When we first came on line we doggedly refused to feature any player below the eighth grade. Our theory was kids just weren’t far enough along physically to make much of a determination about the kid’s future from his tearing up Jr. Pro or seventh-grade football.
Then Kentucky Future Stars added a sixth-grade game. We were critical of that move and complained about it to Future Stars’ Director, Ricco Hughes.
We covered the games that year and, truthfully, the 6th-grade game may have been the best played among the three. Now, we are football experts so our remarking the game was well played means more than the toss-sweep to the tallest, fastest kid worked every time. The game we watched, from a fundamental standpoint, was a work of art.
So, we started covering some younger kids. We still insist the under-8th graders prove their merit somewhere other than in Jr. Pro or MS JV ball, but we do feature the younger kids now.
A young man who fits the bill for us is Whitely County’s Demetrius Parker, whose film we will insert into this article (probably below his picture to the right). Parker, we believe you will find, is far from the average rising 7th-grade footballer.
We have seen film of him housing the toss-sweep, which really isn’t that impressive at the Jr. Pro level because kids develop on different time-clocks. What we mean by this is not all 12-year olds are the same. There are some 12-year olds far enough along physically that they should house every toss-sweep to the wide side of the field.
We have seen 12-year olds who practically look full grown and can clip off 40’s in the 5-flat range. Those type 12-year olds are indefensible in regular, league play, especially running wide.
Some of these guys when they are 16, look exactly the same and aren’t much faster. When they get older, they can’t just run-wide anymore and gain the edge like when they were Jr. Pro-Superstars.
So what makes Parker different? Well, several things; and we are pleased you asked.
First of all, some of the highlights were Team Kentucky, 6th-grade, FBU-Elite highlights. While the overdeveloped 12-year old may dominate the local league play, that guy will see a lot of 12-year olds who are just like him at the FBU-elite or Future Star levels. Parker looks similar regardless of the competition, which means he is a standout and it isn’t just the other kids being…well…little kids.
Also, while we are talking about development, Parker doesn’t look like an early-developer to me. He is a long and gangly kid whose quick-twitch get-off hasn’t caught up to his top-gear, top-running speed yet.
This really isn’t a criticism. It means he’s framed out to get bigger, thicker, longer, and MUCH FASTER as he continues to grow and get quicker in his “get-off.”
This has to make Coach Irwin smile. Head football coaches at the high school level realize always having top-flight talent in the pipeline sustains, long-term, a healthy, vital, and WINNING program.
Demetrius Parker is a kid we expect will play MS-Varsity this coming Fall. We believe he will do to the talent at that level what we saw him doing to the kids his own age.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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