Chula Vista, CA
Mater Dei Catholic High School
Pulido: Verdell has excellent patience as a runner. He consistently waits for the hole to open and has the excellent foot quickness to change direction and hit the hole. He is outstanding as a pass-catcher with soft hands and solid route-running ability that allows him to affect the game from both levels. Verdell has excellent short-area movement abilities that make him hard to get down in the open field and constantly has 2nd level defenders guessing. He has great leg drive that keeps him competing at contact and allows him to play bigger than his size.
Vandeventer: The running back out of Oregon has decent contact balance and though he won't run everyone over, he will break weak tackle attempts. Feet stay clean through contact. He can be decisive when running through the hole and gets north quickly. Uses his size to his advantage when he shrinks his pads and can get through gaps well. Has quick feet and excellent short-area quickness. Intelligence and football IQ to bait poor tackle angles. Verdell is a reasonable weapon on third down as a pass-catcher with reliable hands and a diverse route tree.
Pulido: Verdell does have a size deficiency and would have more trouble bouncing off tackles at the next level. Verdell also is not a great pass protector and needs to improve as a blocker in order to stay on the field at the next level. Verdell does not have great contact balance and though tackles he does not bounce off of tackles.
Vandeventer: Despite being very productive since his freshman year, CJ Verdell still has areas of concern. He doesn't have the speed to bounce the ball outside when interior rush lanes close and rarely attempts to do so. Quicker than he is fast and won't outrun defensive backs. Not a noticeable difference between his different gears, in space. Possesses poor ankle flexion that hinders his change of direction. Doesn’t have the ability to press the line of scrimmage and make reads consistently after the initial lane closes. Despite playing physically for his size, there are times where he doesn't have the power to finish the play. Lacks technique in pass protection as he gets outworked and out-muscled often.
Pulido: Small change of pace back with a ton of vision and quickness to make a difference at the next level. CJ Verdell has quick feet and explosion to get through holes at the line of scrimmage. He is patient for the holes to open and shoots through them. He keeps second-level defenders on skates as he hits the second level too quick for them to get to him. In the pass game, he has soft hands and quickness and effectiveness in his routes. He is a really good run-after-catch player. Verdell struggles with long speed, he has the burst and quickness to gain immediate separation but he doesn’t threaten the entire field with his speed. Verdell does well with constancy but he lacks good contact balance. He more so falls forward with contact than he does have contact balance.
Vandeventer: Despite playing primarily in a running back by committee system, Verdell has been able to take advantage of his touches and make an impact. He is a bit undersized, and it shows with how inconsistent he finishes plays. But despite that, he is a decisive runner who keeps his feet clean through contact and creates missed tackles. Will be most effective in a zone-blocking system where he can read and find his hole, shrink his pads, make a cut, and get north.
Four-star prospect by ESPN. Top 40 player in California by ESPN and 247Sports. Ranked the No. 24 running back and No. 38 prospect in California by 247Sports. Tabbed the No. 32 running back and No. 36 recruit in California by ESPN. Named a top 100 recruit on the West Coast by the Tacoma News Tribune. Named the 2016 CIF San Diego Section Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. Awarded the 2016 Silver Pigskin. Ran for 2,399 yards and 36 touchdowns on 262 carries, averaging 9.2 yards per carry to help lead Mater Dei Catholic to a CIF San Diego Section Division II Championship. Also caught three touchdown passes and returned one kickoff for a touchdown while accumulating 2,605 yards of total offense. Scored five rushing touchdowns in a game three times in 2016. Selected first-team All-CIF San Diego Section as a junior. Carried the ball 169 times for 2,135 yards for an impressive 12.6 yards per carry while rushing for 28 touchdowns. Also caught five touchdown passes, returned a kick for a touchdown and intercepted two passes to lead Mater Dei Catholic to a Division V-AA state title. Scored three total touchdowns and ran for 153 yards in the Crusaders’ 56-21 win over Immanuel in the state championship game. Chose Oregon over Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Boston College, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington State, Wisconsin and others. One of seven returning FBS players to rush for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons (2018 & 2019). Fourth among returning FBS players with a combined 2,238 career rushing yards the last two seasons. One of just five players in Oregon history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Just 68 rushing yards away from entering the top 10 in Oregon history. Oregon is 7-1 when Verdell rushes for 100 yards. Became the ninth FBS player since 2000 with 250 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in a game (vs. Washington State – 2019).
Pulido: Verdell is a small change of pace back that can eventually become a starter due to his patience as a runner, foot quickness in the short area, and his effect he has on the pass game that will allow him to stay on the field at the next level.
Vandeventer: Quick decisive back who can function as a receiver but lacks desired speed to create separation at the next level and work through runs out of script.
Current Player Value/Potential Player Value
Pulido: 7.8/ 8.5
Vandeventer: 7.0 / 8.1
Chula Vista, CA
Mater Dei Catholic High School
Pulido: Verdell has excellent patience as a runner. He consistently waits for the hole to open and has the excellent foot quickness to change direction and hit the hole. He is outstanding as a pass-catcher with soft hands and solid route-running ability that allows him to affect the game from both levels. Verdell has excellent short-area movement abilities that make him hard to get down in the open field and constantly has 2nd level defenders guessing. He has great leg drive that keeps him competing at contact and allows him to play bigger than his size. Subscribe for full article
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