Dennis McCarthy has been evaluating New Jersey high school football talent since the 1960s. The author of the recruiting annual McCarthy Report – a must-read for college recruiters – loves nothing more than to see a Jersey player develop on the college level and make an impact.
That is why he was so delighted to watch Randolph High School product Frank Beltre play so well for Towson State against powerful LSU on Saturday.
The SEC powerhouse beat Towson, 38-22, but McCarthy got a kick out of the 6-2, 226-pound Beltre making an impact at defensive end.
“I have a friend of mine who is an agent and I’m gonna call him and tell him to talk to Beltre,” McCarthy said. “He went toe-to-toe with LSU. Frank Beltre is an LSU-type player who happens to play for Towson.”
When Victor Cruz emerged as a wide receiver for the Giants last year, McCarthy couldn’t have been more proud. McCarthy remembered what Cruz could do way back in Cruz’s days as a Paterson Catholic standout. He believes that Beltre could make the NFL as well – maybe not with the same Super Bowl-winning impact as Cruz, but stick with an NFL team someday.
“There are a lot of Victor Cruz’s out there,” McCarthy said. “Frank Beltre is a football player, plain and simple. He is an intense player who is skilled and put together. He is a pass rusher and a stud.
“Here is what I see: Frank Beltre comes out of Randolph and when you come out of Randolph, you are well-schooled and ready for the next level. You are college ready. (Former Randolph QB) Drew Willy is another one from Randolph. He is a pro quarterback waiting for his chance.”
McCarthy also likes what he sees of Lehigh’s Michael Colvin, a former Morristown standout quarterback.
“He’s lighting it up at Lehigh,” McCarthy said. “He’s got the great arm, a cannon, and he can run. He’s a strong, tough kid. Phil Simms could have played linebacker and Michael could have. He is that tough. I’d like to see him get a chance in an NFL camp.”
Even though Beltre and Colvin play completely different positions, McCarthy sees similarities. Both could have gone to a Rutgers after high school but might have been swallowed up vying for playing time with players with the exact same skill set. But Beltre and Colvin chose colleges where they could develop.
“So many kids go to the bigger school and get lost,” McCarthy said. “I am so glad these two went where they could play and develop as players.”
McCarthy gave his thoughts on some Morris high school players who can contribute at the next level.
Brendan Mahon, Randolph: Mahon is headed for Penn State and figures to make a name for himself in the future.
“He is a strong, tough kid who moves well,” McCarthy said. “He is strong and athletic enough to play right guard for Penn State.”
Sam Kaplan, Randolph: “He is not on the level of a Mahon, but he can really develop to his full potential at an East Stroudsburg or a Monmouth,” McCarthy said.
Aaron Harris, Randolph: “He is a terrific athlete,” McCarthy said. “He is a real good student who has battled injuries. He could go to a Lafayette type of school and thrive.”
Billy Olson, Boonton: “He is a 6-8, 320-pound kid who, at the right school, could develop because he is so big. He needs to get a little lower because on film he looks a little too upright. A New Haven type of school would be a great fit for him.”
Kyle Adams, Roxbury: The two-way lineman is “a good, versatile lineman on both offense and defense,” McCarthy said. “He is like (former Roxbury standout Angelo Mangiro, now at Penn State) in that he might be best suited for center. If I put together a mythical Governor’s Bowl team (McCarthy used to select the New Jersey roster for the now-defunct game), I’d have Adams on the team because of his versatility.”
Donald Panciello, Roxbury: “He is a big back but might be more suited for linebacker,” McCarthy said. “He is a strong, good player.”
Kyle Young, Roxbury: The quarterback will probably move to defensive back but has terrific speed and has already been offered by Monmouth and Holy Cross. “He’s a versatile kid and those types of schools would be a good fit for him,” McCarthy said.
Jamie White, Delbarton: “He’s a good running back, quick as a hiccup, and he can be a return man at a place like Holy Cross,” McCarthy said. “I also see him as a cornerback.”
George Scalley, Dover: “I love him,” McCarthy said of the junior running back. “He’s got true big-time potential. He is a Rutgers-type player at linebacker or safety. He is a real good athlete.”
Justin Goodwin, Madison: “Great player,” McCarthy said. “Initially, Rutgers recruited him for cornerback, but now they have also recruited other two kids (Dayton’s Anthony Cioffi and Nadir Barnwell of Piscataway), so he might play safety.”
Matt Flanagan, Mendham: “I like him,” McCarthy said. “I’d like to see him develop at a school like a Villanova. I know Rutgers and Pittsburgh are interested. Like I said earlier, Beltre and Colvin developed and I think Flanagan can, too. Where you end up in college is so important.”
Tyler Simms, Parsippany Hills: “He’ll make a good quarterback at a school in the Patriot or Ivy League,” McCarthy said.
JR Reese, Jefferson: The quarterback has “a lot of upside,” McCarthy said. “I’ve watched him closely. He can throw and has a lot of zip on the ball. He’ll be one of the better QBs in New Jersey by the time he is done (Reese is a junior). He needs to work with a quarterback guru like a Phil Simms, who is known to have worked with high school quarterbacks.”