One of the freshmen whom I was told to watch last fall was Massillon’s Jayden Ballard. He did not get a lot of minutes, but being a freshman, I was good with that, because I saw enough potential, lots of potential.
Last year he caught 3 passes for 111 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Tigers had two senior receivers who are now playing college football. Jayden also played some DB. But he showed the wide receiver “swagger” that I like to see.
When I saw him at a Massillon workout day, he had just the finished basketball season. Jayden is a very good basketball player, as well.
At the Opening Regional in Massillon he ran a 4.6/40 and had a 33 inch vertical. Explosive. Also ran a quick 4.2/pro shuttle.
After an impressive showing at O-State’s one day summer camp, he received an offer from head coach Urban Meyer. Also has an offer from Penn State. Only going into his sophomore year, but getting an offer as an Ohio prospect is good. Speaks well for his talents.
Watching him this past week, I like his initial quickness. Shows a solid burst. Gets in and out of cuts smoothly. Needs to be more disciplined in his route running. Also needs to improve concentration. Guessing 6’2-170, he will need to improve size/strength. With Massillon’s intense strength program, he will be fine.
Catches the ball with his hands and away from his body. Also understands how to gain separation from a defender.
I believe that offering a 9th or 10th grader does more harm than good. Talented now, but Jayden will need to get better and better. Potential to be one of the best receivers to come out of Massillon Washington HS, including recent grads Gareon Conley and Devin Smith.
I always remember what one of the high profiled college head football coaches said after offering a freshman QB, ” three years is a long time.” With Jayden’s competitiveness and talent, he should be fine.
Only a sophomore, but he is one of the top five recruits in the Ohio Class of 2021.