This recruit holds a special place in my heart, coming from Redwood High School in Larkspur, California. It's a place that produced Robin Williams, Cal and 49er nemesis Pete Carroll, and yours truly. It is the high school of OL/DL commit Jake Curhan. He plays right tackle and nose in the Redwood scheme, as is commonplace to play both ways there. He will be a project, but the attitude he has towards playing the offensive and defensive lines will push him to excellence.
- First thing first, he is playing in the MCAL, which isn't exactly a hotbed of football activity. I started a couple games in it, which should tell you something. Nonetheless, Jared Goff played in that league, so talent definitely shouldn't be judged by that.
- Anyway, Curhan is a mauler at 6'7" and 305, and that stands out in his tape. He is of prototypical tackle size, which bodes well. He's also a very smart mauler, with a 3.86 unweighted GPA, so that is definitely a plus.
- On to the actual tape, Curhan mauls people playing at the RT position on offense. He has a good getoff to get to the second level to take out some linebackers. There's a few occasions where he's down blocking and he absolutely destroys a lineman and some linebackers. He gets the feet going and pushes some guys back about ten yards, which is reminiscent of a couple scenes from the Blind Side. It's almost criminal that they didn't run behind this guy on the majority of their plays.
- His pass blocking is fun to watch as well. It's reminiscent of Andre the Giant tossing around multiple jabronis in a Royal Rumble. Curhan drops into pass protection at about 1:35 into the tape, strikes the defender, and watches him drop. It's a show of how much bigger he is than the pass rushers. Curhan has some long arms, which help with pass blocking.
- I love how much this guy stays on his man as the play goes on. Even when the running back gets dropped after a yard, Curhan plays to the whistle with the exact kind of aggression that coaches stress. The play at 1:40 exemplifies this, along with a number of others in the first half of the clip. The fact that he stays locked in to the defender without holding is impressive as well.
- On the offensive end, there is room for improvement. He isn't able to get as low as he should yet, which comes with adding flexibility. He comes out of his stance a bit too high sometimes, which he covered up for with some extra aggression. That doesn't lend to moving your feet too well, which will need some drilling when he's not the biggest guy in the league.
- There's a play at 2:52 that I like especially, showcasing Curhan's aggression. He mirrors the rusher perfectly and pushes him around a bit. When he realizes the quarterback is scrambling, he gets off the rusher and destroys the guy chasing the QB. Simply lovely.
- On to the other side of the ball, where Curhan plays the nose in a 3-4. He may not be on the defensive end at Cal, but the technical and physical skills can still apply. During the play starting at the 4:35 mark, Curhan shows some good hustle, taking an appropriate pursuit angle to the scrambling QB. That pressure leads to an INT. He then pancakes someone on the return to set up the return TD.
- His off the ball explosion is great on the defensive end as well. The long arms help on this end, getting him leverage against the offensive linemen so they can't get into him and take him out. This helps him shed blocks easier and gets him into the backfield even quicker.
- At 5:05, Curhan shows some JJ Watt pass deflection skills, getting through the offensive line for an easy swat. I wouldn't be surprised to see Curhan somewhere on the defensive line in his Cal career. 6'7" defensive tackles don't come around every day.
To sum it all up, this is another big body with a mean streak that I haven't seen on anyone else's film in a while. Curhan will need to add a bit more muscle on his frame, and his technique will need to be reworked. He will have ample time to work on his game, and I will be rooting for a fellow Redwood guy to make an impact at Cal.