BearsIllustrated Film Study: Zorell Ezell's Andy Claughton breaks down the film on Baylor Class of 2012 signee Zorrell Ezell.



Recruiting films are the No.1 tool utilized by college coaches & programs to identify prospective scholarship players. They are used to roughly evaluate their abilities, & decide whether or not to pursue the prospect. Films are also a part of the final decision coaches have on giving a scholarship. The evaluation of a prospect's film is about the basics; basic form, personal attributes, position attributes, physical ability, reaction, skills, and the apparent ability of a recruit to perform the basic functions of a specific position at or above the appropriate level. It goes without saying that every coach has his/her own criteria a prospect must project in their film in order to garner consideration. How certain offenses and defenses are run differ from program to program & coach to coach. Ultimately there is a ton of personal opinion in the decisions made based off of film (aka: highlight tapes) but the basics of each position still apply to all no matter what the coaching variation. All viewers of highlight tapes must always realize they are just that; highlights. They are not an overview of a season or a picture of how the recruit will react in every single situation, but merely a peek at what they can do.

My intent in these segments is to break down the play of individual recruits on a very basic level. Looking into their build, physical abilities, instincts, & technique, I will do my best to lay out their strengths and weaknesses, note on their game IQ, and what the coaching on the next level may be able to do for them.

Name: Zorrell Ezell
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 260 lbs.
High School: Humble High School (Humble, Texas )
Keys @ Defensive Tackle: Size, Strength, Foot Speed, Launch, Hands, Awareness, Activity, Aggression, Instinct

The quickest way to describe Ezell is quick, high motor, and disruptive. Ezell fires out of his stance quickly and with decent pad level. Occasionally after the initial contact, he will raise his pad level a bit that could give a blocker a second chance but not too often. His success at this point comes from the fact that he keeps his feet moving. This makes all the difference on the line. Several times in an even matchup between Ezell and an equally sized O-Lineman, the initial contact is almost a stalemate, but his leg drive wins the battle for him. Zorrell plays aggressively with a quick first step, attacking the blocker, but needs to be careful not to over run a play.

He weighs in on the lighter side of defensive tackles at 260 lbs., but has a fairly thick build that can surely hold a bit more weight. The development of overall strength will be critical to his success, especially being a lighter defensive tackle. He can surprise you with his quickness and decent ability to change direction. With being slightly lighter he will have to utilize his quickness, activity, and hands to win up front. As a defensive tackle the utilization of your hands is imperative. Your explosion off the line creates the initial contact, but you must create separation from your blocker, keep the inside position in order to read the play, use your hands to disengage a block, shed a block, and gain position to make a play. Ezell uses his hands alright. He has a pretty decent swim move, but relies heavily on a bull-rush & his spin move. He loves his spin move. It is effective, but you need more than one move. At the next level he may not be bull-rushing a lot of D-1 offensive linemen. There are a lot of moves he can learn that will help him in this aspect.

Right now Ezell looks more like a pass rusher than a run stopper. I am not sure if his high school coach ran his defense this way, but Zorrell seems to attack the outside shoulder most of the time in the pass rush. This is fine, and at defensive tackle you need to go for both inside and outside rushes, but containment belongs to the defensive end. (unless stunting of course) He needs to get disruption via the inside shoulder as well as the outside shoulder and when the outside is his point of attack, work back inside a.s.a.p. Zorrell seems to have a pretty good nose for the ball, getting up field on pass plays, and taking pursuit on outside runs. He does at times play the run well, getting separation, and staying at home to make the play, but he doesn't work across the face of the blocker. He tries to bully his way through him.

The biggest thing that will make Ezell effective on the college level at Baylor is development of technique. Better use of his hands, better positioning on his matched man; just overall polish on the little things. Combine this with relentless pursuit of power in the weight room & Ezell could make a mess of things for quarterbacks in the future.

Bears Illustrated Top Stories