OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) hosted DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) Sept. 16 in a WCAC-MIAA matchup. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout four-star defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher, a 6-foot-5, 282-pounder with offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland and more.
Our analysis on Mustipher's game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
Mustipher is one of the foremost 2018 defensive tackles in the region for a reason. He’s a hulking, muscle-bound specimen with great size, strength and athleticism. Mustipher figures to be an impact defender soon after arriving on a college campus.
Physically, Mustipher has a wide frame and a stout base, with little bad weight. He has long arms and big hands too, which helps him keep defenders out of his body.
At the snap, Mustipher fires off the ball, showing terrific burst and a fast first step. He has a suddenness to him, easily slicing through gaps and “getting skinny” in the hole.
His initial contact can be stunning, Mustipher delivering a potent strike before tossing his man. Mustipher is a load to handle inside, and once he gets moving downhill, he typically drives his man back or pushes right past him. If follows that Mustipher is adept at scraping off blocks and busting into the backfield.
Indeed, the McDonogh plugger is active in the gaps and does some of his best work locating backs in the hole. He uses those long arms to reach for runners and bring them down at or behind the line. And when Mustipher closes in, he finishes with authority. He has the ability to drive backs into the ground.
When runners string to the outside, Mustipher flashes solid lateral movement and agility in the open field. He picks through the trash and has the ability to catch backs on the edge.
On passing downs, Mustipher can wreck havoc in the backfield. He’s a closer, gaining momentum as he chases quarterbacks down.
To get even better, Mustipher has to improve his feet, first and foremost. He could stand to become more nimble inside, while his change-of-direction quickness needs work too.
Also, Mustipher has to play with more knee bend. He doesn’t always come off the ball low and hard, and he can be outleveraged at times.
Lastly, Mustipher has to make sure he strikes inside and underneath the pads, as his hand placement isn’t always on-point. He could stand to vary his rush moves as well, developing a swim and a rip.