And so the makeover up front continues, with yet another commitment: Trevor Kelly, David Davis, Jonathan Johnson, and as of Sunday, Kennedy Emesibe. Give the coaching staff that much credit, at least -- after an unimaginably bad year on defense, they have aggressively brought in players on that side of the ball, trying to address things there.
Like we try to do with all our commitments, let's crack open the tape and meet consensus 3-star defensive end Mr. Emesibe, who also played some defensive tackle at Oak Hills.
I have also included some Twitter thoughts from the esteemed Kodiak/Scott Chong, as well.
There's a lot to like about his combination of speed, athleticism and power, all of which are look pretty good for a high schooler. According to his hudl page, the 6'4, 240 pound Emesibe has a 36.5 inch vert, a 305 bench, and a 535 squat, and he's very physically dominant against other players on tape. Emesibe doesn't scream athletic mismatch necessarily, but he is more than capable of holding his own, and against the run, as well. Decent first step, too.
@AGuyNamedNam I like how he uses his hands. Does a good job of engaging the blocker then shedding. Doesn't rely on a free release.— Scott Chong (@kodiakcgb) January 6, 2014
What impresses me more about Emesibe isn't physical, though -- he looks very heady and aware [0:25], doing the small things to help the team win just as much as the big ones. That highlight I just pointed out is of him noticing his teammate has picked the ball off, and he just lays out the nearest offensive player to set a block. The play at 1:24 is another good example -- they've called a wide receiver screen, but Emesibe is a step faster than the rest of his linemen to recognize what's going on, and he's the one who ends up making the tackle downfield.
He just has a really great motor on tape [1:06, 1:17, 1:34], and never gives up on the play. That's actually what most of the tape shows, just him running guys down on both sides of the field, or far away from the line of scrimmage, kind of like Chris McCain used to.
There's also footage of Emesibe blocking several kicks, which you always like to see. Considering the dismal state of our special teams units last year, any possible future contributors are welcome.
With his experience playing inside and his strength, there's also some flexibility here with him. I could see him sliding back to defensive tackle in some pass rush packages in the future.
A word on the depth chart situation: between all the returning players -- Brennan Scarlett, Sione Sina -- guys coming off redshirt -- Ray Davison, Marcus Manley -- and the incoming Jonathan Johnson, there's going to be bit of a logjam at defensive end. Unless he comes in and completely dominates from the start of camp, Emesibe may not play next season, simply because of the personnel ahead of him.
But if he redshirts, I'd be fine with that, because I love what he might offer down the road, and so does Scott.
@AGuyNamedNam Smart, strong kid w/ high motor who has some technique. Not just an athlete, but a football player. Works for me.— Scott Chong (@kodiakcgb) January 6, 2014