While many states around the country have delayed or postponed their high school football seasons, the state of Tennessee was in action on the first Friday night of the 2020 high school football season. That allowed for the first Heel Tough Blog Scouting Report of the year, as we scouted Brentwood Academy and 2021 4✮ Tar Heel OT commit Eli Sutton in his season opening matchup with Trent Dilfer-coached Lipscomb Academy. Sutton had a very nice outing, helping Brentwood’s offense move the ball up and down the field on the way to a season opening 29-19 victory for the Eagles.
The first half was a bit quiet for both teams, in large part due to an hour and a half rain delay that put a literal damper on the exciting opening night of football. Sutton still looked pretty good despite the Eagles struggles to move the football, dominating at the point of attack and really handling his own in pass protection against a blitz-heavy Lipscomb Academy team. He finished the first half playing every offensive rep and registering two knockdowns.
In the second half, Sutton took his play to another level. Once again, he was able to consistently overpower the Lipscomb Academy defensive linemen in run blocking situations, clearing the way for a rushing attack that led the way for the Brentwood Academy offense all night. The best run blocking rep of the night came in that second half when he simply blew up the down defensive linemen, pushing him ten yards downfield and continuing to manhandle him until the whistle. Sutton also had some great pass protection reps, headlined by his best rep of the night on the Eagles lone touchdown pass of the evening. Sutton called out the blitz pre-snap, helping his offensive line to adjust around him, accordingly. Off the snap, he was able to chip the defensive end to help his guard before using his long arms to get his hands on the blitzing nickelback to prevent him from getting to his quarterback. That allowed his quarterback, Tayler Montiel, to complete the long touchdown pass.
Sutton looked impressive to say the least on Friday night. His frame is impressive, but not as impressive as his violent hands and ability to simply overpower almost anyone who bothers him. His long arms and athleticism allow him to handle quicker players off the outside with relative success and his pass protection skills as a whole are impressive. He is as complete of an offensive tackle prospect as we’ve scouted in the past few years and is a prospect that Tar Heel fans should be excited to get into the offensive line rotation next year.
As of right now, Sutton is the only 2021 Tar Heel commit in action and it looks like it will be that way for a while. For that reason, we do not have anything set in stone for next Friday, but will be looking at a handful of 2022 and 2023 targets for possible scouting options.