U Sports Recruiting Analysis (AUS): MTA add talent from across the country

Overview

Mount Allison missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but they’re looking to bounce back with a quality class of rookies that come from six different provinces. That shows the hard work their scouting staff has done to try and turn around their fortunes by turning over every rock they come across in the country, and even though it’s a small class to evaluate, I was very impressed with the amount of playmakers they were able to bring in. It should be noted they have four quarterbacks on the board which makes up 1/4 of their class right now, and that many bodies will create a ripple effect of storylines in the near future.

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Top of the Class


DL Reece Martin (Harrison Trimble, NB)

The Mounties did a wide sweeping search of the country for talent, but one of their prized possessions is Reece Martin who developed right in their own backyard.

Martin played his high school days at Harrison Trimble, and he was an animal on the defensive line with his quickness outmatching any linemen he went up against. He’s got a long frame at 6’4″, 255lbs, and you can tell he’s a natural pass rusher who can take over a game if he gets the right matchup, plus he’s good closing gaps fast whenever teams run the ball his way. He was impressive enough to earn a spot on our CFC Atlantic All-Star Team in 2017, and he could be up for more all-star nominations in the future if he continues to grow at MTA.

DL Brendan Seymour (Leo Hayes, NB)

MTA covered the edge with Martin, and they found a partner for him in the middle in Brendan Seymour out of Leo Hayes.

Simply put, Seymour is a pillar in the middle of any defensive line, and he displays every quality you’d want in a defensive tackle. He’s got a massive body at 6’5″, 300lbs that can clog up any hole, and he’s also got great pursuit for a guy his size and motor that never quits. I like that he’s also got active hands batting down balls if he’s unable to find his way to the quarterback, which shows a lot of maturity for a defensive tackle with his abilities. He could be put his head down and just bull rush every play, but he’s just as passionate about deflecting a pass as grabbing a sack, which is one part of the game you can’t coach. He should develop into a guy that needs double teams to slow down, which is a gig that doesn’t show up on the score sheet, but it opens up some real estate for his fellow linemen to do damage thanks to the attention he’ll receive.

LB Jordan Melo (King City, ON)

MTA got a lot of action from outside their home borders, and they found a versatile gem in Jordan Melo out of King City.

Melo got to experience the final season of 12 on 12 football in the YRAA, who’s switching to 9 on 9 next season, and he made sure to make it count finishing with a 4-1 record and spot in the finals against CFC50 Huron Heights. They came out on the wrong end, but they never would’ve got there without Melo playing all over at linebacker, defensive end, slot back and running back. This allowed him to become a great all around weapon, and I imagine his work on offence made him a better defensive player overall with the extra knowledge he gained. He’s perfect size to play outside linebacker at 6’2″, 210lbs, and if he can add some more speed to his game he’ll become a real force in the AUS. He’s already a reliable tackler with great instincts in coverage, and I think he could crack the lineup early with a spot somewhere on special teams thanks to his toolbox full of skills at multiple positions.

REC Brad Blizzard (Hampton H.S, NB)

We head back to New Brunswick for our next prospect, and the Mounties got themselves a throwback in brad Blizzard out of Hampton.

I say that in the most positive of light, because Blizzard is the type of receiver who keeps teams alive in the fourth quarter when they either need a first down to extend the drive, or ice the game. He’s got good size at 6’2″, 195lbs, and he handles a lot of his business with shallow routes into the flats where can find any open space, then once he’s got the ball he’ll pull off moves for days until a couple guys can finally drag him down. Speed isn’t his main game, but he’s got a great set of hands and will catch safety’s off guard down the seam if he’s been busy working underneath all game. You can give me speed a flash all day, but it’s receivers like Blizzard that teams thrive on for the tough yardage when it matters, and I can see him developing into a very nice prospect for the Mounties down the road.

QB Drew Besco (St. Stephen’s, ON)

There’s four quarterbacks signed to this class, but I believe Drew Besco out of St. Stephen’s is the most university ready prospect they’ve got on the board.

That’s no slight to the other guys, but at 6’4″, 200lbs, Besco has that prototypical frame that every scout is looking for in a future starter. He also comes with all the right attributes including a big arm, he always steps into his throws, he’s got great pocket presence, can throw on the run, accurate on the sidelines, and on top of all that he can also run a little option if they ask him too. Besco is still raw, but there’s no real flaws in his game at this point, and he’s only going to get better on all of the above with every rep he takes at the university level. Competition is going to be red hot in training camp, so he’ll have to make sure he continues to work with the same drive on the East Coast if he wants to become the future starter at MTA.

Under the Radar


RB Jelani Yorke (Clarington Central, ON)

I always says Toronto doesn’t get enough love in football circles, and Jelani Yorke is another T-Dot prospect who’s flying under the radar all the way to New Brunswick next season.

I’ve known about Yorke for a little while, and what impresses you the most is his ability to escape tacklers when it looks like he should be caught dead to rights. Sometimes it’s only an extra five yards, but every yard counts and you never know when he’s going to break free for the big one. I also like the fact that even though he’s a speed first type of guy, he’s clearly worked a lot on his hands and is capable of running the full route tree with high efficiency if MTA ask him to play receiver. Right now he’s listed at running back, and his skillset is well suited as a scat back who can hit the home run, but personally I really like his work in the slot and think he could find a permanent home their during his university career.

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