Note: D1 Standout players are below, but before that I need to say a few words about the IMG game.
Friday night, the East high school football team played the top high school football program in America, and they came out the gates swinging for a knockout. I truly hope that everyone in Utah was cheering for East, when they played IMG. Anytime a Utah school plays an out of state school, we need to all support that program, because a win benefits the state, especially on the recruiting scene.
IMG was made up of many of the top high school players in the country. They are a handpicked – national All Star team, with players from California, Florida, New York, and everything between. Let this sink in for a minute. A team from Salt Lake City, Utah, that mostly lives within a 5-6 mile radius, went toe to toe with a national All – Star team; made up of many of the top athletes in America. In saying that, East played without one of their top lineman who injured his hand, during a physical practice right before the game, and they also played a half without their standout running back, Sione Molisi. Before Molisi was injured, East had IMG on the ropes ready for a knockout, and anyone watching that game can verify, if you somehow forgot; pull up the game film, and it will speak for itself. The East coaching staff out coached the IMG staff. Yes, I am on the record saying that. East was two injuries away from beating that team.
Coach Matich made a quote to Maxpreps back in the summer saying, “Trust me, my guys aren’t afraid of IMG”. Anyone who watched the first half of the game can verify, that East was from intimidated, they were hungry, and went right at IMG.
Now let’s get to the players. East has around 20 legitimate Division 1 caliber football players, on their team right now. We have quite a few East players in our database, and we’ll be adding more in the next couple of weeks. However, today’s write up is about the players who stood out to me against IMG. Many players who I already thought were great players; really showed me that they are some of the top players in the country. Here are the players with D1 performances against East.
D1 – All American Performances
RB Charlie Vincent (2019) – Vincent was the spark plug, that immediately put IMG on roller skates. He was a human highlight reel for the majority of the game. The junior was a home run threat every carry, especially the first half. IMG had no idea what hit ’em, when Vincent broke through the line numerous times, showing his skill and speed. There were times in the game where Vincent looked like the best player on the field. This is a theme that will become common as we continue with the East players. Vincent is a legitimate Power 5 – A PLAYER.
RB Sione Molisi (2018) – I thought Molisi was one of the best players on the field, until his injury. IMG had no answer for him. If the IMG RB’s are “5 star players”, according to many of the so-called recruiting experts, then Molisi, like Vincent should be considered one of the top running backs in America. Yes, I am saying that Sione Molisi is one of the top running backs in the country, along with Charlie Vincent. He is a legitimate Power 5 – A player. Pull up his game film against Bingham and IMG, who are both national powers, and you will Molisi run wild, against two stout defenses.
DL Apu Ika (2019) – Many consider Ika to be the one of top D-lineman in the state of Utah. However, after last Friday; Ika proved that he’s one of the top lineman in the country. The thing that really stood out to me was his drive throughout the game. He had no quite in him and played from the start, until the end, with a violent chip on his shoulder. IMG had no answer for him. Even when the game was out of hand, Ika never quit. He kept coming the whole night, while even laying a violent hit on IMG’s star QB. To put this into better perspective; Ika kept making plays the whole night against a mammoth offensive line, that is considered the top O-line in America. I already knew Ika was an elite player, but last night I learned that Ika is more than an elite player. He’s an elite player with heart, and that is rare to find. Ika is what of the top defensive lineman in the United States of America. If this young man stays focused, he can be playing football for a long time.
Ben Ford (2018) – Ford done a great job controlling the game. His biggest contribution came from his leadership. Ford came out relaxed, poised, and confident; while leading a deadly first half attack against a highly touted IMG defense. I’m a big fan of this young man. He will do very well on the D1 level.
Johnson Hansen (2018) – The DE/TE for East played a solid game. I watched him take on the IMG O-line and stuff them numerous times in the backfield. He done a great job taking on the pulling guard, versus the power scheme. You would have to watch Hansen’s performance in person to truly appreciate his game against IMG. He is another who will do well on the D1 level. I like what he brings to the table.
LB Nic Harris (2018) – This might have been one of Harris’ top performances, or at least the top one that I’ve seen from him. He made plays throughout the night, for the entire game, and did not back down against lineman twice his size. I was impressed by him.
East O & D line – The entire East O and D line are full D1 prospects, literally. They are all talented players and played a great game against IMG. I wasn’t able to focus on each player, but I was able to focus on the push, and the East line went toe to toe with them. I saw Angilau make some great plays on the O-line, while finishing blocks downfield. I also saw Maile playing great football on both sides of the ball. Putatau, is another that stood out to me throughout the game. He’s a tough player. Overall this line done a great job.
I’m sure there are other great performances that I missed. Usually, we’re able to pull up game film and review the games, but I was not able to find this reply of this game online. We’re looking forward to watching this team in the playoffs.