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Cal Football Scouting Report: Drew Kobayashi

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Another receiver comes in from Honolulu

Jared points at who he wants on his receiving core
Jared points at who he wants on his receiving core
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The "Too Many 'Cruits" march continues, as Drew Kobayashi, a receiver out of St. Louis High in Honolulu. Kobayashi joins Logan Gamble, new commit Matthew Laris, and Zion Echols on the receiving core in the class of 2016. He also joins Kanawai Noa and Semisi Uluave as coming from Honolulu. At the moment, Kobayashi is listed at the same size as Trevor Davis(6'2" and 180 lbs), and is listed as having a 4.54 40 time. The Trevor Davis comparison might be apt, as Kobayashi looks to be talented in the vertical game and in making plays in space.

Notes:

  • First play on the tape is how Kobayashi runs a deep route. It's very smooth, as he gets by the defender, makes the over-the-shoulder grab with a couple of players in the vicinity. He gets another 10-15 yards after the catch. He has some great focus in making the play with a defender on his back.
  • In the course of the tape, Kobayashi runs five go routes, three slants, a 10 yard hitch, a deep out, a stop and go, a post, and a shallow crossing route where he sits in a zone. All of these routes are a part of our offense, especially the verticals and slants. The spread of the Tony Franklin system to high schools gives us guys ready made to play in this system, like Kobayashi. For the most part, all that's needed is some technical fixes and some time to get used to the college speed.
  • The stop and go route that Kobayashi runs around :35 is probably my favorite route of the tape. I have a soft spot for a good stop and go, and Kobayashi gets the corner to bite on the fake, then accelerates right by him with the greatest of ease. He has no problem outrunning any defender after this, which is common for a lot of his vertical routes.
  • There are two slant routes that he runs, at 1:00 and 1:09 respectively, where the quarterback releases the ball late, and Kobayashi has to slow down of his route to make the catch. Even with what seems like a mistake from the QB, he positions himself so the defender doesn't have a chance to make a play on the ball. That's the kind of awareness that this guy has, and he does the small things very well.
  • At around 1:39, the defense is playing in a cover 2, and Kobayashi runs a go route. He looks for the ball early, once he gets by the press coverage and makes a catch in the gap between the corner and the safety. Combining the situational awareness of what's going on during the play with the ability to make the play is something we take for granted for a lot of receivers, but he does his scouting well.
  • This film is very fundamental, enough that Tim Duncan would be proud. There's little things, like turning to the outside after making a catch on a 10 yard hitch (2:13), finding the hole in a zone on a crossing route and sitting in it (2:04), or getting to the open space between three defenders on a post route and making the catch look routine (1:16).
  • There is an issue with the out route that he runs at about :17. The cut is rounded off and he cuts away from the line of scrimmage, instead of coming back towards the line. It works out in this play, but the route can get undercut and the corner could get an easy pick six. This needs a fix.
  • The last minute of his film is blocking for runs or for screens, a necessary skill in the TFS. What I like about this is his technique, specifically at 2:50 and 3:00. He breaks down with his feet, using short choppy steps before he locks up with the guy, getting a great push to spring the receiver he's blocking for on a screen. Since downfield blocking makes a screen, Kobayashi is going to fit in well with the bubble screens and tunnel screens we're set to run.
  • All in all, Kobayashi could be the replacement for Trevor Davis in a couple of years. He has the potential to stretch the field vertically, while also having the ability to block and make catches in open space. He's not exactly flashy, but this is a solid get.