People call him “Jay.” He’s 6-1 and weighs 230-pounds and lists RB and OLB among his positions.
He’s a ’23 prospect coming off an incredible performance at the Rocky Top Sports Center and this year’s Appalachia Prep Combine (APC). His star, owing to that performance, is on the rise.
If you haven’t heard of him (yet), particularly if your favorite team doesn’t play in the 5A classification’s 7th-District, then, borrowing from a modified to fit our purposes lyric from Jay-Z’s hip-hop hit, Public Service Announcement, “Allow him to introduce himself…”
His name is J’Veontae Emerson. That’s “J” to the “Ve.” His ’20 stats, over 8-games, were fairly pedestrian.
Sure, he was the team’s second leading rusher in the shortened ’20 campaign, and its 5th leading scorer, but he only gained 202-yards rushing in 34-carries scoring 3-TDs in his 8-games of play while tallying 18-points. On defense, he had 4-tackles.
The offseason is where pedestrians transform into the stars of tomorrow. The combine and camp circuit is where an athlete, like Emerson, can have his coming-out party and give the football world notice he’s arrived and will have to be dealt with in coming seasons.
District 7, consider yourself notified. This year’s APC was Emerson’s Débutante Ball.
Emerson left the APC ranked the 3rd best RB-prospect at the combine. He was the RB’s MVP, which may seem like a contradiction, but it isn’t.
You see the positional MVP’s are selected the day of the combine and have to do with the staff’s impression of your performance in the agilities, one on one’s, and the Seven’s portion of the camp. It takes a few days to get the statistical analysis back from the time-trials portion.
The ultimate position rankings take the whole enchilada into account, including the statistical analysis which was unknown at the time MVPs were selected. Therefore, there is often positional, day-of, MVP’s who don’t rank No. 1 in the positional rankings when they get released a week or so after the combine.
Regardless, there can be little doubt Emerson punched his ticket to the “prime time.” We talked to the Director of the APC, JT Powell, and he sang this prospects praises. You can color Powell impressed with “J” to the “Ve.” Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.
Looking over his numbers from the APC, his numbers don’t overwhelm you, until you take his 230-pounds into account. He had a mid-4’s laser-timed shuttle, which demonstrated his change of direction speed and athleticism. His height and weight, coupled with his athleticism were where you want to see a top-notch prospect at either RB or OLB heading into his junior-season.
If we were going to give Emerson any advice at all, we would tell him to work hard, either in the gym or on the track, on shaving time off his 40-yard dash. His laser-measured 5.29-second, 40 is moving at his size and he has two years to get it down around the 4.6’s; but we see him as a next-level fullback, or H-back in the Spread’s run-package, offensively; so, we know the number those D-I programs will want to see from him in light of where his frame will position him at that level of competition.
If you’re looking for a “play-alike” from the not-too-distant, KHSAA past, look at ’20’s Jariah Hightower from Madisonville North-Hopkins. Now, we can’t say for sure Emerson will match Hightower’s production over Jariah’s last two seasons. What we will say is, if similarly utilized, we think Emerson could be similarly used and similarly productive and that is quite the mouthful (look it up).
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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