First of all, the match-up between Kyle Caldwell and Joe Thomas was an epic one.
These guys just went after each other with a passion. Joe proved what great feet he has, as Kyle went at him a ton of times with a bull-rush tactic, but he couldn't move Joe out of his stance to any major degree.
What Kyle did have going for him was marvelous technique. He was quick, fast and was able to use some pretty clever stuff to get around Joe at times.
Joe was just solid, up and down. The thing we really didn't get to see on either side though was some of what you are going to see at NU and that was some drive-blocking or at least run blocking to the point where it required him to block, move down field, block, etc.
There's no doubt that Joe is going to be a great pass blocker, but couldn't get a major take of his run-blocking ability. His hands and feet though are very good as far as his stance, getting up off the snap and getting his body square.
Kyle was a stud. Just a flat out stud. Though his stats might have been overshadowed by Mattison (another stud), Kyle had a great game, getting at least one sack, a recovered fumble and some impressive tackles in either backside pursuit or along the line of scrimmage.
As I said before, he's very quick and has extremely good technique for someone at the high school level and ala some of the great REs in NU past, he doesn't stop on a play. He just keeps going and going until the whistle blows or he blows someone up.
Just a great game on his part.
Corey McKeon had a good game as well. They had the linebackers very disciplined in their formation, so Corey had to start off every snap about ten yards off the line of scrimmage. While Corey seemed to get blocked many times, he was able to drop back effectively into pass coverage and even got a tipped ball that resulted in an interception.
He showed good speed side to side and seemed to close on ball carriers with good space.
One thing he is, is energetic and a little fiery. He plays the game pretty intense, just like you want to see from a LB, whatever the position. He seems to have solid instincts all the way around.
and last but not least, Tommy Zbikowski.
Well, I didn't cover his coverage abilities in the film review because NU wants him as a QB, but they were on show tonight and you can see why so many want him for that position. He's got good size automatically for the CB position and you saw how well he works in coverage with his back to the ball. He's been coached real well in that aspect.
What really impressed me though was his closing speed. You know he's fast, but he could close on the guy or just kick it up one little bit to make sure his guy didn't get away. For the few times they threw at him, he did a great job and I was really impressed.
He's physical, fast and has great instincts for the position.
Offense: What do you think? Chris Leak..............wow, this kid is good.
Defense: A close one, but gave it to Mattison. Four sacks in an all-star game? Are you kidding me? That's insane.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619