High School Sports

September 26, 2013

Baxter’s mailbag: Sept. 25

How good is Matt Colburn of Dutch Fork? Is he the best 2015 player in the state?

Jim Baxter answers select questions from his Twitter followers:

How good is Matt Colburn of Dutch Fork? Is he the best 2015 player in the state?

Matt Colburn is an outstanding high school running back. He’s got a great package of speed, power, elusiveness, and vision — all vital tools for being a top back. Running back is an explosive position in an explosive game and he has that explosiveness. Differentiating between “player” and “prospect” is important. Among all prospects from the 2015 class in South Carolina, I would have defensive end Shameik Blackshear of Bluffton and linebacker Jonathan Sutton of Swansea as the highest-rated players. In terms of running backs, Colburn is amongst the best in that class in terms of players. I do feel that size could be an issue with his prospect status in the BCS world. He has the potential to play on Saturdays — which level that might be remains to be seen. But enjoy watching him now as a high school player; he is a very bright talent.

What is going on at Lugoff-Elgin? Will they win a game this year, and do you think it is time for a change?

I’ll answer the last part first. No, I do not think it is time for a “change.” Scott Jones has done a very good job, and despite a couple of rough seasons, he is the man for that job. The move to 4A has not been kind to the Demons, but it hasn’t been without fruits. In 2010, their first year in 4A, they went 4-1 in region play. But like a lot of programs (Gaffney, Rock Hill, and Summerville included), they hit some rough times and have lost talent to attrition. It happens. I do think they will win a game this year, perhaps two. If they play good defense, maybe three. But looking at their feeder program and what they have on roster now, I believe next year could see the Demons come out as a pretty good football team. Have patience and appreciate the positive impact that your coach has on the kids not just as players but as young men.

You did a story on under-the-radar players last week on SCVarsity.com. Who are some of those types of players in the Midlands?

There are a lot. I’ll go through a few here, and I’ll do a complete write up on them on SCVarsity.com: Michael Knox, QB, C.A. Johnson; Jakayus Leaphart, RB, Gilbert; Gage Smith, OL, Gilbert; Grayson Chumley, LB/RB, Lexington; Hassan Belton, LB, Blythewood; Denzel Martin, QB, Camden; Quinn Jones, RB, White Knoll; Kyle Stinson, DB, Brookland-Cayce; Avery Armstrong, QB, Dreher; Shon Belton, QB, Lugoff-Elgin.

There are many more; hit me up on Twitter @scvarsity and we can go over more players.

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