Posted On: 03/1/21 11:22 AM
Don’t sleep on the Dakota’s as there are some hidden gems that could provide a ton of value at the next level. I took a look at some of the top prospects in the 2023 class from South Dakota in particular. Here are a few prospects to keep an eye on.
ATH: Taylen Ashley Taylen Ashley 6'0" | QB Sioux Falls Jefferson | 2023 State , 6’, 160, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, SD
I’ll say it right now, I’m buying stock in Mr. Ashley. Man is this kid fun to watch. He’s like Houdini when evading tacklers and can extend plays almost like it’s second nature. Two things stuck out to me right away about Ashley, number one being that he’s such a talented vertical baller thrower on the move. It’s not easy to find guys who can set their feet, find a target and push the ball downfield. Secondly, Ashley has the timing of a wylie veteran. It’s catch and throw with him, with no wasted movement. He’s got to add a little a weight and clean up his footwork at times, but man does he have a high ceiling.
LB: Richard Benege Richard Benege LB SF Roosevelt | 2023 State , 6’2, 225, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, SD
A physical run-stuffer who can play in both a 4-3 & 3-4 scheme. Richard is quick diagnosing the run and can fight off opposing OL’s punches. On tape, he’s been extremely disruptive as a pass rusher and forced multiple quarterback hurries in 2020. Benenge already looks like a Division one linebacker on size alone and could easily add a few more pounds if need be. The one thing I’d like to see from Richard is his ability to unlock his hips and sink into coverage. He’s shown a ton of upside as a run stuffer, but if he can show he has no issues as a pass defender, watch out for this young man.
RB: Gavin Ross Gavin Ross 5'10" | RB Harrisburg | 2023 State , 5’10, 190, Harrisburg, SD
Exceptional vision and a mean running style with the ball in his hands. Ross keeps his feet churning on contact and is rarely brought down by the first tackler. It was not uncommon to see him drag a tackler with him that got in his way. Gavin is a true workhorse who can easily take the beating of 30 carries a game and won’t flinch. He’s a north-south runner with solid acceleration on top of it. Due to the lack of game film in 2020, we weren’t able to see a ton of chunk plays out of him. However, I really do think he’s gonna take a big step forward in 2021 and put up some serious stats as a junior.
OL: Kael Miedema Kael Miedema 6'8" | OL SF Washington | 2023 State , 6’8, 310, Washington, SD
A massive human being who will overwhelm you with his size. Kael plays with great hand placement rarely getting outside the defender’s breastplate. He’s a solid down blocker and can put defenders into the turf with ease. I was shocked at how light he is on his feet as a pass protector and his ability to redirect laterally. He’s still developing and has got to work on not lunging at opponents as a run blocker. However, the potential is most certainly there. I think this is a Division one kid with freaky athleticism that will develop nicely over the next two seasons.
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