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Scouting the Black Shoe Diaries Writers as Sixth Graders

Rivals is scouting sixth graders now? Too bad it's too late to include these scouting reports.

Any idea who this future superstar is?
Any idea who this future superstar is?

Recently, it was discovered that, one of the most popular recruiting services out there, had begun scouting sixth graders. Now, that doesn't mean that they will be scouting and rating every sixth grader that comes along. Rather, it will be a way for Rivals to keep up with the ever-growing world of recruiting by simply having the names in the systems, and helping these kids to prepare for the recruiting process earlier rather than later. It's still beyond silly, but at least they're not ranking little Johnny as the third best pocket passer in the state of Florida for the high school class of 2021.

Of course, there were jokes a plenty about this subject matter, leading to twitter becoming ablaze with people giving their own takes on what their own sixth grade scouting reports would have looked like. In fact, our friends at the SB Nation college football mothership even went so far as to create their own scouting reports in a hilarious article that you can find right here. I highly suggest checking this out, if only to see former BSDer, Peter Berkes, and his self-assessment of his sixth grade self.

Of course, we here at Black Shoe Diaries are all about giving the people what they want. And we came to the realization that what the people want right now, is to hear about all of your favorite internet writers as awkward, prepubescent 12 and 13 year olds. So without further adieu, on to the scouting reports. Please note that photos of the athletes were included, if at all possible.

* * *

Bill DiFilippo

Position: Power Forward/Centre Back

Height/Weight: 5'3"/150 lbs

School: Clinton Middle School (Clinton, NY)

Strengths: Math, history, trumpet, making nachos, hitting jumpers out to 15 feet, using the fact that he is fatter than everyone to clear space down low and grab rebounds, Madden 2004, identifying girls who are repulsed by him, wearing basketball jerseys to school every day from September to February, being the last man standing during attempted all nighters, knowing all the words to "Lose Yourself" despite never seeing "8 Mile"

Weaknesses: Girls, saying "no" to extra portions of food, that time he tried skateboarding for a few months and never learned how to ollie, Madden 2004 when he isn't using the Atlanta Falcons, girls again, this one time he put a take out container from the local Chinese place in the microwave and almost burned his house down, understanding the jokes on "Chappelle's Show", no low post moves, too reliant on his perceived ability to hit three pointers even though he has never actually hit a three pointer in a game

* * *


bscaff Rivals

Position: Tight End/Linebacker

Height/Weight: Completely average

School: Mountain View Elementary (off-season transfer from Fairview Elementary)

Strengths: A 4-year, two-way starter on his 120-lb limit youth league teams. Coachable. Plays multiple positions. His 6th grade team completed an undefeated season, including a huge home field win over their rival from the giant city of Chambersburg, PA. Team's head coach bought the squad ice cream after the game. bscaff had a vanilla cone.

Weaknesses: Bad feet, poor change of direction.  Lacks flexibility, too stiff.   Clumsy.  Slow.

Red Flags: Vanilla cone is possible illegal benefit

* * *

Chris Taylor

Position: Right Defense

Height/Weight: 5'4"/125 lbs

School: Helen Hunt Elementary, Old Town, Maine

Strengths: He typically cries during the handshake line after his team loses. This is a strong indicator of a top-notch competitor, someone who really cares about winning. Had 8 goals and 3 assists in 12 games as an 11 year old. The three assists were good for first in the league with no other player recording more than one assist. Had a slight drop-off in production during his 12 year old season due to chickenpox and also being grounded for not cleaning his bedroom in a timely manner.

Weaknesses: Skating backwards. He has a tendency to lean on his heels and catch an edge, leaving him ass over teakettle and giving the opposing team an odd-man rush. Can go from skating forward to backward pretty well when turning counter-clockwise but has trouble turning clockwise and usually ends up making a long, twenty-foot circle instead of turning his hips and switching from skating forward to backward.

Physical Fitness Test: 22 curl-ups as a 12 year old. Shuttle run 10.34. 40 yard dash 6.75. Sit and reach 32. Realistically we'd like to see his 40 time somewhere in the 6.15-6.35 range at this point in his development but he's shown room for improvement. His pull-ups (15) far exceeded the national average percentile ranking and this added to his inhuman curl-up ability makes him an enigma among his peers. He's a boy among adolescents.

Outlook: Needs to sure up the backward skating but there's no reason to believe that won't happen in the next six years. Could use some help with his pursuit angles but geometry isn't in the curriculum until seventh grade so it's still a little early to tell if that will be an issue for this recruit by the time he gets to State College.

