Young offensive linemen can be hard to evaluate. Sometimes size and frame can be somewhat of an impediment to mobility, quickness, and explosion. Some outstanding players at the middle-school level, upfront, aren’t framed out to project too well at higher levels. Some of the “framed out” kids don’t move very well or lack the core strength to play at an appropriately “sunken” level. Like I said, evaluating MS “Bigs” can be dicey, to say the least.
Of course, in the above paragraph we aren’t talking about superstars like Clark Kissick from Midway, Kentucky. We’re discussing your “garden variety,” average, young offensive lineman.
Kissick appears to be an altogether different type of 6-3, 290-pound rising freshman. For one thing, he looks to have inordinately long arms providing him the length to play outside several levels up, even should he play inside initially in high school.
Looking at his limb ratios (arms and legs) he doesn’t look done growing. We believe this kid will be a 6-5-plus guy before it is all said and done. Kissick also stars on the gridiron right now in contrast to the their best football is in the future-type guys.
Kissick has made FBU’s “Top-Gun” combine twice. Kissick has made FBU’s All-XOS Digital “Camp Team” for his graduating year (’25s).
Kissick was instrumental in Team Kentucky FBU’s run to the National Championship Game in Naples, Florida in ’20 (starting at left tackle). Kissick looks destined to factor into Team Kentucky Future Stars’ plans to beat Team Tennessee this summer, provided he’s selected to play, which appears, to us at least, to be a pretty decent bet.
Kissick is not alone among rising players Coach Dennis Johnson has about whom to be excited. Defensive lineman, Samuel Garrison (’25), is another future star which, absent Re-Do, appears poised to work into the varsity plans along the defensive front as early as the coming Fall.
What exactly makes Kissick different from your “garden variety” rising freshman big? Well lots of things really.
First of all, while Kissick won’t be the only 6-3, 290-pound lineman coming up from middle school into a Class 5A program like Woodford County (Believe it or not), he will be among the few who have that 290-distributed like he does. We have talked about it before today but when you weigh 290 and look as though you weigh 260-270 that means you have amassed sufficient muscle density to actually weigh more than you look like you should.
There is a story I will plug in here. I was coaching football at the high school level and we were weighing in the team for the Fall roster. One kid we had who was quite sloppily built was proud of the fact he weighed 6-pounds less than a kid we had who was an absolute, powerhouse freak. Now the powerhouse looked way thinner than the other kid but actually weighed 6-pounds more.
When the other kid told me of the weight disparity proudly (Hey, blank weighs six more pounds than I do), I told him we were running a football team here, not a Jenny Craig. The fact the thinner looking kid was heavier than his doughier counterpart was a credit to the work in the weight-room done by the heavier kid. Muscle is more dense and weighs significantly more than fat.
Kissick is well-put together for a kid carrying 290-pounds on such a young frame. Kissick isn’t fat, he’s big. This is football. We like big in football, especially where this big is routinely deployed.
We have watched some film on this prospect as he is forward-thinking enough in the recruiting process to already maintain a Hudl page. Looking at his Twitter followers, this is a good thing as he already has college programs following him. He’s on some recruiting boards with interested colleges charting his progress.
He needs to gain some explosion off the ball, but the same could be said about any player with his size and at his physical stage of development. He runs his feet well and his punch has some bite to it. We like the way he stays connected and after the defender throughout the play, until the whistle blows.
There was a play on his highlights toward the top where he fired off and made an initial strike which altered the defender’s path. The running back shot past him, but they reversed field and ran back towards Kissick a second time, giving the defender another chance to make the tackle.
As the defender was about to gather and tackle the back, Kissick hit the defender again, knocking him off the play. A lesser lineman would have been a spectator the second time. A lesser lineman wouldn’t have made the second block. That is why Kissick is “special.”
Anything which may be deemed “wrong” with this young player will be fixed with age and maturity. He’s a first-rate young big at his level of play and development. He’s a guy who is a threat to play, and play early, on Friday nights.
This is HB Lyon reporting for Kentucky Prep Gridiron reminding you that WE’RE JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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