Plant vs. Armwood
A battle of All-Suncoast players of the year: Plant quarterback Aaron Murray (left) and Armwood defensive end Ryne Giddins
Defense ruled the contest, as evidenced by the 9-2 final score in Armwood’s favor. Neither offensive line held up against the pressure the opposing defense brought. Plant had a tough time diagnosing Armwood’s 3-4 defense, leaving little time for Murray to throw and no lanes to run in. Armwood, won this one by scoring the only non safety score in the game.
I'll speak quickly about individual performances...
Kid is an absolute monster. He was all over the field and ensured that Aaron Murray had a long night. The only thing that stopped him all night was when his legs cramped towards the end of the game. That being said, it didn’t take long for him to get back in the swing of things, as he deflected an Aaron Murray throw that turned into the interception that killed Plant's last drive. I wish I believed that FSU has a chance, but I don't. It seems that UF has the inside track, with Armwood’s Gator head coach. USF is probably in a close second.
The stats don't tell the story of how hard this kid fought tonight. He has a strong arm capable of making all the throws. He might need to clean up his delivery a bit, but in college football that doesn't matter all that much, as long as it doesn't affect accuracy. He was on the run pretty much every throw. It would have been easier to evaluate him if his line was able to block Armwood’s front seven. I think he is very much deserving of his lofty national ranking, and should put up his typical numbers (based on last year’s production), now that Ryan Giddins, Man Man, and Petey Smith aren’t chasing him around.
I'm usually very skeptical about "big time" TE recruits. This is a very tough position to forecast. To me, a Tight End should block first, and catch second. There are hundreds of undersized high school tight ends who catch well. Most rankings, however, are based on pass catching ability, not blocking prowess. Orson seems to be used similarly to Antonio Gates, in that he was split wide for the most part, and didn’t do very much blocking. He does have great hands and caught most everything Murray threw his way. He would be a great get for the Noles, if for no other reason than to prevent him from becoming the next of the great Miami Tight Ends.
This linebacker was all over the field and moves very well, considering his build (stocky). I would expect him to follow his brother to Auburn, though he could end up with Alabama. It’s a shame that we slow played Eric (Petey’s brother) last year, because both would be assets to the undersized ‘Nole linebacker corps.