This is just another entry into what we refer to as the #NoDoubter series. This kid here is a No Doubter at a position you don’t always see early playing time.
Jace Hatfield is in the neighborhood of 6-2 and 260-pounds were we forced to guess. He was a two-way lineman for his middle school, Division 2, KYMSFA champion Corbin Redhounds. He was splendid on both sides.
Offensively, Hatfield was at RT. He fires off low and hard and plays at a pad level denoting upper-level core strength. We have seen varsity, 4A, high school right tackles not play as “sunk” as this kid.
We haven’t measured his arms. Just judging from what we have seen, both in pictures and on his highlights, he looks to have plus length.
Hatfield was devastating at the point of attack (first level), pulled, collected, and blocked at the 2nd and subsequent levels very well, and was violent and devastating at all three defensive levels once latched onto a target.
Get you some syrup and a spatula. He’s the flap-jack (slang term for pancake) King.
Defensively, Hatfield was an interior guy along the front. One reason we believe he has length is he plays like a kid with length.
We saw him use his arms and powerful grip to seize hold of would-be blockers and use his length to shed and rip them to the ground. Many of his defensive moves are moves long-armed kids naturally develop because of their length.
There are certain techniques long-armed kids have in the arsenal short-armed players don’t. Hatfield plays, really on both sides of the football, like a kid with good length which he’s accustomed to utilizing.
We’ve alluded to the fact his team won a championship this past season. People familiar with the landscape in the KYMSFA will not be at all surprised to hear this.
Corbin Middle School regularly plays for the title in Division 2 and they regularly come away with the championship. One reason is they routinely develop and benefit from the Jace Hatfields. Same reason the high school team seems to yearly be in the hunt for Class 4A titles.
As for how soon Hatfield hits the field to shine under those Friday night lights, it is hard to say. He is one of the more dominant middle school linemen we have seen. He’s also among the more effective, athletic, powerful, and explosive.
Of course those guys he’ll be grabbing this coming Fall won’t be middle schoolers. Many of them will be grown men.
Seeing early PT at Corbin is no simple proposition. Corbin has talent on the roster, year in and year out. He’ll be competing with grown men for playing time.
However, we are willing to go out on the line and predict he is on the opening night two-deep and we believe he will get starter’s reps as the season progresses. This is a kid coming down the stretch on whom the Redhounds will lean more and more.
Of course, if he gets in the offseason regimen and works his tail off, by this August there is literally no telling where he might be from a physical standpoint. Should he be in the opening night lineup, at either guard or tackle, no one around our magazine will be too awfully surprised.
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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