HYATTSVILLE, Md. – DeMatha hosted St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) in a primetime WCAC matchup Sept. 30. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview Stags’ 2018 defensive tackle/guard Evan Gregory, who stands 6-feet-3, 282 pounds. Gregory landed his first offer from Maryland, and also has Syracuse and WVU after him. The Terps, for their part, originally offered Gregory on defense, but now it seems like he’ll be recruited exclusively as a guard.
Our take on Gregory’s game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
Gregory plays both ways for DeMatha, but the majority of his work comes at right tackle. That said, his size and arm length suggest he’ll likely be an offensive guard in college. Either way, Gregory projects as an FBS recruit, although the level he reaches will be determined by his progression during the next year.
Before analyzing Gregory’s game it’s important to note his on-field demeanor. Although Gregory doesn’t project as a tackle, he has that classic right tackle mentality: He’s a mauler who scraps through the whistle. On top of that, he's a heady player who understands what defenses are trying to do.
Physically, Gregory has a sturdy frame, although he could probably stand to pack on more muscle, particularly in his base. The DeMatha recruit may not have pole-length arms, but he does have strong hands that aid him in controlling defenders.
Naturally, Gregory does his best work run blocking. He has a decent get off, drives from his base and packs a fairly potent punch. Gregory locks onto defenders and has the ability to push them off the ball. He also has enough dexterity to push past his man and finish at the second level.
When blocking in space, Gregory ably locates linebackers and seals off the edge. He’s fairly deft for a big man and moves well down the line.
In pass protection, Gregory typically displays proper form, maintaining a straight back; remaining patient with his punch; and keeping his feet moving. He’s able to anchor, turning edge rushers to the outside, while also showing he can guide defenders past the quarterback.
Gregory does have several areas where he needs to improve, however, mostly from a fundamental standpoint.
At the snap, he could stand to become more sudden, developing an even faster first step and a quicker initial punch. He needs to extend his arms and get his hands into his man more rapidly.
Speaking of his hands, Gregory has to make sure he strikes underneath the pads. He tends to play a little high, and thus his hand placement isn’t always ideal. As a result, defenders can get into Gregory’s body and occasionally push him off the ball.
Moreover, Gregory shows some hip stiffness when pulling in space and readjusting to quick-twitch edge rushers. He has decent enough athleticism, but could stand to become even more flexible.
When pass blocking, Gregory must make sure he maintains his balance and doesn’t lunge. He typically remains patient, but once in awhile he will reach. He also has to quicken up his steps and develop an even smoother kick slide, as right now his feet can be a tad methodical in pass pro.
Finally, Gregory has to continue honing his strength so he can become even more powerful. We’d like to see him become a consistent finisher, someone who can complete blocks with a pancake.