by Lee Brecheen
|Chad Harris – Acadia|
May 21, 2012 – The difference between tackles, guards, and centers when it comes to recruiting in Louisiana is very few kids are prospects that play the position in High School. The kids that play guard and tackle in high school will move to center and learn to play the position in College. In so many words you have to have the ability to project kids to play this position for college if you’re a college coach. I would like my readers to remember one important thing that’s a fact when it comes to playing Center in college football — you don’t have to be tall. The best centers over the years were anywhere from 6-0 to 6-2 in height with quick feet, great technique, strength, and leaders of the OL. My favorite center of all time, and I think the best center ever, was the late Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974 to 1989. Mike was at best 6-0, 255 pounds, but benched pressed 650 pounds and then some. He made the pro bowl nine times and was named All Pro over nine times in his seventeen years in the NFL. The best center in the NFL now from Louisiana is Todd McClure (Atlanta Falcons) who stands 6-1 in height and weighs 300 pounds. In High School he was 6-1, 245 pounds and played TE for Central High School then LSU in college.
In the list below, some of these kids do play center and some don’t currently for their high school team. If you have an eye for talent, like me, you can easily see the kids that could make this transition in college. My list is ranked again for the kids that are tough, have quick feet, good technique, are leaders, and all out strong kids. Some kids will move up with hard work at the end of the year and some will move down. This list was also made from seeing all the teams in Louisiana play from the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons.
Update: Brandon Godfrey from John Curtis High School has been added as the #1 center. He was originally ranked as #1, but was mistakenly left out of the final version. Sorry for the confusion.
1.) Brandon Godfrey (6-4, 290) – John Curtis High School
Brandon has been starting for three years at John Curtis High School. I remember watching him as a sophomore when he was in the 240 to 250 pound range in weight. What amazed me about this kid was his technique as a sophomore as a true center. His junior year, his technique got even better and he got bigger. Going in to his senior season for the year 2012, he’s at 290 pounds, and I’m excited to see his technique now that he’s filled out completely. His technique far advanced for many high school centers that I’ve seen in the last two years. His hand eye coordination, technique, blocking, and moving defensive lineman is on par with some college centers right now. He was born to play center, and he’s the best true center coming out of high school that I’ve ever seen at John Curtis, and they’ve had some good ones.
2.) Logan Murray (6-2, 250) – West Monroe High School
Here’s a kid who started off as a 10th grader at OG/OT, then moved to TE/OT as a 11th grader. In 2012 he will be a TE and OT for the team to help build a great front wall for the Rebels. Murray is 250 pounds with the feet of a TE (the position he plays), the hands of a center for blocking, and the toughness of a DI player. I think he will make the move to Center in College, and he has a chance to be as good as or better than former West Monroe Center Dillon Day. Dillon now starts for Mississippi State at 6-4, 290 pounds and has a chance to be All SEC in 2012. Dillon, like Logan, was only 250 to 260 pound his senior year, but he had the feet and was tough.
3.) Cameron Robertson (6-2, 285) – Airline High School
One big word to describe this kid as a future center or guard, but hopefully DI Center, is a big time mauler. When he gets his hands on you at the line, he puts you down. He’s a naturally strong kid who has the “it factor” for size and toughness. He’s fun to watch, tough, mean, and quick. He has played OT and OG for the team, but his natural position would be center for college.
4.) Jacob Campos (6-0, 260) – Jesuit High School
This kid doesn’t have the height, but remember centers don’t have to be tall to be DI players if they have the intangibles like he does. Jacob is really a tough, highly skilled, and quick footed player. I’ve seen this kid pancake and pull for run plays with several takedowns in a row. Most kids you see have a takedown every other series, but this kid is always moving and taking people out of the play for his QB for the run and pass. Jacob faces huge skilled Defensive Lineman every week, and he will be DI ready if someone DI gives him a chance and sees what I see. He has played more guard than center in High School, but the transition here will be easy for him.
5.) Nick Takes (6-1, 260) – St. Mary High School
This kid is the best DI prospect I’ve seen come from this small school since I started filming recruits in 1996. He’s tough, mean, and you can tell a leader because he’s all out. If this kid played for West Monroe, Carencro, or Byrd he would be viewed DI right now. Nick did not play center for his team in 2011 when we filmed him. He was more of a guard or tackle because the team needed him there more. He’s a great downfield blocker and gets after defensive lineman every play.
6.) Ryan Hoefield (6-2, 260) – Brother Martin High School
Here’s a kid that has more upside than anyone above, but I would like to see him be more aggressive than just in spurts in a game. He has great feet, nice size for the position, and is a very smart kid. When Ryan hits a college weight room he will be in the 280 to 290 pound range and keep his quick feet. Ryan could move to #1 on my list at seasons end if he gets more pancakes a game and turns it up a notch in 2012. Colleges Ryan likes are LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, TCU, and LA Tech. He’s had offers from LA Tech, ULM, North Texas, Florida International, McNeese State, and Minnesota.
|Ryan Hoefield – Brother Martin|
7.) Chris Nolan (6-3, 230) – West Monroe High School
How many high school teams can say they have two potential Centers for college on one team? Chris plays center for West Monroe and has all the intangibles, he just needs to fill out and gain another 20 pounds of muscle. I love his technique, and he’s strong for a kid just 230 pounds. Nolan will be 270 to 275 in two years, and he could blossom if he keeps working hard for the next level once he gets there.
8.) Chad Harris (6-1, 283) – Acadiana High School
One of the best offensive lines every year in Louisiana for a high school football team would be Acadiana in Lafayette. Chad Harris caught my eye run blocking, and he’s tough, aggressive, and will pound on you every play and hit you in the mouth as a blocker. In 2011 Chad was only 260 to 265, now he’s a bowed up 283 pounds of rock. Chad loves to play the guard position, but I smell Center for College for the right IAA or DI program.
Here are some other really good football players that have futures as centers in College at the IAA or DI level. These kids could move up on my list with a very good senior season. This list is alphabetical, and not ranked.
- Emmett Burton (6-1, 300) – Block High School
- Trey Cazabat (6-2, 288) – West Feliciana High School
- Brian Hernandez (6-0, 281) – Dutchtown High School
- Evan Lambert (6-3, 275) – St. Amant High School
- Scott Landry (6-1, 280) – Salmen High School
- Keijun Levi (5-11, 250) – Jennings High School
- Zach Rachal (6-3, 255) – Tioga High School
- Trevonce Thomas (6-1, 265) – Southern Lab High School