Taking home last week’s top play is Bryce Stanfield out of Harrison high school – the junior had over 2800 votes in just 24 hours, which to my knowledge is a record on the website. The versatile defensive linemen out of Harrison has a big time motor, and last week’s play was a perfect example of what makes Stanfield an intriguing D1 prospect.
Osborne was backed up to their endzone as the 6’2″ 246 lbs. Harrison defensive lineman lined up right over the center. The offense decided to run a short tunnel screen down the middle of the field. Stanfield who is always adept to the play, was quick off the ball, splitting the offensive guard and center penetrating into the backfield, but fell to his knees, and seemingly out of the play. The junior was not done yet, and as the Osborne quarterback threw the pass over Stanfield’s head, he reached up with one paw and intercepted the risky pass for a turnover.
The play showed a great blend of effort, versatility, and football IQ, which is a common theme in the junior’s film from this season.
“I play all positions on the defensive line and tight end. This season my team needs me at nose guard, but I’m an All-Region defensive end last season, and I’m trained by pass rush guru Chuck Smith.” He continued to talk about how this season has gone thus far, “We are 8-0. Our defense is playing lights out and the offense has been solid all year long.”
Individually, Stanfield has 33 tackles, 3 sacks and two turnovers, one of course being the aforementioned top play, but also a fumble recovery too. Stanfield’s smarts do not end on the gridiron, he is an accomplished student that should have the interest of high-academic programs during the 2021 recruiting cycle. “I’m a class of 2021 scholar athlete with a 4.38 GPA and 1280 SAT.”
Recruiting is going well all ready for Stanfield, as many D1 programs have been in contact in contact with the fundamentally sound defender.
“I’ve heard from several Division 1 programs including Pitt, Nebraska, Appalachian State, Harvard, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Cincinnati, Austin Peay, Western Carolina, and East Carolina.”
That is definitely a long list, so has any visits taken place just yet?
“I’ve had the opportunity this fall to visit Appalachian State and Austin Peay. I will be visiting Ohio State this weekend and Georgia State on November 16th.”
Obviously, the junior is quickly becoming a target among college programs. He played well as a sophomore, and this season has been a force up the middle clogging up run plays but also having the quickness to make an impact to plays on the flat too. The junior believes during the last year he has improved a lot in the trenches.
“I’m using my hands better and I’m continuing to improve my pass rush capabilities. As a second year starter on Varsity, I’m playing with greater confidence.”
The junior models his game after two of the most dominant defensive tackles in the NFL, both who have excellent fundamentals too.
“I like to model my game after Aaron Donald and Akiem Hicks. They have some of the most violent hands in the game.”
Speaking of violent hands, Stanfield certainly showcases good hand placement and quickness getting off his blocks. Playing in the middle more this season, Stanfield has done a nice job of redirecting the offensive line, keeping good balance while staying engaged and eventually scraping off his block to make a tackle. He plays with a passion for the game too, and you see that energy exude thru his play.
“My favorite part of Friday nights is fighting alongside my teammates and the brotherhood we have formed both on and off the field.”
Harrison is definitely in a fight in 2019, and could very well win a state championship in the wide open Class 6-A. Right now, we have the Hoyas ranked #2 in the entire classification, and they are definitely a team we expect to make a long run into the state playoffs. In order to do so, they will need their dominant defense to continue to control the game, and their run-stopping defensive tackle will certainly be a stalwart against most ground games specifically.