Class of 2023 OL/DL Jayden Baskerville believes his size is both a blessing and a curse. While one can surmise he has a multitude of reasons to feel this way, he’s parlayed his size into a series of blessings of late. Baskerville was recently named the Diamond Sports Group 2016 6th grade Player of the Year. This is the latest accolade for the standout lineman, who has other impressive achievements on his resume as well.
“I was named 2015 Defensive Player of the Year for my team, 2016 Diamond Sports Group Spring All American, and Diamond Sports Group 2016 6th grade Player of the Year,” Baskerville said.
Standing at 5’9, 215 lbs., Baskerville is a physically imposing presence that thrives at dominating the line of scrimmage. His size is outstanding for a player so young. Running backs thrive running behind the holes Baskerville creates. He uses his strength to dominate opposing lineman allowing the runner to find his way to some major daylight.
Baskerville plays multiple positions on both sides of the ball and always excels no matter where he is put. His game is a coach's dream. He plays different spots on the line putting a hurting on the opposition every down.
“I play OT/OG/DT/LB. I have started or played in all those positions this past year,” Baskerville said.
“I have always played on the offensive line because of my size. My size is a blessing and a curse. When I got moved to linebacker last year I enjoyed it more than any other position. It’s the freedom to move and show off my speed.”
Playing multiple positions has given Baskerville a better understanding of how to make reads on the field. Baskerville is making major strides in his game and feels that he’s progressing quite well.
“I feel I am progressing very well. I am getting away from the offensive side of the ball and concentrating in on the defensive side,” Baskervilles said.
“By me playing on the O-Line it has helped me and given me an advantage on the D-Line. Reading a Offensive Lineman hand placement and footwork,” he added.
When speaking on his strengths, Baskerville is quick to note his physical prowess gives him an advantage over his opponents.
“My size of course. My quickness as a offensive lineman to run block or pass block. My understanding of situations and to improvise,” Baskerville said.
While Baskerville has experienced his share of successes during his young career, he stills works diligently to improve his game.
“I’m trying to improve my lateral quickness and speed. Also, taking my tackling ability to the next level,” Baskerville said.
“Additionally, I’m working on my reaction time, footwork, speed, strength training without weights, and the best part is tackling and beating my man.”
Taking his game to the next level isn’t a tall task for a player as talented as Baskerville. His talent is evident and he has the work ethic to go along with it. He has a number of accolades to his name and will likely receive a number in the future. Being named the Diamond Sports Group 2016 6th grade Player of the Year is an amazing accomplishment. For Baskerville his favorite part of playing isn’t the accolades or the praise; it’s being out on the field with his team that brings him true joy.
“My favorite part is playing with my teammates. If I have been with them for a season or just for one game. It’s the aspect of teamwork and becoming one unit,” Baskerville said.
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