Mark Brennan/FOS

Scout evaluates No. 1 ILB in Pa. and new Penn State commit Nick Tarburton

Pennridge (Pa.) High linebacker Nick Tarburton committed to Penn State, and Scout breaks down the game of the inside linebacker.

<iframe src="//" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Profile: Nick Tarburton

Position: Inside linebacker

High School: Pennridge (Pa.) High

Height: 6-4

Weight: 240  

Recruiting: The moment Penn State offered Tarburton, it seemed like a done deal he would wind up with the Nittany Lions, and that happened Thursday. Tarburton also had offers from Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Boston College.

The Scouting Report: Tarburton, the No. 1 inside linebacker in Pennsylvania, has a very good feel for the game. He pursues well and he shoots the gap and gets to the backfield. 

Even with his size, Tarburton shows a plus ability to change direction and accelerate. He has good body control and he has closing speed to get to the ball carrier.

Tarburton is physical, and he is able to disengage from a blocker and get in position to make a tackle. He has good hip flexibility and his footwork is clean. His size at the high school level is often overwhelming.

There are times, given he is playing in high school, it looks like a defensive end playing inside linebacker because of his size.

Tarburton blitzes off the edge at Pennridge, but he is best suited to come through the middle of the line of scrimmage. He needs to work on his cornering ability when chasing plays.

He is decent playing in space, and certainly breaks well on the ball thrown in front of him when in zone coverage, but he will need to work on that aspect. 

Overall Analysis: Even with spread offenses and the need to cover, stopping the run through the middle is imperative, and Tarburton is that linebacker. He is big, strong and he fills run gaps extremely well. He plays fast, and he has the speed to get to the edge and control the middle of the field in the running game. Also, if he adds some more size, do not be surprised if he shifts to defensive end.

Scout Football Top Stories