HT – WT – SPEED: Some have Josh Atkinson listed at 6-foot-1, other have him at 6-foot, either way he has the height you look for at his position. At 180-pounds, you expect him to add a few in the coming years as he matures and speed is not an issue.
QUICKNESS – AGILITY – BALANCE: Shows above average quickness and great agility and balance on the field for his position.
STRENGTH: Has good recoil ability in his upper body but needs to put some work in the strength department in his lower body. This will not be a major issue once Paul Longo and the Irish strength staff get their hands on him.
BODY FLEXIBILITY: Natural bender who has no problem adjusting his body from a football positioning standpoint. Has worked hard in technique and looked better as a senior than a junior flipping his hips.
PRODUCTION: When looking over his body of work you see a transformation over the past couple of seasons. As a junior, Josh was more of a program player doing well within his team's scheme and from the play of others around him. Now, he has taken his game up another level and showed more ability to produce on his own ability.
ON THE FIELD
This first thing you notice in watching film of Josh is his willingness to come up and hit. This will serve him well at the college level. However, there are areas he will need to work on to reach his full potential.
On film, Josh shows solid pre snap reads and makes the adjustments needed to be in the right spot.
He has natural instincts and the foot quickness to mirror a receiver and is able to use his quickness and balance while in his backpedals while still being able to flip his hips to turn and run with the receiver.
Because of his overall speed and burst, Josh at times gives receivers a step. He can do that at the high school level but will need to make the adjustment at the college level.
Shows solid press coverage skills and has the speed to blitz off the edge.
One area of concern is in tackling. On film, Josh was seen several times coming up to make a play but failed to breakdown in proper technique to make a wrap tackle. Instead, he uses his shoulders or arms to make the hit with the player going down. In college, the ball carrier will not go down as easy. This is coachable and seen more from players at the high school level capable of dominating.
As we have noted with other players, Brian Kelly has always shown high interest in players who come from families where a father has played at the college and pro levels. Josh adds to the growing list and for good reason.
This is a solid get for the Irish and not just a signee to help reel in his brother. Josh Atkinson has enough skill to hold his own and much should be expected out of him over the next few years. Has raw speed and is raw in some areas, however, the upside is high and a major reason the Irish worked to get him into the fold.