For fans of high school football, this is the beginning of the best time of the year.
I started by taking in 7-on-7s Tuesday night at Buchtel High School where the Griffins went through passing scrimmages (no contact) with East High School, Warrensville Heights, John F. Kennedy and John Adams from Cleveland.
You don't learn a lot from these things, but you can pick up on which players have potential to be successful on the field. For Buchtel, with respect to speed, it's a clear case of reload, not rebuild. It's evident that they have the athletes at skill positions despite losing Corey Smith, Nate Harris, Tyler Jones, Steve Parker, Marlon Oden and a total of 25 seniors overall. Look for Ernie Calhoun, Elijah Bell to step up.
Because they lost both quarterbacks to graduation, coach Ricky Powers has made a curious move, putting senior defensive back Jarrod Wilson into that offensive slot. He didn't participate in drills so there's no way to know at this point what he has, but Powers is obviously looking for some senior leadership. And Wilson, who verbally committed to the University of Michigan recently, definitely has the athletic skills. He, however, will split time with a sophomore at QB.
Speaking of the quarterback position, East QB Tevin Richards, who recently picked up an offer from Hampton University in Virginia, could be one to keep an eye for the season. I watched as he carved up the Ellet defense to the tune of 400-plus yards and six TDs during their game last year. Richards stands 6-foot-6, which allows him to see the field well, and has a canon for an arm, but shows a nice touch on occasion as well. He's raw, but there is a ton of potential there.
Tonight I will be at Tallmadge checking out Tyrin Williams and his teammates and coach Joe Vassalotti's team.