“He has great size,” Joey King of Carrollton (Ga.) High, Trevor Lawrence’s old high school coach and one of Seaton’s tutors at the Under Armour Next All-American Game last month, emailed me Tuesday. “(Along with) very quick feet and good athleticism.”
Actually, “good” might be selling the kid short. Late in the game, King and his fellow coaches had Seaton, the No. 1 prep offensive tackle recruit in the country and the jewel of Deion Sanders’ 2024 football recruiting class at CU, run a pass route on a 2-point conversion attempt.
When you watch the clip again, it plays out like a younger Penei Sewell, a dancer trapped in a bulldozer’s body. Nimble toes. Soft hands. The Buffs’ freshman-to-be flashes right. He snares the dump pass easily, tucking the ball into his right hand, then forearm-shivering a defender to the turf with his left. No. 77 in white basically button-mashes turbo all the way to the end zone. While Seaton gets busy celebrating with his teammates, the dude he clocked is still lying there, on his back, at the 2-yard line, as if questioning his life choices.
Did we mention that young Jordan checks in at 6-foot-5, 290-ish pounds? A flag wiped out the play, but big guys — the mortal ones, anyway — don’t move like that. Apex predators, Volvo trucks, sure. Not high school linemen.
“He’d actually moved to right tackle,” Torrian Wilson, who coached the linemen on Seaton’s Team Ice at the aforementioned All-American game, recalled over the phone. “(The other tackle) was out for a specific play. Jordan just ran in there and said, ‘Coach, I can play right tackle.’ And he ended up getting the ball.”
The second National Signing Day arrives Wednesday, which got us thinking: Is Seaton, the IMG Academy blocker and five-star get, ready for the future of quarterback Shedeur Sanders, and a program with Big 12 title aspirations, to be foisted upon his mighty teenage shoulders?
“I think he is (ready),” said Wilson, a former blocker at UCF and with the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots, who now trains and tutors offensive linemen in South Florida. “(Just) for the simple fact of being able to be ahead of his time. And just realizing and seeing how locked-in he is to the game. He’s ahead of his time when it comes to understanding ‘What are we trying to accomplish with the offense?’ I think he can come in and contribute right away.
“It’s hard for freshmen tackles to do that. He’s not an average freshman.”
When I asked for a Seaton comp, Wilson offered up a pretty good one: Laremy Tunsil. The current Texans left tackle and four-time Pro Bowler started all but four games as a true frosh at Ole Miss a decade ago and never looked back. Same surge. Same quick punch. Same movement. Same attention to detail.
“Just (the polish) of his techniques, the way he hones in how he does things, how he goes about what we did in practice and how he went about the game,” Wilson said working with Seaton last month. “You could just tell how locked-in he was with what he was doing, especially the technique. People don’t replicate Laremy Tunsil — he’s one of the top technicians in the NFL.”
People don’t typically trot out a true freshman at left tackle or right tackle at a Power 5 program, either, but that’s the expectation for Seaton from the jump. As impressed as Wilson was with Seaton’s physical skills during practices in Orlando, he was even more blown away by the teen’s maturity.
The D.C. native, an early enrollee at CU, was mauling dudes down in Orlando. Yet Wilson’s favorite memory of Seaton probably wasn’t a block or a catch — it was during player interviews, when the Buff signee talked about his goals, dreams and his mentors, including Williams, the 49ers star and arguably the best left tackle in the game. No. 77 had a plan. An academic plan. A business plan. A life plan.
“Again, it goes back to him being ahead of his time,” Wilson explained, “and understanding what he wants from the game of football and what we wants outside of football as well. You don’t see that too much with 17- or 18-year-olds.”
When you’re being tasked with helping to retrench a line that gave up 56 sacks last fall, a measure of perspective sure as heck can’t hurt. For a right-handed thrower such as Shedeur, who turns 22 on Wednesday, Seaton could become his left-hand man, the bodyguard on his blind side. Although teens stepping in right from high school to starting at tackle are usually rare. Pro Football Focus last October noted just eight freshmen nationally had put up more than 200 snaps at the position by midseason, including Utah’s Spencer Fano.
“Whether it’s a five-star (recruit) or whether it’s a three-star, the biggest challenge that comes with being a freshman coming into college is the speed of the game,” Wilson said. “Because when you get to the college level, the speed picks up — similar to what I tell my (NFL Draft) prep guys, getting them ready (for the next level). ‘I don’t care if you’re from the SEC, the speed of the game changes from the SEC to the NFL.’
“I think that with any freshman, no matter how good you are (in high school), you don’t understand the speed of the game until you’re living in it. Once you get in it, you get adjusted to it. Like anything else, once he gets adjusted to it, the sky’s the limit for him.”
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