320-pound 8th-grader looks to crack the starting lineup in ’23
Matthew Stephens is a large, large young football player who moves way better than most expect. Stephens was on the Future Stars team in ’22 and, as we have discussed, ad nauseam, that is the premier program for football prospects in the commonwealth today. Young bigs can be difficult to evaluate. Three-hundred and twenty-pounders who move like Stephens aren’t that hard to forecast for stardom, or it wasn’t difficult for us.HB Lyon, Scouting Division, KPGFootball
Bethlehem High plays pretty good football. Come to think of it, Bardstown, Kentucky plays right good football at every high school for which that community stockpiles roster talent.
We have before discussed Kentucky Future Stars. For our money and year in and year out, that program produces the best football players of any other all-star program hosting Kentucky football playing talent throughout Kentucky.
Matthew Stephens fits the bill of outstanding, Bardstown-area and Kentucky Future Star caliber roster talent. Stephens is a load.
Stephens is 6′ tall. Now before everyone jumps up and down and claims “he’s too short;” remember, he’s in 8th-grade. Who knows where his frame will top-out.
Frame wise he’s a “short-neck” kid. Short-neck kids, with wide shoulders, generally are a bit stodgier in the height department than their narrow shouldered, thin necked compatriots. Short neck kids are also often powerhouses with excellent leverage who are quick and play with excellent leverage particularly in the down-hill, power run attack.
Stephens projects to play OG/DT in high school. We would think he would start out at OG and move into a both sides of the line of scrimmage performer as he matures.
At the eighth-grade level, Stephens was an immovable object. He was the same for the 7th-grade Future Stars team and will be the same for either high-school, be it Bardstown or Bethlehem, wherever he should elect to play in the Fall of ’23.
We believe he will be an Eagle (Bethlehem). Should he end up a Tiger (Bardstown High), it wouldn’t shock us.
We were able to talk with Ricco Hughes, the Director of Future Stars football, over the phone about this prospect. Hughes told KPGFootball the following: “Stephens has really good size and the physicality to match. Stephens’ 6ft., 320-pounds was a force in the trenches last year on our 7th grade team.”
The Kentucky/Tennessee Future Stars Classic is right around the corner. We believe Stephens will play for Team Kentucky this year, like last.
If I were a betting man, that would be my wager. Place your bets!
This is Fletcher W. Long, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!
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