Louis Dorsey

In The Film Room: Louis Dorsey

Did Illinois uncover a big-time sleeper in Jacksonville (FL) Ribault TE Louis Dorsey? We give our thoughts on his commitment and potential impact at Illinois as we break down the film.


First Impressions:

Dorsey is a very intriguing prospect, because he has so many tools to be a successful player at the next level.  At 6'-6" and 230 pounds, the two-sport athlete will create a lot of mismatches and give the future Illini QBs a legitimate target to which they can throw the ball.

Tale of the Tape:

Dorsey plays with a receiver's mindset, but in a tight end's body.  He runs great routes thanks to very sound footwork.  Ribault lined up Dorsey both along the line and flexed out, allowing him to get matchups against both safeties and linebackers.  Dorsey actually sat out his junior year of football to play basketball, but picked up right where he left off as a senior and re-established himself as a coveted pass-catching target.

Dorsey had a lot of success in the screen game out in the flat, but also showed the ability to streak down the field for a deep ball when the defense gave him room to do so.  He understands how to find the open space in a zone, and does a great job of securing the catch and beginning to get down field.

In a lot of ways, he plays with a similar style as Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who is one of the best tight ends in the league at gaining yards after the catch and making defenders miss in space.  Dorsey is a decent blocker at the high school level, but will need to improve the leverage with which he plays once he starts facing D1 linebackers and defensive ends at the next level.

How He Fits:

Illinois has tried and tried to get anything from the tight end position, but have severely lacked consistency from their tight ends over the last decade or so.  Dorsey now provides them with a legitimate pass-catching threat.  I would expect Dorsey to be used in a similar fashion as Louisville's Cole Hikutini.  Garrick McGee understands how to create mismatches, and now has a guy who can do that in the passing game.  

Illinois' TE depth chart is a real mixed bag.  Tyler White, who was Illinois' primary tight end over the last 4 years and was arguably best blocker of the group, has graduated.  Andrew Davis, a highly-regarded JUCO TE recruit is more of a pass-catcher than a blocker, but has struggled so far to build any consistency and momentum.  2016 recruits Griffin Palmer and Andrew Trainer both redshirted.  And Caleb Reams, a versatile H-Back type, has battled injury for most of his Illinois career.

The table is set for Dorsey to come in and potentially make an early impact in Champaign, and that was likely a big draw for him leading to his commitment.  In general, the 2017 class is upgrading size, speed, and athleticism across the board.  Dorsey is a great example of what this staff is looking to infuse into this roster, and he has a chance to be special.

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