A completely revitalized coaching staff brings a fresh approach and positive vibe to the 4-8 Blake Yellowjackets. Head coach Michael Burns has added huge names to his staff in former NFL RB Anthony Thomas and former NFL OT Anthony Davis. The Blake players were energetic, with eyes peeled and ears wide opening taking in the lessons and techniques of the former stars.
A number of players stood out during the high-tempo, organized practice. It was the first day in pads for Blake.
DeAndre James, 2013, RB – Although not in pads, looks the part of a Division I running back. A legitimate 5-feet 10-inches tall James needed one more day in just his shell after running at the state track meet. James showcased speed, great footwork and great hands during individual and 7-on-7 drills. He runs solid routs and has very good vision.
Josh Vizcanio, 2014, OL – “Big Country” has the potential to be a star. At 6-feet 3-inches and 298 pounds Vizcanio is surprisingly agile and moves very well. He has quick feet and uses his hands well. He’ll utilize his intelligence and football IQ, which far exceeds his age, as the Yellowjackets’ starting center in 2012.
John Franklin, 2013, DE – Franklin has improved leaps and bounds from 2011 having added around 20 pounds to his 5-foot 11-inch frame. He has learned a lot from OL/DL coach Anthony Davis. Franklin uses his speed to rush off the edge and is doing everything he can to perfect three moves (rip, swim, spin) which he hopes will give him the advantage over all of his competition.
Javon Kitchen, 2013, LB/TE – Kitchen has a nice frame and good burst at the point of attack. He’ll play on both sides of the ball, but appears to project as an OLB at the next level. At 6-1 and around 180 pounds Kitchen continues to gain strength and could stir up some interest as spring goes forward.
Richard Newton, 2013, RB/LB – A bit undersized by Newton is a fiery and full of energy. He ran the ball well during 3-on-3 hitting drills and moved well during 7-on-7.