Due to the sheer number of verbal commitments that have been pledged recently, all of the formalities in the introductory paragraph are going to be skipped. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the Duke Blue Devil's latest commitment.
Athleticism—is very fluid and has little wasted movement. Is always under control and plays hard without forcing things. Stays over feet, navigates well through traffic and can accelerate laterally, as well. He covers ground very quickly and gets off the hash with relative ease. Is explosive and attacks the ball at its highest point. A definite plus is that he can match up with slot receivers and RBs alike. Value is illustrated in that he can actually play a number of positions and be productive at each—WR, DB and K or P Returner. This allows the coaches to maximize on the scholarship and cover a number of needs.
Size—has a very good combination of size and athleticism. Has excellent length and a long stride, yet he is able to keep from lumbering. Understands leverage and is able to use size to seal smaller defenders, especially in the Red Zone Has the size and strength to play in the box but is largely unproven (See Cons).
Speed—times and plays at a legit 4.4. Accelerates hard out of backpedal and is at full speed in 2-3 steps. Plays downhill and fills the alley quickly. Won't be a liability in any match-up (see athleticism). Is a homerun threat any time he touches the ball and this makes him a viable special teams option right away.
Intelligence—completely understands the game of football and knows the fit and role of whatever position he is playing. He brings to mind the "Coach on the field" adage and will grow into a confident and competent leader.
Effectiveness Near LOS—is a big hitter and really drives on ball and ball-carrier alike. What is unproven, though, is how effective he can be in short-yardage situations or when the defense goes to an eight-man front. He could be packaged out in these situations but, as nearly all coaches will attest, the more base personnel can do, the better the defense has a chance to be.
Technique—this is a great "problem" to have. The fact that he plays so many positions continues to keep him from becoming 100% proficient at a single position. Combine his aptitude and attitude with the number of reps he will get at the next level, and he will be up to speed in no time. This is clearly momentary and can even be perceived as a reach.
Final Analysis—Anthony Young-Wiseman is a perfect illustration of the new Duke recruit, the type of player that Coach Cutcliffe and Co. are targeting. That the Blue Devils have been able to land the pledge of such a player is a sign of the changing culture in the program and the way Duke football is perceived by potential recruits.
Young-Wiseman is a dynamic playmaker who, along with the other upper-echelon recruits, will have an impact that transcends the field of play. That's good news to the Duke Nation…Not so much for everybody else.
Burke Hayes is the Southeastern Regional Manager for Football Recruiting at Scout.