On the 3rd of July, defensive lineman Chris Yaghi committed to Cal. Yaghi comes in currently at 6'4" and 269 lbs. He comes from Foothill High School in Santa Ana. He has another year to play to add to that size. Here are his ratings from the main recruiting services.
Rivals: 3 Stars
24/7 Scout: 3 stars, 74th at his position, 140th in the state
ESPN: No Ranking
Yaghi had offers from Oregon, Iowa State, Utah, and Washington State before choosing Cal. He has a good frame for a defensive tackle, leaving lots of room for growth in the next two years. Yaghi's 40 isn't the fastest, but his functional speed makes him a solid prospect for the next level.
- Right off the bat, Yaghi explodes off the ball in the first two plays. He's listed as a nose guard, and will probably end up as a 1-technique defensive tackle in Cal's 4-3. In the first play, Yaghi gets the jump on the center, pushes him off, and rips through. Perfect technique to get him a sack. He showcases his swim move on the second play, slicing right through the defensive line. He's persistent in moving his feet in order to get to the quarterback.
- Right off the bat, Yaghi's film reminds me of Todd Barr's. Two guys with fantastic motors who are undersized at the moment, but have the potential to be something great with time and size gain. Barr didn't make that jump, but Yaghi has another year to begin to fill that promise.
- At :27 in, Yaghi gets a handoff from the fullback position. The resulting play reminds me of Dan Connolly's kickoff return against the Packers. Yaghi is not that fleet of foot, but guys are falling off him left and right. It's good to see a big guy with ball skills. He can play on kickoff returns and protect against some sort of Three Stooges situation arising from a bad recovery of a squib kick.
- At :50 in, I like how he fights off a chop block. He pushes the helmet of the lineman down, exactly what you're supposed to do, which allows him to make a play on the back. Great awareness makes this play possible.
- At 1:12 and 1:17, Yaghi gets full extension on the lineman he's locked up with.This allows him to rip off his man to get to the ballcarrier. He's got some long arms, which help greatly with leverage. He does something similar in the play following those two, and keeps the blocker from getting locked up. The long arms help with this at any level.
- At 2:10, Yaghi chases down a screen to the wide receiver. That takes some serious hustle coming from the tackle spot.
- Yaghi's film as a whole is very technically sound. He has two moves for pass rushing currently, the rip and the swim. He uses his leverage from his long arms to keep blockers from getting into his body. His jumps off the ball are solid, and he does everything you want from a one technique. He will have to grow a little more to occupy multiple blockers, but in one-on-one situations he's very sound. Technique will work at any size, and once he gets that size, watch out.