STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Letting the Viper Loose — Wayne’s Person, Hobart’s Vode projecting high in hybrid position
In an era of hybrid positions, the “Viper” spot on defense is becoming a cornerstone of some currently trending football coaching philosophies. Just as the tight end position was revolutionized in the 2010s on offense, coaches are crafting makeovers in the secondary, adapting to a more pass-happy direction the game has been headed in for years now.
The Viper plays a combination of safety and outside linebacker. Athleticism, intelligence and instinct are key attributes to the position. Height, speed and tackling range are equally important.
Hoosierland has two emerging Viper studs in its prep ranks in Ft. Wayne Wayne’s Ebon Person and Hobart’s Zach Vode, two of the fastest-rising recruits in the state this offseason.
Vode (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) has seen offers come in from Army, Ball State, Bowling Green, Miami (OH), Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Illinois State. He plays defensive end in high school, but scouts are projecting him at the Viper in college when he gets on campus in 2021. [HUDL]
Person (6-3, 200) is possibly the most underrated big-hitter in his region of the state right now. He gets to the ball in a hurry and displays hunger in his play and demeanor on the field. He’s from the Class of 2022. [HUDL]
According to recruiting insiders, Purdue, IU, Miami (OH) and Central Michigan are all circling. 24/7 Midwest Recruiting Coordinator Allen Trieu named Person as one of his players to watch this summer, pointing out his vision and aggressiveness.
“I play with awareness and the ability to get to the ball with speed and force,” said Person of his approach to the position. “I’m always looking to make plays on the ball, go sideline to sideline until the whistle. This year, I’ll play with even more aggression, but it will be a smarter, more channeled aggression. I still got more dog in me to show everybody.”
— SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN