Two Indiana football commitments went head-to-head on Friday when Westfield High School played at Noblesville High School.
Knight dominated the matchup the entire game, displaying great technique and strength for a high school lineman, as Noblesville defeated Westfield 17-12.
Here’s what I saw from the two future Hoosiers:
Brandon Knight won the individual matchup with Robinson and he had control the entire night. The game said more about how good of a player Knight is rather than diminishing Robinson’s talent. Knight was able to use his quick feet in order to frustrate Robinson play after play. The only move that Robinson was able to successfully use on Knight was his spin move, which was effective the two times he used it, but still didn’t result in a playmaking situation for Robinson.
On a few occasions, the pair of Indiana commits got into a little pushing match after the play. It wasn’t anything more than a little extra after the whistle, but it just showed the amount of competitiveness and the fire that the two players have. I caught up with Knight after the game, and he credited it to there desire to win the trophy game. However, there was nothing but respect between the two, as Knight went out of his way to find Robinson and shake his hand following the game.
“We both wanted it,” Knight said. “We both wanted the trophy. We both want to compete and be the best.
“Things started getting a little chippy, but we just want to be the best. We were just getting aggressive, we just like to compete a lot.”
BRANDON KNIGHT SCOUTING REPORT
Knight was impressive from the first snap to the last. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and gives full effort on every play. Even when he was on the opposite side of a run play, Knight was flying around the field trying to find someone he could put on the ground. He is a solid run blocker and already has a feel for finding his assignment on the second level of the defense. One thing he will need to improve is his occasional tendency to lunge for a defender. While he can get away with it on the high school level because he is stronger and faster than most opponents, he won’t be able to do it in college.
When in pass protection, Knight displays fantastic footwork. The most impressive part of his game is his drop step out of his stance. He gets great depth, while being able to stay low and gain leverage on the defender, and he uses his long arms to get extension. His lower body strength was on full display when in pass protection, but his upper body strength will need to be improved before he begins taking snaps in Memorial Stadium. His footwork and ability to extend his arms and still hold blocks should keep him at tackle at the next level, most likely staying on the right side.
“I really want to build my strength up and be able to really push guys around more,” Knight said after Friday’s game. “I’m still just working hard and looking to continue to work on my footwork and just get better overall. Ever since I was a sophomore, I knew I wanted to play Division I football, and I knew that footwork was the most important thing to doing that.”
JACOB ROBINSON SCOUTING REPORT
Robinson seemed overmatched at times when he was going up against Knight, as he couldn’t keep up with Knight’s quick feet. A big problem he had against Knight was hand speed, as Robinson didn’t possess the quickness needed to hit away the blocker’s hands and use a swim or power move to shed the block. That is the biggest area that Robinson will need to upgrade at the college level.
The game wasn’t all bad for Robinson though, as he proved he has the potential to be a defensive end for a Big Ten team. One positive area of his game was his spin move off the block. It was a quick move, and he had the ability to gather himself and find the ball immediately off the spin and attack.
The biggest strength to Robinson’s game is his containment abilities. He has a knack for extending an outside run and keeping the running back from being able to get to the outside. This resulted in ball carriers having to cut and go up field earlier than they would have liked, and linebackers were able to finish the play. He also did a good job of keeping the Noblesville scrambling quarterback in the pocket and not letting him get outside to make plays on his feet. The talent is certainly there for Robinson, but he disappeared at times throughout the game. He will need to work on being consistent throughout the year. He seems like he could be a solid fit at the bandit linebacker position that Nick Mangieri currently occupies.