Friday, August 16, 2013

Sunflower League Preseason MVP Ratings

Jason Randall.
Preseason MVP Ratings
Player ratings are subject to change on a weekly basis.

1. Jason Randall, Running Back, Leavenworth

In three years as Leavenworth's starting tailback Randall has amassed 2,275 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Nobody would be shocked if he came close to or surpassed those numbers in his senior season alone. Randall will be the focal point of the Pioneers' offense in 2013, and if you haven't been impressed with him yet just wait and see what he's able to accomplish as a senior.

2. Joe Dineen, Quarterback, Lawrence Free State

A returning Elite Eleven member, Dineen is set up to have a colossal season for the Firebirds in his third year as a varsity starter.  Year after year, Free State quarterbacks put up big numbers in the team's zone-read spread.  Dineen might be the most talented athlete to man the quarterback spot under head coach Bob Lisher.  In addition to his quarterback duties, Dineen will also be the starting safety for the Firebirds, so he'll rarely leave the field.

3. Venus Triplett, Running Back, Olathe North

Based on the history of Olathe North running backs in Gene Wier's system, it would be reasonable to estimate that Triplett will record somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 rushing yards this year, assuming he stays healthy. As a sophomore he totaled 981 yards splitting carries, but this year he'll be the center of the Eagles' attack offensively, and it should be fun to watch.

4. Andre Maloney, Defensive Back, SM West

A returning Elite Eleven member, Maloney combined for 1,211 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior.  He's probably the most versatile player in the league, considering he'll be expected to play cornerback, wide receiver, run the Wildcat quarterback, and return kicks and punts for the Vikings this fall.

5. Ra'Keim Abdul, Defensive Back, SM South

Abdul, like Maloney and Dineen, will be expected to fill a variety of roles for his team. With the loss of Gabe Guild to graduation, don't be surprised if Abdul sees an increased role carrying the ball offensively.  On defense he'll be expected to lead the Raiders' from his safety position in the secondary.

Honorable Mention: Braden Smith, Olathe South; Austin Chambers, SM West; Chase Gitlin, Olathe Northwest; AJ Verdini, SM West; Jalen Branson, Olathe East; Jimmie Swain, Olathe North.

*To help with clarification, I've changed the named of the weekly player ratings from "Top 5 Player Ratings" to "MVP Ratings." In the past there's been some confusion about what exactly the ratings were measuring -- best player, most valuable player, best stats? The ratings are essentially a weekly look the league's most valuable player to that point in time, similar to the way the Heisman Trophy is judged. On that note, I'm certainly not opposed to an offensive or defensive lineman finishing as the league's MVP, it's just that we haven't seen a scenario play out in which a lineman proved to be the league's most valuable player. If it's ever going to happen, with the stockpile of talented lineman the league has returning, this will be the year.


Govannon Grey said...

They're both very good players, but I would take Maloney over Dineen every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Without Maloney, SM West is not going to the state championship, or winning it last year (imo this year either). LFS quarterbacks, as 'kind of' metioned by Eli is kind of system, plug in the next guy and watch him roll thing. So, yeah I think Maloney is #1 on that list, although Randal isn't bad.

Eli Underwood said...

I guess in the case of Maloney vs. Dineen, I factored in that Dineen will be touching the ball 50+ times a game, while Maloney's touches may be limited (especially if SM West is doing well).

I don't think Maloney's going to work a ton out of the Wildcat -- especially early on -- unless it's in a crucial situation or a few plays for practice purposes. He's too valuable at corner and wide receiver to risk an injury if a game's basically won.

So if nobody's throwing his way at corner, and he's catching a few passes a game and returning kicks, he may not put up as big of numbers as Dineen. Box scores don't tell the whole story but it's easier to justify a player's impact if the numbers are there to back it up.

(Note: I have no idea how much SM West plans on playing Maloney out of the Wildcat but from what I saw from them last season they didn't use Maloney in the formation to blow teams out early. They went to it late as a sort of secret weapon and it worked exceedingly well through the playoffs. For all I know it could be their go-to offense early in games this fall. We'll see.)

With Dineen, we sometimes forget that he split quarterback duties with McFarland to start the 2011 season. In two games he totaled 176 yards passing and two touchdowns, before McFarland was named the full-time starter. If he could do it as a sophomore, I think he'll be able to produce as a senior.

Regarding Randall and Triplett, you know those guys are going to get 20+ carries night in and night out. Triplett reminds me of the Gore Brothers, especially Justin, and anybody who saw Justin play knows how big of a compliment that is. And Randall's a beast who's already played three years on varsity which is crazy.

But it's all good debate. All of those guys, and Abdul, are phenomenal talents and it'll be a fun season. I'm glad we can have these discussions in an organized forum type setting. It provides good publicity for the players, coaches and fanbases and helps to maximize the attention high school football gets in the area.

TheImpaler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheImpaler said...

