Back Prospect Review: ECI at Dublin

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Prospect Review: ECI at Dublin

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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This contest pitted two of the state’s premier pass rushers against one another, in FSU commit Curtis Fann Jr., and Steven Linton, who boasts over a dozen offers.

Dublin, Georgia – Though only week one, Dublin (Ga.) proved preseason polls inaccurate as the Fighting Irish, ranked #15 in GHSA-AA, used a stifling run defense and three interceptions to route Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County 42-7. Dublin outgained ECI 442 yards to 201 in a game that saw a combined 47 total yards through the air. This contest pitted two of the state’s premier pass rushers against one another, in FSU commit Curtis Fann Jr., and Steven Linton, who boasts over a dozen offers.

The outcome of this game should garner statewide attention as Emanuel County Institute is no slouch when it comes to GHSA-A (Public) football. ECI has won ten or more games eight times since 2006 while capturing two state titles. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs may have run into the most talented Dublin squad in over a decade.

Below are some of participants in this contest that demonstrated their football acumen and physical attributes on the gridiron. They are all deserving of attention by college recruiters despite playing at schools isolated within the state. All prospects are listed in alphabetical order by team

ECI

Eric Dixon, RB, 5-11/192 (2019)
Last year’s leading yards rusher for the Bulldogs did not disappoint carrying the ball 19 times for 126 while catching the only two ECI completions. Dixon has excellent size for a potential every-down back and will easily play at over 200-pounds in a couple years. He was able to show off his top end speed on two runs of over 30 yards, none more impressive than his 42-yard fake punt return from the up-back position. He appeared to be a competent pass catcher, attacking the ball with his hands, which is imperative for backs in today’s college spread offensive attacks. It’s hard to believe he is still awaiting his first offer.

Rivial Evans, DT, 6-2/290 (2020)
Possibly the most intriguing new name on the recruiting front could be this massive interior defensive lineman. Evans already possesses the ideal overall size and body type to project as a true nose tackle at the next level. My rough stats show that the behemoth recorded three and one sack on the night. At times he showed immense power and quickness off the ball, this young man has to show that effort on every play. Make no mistake the talent is there, it just needs to register with Evans. His powerbase is such that he can anchor down and take on more than one blocker.

Curtis Fann, Jr., 6-3/255 (2019)
One of the state’s top pass rusher was unable to show off his pass rushing skills as Dublin attempted just four passes for the entire game. Fann was able to show off his athleticism by disrupting a crucial third down pass attempt. His long arms and leaping ability were definitely on display on that play. He also tracked down two plays from behind, showing off his elite closing speed. Like most GHSA-A stars Fann also played on the offensive side of the ball at tight end. He had one devastating block driving the defender all the way to the sideline. The Florida State commit most likely projects as a weakside defensive end. 

Jeremiah Pullens, DT/DE, 6-1/270 (2020)
Pullens is a new name on the recruiting front for ECI and he projects at a highly south after position, defensive tackle. On the evening the defensive end/defensive tackle racked up six tackles. He plays with good pad level and uses his long arms and strong hands to keep defenders off his body. Pullens will project as an interior defensive lineman at the next level and should be able to play at 290-pounds in a few years. He also chases plays run away from him, displaying very good lateral movement for a big man.

Dublin

Jermaine Cooley, LB/RB, 6-1/223 (2019)
The senior linebacker definitely physically looks the part of a major DI prospect. Cooley has tremendous length and a great frame.  On the night he racked up six tackles, one TFL while carrying the ball seven times for 60 yards. No play was more impressive than his open field tackle on Dixon’s reception in the flat. Cooley has excellent lateral movement and very good top end speed. He could project as either an OLB or ILB in college. At this time he has offers from Chattanooga and Liberty. Look for more schools to jump on his bandwagon once senior film gets distributed.

Jacquis Evans, ILB, 6-1/225 (2020)
Evans, who played mostly defensive end and tight end as a sophomore, was pressed into duty at inside linebacker due to an injury to a teammate. And boy did this young man impress at his new position, which actually may be what he projects as at best in college. On a defense full of great looking bodies, Evans may be the most impressive on the hoof. To compare him physically to someone else in South Georgia, Trezman Marshall comes to mind. Evans was in on six stops before departing the game early due to cramps. This young man has the size and skill set to become a household name in recruiting.

Romello Height, DE/OLB, 6-3/210 (2020)
This could be a new name for most recruiting pundits, as Height recently transferred from Dexter (Ga.) West Laurens where he played receiver and outside linebacker. The transfer is so new that Height does not currently show up on Dublin’s roster or on their hudl page. This is the other very impressive looking defender that could project as an end or outside backer. Height recorded five tackles in the contest versus ECI. He possesses very good length and good closing speed. His frame will easily allow him to play at 245-pounds one day. Height is someone that all FBS and FCS recruiter should immediately put on their radar.

Steven Linton, DE/OLB, 6-5/205 (2019)
The pass rushing phenom did not get many opportunities to show off his skill set, but he did finish the game with five tackles and one sack. Outside of the sack his four solo tackles versus the run, only produced a total of two yards of offense. He also doubled as a blocking tight end leading the way for his team’s whopping 400 yards rushing on just 30 carries. Linton has the frame to eventually play weakside defensive end in college, but he may be better suited as an OLB in a 3-4 front. He possesses the speed and quickness to catch plays from behind and uses his long arms to keep offensive lineman of his body. Linton has over a dozen offers which include Arizona State, Louisville, South Florida, Western Kentucky and Syracuse.

Tyler Strickland, CB, 5-10/180 (2019)
Strickland currently has offers from Chattanooga, Georgia State and Mercer. Versus ECI he recorded three tackles, one INT and had the lone Dublin reception for 41 yards. Right now he looks the part of a speedy boundary corner with very good ball skills. He demonstrated serious hops and body control on twisting aerial theft. Strickland has hips on a swivel and reads and reacts quickly in deciphering the run-pass option. Playing versus the ECI triple option attack he did not get many opportunities to show off his cover skills, though he made the most of his opportunities. He is also the main kick returner for Dublin, though avoided the entire night with pop kicks.