady/Moore. (Here's where I make a remark about how Terrell being a better fit at CB).

There's a variety of size, speed, and quickness. It's hard to imagine any way that Garner/Harris/Corporan comes in and is immediately the nickel back ... so if the best case for his PT on defense next year is as a dime back, challenging Moore, then it's a waste to not redshirt the guys.

There should be more than enough guys lined up for ST roles that they don't need the freshman to absolutely step up and fill those roles (after all, the senior class isn't that big, so there's a lot of kids).

All that said, I'm expecting 1 or 2 DB's from this class to get idiotic PT that isn't necessary, and basically burning the redshirt. My hunch would be Harris getting some burn at safety (and making Walker a depth option at CB as well) and maybe Cook, with how he sounds physically.


On the matter of who should play next year from this class, let me add this - if Smoke is still with us on signing day ... I'd love to see him get redshirted. There's absolutely zero need to waste a year with Parks/Richardson/Sheperd/Morgan (big back, shifty back, and an all-around guy like Parks, along with whatever Morgan becomes), but let's face it, he's likely not going somewhere where he's getting burn his fast year.

The QB's should both be redshirted, for obvious reasons, and the WR's should be as well, after burning Severin and Gamble uselessly this year. On the OL, I'm open to them playing and getting PT if the staff feels they are ready, although I'm a believer that OL guys should almost automatically get redshirted unless it's elite talent.

Wilkins/English should be reshirted, and I've commented on DB's. That leaves LB's, where it's a bit up in the air. Brim got wasted this year when he should've spent the year bulking up and learning the playbook. He'll fight DJ Hill for a spot, with Romero/Coley likely battling it out at SAM. If Q isn't ready in the middle, Coley slides inside with Romero outside. Either way, there should be some depth ... but that's only on paper. I'm plenty curious if Kiser can step in at MIKE or SAM and challenge for PT right away.

Anonymous said...

I think Mizzell will simply be too good to keep off the field probably even as a freshman.