OLNEY, Md. -- On Sept. 4, WCAC stalwart Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) played host to Baltimore power Gilman, the Greyhounds emerging with a 36-29 overtime road win. Terrapin Times was in attendance to scout several Maryland targets participating, including class of 2017 defensive end Joshua Paschal. The Terps’ offeree racked up three tackles in the loss.
Our take on his game, as well as a brief interview after the loss, is below:
"[The Good Counsel Gilman game] was one of the most exciting games I've ever played in to be honest. Even though we lost, it was a great game," Paschal said. "The way we were down at halftime and came all the way back in the fourth quarter, it was a great effort by us."
Paschal's team picked up the pace late, but the defensive end didn't have one of his better outings. He was stalemated at the point of attack by Gilman left tackle Devery Hamilton.
"I think I did OK; I could have done better," Paschal said. "I was OK. I have to get more powerful, stronger and faster. I have a lot I have to keep working on to get better."
As far as recruiting is concerned, Paschal holds offers from Maryland, Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Kentucky and UVA. He's visited CU, UMD, UK and OSU previously, while he plans to attend games this fall at Maryland, PSU and maybe Clemson if he can make it.
"I don't really have any standouts right now," Paschal said. "I'm just going through the process and taking it slow. There's some schools that catch my eye like Clemson, Maryland, Ohio State, Kentucky, but no favorites yet."
Paschal was supposed to attend the Terps' home opener against Richmond but couldn't make it over. He'll likely be in College Park, Md., for Maryland's game agaisnt Michigan, however, in addition to others.
"I like Maryland. It's a good school and it's close to home," Paschal said. "I like their team and I like Coach [Mike] Locksley; he's a really good guy and he's on me. He contacted me like the first day the contact period was open [Sept. 1]. I've been up there before, and I like it."
The Falcons' end has a former teammate currently at UMD, and two current teammates committed to the Terps. Indeed, both KeAndre Jones and Travon Stott have been hyping the Terps to the younger Good Counsel prospects.
"KeAndre and Travon, they keep saying how all the talent needs to stay in Maryland and stay home. They keep talking about the staff and how much I'd like it there," Paschal said. "And I like what they're saying, but I'm keeping my options open. Like I said, I'm going to go through the process."
A sound, versatile down lineman, Paschal plays both the 3- and 5-techniques for Good Counsel. Physically, the 6-foot-3, 255-pounder has a stout, wide build that he could easily pack more pounds onto. Paschal doesn’t possess especially long arms, but his hands are forceful.
As far as his game is concerned, Paschal does the little things well. He keeps his feet moving, he deftly maneuvers through traffic, he makes plays both in the gaps and down the line, he wraps up well, and he plays through the whistle.
Paschal is fairly agile compared to many interior linemen, his footwork allowing him to change direction and locate backs in space. Paschal takes tight routes to the ball, so he can close decently as well.
When attacking downhill, Paschal does a decent job getting off the ball and does well angling past offensive linemen. Again, his footwork is superior, so he’s able to slice through gaps or come around a left tackle’s backside as he pursues backs/quarterbacks.
As Paschal attempts to beat blockers, he works to disengage and slice into the passing lane. Paschal usually corrals running backs that hit those lanes too. He’s adept at fending off blockers, reaching out and tripping up/taking down runners.
While Paschal does have some upside to him, he’s not exactly a freak athlete who is going to disrupt backfields on every play. Yes, he’s got some pop, and, yes, he moves well, but don’t expect him to bull-rush two linemen on his way to the quarterback -- or catch a 4.4 runner from behind.
One area in particular we’d like to see Paschal improve is his burst off the ball. He’s not bad for a high schooler, but would raise his profile even more if he could explode forward and beat blockers at the snap. Right now, Paschal does some of his best work as a run defender. If he can gain a more potent first step and increase his burst, he could take his pass rushing to another level.
Speaking of rushing the passer, Paschal has to work on his moves and hand placement. As with many young ends, Paschal relies on his strength and athleticism to beat his man. He doesn’t show much in the way of advanced technique quite yet. Moreover, he has to work on getting his hands up quicker; sometimes he can be a tad methodical with his initial thrust.
Also, Paschal can come off the ball a bit high at times. He needs to play with better leverage and get his arms extended more consistently so linemen can’t get into his body and neutralize him.
Moreover, Paschal could stand to improve his short-area quickness. He has to be able to gain an inside step on blockers, or corral quick-twitch backs that hit the edge. Right now, he's not especially effective getting to said edge and funneling runners inside, or bee-lining through the gaps.
It would also behoove Paschal to increase his strength so he can develop more point-of-attack power. He’s not weak by any means, but Paschal can sometimes disappear when pitted against a Division-I caliber tackle/guard.
Last but not least, Paschal has to keep building his body. We detected a little “bad weight,” and believe with another year of lifting he’ll have an even more solid frame. He also has to improve his conditioning as he tends to tire during the latter parts of games.