McKennie Talks UMD, Game;Plus Scouting Report

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Here is an in-person scouting report and interview with Maryland commit Ellis McKennie from McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.).

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) took on St. Joseph's Montvale (Montvale, N.J.) Sept. 5, and the New Jersey power got the best of the Eagles, 31-18.

Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview McDonogh's Terps targets, including current UMD pledge Ellis McKennie, who allowed zero sacks and had four big pancake blocks. Check out his interview and scouting report below:

Scouting Report

For a guy who is 300 pounds, Ellis McKennie, who plays left tackle for McDonogh, can flat out move. Nimble of foot and quick as a running back, McKennie thrives when he’s in space, picking off linebackers at the next level, pulling around end or readjusting to a quick-twitch rush end. When McDonogh ran sweeps or off-tackle, McKennie fired out of his stance, hauled it down the line, identified a pursuing backer and then sealed him off, freeing up plenty of daylight for the back. Moreover, he executed a couple near-textbook alley blocks, getting upfield in a hurry while cutting off linebackers at the second level. McKennie runs well, for sure, but he’s also precise with his movements, his feet rarely crossing or becoming garbled.

At the snap, McKennie enters attack mode, getting a good initial push while aggressively pursuing his block. He’s a driver and a finisher, someone who latches on, scraps through the whistle and ends with a pancake. He worked well with his guard on a couple combination blocks, stunting the defender before releasing into the secondary in search of a linebacker.

In pass protection, he has an above-average punch, usually stalemating rushers in their tracks. His arms are long, and he’s typically able to keep defenders out of his body. McKennie shifts his weight well, his feet light and swift, in order to pick up faster defensive ends or blitzing linebackers. Again, this guy has a knack for face-planting defenders, his violent hands and relentless nature allowing him to record pancakes. He also shows a very good kick step as he guides defenders past the quarterback.

Physically, McKennie is sturdy and toned, and he carries his weight well. There’s very little fat on him, even though he’s 300 pounds. This is a guy who could easily add even more bulk and become one of those rare 6-3, 315-pound guards with a power forward’s strength-athleticism combination.

McKennie, though, does have to continue adding muscle as sometimes he’ll get overpowered. He also has to work on his leverage, making sure he comes off low and hard instead of straight up. Once in awhile he allowed the defender to get under his pads, driving him backwards, so developing consistent low knee bend is a must. Moreover, as the game wore on and he tired, his technique and suffered, so more conditioning is necessary as well. He also has to hone his hand placement when run blocking, making sure to consistently jab under the pads.

Interview


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