The next addition of the “Film Session” series looks at new Indiana commitment Nick Westbrook. The wide receiver out of Lake Mary, Fla. committed to the Hoosiers over Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Boston College.
Westbrook has ideal size for a wide out at 6-3, 195 pounds. He already has a good, strong frame with room to continue to put on even more muscle once he begins working with the IU training staff. He uses that strength to his advantage against defenders, going up to get jump balls with ease. Westbrook uses his tremendous jumping abilities and ball skills to go up and grab any ball that’s in his area. He has long arms and soft hands, so he is able to get full extension and make spectacular catches.
When it comes to route running, Westbrook runs mostly slants, hitches, and go-routes in the current offense he plays. He runs them well and is great with his footwork. His fakes going into slant and hitch-and-go routes fool defensive backs often. Westbrook also doesn’t go down easily after making a catch, as he has a good juke move and uses his strength to make tacklers bounce off of him.
The most underrated area of Westbrook’s game is his stock blocking ability, where he also knows how to use his strength to get in cornerbacks’ grills and allow for running backs to find space once they hit the open field.
One of the weaknesses in Westbrook’s game is a lack of versatility in his route running, but that has a lot to do with the basic routes from the offense he plays in high school. That is something he will be able to improve upon once he gets to Bloomington. Westbrook still has a lot to learn about the game, which could keep him from seeing a lot of time right off the bat.
The other weakness of his game is speed. Westbrook isn’t necessarily slow, but he won’t be able to outrun any defensive backs in the Big Ten. He also doesn’t display elite acceleration off the line of scrimmage, but rather uses his strength to get off of jams.
Westbrook is a big receiver who can go up and make spectacular catches. He understands how to use his body to his advantage, and his ball skills will allow him to make plays anywhere on the field. I think he is a little underrated, and he reminds me a lot of former Hoosier receiver Cody Latimer. They have a very similar game with the way they use their upper body strength to make big plays, and it is certainly possible that Westbrook will be making the same type of huge catches at Memorial Stadium some day in the near future.