Scout's Take: Elijah Shumate

Notre Dame grabbed the commitment of four-star safety Elijah Shumate during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl. So, what are the Irish getting in the Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) standout? IrishEyes.com goes in-depth to provide a scouting report on the newest member of the 2012 class.

Notre Dame came from behind to land Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) four-star safety Elijah Shumate, and did so because of its combination of academics and athletics.

He fell in love with the campus, was enamored with the Notre Dame name, and felt at home when hanging out with players and the coaching staff during his official visit last month.

Shumate, who is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, was a long-time South Carolina lean before announcing his decision to attend Notre Dame during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

So, what is Notre Dame getting in Shumate?

I saw him play in two scrimmages, two games and also studied another game from the 2011 season and put together the following scouting report.

What to like

First, Shumate runs fast and can play physical. That is an excellent starting point for any player, and Shumate will be physically ready to play the moment he steps on campus.

He shows the ability to attack the line of scrimmage in the running game and does a decent job of disengaging from a blocker and locating the ball carrier. When he gets the change to make a play, Shumate is a sure tackler.

His speed allows him to get to the corner and keep the ball carrier from getting up the field, and he can do so quickly thanks to very good acceleration.

When it comes to coverage skills, Shumate has the speed to cover in the slot and be a blanket on short routes because of quick feet.

There is talk of Shumate having an opportunity to play in Notre Dame's backfield as well, and he emerged as Don Bosco Prep's short-yardage running back in 2011. He is a rugged runner, who makes one move and heads up field.

Shumate also runs with power, and from a yard out is very tough to keep out of the end zone because of his downhill running style.

What needs work

The biggest thing with Shumate is activity. There were plenty of times he didn't show up much on game film and didn't make a lot of plays from his safety position. Part of that can be attributed to Don Bosco Prep's talent level.

The Ironmen have three BCS scholarship players on the defensive line, including five-star Darius Hamilton, and also have a pair of high-end cornerbacks in senior Yuri Wright and sophomore Jabrill Peppers. At times, it didn't leave a lot of tackles or opportunity for Shumate, but a player of talent and caliber should be more active on a consistent basis.

He also needs to do a better job of locating the ball when he comes up to stop the run, and when it comes to defending the pass he has the talent to do it, but sometimes gets caught out of position.

When it comes to running back, Shumate is definitely a bruising type of runner. If Notre Dame tries him there, he will need to improve his vision, acceleration and elusiveness. He is a punishing runner, but not the type of running back to break off big runs on a consistent basis.

Final thought

There has long been talk of Shumate moving to linebacker in college, and it makes sense because he can easily add 15 pounds and be a bruising, speedy linebacker who can cover and also hit. That will depend on his body.

At this point, Shumate is best suited to play strong safety.

What is unmistakable is Notre Dame upgraded its athleticism by adding Shumate because he is that athletic.


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