FREDERICK, Md. -- Linganore (Frederick, Md.) played host to Tuscarora (Ballenger Creek, Md.) Oct. 24, and the Lancers ended up with a 49-13 victory. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and get an update from 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive lineman and Maryland commit E.J. Donahue. Donahue, who has missed most of the season due to a torn ACL, was back in the flow Oct. 24, recording three pancake blocks and allowing zero sacks, while helping to spur a rushing attack that racked up over 200 yards. Check out our scouting report and video below:
Donahue plays left tackle for Linganore, but his body type (wide and thick with average arm length) suggests he may be better suited for the right side, or perhaps at guard. Either way, he has good size (6-5) and carries his 330 pounds well. This is not a typical 315-plus-pound high school lineman who has a spare tire around his midsection; Donahue is in good shape with plenty of muscle already packed on that frame (a credit to Linganore’s weight-training program).
On the field, Donahue is an advanced run blocker who plays with a mean streak. He’s a finisher and a fighter, someone who knows how to use his muscle and power to his advantage. Donahue can put an opponent on his back, and if he knocks the first defender down, he’ll storm to the second level looking for another victim.
For a prospect his size, his get-off is solid, and he has above average leg drive. That latter quality, coupled with his already-potent punch and strong hands, make him one tough customer to push past. Once Donahue gets moving downhill, it’s extremely difficult for high school defensive linemen to stand their ground, or disengage.
Moreover, Donahue is an athlete. He does well blocking in space on pitch plays, downfield runs and the like. Donahue effectively executed a slide block on a quarterback roll out, and a couple nifty angle blocks on inside runs as well. He does a good job working with his guard on combination blocks too.
In pass protection, Donahue possesses a fairly aggressive initial thrust. His hand placement is mostly on-point, as his jabs are typically inside the pads and low. Donahue also anchors well, and shows the ability to ride his man past the quarterback. He has good extension, doesn’t usually let defenders get into his body, and generally keeps them engaged thanks to those big, strong hands.
To improve, though, Donahue is going to need to continue honing his footwork in pass protection. He doesn’t have the most natural kick-step, and he can be a bit deliberate in his movements. He may have difficulties readjusting to quick-twitch edge rushers until he quickens up his feet.
Also, Donahue can get caught flatfooted from time-to-time. Sometimes he’ll react to a blitz a hair late, and that will allow the defender to gain leverage of overpower him at the point of attack.
On top of that, instead of shifting his weight to cut off an outside rusher, he’ll end up lunging and letting his arms do all the work. Some of that is a result of fatigue, however, as his form can suffer a bit later during games. Once Donahue improves his conditioning, though, he should become more consistent with his technique throughout the game.
When Donahue is run blocking on pitch plays and other outside runs, he has to be able to turn the defender inside in order to give the running back a clear lane up the sideline. Sometimes Donahue will let his man get to the edge for the tackle. Also he has to become more deft and nimble when blocking in space as he has some stiffness to him.
As both a run and pass blocker Donahue needs to improve his leverage. Too often he comes straight out of his stance and doesn't generate power from his base. Once in awhile you'll see a defender get into his body and scrape off because Donahue's playing too high.
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