Monday, October 1, 2012

Phillips Exeter Defeats Choate

In a game filled with scholarship level talent, the Phillips Exeter Academy football team came from behind to beat Choate Rosemary 23-16 on Saturday in NEPSAC action. There were many potential scholarship players in this game, and 2 of them are from New Hampshire. Those 2 players are Jerickson Fedrick (Salem, NH) who plays for Choate, and Brennan Giles (Brentwood, NH) for Phillips Exeter. Both are doing post-grad years and are 2 of NH's top rated recruits from the Class of 2013.

The speed, size and strength of the players in this game was a notch above NHIAA football, no question about it. This game was played at a faster speed, at a higher level and was more physical than NHIAA games. It was like watching a college game. And that's nothing against NHIAA football. The fact is, these prep schools recruit players from all around the country to go and play for them. Not only that, but you can reclassify and do post-graduate years at prep schools so most of the starters in this game were 18 or 19 years old. These are both advantages that NHIAA schools don't have.

Again, nothing against NHIAA football. Most of the games are cover are NHIAA games. But the fact is this was a college level game with 2 potential Division I players from NH playing in it. Fedrick and Giles are both big time prospects and deserve the coverage.

This was a fun game to watch. Both teams really got after it, and there were freak athletes at every position on the field. Exeter has 2 running backs who are absolute beasts. Both QB's (Jonathan DiBiaso for Exeter and Quinn Shanbour for Choate) were big, strong kids with cannon arms and good mechanics. And Choate has defensive tackle Dan Piscatelli who was an absolute beast rushing the passer. Choate WR William Harris is also a freak athlete, as is the Exeter TE Davon Robertson.

Another kid from NH who started in this game was Exeter defensive back Stefan Soucy. Soucy is a tough cover corner with tremendous strength and is also a hard hitter. He is also a standout lacrosse player. Soucy is from Exeter and Giles is from Brentwood. If they went to public school both of them would have gone to Exeter High. The Blue Hawks won the D-I NH state championship in 2011 - imagine how good that team would have been if they had Giles and Soucy! Brad Tiernan, Adam Morin and Giles on the same o-line? That's a scary thought!

Like I said, both Fedrick and Giles are potential Division I college players. With Souhegan's Jake Kennedy already committed to UNH, these are the 2 best recruits from the Granite State still available for the Class of 2013.

Fedrick played his high school ball at Salem High. He helped the Blue Devils win a state title as a sophomore and was one of the most talented RB's the state of NH has seen in the last few years. Giles meanwhile played his high school ball at St. John's Prep in Danvers, MA where he was a standout lineman for one of the top programs in the entire state of Massachusetts.

Here's how they looked in this game.

Jerickson Fedrick, Choate Rosemary School, Running Back, 5'11", 205 lbs. - He is still the same dominant running back and freak athlete he was at Salem High. Choate is a team that likes to throw the football (they threw it MUCH more than Salem did when he was there). As a result, Fedrick moved around a lot, lining up as a slot receiver and going out for passes at times, and at other times lining up in the backfield and running the ball. He caught one screen pass where he was able to get out in space and gain some good yardage, as Exeter needed 4 defenders to bring him down. On one running play he was hit right at the line of scrimmage but Exeter couldn't bring him down, and he kept on pushing and ended up gaining 10 yards on the play - that time Exeter needed 5 guys to to bring him down. Fedrick was going up against a defense that was better than any defense he ever saw in the NHIAA and he was STILL making college level plays. Tough to beat his combination of speed and power.

Brennan Giles, Phillips Exeter Academy, Offensive Tackle, 6'3", 280 lbs. - Glad I finally got a chance to see this kid play in person, he's the real deal. He was usually protecting the QB's blind side, but they also moved him to the opposite tackle position at times depending on how the defense was aligned. No matter what though, Giles was in there every play. He's a big, strong kid who knows how to pay the game and holds his blocks very well. The Exeter QB got sacked twice, but on neither play was Giles the lineman who got beat. Sometimes he was blocking #62 on Choate and at other times he was blocking a DT who was closer to his size. Either way he got after it, pushing his guy around and providing excellent protection for the QB and also doing some effective run blocking. At 6'3", 280 lbs. he has very good size, but also has very good agility for a kid his size.

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