SEVERN, Md. -- Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) took on Spalding in a WCAC-MIAA showdown Sept. 9. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout four-star Falcons defensive end Joshua Paschal, a 6-foot-2.5, 255 pounder with high interest in UMD, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and others.
Our take on Paschal's game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
Paschal has the physical traits and enough inherent talent to be an impact edge rusher or defensive tackle at the next level. He's a well-built 6-2.5, 255 pounder with the frame to take on weight and move to a 3-technique if need be.
Physically, Paschal has long arms, a developed upper body and a stout base. He has very little "bad weight" and seems to be in good condition.
At the snap, Paschal flashes a quick first step and good initial explosiveness. He can routinely beat slower offensive linemen off the ball before they set up. And once Paschal gets moving, he gets downhill in a hurry. He's one of those defenders who seems to gain momentum with each stride.
The latter allows Paschal to explode into the backfield and collapse the pocket. He's a natural closer, either when chasing down a quarterback or a running back on the outside. In fact, Paschal does very well in backside pursuit, using his acceleration, burst and athleticism to catch runners from behind.
Indeed, Paschal moves well laterally and can make plays both up and down the line and in space. He's able to locate runners, anticipate moves and take tight angles to the ball.
The Good Counsel product possesses superior strength too. He has a solid initial punch and can knock opposing linemen off the ball. The edge rusher does a good job getting his arms extended and disengaging too. He uses those long limbs and strong hands to pick through the trash and scrap inside. He's adept at corralling backs in the gaps and limiting forward progress.
To improve, Paschal mostly needs to work on his knee bend, making sure he comes off the ball low and hard. He tends to play high, leaving him prone to being out-leveraged. He sometimes has trouble disengaging, because he doesn't always hit underneath the pads.
Furthermore, Paschal has to keep working on his rush moves and hand placement. He usually relies on his quickness and strength to beat tackles now, but will need to develop an effective rip and swim to be successful at the next level.
Also, Paschal needs to become even more precise with his steps. Sometimes he looks a bit methodical when changing direction or attempting to slice inside.