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Closer looks at John Porchivina and Noah Westerfield

Two new commitments fresh off of the big recruiting weekend. What have we got?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Westerfield

First, a quick and handy chart.



DT Deandre Coleman

DT Marcus Manley (JUCO redshirt)

DT Viliami Moala

DT Trevor Kelly (JUCO)

DE Chris McCain

DT David Davis (JUCO)

DE Dan Camporeale

DT Tony Mekari (redshirt)

DT Austin Clark (injury)

DE Jonathan Johnson (JUCO)

DE Mustafa Jalil (injury)

DE Sione Sina (injury)

DE Brennan Scarlett (injury)

DE Ray Davison (redshirt)

DE Noah Westerfield

DE Kennedy Emesibe

Translation: the Bears are getting some new bodies up front next year.

A lot of them.

We won't know exactly what we're getting from each yet -- particularly in the cases of Scarlett and Jalil -- but there won't be any shortage of candidates to see the field, that's for sure. Barring a last minute switch from Nifae Lealao, that list of names suggests the staff is done recruiting at defensive line for now. Another high school defensive tackle couldn't hurt, but the JUCO DTs can soften that need a bit as we search for one or two in the next class.

Moving onto Westerfield, you can see that there's an immediate problem with his tape -- the fact that there is nothing available from his senior season. That kind of hampers our ability to learn anything about him, given the dramatic jump in production high school players often make in a single year.

What we have, then, is a junior highlight reel that offers promising moments, but nothing particularly eyepopping.

Westerfield shows signs of developing speed and strength as a junior, and you can see several plays here where he blows through multiple blockers or just gets into the backfield a split-second after the snap. But there's also a trend of him not being quite fast enough to finish some of those plays --  a few result in pressures, instead of sacks or forced fumbles -- which is why not having a senior tape kind of complicates things. We don't have a good look at where he is as an athlete now -- we have what he looked like as an athlete two years ago.

What pops out to me here is his already very good discipline against the read option, which would be a big plus against the Oregons and the Arizonas of the conference. Throughout the tape, Westerfield takes several steps forward in what I believe is called the feather technique, remaining in an athletic stance though he's being read. This lets him make a play on either the QB or RB, like at 3:18. Several steps forward, and even though his motions force the quarterback to hand off, he's in a good position to cover both the bootleg and the handoff.

Similarly good look at 1:54 -- he crashes down hard, looking like he's assigned to cover the back, but stops at the last second, taking care of the quarterback, who tries to pull and run.

There are some looks at the 4 minute mark of Westerfield standing up as a linebacker, which, while interesting, really only show him moving in limited capacities. Scout lists him exclusively at outside, but without more tape of that, it's hard to tell what we're getting here. Everything I've written is of him at DE, for the most part.

At a listed 215, he's going to need to spend time putting on weight, as well. I'd be surprised if either he or Emesibe sees the field this year, given all the older returners, although I'd like to see what he turns into down the line.

John Porchivina

Senior Hudl film

Ah. Now this is interesting. His tape shows a two way player, so let's look at these two separately.

On offense, Porchivina played running back for Casa Grande, and let's just say he was very very good there. The first play on the highlight reel already shows off some very workable skills -- vision, when he sees that the grass to the outside is blocked off; decisiveness, when he plants his foot and goes north; speed, when he outruns the rest of the defense at a 4.7 clip, including the secondary. Shortly after that, you'll see strength, when he carries defenders along with him (:38) and bounces off unfortunate souls who make the poor decision to tackle. There's even some catching ability shown off, especially on the little swing screen at 2:32. You'll want to catch that one.

He doesn't have much in the way of moves, per se, but he just makes good things happen on offense, one way or another. When the path in front of him is blocked, his vision -- probably my favorite part of his game -- lets him quickly find another way out, especially at 3:05. It's one of many Houdinian escapes that the 6'2 back manages to produce on tape. Oh, you think you've got me? Naaaaaaah. My favorite part of that run is the little forearm shiver he gives to the guy in the end zone. That's a little attitude for y'all.

I'm not sure his speed will translate in college against faster defenders, but I enjoyed watching him, and for whatever reason, I have a really good feeling about this guy. I think he'll really help this football team at some point.

The first point I'd like to make about Porchivina on defense is that he'd probably have to add a little more weight first, weighing just 220 pounds right now. Still, he just plays hard -- his speed might not last long term on offense, but it would be more than adequate to play on this side of the ball instead. He looks like he'd make a good player out at OLB -- the defensive clips all show off great burst and acceleration, plus a sheer violence in the tackling department. More than one sorry ballcarrier meets doom in the face of #42. Because of this, he really reminds me of Johnny Ragin last year, although a tad slower.

Overall, I love the Porchivina signing, and although I hate to use the word underrated around incoming guys -- because everybody thinks their recruits are underrated -- I'd like to throw it to him.

If you needed any further co-signing, let me mention that Marc Tausend loves this kid as well.