The Opening: Huffman on ND Prospects, Part I

A few handfuls of prospects Notre Dame is targeting in 2012 recruiting class participated in "The Opening" at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman was there. He spoke to IrishEyes.com about a number of prospects still on Notre Dame's board, and he gave scouting reports based on their performances.

A plethora of Notre Dame commits and prospects took part in "The Opening" Nike event late last week and into the weekend, and Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman was at the event.

Huffman provided in -depth breakdowns of prospects Notre Dame is recruiting, and here is the first part of his analysis from the event:

DT Sheldon Day, 6-2, 280, Warren Central High (Indianapolis)
Huffman says: He's not as tall as I thought he was. He's very similar to (former UCLA defensive tackle) Brian Price where he's not real tall, but he's really stout. He's a perfect 3-technique guy. He blew up (Corvallis High) Isaac Seumalo, who I don't think he lost a one-on-one the entire spring, and Sheldon Day just blew him up the first time they went against each other, and then got him the second time they went against each other to show it wasn't a fluke.

He ended up being the DL MVP of the whole camp. He's real square and compact, real powerful guy. He's not going to be a guy chasing down a lot of quarterbacks, but he'll attract the double team and do really well stuffing the run.

RB Will Mahone, 6-0, 205, Fitch High (Youngstown, Ohio)
Huffman says: I really liked him. I like the way he's built. He's a power guy. In these kind of settings, the real powerful backs don't get a real test, but he can catch the ball out of the backfield, he's really well put together. I don't know how much more room he's got to grow physically.

In the drills Thursday, when they were just doing the Nike camp, he looked good just in terms of his cutting ability. He did a good job catching the ball, but you can't tell anything about vision in that kind of setting. I like how he's made up, too.

OT Zach Banner, 6-9, 295, Lake High (Lakewood, Wash.)
Huffman says: Banner probably improved the most Friday to Saturday, of just the linemen, of anybody there. The biggest thing for Zach is he's got to play lower. He's not a natural leg bender, and the biggest issue he has is when he gets into his stance, his leg separation is so wide that by the time he can get in a more comfortable stance, the defensive end has already gone by him.
The quicker defensive ends he struggles with, just because of how quick they are off the ball and how slow he is, but the bigger guys that don't have the quick first step, he has an easier time with. And if he gets you in a block, it's over. You're not getting past him.
He made the biggest jump Friday to Saturday in terms of footwork, and he's still so raw. That's the biggest thing for him.

OF Joshua Garnett, 6-5, 275, Puyallup (Wash.) High
Huffman says: I think he's the best interior line prospect in the country. As good as a tackle he is in high school, he's just so much more natural as a guard. Like Banner on the first day, he had a little bit of trouble with the defensive ends.
But when he is moved inside to play guard, it was lights out. He dominated everybody because of his strength, the low pad level he plays with, he just looks so much more comfortable as a guard and going up against defensive tackles.
He's a guard all the way. He likes defense …but (he and his family) know it's offensive guard all the way.

S Nelson Agholor, 6-1, 175, Berkeley Prep (Tampa)
Huffman says: After Landon Collins, he's probably the best safety prospect there although he played almost exclusively wide receiver. You look at him and he's a bonafide Division I, but he's also got the ability to play corner. He probably had the best hips of anybody there. He's definitely a guy who can play safety, and can play corner and play well. He's got the speed, the back pedal, the hips to play corner.


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