Dudes, we NEED some football. We're arguing MVP before one play has been run. I don't get why if school starts this early they don't start the season Aug 31 instead of Sep. 6. Oh well. Okay here's all I have to say on this...for preseason MVP I can only say who I would pick out of all the players in the league if I were going to build a team and that would go: 1.Maloney 2. Smith 3. Chambers 4. Swain. At QB I might take Verdini over Dineen at this point just because he's a known quantity. I like Dineen a lot but we haven't seen him at QB much and anyone who's ever played the position knows it takes more than just athleticism. You have to be aware of so many things compared to playing say, middle linebacker so a new QB is always going to have a learning curve.

Govannon Grey said...

I do remember Dineen playing QB as a sophomore for the first couple games and thinking that he was a better runner than a passer (being why McFarland eventually won out). He's got talent that's for sure. The point you make about him touching the ball more than Maloney is a great point, but I feel that Maloney is a superior defensive player. There is not a receiver in the league right now that can match up with him. He, much like Dion, automatically shuts down a third of the field on the side of the best receiver for any team. The fact no one is throwing his was at corner makes him that much more valuable in my opinion. Plus he'll be used as a return man, something Dineen won't do, and we know what he can do as a rec. and runner on offense. He greatly influences the game in all three phases, Dineen and Randal only do it in two, even though they might get the ball more. But I also see your point that Dineen will probably get more offensive opportunities to load up stat sheets and has a greater influence on that one side of the ball then Maloney does on any of the three, unless they are playing against a pass happy offense.

Who's Your Daddy said...

I'm with you Imp. Its nice to speculate. But every year is a unknown commodity until they put on the pads. I'm a huge believer in balance on the offensive side. North has the weapons in Tripp and Moore to create that balance. If I had to pick I'm going with Tripplet. He"s the only one thats not going both ways. With Weir back he will benefit tremendously from the system. Tripplet will be this years Sterbach. Maloney is a great athlete but I expect West to struggle offensively compared to last year. The loss of the sterbinator will effect their balance negatively. Dineen has the best overall surounding core of athletes. But their not as experienced as ON or West. He's unproven with the arm and a two way guy as well. If Free State and West where loaded they wouldnt need to play their stars on every play. The beating will takes its toll on those two as the season progresses. Randall is awesome with D1 skills but has no surrounding core. Smith is much better than the overrated Chambers but they have no chance to win. Swain and Moore should be mentioned as well. Tripplet rushes for 1800 and wins it. Unfortuanely, Wrench goes for 2100 and wins the simone.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Eli, I'm surprised you didnt put Moore on your DL list. Thats probably where he will play at OU.

Eli Underwood said...

Moore reminds me of Christian Ballard. Great size and athleticism and he clearly has the tools to play at the FBS level. But like Ballard, he has a reputation (among many league players I've talked to) of taking plays off from time to time, and not always playing to his ability. That seems to have been the reason the coaches didn't name him even honorable mention last fall, despite the fact that he dominated at times.

If he can get the mental side of his game to match his physical advantages he'll be an unstoppable force. Ballard, in my opinion, didn't put it all together until his senior year. But now he's in the NFL so clearly it did click for him in time.

Free State Fan said...

Okay, I'll bite and jump in. I've seen Dineen play since he was in 3rd grade. He's been a dominant QB at every level. I will not crown him, or anyone else, MVP before the practices even start, but I will say this, the kid does amazing things with a football in his hands... as do many kids in this league. To add a shock factor, I do not expect him to have huge stats himself, but I expect FS to have huge stats as a team because this is his 4th year of being able to run this offense and he runs it extremely well. He has tons of guys to throw to and hand off to... so he won't have to do everything. If he has one fault, the kid is extremely unselfish and he sometimes works too hard to get everyone involved. FS will be tough to beat because they will have too many weapons (air and ground) for teams to defend or prepare for. They have 6 or 7 guys on any given night that could have huge games... this league just hasn't heard of them all... yet. ;o)
Go 'Birds!

Who's Your Daddy said...

Eli, Hopefully for the other teams sake Moore takes some plays off. He does have the reputation of being a loose cannon. I hear through the grape vine that he doesn't take orders well. When your his size with a little attitude its not surprising. Maybe he will mature and realize his potential this season. He's only a Junior!! Wow

TheImpaler said...

Adam has posted this (I assume) unofficial coaches poll (with only 9 coaches voting):

Unknown said...

Randal Byers Jr.a senior at Olathe Northwest class of 2014. Randal is a returning varsity starter at Defensive Tackle. A 6ft 5in.300lb. all muscle and fast. Randal is the best defense player in the metro. And the best defense lineman ever at ONW. He is truly a grid iron king,a beast. A mamouth man child in stature his game speaks for itself.RBJ is nicknamed Mr.Showtime,but it should be mMr. Unstoppable. He always speaks of how great his team will be this season., Coach Sherman has the Ravens mentally, and physically tougher. Check them out. Go Ravens!!

Unknown said...

Randal Byers Jr. #56 DT Olathe Northwest fotball.