I attended my first Pioneer football game in about three years on Friday night. Overall, I can say that some things had changed, and yet some hadn’t whatsoever. The new entrance to Holloway Field is gorgeous. I’m extremely jealous of the locker rooms that they have now, and it is a very classy building they have out front. The football team seemed miniature size compared to the team I was used to watching five-years ago, so hopefully they won’t get banged up too much during the year.
Onto the play of the five-star quarterback. He came out very poorly, and was 1 for 7 for about 12 yards and an INT, but he finished at 14-26 for 178 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. It looked like he was shaking off some rust at the start, but he obviously turned it around and once he got going, he was a machine. Warren De La Salle is ranked 25th in the Nation, but in my opinion they are ranked far too high, and it is probably only because of Shane. He doesn’t have a whole lot of help on offense, and his receivers had at least 5 drops. Needless to say, his stats this year won’t be all that flashy or gaudy, mainly because Michigan High School Football isn’t exactly full of powerhouses.
His arm strength was really uncanny, he threw the ball 50 yards in the air with ease, and on one play, he rolled right, threw across his body (he’s a lefty) from the numbers near the sideline, to a receiver that was all the way on the other side of the field and about 6 feet from out-of-bounds. Easily a 40 yard pass across his body and he hit the receiver right in his hands; the dude can sling it. He only had a couple of wobbly passes all night, and most of the footballs he threw were frozen ropes. He also only had one or two tipped passes on the night, along with only one or two under thrown balls; his timing also surpassed my expectations. His arm right now is better than Tate’s and Denard’s arm when they were freshman, and probably on par with Chad Henne’s when he was a freshman. Shane is physically gifted and his development is ahead of all of Michigan’s most recent quarterbacks, a hugely positive sign.
His accuracy and decision-making was also very solid. After his dismal start, he went 13 for 19 which is about 68%, plenty good for me for a kid that hasn’t even completed his senior year of school. To go along with that, he’s got some serious mobility as well. I’m not talking Denard Robinson or even Vince Young speed, I’m thinking more like Steve Young. He’s quick and can be shifty, but won’t beat a ton of guys in a 40, and as a quarterback, this is obviously not a critical skill to have.
All in all, from what I saw I think he deserves the five-star rating, and the last time I saw a five-star quarterback play in high school was Devin Gardner. Both commanded attention and both put up dominating performances against the Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers Football team.