Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Could Sacramento linebacker become the next Sam Mills?

contributed photo
At just 5-foot-7, 175 pounds, Sacramento Charter two-way player Demetrius Watts already looks too small on the football field.

But too me, that's just for the offensive line.

He's not the biggest linebacker with that frame, but you know what, I'm sure the same thing was said to former NFL pro bowler Sam Mills, and look at the career he had.

Well, right here in California and over at the state capitol, it looks like we got perhaps a potential Sam Mills in Demetrius Watts (photo) to look out for.

After watching him closely, he already has versatility. The Dragons used him both inside and outside in their pretty versatile schemes. The Dragons, who play Division-III football in the Sac-Joaquin Section, bounced between a 3-4 look and also went with nine in the box on a few occasions. But Sacramento Charter allowed Watts to roam around. Playing multiple positions in the linebacking unit is already a plus.

He really scored points with me because of his mean streak. Not once did I see Watts miss a tackle after watching his film, plus even with his small frame he's running through blocks and blowing ball carriers up.

I've talked about in the past how small running backs are extremely effective with setting up blocks, since they're small enough to play hide-and-seek behind their 240-330 pound road clearer, then sprint for the goal line.

With defenders that have that similar frame though, the advantage they potentially bring is hiding behind a big defensive linemen, then coming out of nowhere and behind the lead blocker's back to disrupt the play. Watts, with his frame, is fully capable of doing that.

My gray areas for Watts is actually not his size when playing defense. Right now, its whether or not he can rush the passer. I didn't see much out of him in that aspect. Maybe his senior season the Dragons could allow him to blitz from the outside more. He also wasn't seen getting interceptions, so his play-making ability there may need some refining for the upcoming year.

Yet, his small frame actually gives him an advantage with his lower body, where he can get low enough to blow a play up. He's a tackling machine who can either be a strong safety that plays up to the line at the next level or, like Mills, stick to a linebacker spot.

He was also the starting center for the Dragons. With his frame, its good to hear he's moving to running back for his senior year, he's way too small for the interior line. However, he can use his past line play as an advantage, because he should know how offensive linemen think when setting blocks up.

Yes, he's small, but if you watch a Sacramento Charter game this upcoming year, you probably shouldn't miss him, he'll likely be around the ball.

MORE ON WATTS: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/528095/demetrius-watts#.UAUI3OPkA5M.mailto

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