* * *

Devon Edwards

Devon Rivals

Position: Catcher

Height/Weight: 5'2"/130 lbs

School: William S. Mount Elementary School

Strengths: Encyclopedic knowledge of the game. Has literally read the rulebook. Keeps a copy in his bag during games, just in case. A second coach on the field--maybe projects better as an umpire. Good receiver. Solid arm. Very patient hitter with good eye. Hits to the opposite field well. Good at leaning in and getting hit by pitches. Owns own catching glove and gear. Shares Big League Chew with teammates. Aggressive baserunner. Loves running over catchers.

Weaknesses: Very slow. Often tries to bunt for a hit despite obvious inability to beat them out. Occasionally struggles to throw the ball back to the pitcher, especially when imitating Pudge Rodriguez and throwing from his knees. Prone to month-long slumps. Not much power. Incapable of catching up to fastballs. Will yell at teammates if they don't know the intricacies of the infield fly rule. Tends to forget that running over the catcher is illegal.

* * *

Jared Slanina

Jared Rivals

Position: Tight End/Linebacker

Height/Weight: 5'1"/105 lbs

Team: Howland Little Tigers

Strengths: Very coachable. Blocks to the whistle. Good motor. Demonstrates willingness to sacrifice by missing reruns of Saved by the Bell on TBS to be at practice on-time. Student of the game. Has largest football card collection on his street. Bedroom adorns floor-to-ceiling Bernie Kosar posters. Eleven-time Tecmo Super Bowl Champion.

Weaknesses: Very clumsy. Holds like crazy and grabs facemasks when he thinks the refs are not looking. Currently less than one-third the size of Kareem McKenzie. Easily gets knocked off ball thanks to ultra-wide two-point stance, as demonstrated in the accompanying picture. Doesn't know what he's supposed to do when cheerleaders talk to him.

Notes: Plans to contact Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno when he gets email.

* * *

Matt de Bear

Matt Rivals

Position: Slow white safety/consistently left open wide receiver

Height/Weight: 5'6"/120 lbs

School: Worthington Estates Elementary, Worthington, OH

Strengths: Consistently flies to the ball on defense, often arriving just after play ends. Demonstrates above average athleticism by diving at every opportunity, often unnecessarily. On the odd occasion that jerk quarterback throws to someone other than close friends, shows good hands, like, he has hands at the end of his arms.

Weaknesses: Absolutely terrified of physical contact. Frequently finds a different sport to play the second things escalate above two-hand touch. Seems to be more interested in band than football. (Added weakness- featured on a magazine titles with a horrific pun. -NP)

* * *

Tim Aydin

Tim Rivals

Position: Wide Receiver/Cornerback, Probably, definitely a runner

Height/Weight: 5'0"/100 lbs (and that's being generous)

School: Park Forest Middle School, State College, PA

Strengths: Sure-handed possession-type receiver with deceptive quickness and the ability to get wide open (mainly due to the taller, stronger, kids his age dismissing him because of his physique). In his first intramural flag football game as a middle schooler, came up with two interceptions to seal a victory for his team (and earned newfound respect from his classmates). Endurable. Probably better suited for a sport like cross-country, which he will go on to discover around the 10th grade and go on to excel in that sport.

Weaknesses: That frame of his...let's just say that if he were playing any type of football other than flag/two-hand touch, he would get snapped in half. Did I neglect to suggest cross-country a better fitting sport for him, earlier?

* * *

Nick Polak

Nick Rivals

Position: Pitcher, Catcher, Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 5'5"/110 lbs

School: Edison Intermediate School, Westfield, NJ

Strengths: Relentless energy. Very quick. High propensity for diving after ground balls and fly balls in practice instead of games. Tons of confidence. Full knowledge of his ability to succeed in football, had he decided to play on an organized level at any point. Shows unmatched ability to organize baseball cards in various ways. High level experience after competing in a tournament in Cooperstown. Shows fearlessness when it comes to wearing shorts to school in any type of weather. Willing to fight for the woman of his sixth grade dreams. Once threw 155 pitches in one complete game effort on a 98 degree summer day.

Weaknesses: Relentless energy often derived from giant Pixie Stix rather than natural endurance. Long hair often gets in his eyes. Tried to start playing lacrosse, but quit when his best friend learned how to effectively cradle without him. Baseball card organization abilities offer few real life applications outside of the binders. Cooperstown tournament team came in 64th out of 64 teams while allowing an average of 17.29 runs per game (seriously). Lost the affection of the girl of his sixth grade dreams to his best friend. Once played a game of air hockey with said friend to earn the right to ask out said girl of said dreams, and lost. Legendary 155 pitch effort was largely fueled by the aforementioned giant Pixie Stix.

* * *

Isn't the recruiting world great?