By: Griffin Nelson, email@example.com
Sports Editor Griffin Nelson provides his analysis of the newest Dragon recruits who signed on for the 2019 season on Wednesday, Feb. 6:
Jenson Beachy: Perham High School/Perham, MN
By the numbers:
Weight: 185 lbs.
212-319, 2,952 yards, 34 Passing TDs
Jenson Beachy’s Senior Highlights via Hudl.com
That’s a heck of a stat line.
Beachy carries with him a slew of accolades. He set Perham High School records in career passing yards, completions and total touchdowns. He was the district QB of the year three times. He gathered district MVP and was named to the Viking Football All-State team.
Attributing “poised in the pocket” to Beachy would be a misrepresentation. Beachy seldom throws on stable footing, accentuating his lack of upper-echelon arm strength. When he does settle into a pocket, his footwork is very raw, not allowing him to throw on a platform.
Beachy throws a tight spiral with quick arm action, placing the ball with accuracy, if not with power, on short-to-intermediate routes. His most impressive throws came in the red zone, where Beachy displayed accuracy along the sidelines as well as some zip absent between the 20’s.
One throw in particular (2:23), Beachy throws his man open with a strike from about 20 yards out in the left of the end zone. His footwork is a little wobbly, but the play shows nice arm strength and ball placement close to the goal line.
Beachy’s defining attribute is his ability to escape pressure while keeping his eyes trained downfield. Several times during film he escaped duress, relying on his scrambling ability and a receiver’s acumen to find the open man.
It’ll be interesting to see if he proves himself able to pull off the same feats as the game speeds up. If so, it will be through the weight room, as he doesn’t necessarily blow you away with his speed.
As a senior, he showed enough strength to shrug off arm tackles in the pocket. When he is a runner, he keeps his pads low and has the ability to blow through defensive backs.
He’ll need to build up some strength to continue to excel as a power runner but certainly possesses the athletic frame to do so.
Beachy is a decorated local recruit with a ton of potential. He’ll need to improve some unpracticed footwork displayed throughout the film, but Beachy brings a component of slipperiness and a seemingly innate ability to improvise that coaches love.
If he brushes up his mechanics, Beachy can be a special player for the Dragons.
Max Carter: Rosemount High School/ Rosemount, MN
By the numbers:
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 180 lbs.
1,107 yards, 8 TDs
Max Carter’s Senior Highlights via Hudl.com
Contrary to the fellow quarterbacks the Dragons picked up in the 2019 class, Max Carter spent his high school years operating in a more traditional, pro-style offensive attack.
The majority of the highlight tape features Carter taking snaps under center. His highlight package hints at a more run-heavy attack, not excusing but certainly rationalizing the low production levels.
The handful of shotgun snaps Carter took was a mixed bag.
The predominantly quick reads from the shotgun lend itself to the type of passing attack MSUM has installed. Carter displayed quick arm action, decent arm strength with the ability to fit the ball into tight spots 10-15 yards down the field and nice touch on deep throws down the sideline. His footwork is advanced for his age and rarely throws off balance.
Carter showed the ability to make quick decisions on his drops, but an ugly habit will need a remedy.
On short routes like slants and flats, Carter too often keyed on receivers by burying his plant foot too quickly, giving up height and telegraphing where the pass was headed. Defensive backs become more instinctual at the next level and there will be no room to do them any favors, especially without flaunting special arm talent.
Even in a highlight package, there were some ill-advised throws made into coverage without formidable pressure. The Rosemount receivers, impressive in their own right, bailed Carter out a few times by high-pointing the ball amidst a couple of defenders.
This may illustrate the rapport and trust Carter shared with the corps, but the more dynamic defenders he’ll face in college will at least contest those prayers, if not pick them off.
Carter isn’t exactly fleet of foot but he’s sneaky elusive in the pocket under pressure. He’s clearly a multi-sport athlete. The majority of his throws on the run are on designed rollouts. He definitely favors rolling to his right (dominant side), and his hips are a bit stiff escaping the pocket against his body.
This is a hindrance for most quarterbacks but can be alleviated by giving up ground in the backfield while rolling out, gaining a more advantageous angle as you approach the line of scrimmage. Carter’s agile enough to make this play happen.
Carter showed enough raw arm talent to catch the eye of head coaches, despite the lack of statistical prolificacy that his two position mates produced in high school.
He displays solid athletic attributes, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up finding a spot in the receiving corps for a while as he cleans up mechanics and digests the brand-new offensive scheme.
Matthew Plasterer: Billings Senior High School/Billings, MT
By the numbers:
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 200 lbs.
3,052 passings yards, 37 TDs, 8 INT
Matthew Plasterer’s 2018 Highlights via Hudl.com
Never mind the gaudy statistics: Dragons fans have other reasons to get excited about this one.
You can start with the 6’4” frame, something lacking from the current crop of Dragons quarterbacks. Plasterer stands tall in the pocket and displays quiet feet and a solid foundation that help him deliver the ball in rhythm.
His footwork in the pocket is really impressive and allows him to throw with his whole body, apart from a few plays following a pump fake.
Whether or not Plasterer’s truly reading a defense or throwing to the open man is up for debate on the limited film available. But in an offensive scheme similar to that of the Dragons, Plasterer consistently throws to the open man, and does so with poise and accuracy.
Plasterer doesn’t boast a quick release like Beachy or Carter, but he makes up for it with serious arm strength. In one instance, he breaks contain to his right and lifts a ball 45 yards downfield on the run, hitting his receiver in stride.
Plasterer consistently drops deep throws “in the bucket,” giving the ball some air and letting his receivers run it down. He shows the ability to make throws to the sideline that, frankly, most quarterbacks at this level don’t have the arm for.
The red zone throws Plasterer makes are fundamentally advanced. He makes undersized receivers a threat in the red zone with his timing and positioning.
Plasterer is a pocket passer, through and through. He’s not much of a threat with his legs; he runs like a tall, skinny kid. But he has enough straight-line speed to keep linebackers somewhat honest if there’s a gaping hole. He was able to work outside edge rushers and break contain in high school, but that’s probably not going to continue into college.
It’s difficult to infer the full scope of any person’s abilities through their highlight reels. They’re subjective, by design, and attempt to mask potentially glaring weaknesses in a player’s game.
But Plasterer puts on an impressive show, demonstrating qualities that make quarterback coaches salivate.
Lacking the dynamic athleticism that the two other members of his position class flash, he needs to put some meat on his bones to prepare for the rise in the competition’s size and strength.
With Plasterer’s footwork and arm talent, he has the potential to become a critical piece of this class.