Due to some confusion with the timing of last week’s scheduled scouting report game, we had to take a week off, but we are back this week with the second scouting report of the season. Friday night was the opening night of high school football in the state of Florida, as two in-state powerhouses, IMG Academy and Venice squared off to begin their respective seasons. Two Tar Heel targets, one each in the 2022 and 2024 cycle, were on display tonight for the No. 1 ranked high school team nationally, as both Daylen Everette and Desmond Ricks played their first games in an IMG uniform after transferring from the state of Virginia earlier this summer.
Everette, a 2022 4✮ cornerback got the start for the prestigious IMG squad that on Friday night and had a solid first outing. Unfortunately, with how well the front seven did at pressuring the quarterback, Everette wasn’t tested that much, but there were still some good things observed from what he did get to show us. Everette was only targeted once on Friday night, a short hopped screen that he was in great position to make a play on had it been caught. While he wasn’t tested much, he did come up with one of the biggest plays of the game early on. In the midst of a big run from Venice running back Damarion Escort, Everette was able to catch him from behind and punch the football out, creating the first of what would become many turnovers on the night. However, without that early fumble, Venice would have been at midfield and could’ve been able to create some type of early momentum for themselves.
It’s tough to get a feel for just how good Everette really is on a night where the quarterbacks struggled to even get the ball out of his hands, but the technical aspects of his game look very strong. He looked good all night opening his hip and he has the speed that allows him to avoid getting beat over the top. He has good length and although we didn’t get to see it often, he can use his length well to separate himself and get off of blocks. I think the team’s next game against Edgewater and the mid-season matchup at Duncanville in Texas will be a better chance for Everette to showcase his talents.
Ricks, one of the Tar Heels two offers in the 2024 class, was able to get on the field on Friday night at the end of both halves, but like Everette, didn’t see a ton of action come his way. The one time that he was targeted wasn’t a highlight moment for him, as he got beat inside by the wide receiver and then missed a tackle leading to a late Venice touchdown. While that wasn’t Ricks’ finest moment, it’s important to remember that he is a freshman and that he is going to make some mistakes like this, but is plenty of raw talent. Ricks already has an impressive frame and good speed to go with it. His time this season will likely be limited with some of the depth in front of him, but the fact that he is already seeing playing time as a freshman at a school as prestigious as IMG Academy is is a testament to just how talented this young man is.
The Tar Heels chances with these two prospects will likely lie with whether or not they make the move back to Virginia at the end of the season. If they were to remain at IMG Academy, the Tar Heels would have their work cut out for them considering the ties that schools like Alabama and Michigan have with the school combined with the fact that Heels have never landed a prospect out of the prestigious program despite recruiting Florida heavily under previous head coach Larry Fedora. With Ricks especially, a move back to the 757 could be a big plus for the Tar Heels because of just how influential Dre Bly is in that area.