Trumbetti arrives early, ready

Our second of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges examines the program's only defensive early enrollee and how he could improve head coach Brian Kelly's Irish roster, both in 2014 and beyond.

Ranked 31st overall overall by and as the nation's No. 20 defensive line prospect, Demarest, N.J. product Andrew Trumbetti joins fellow four-star Justin Brent (WR, Speedway, Ind.) as the program's two early enrollees this spring.

Kelly's defense has benefitted from the contributions of a true freshman defensive linemen in each of his four seasons in South Bend, and with multiple seasons of attrition (transfer, injury, graduation, early NFL exits) up front, Trumbetti's early assimilation should create an opportunity for the aggressive athlete to extend that streak.

Below is a film review of Trumbetti with an eye toward how his skills project to the collegiate level, both next fall and beyond.

Strengths: today and tomorrow

Has the feet of a slower collegiate linebacker and the body control of a sound but unspectacular tight end -- add those traits to a 6'5" 255-pound focused, aggressive prep prospect and you have the makings of a devastating collegiate defensive lineman…Trumbetti is athletic and fluid for a player of his size, but what stands out most is his use of his hands: quick, violent, heavy strikes allow him to shed blocks in pass protection…Shows rare determination after getting off a block, chasing plays from proper angles, shooting gaps at full speed and breaking down vs. smaller opponents to ensure a tackle…Wraps up yet delivers a message on impact…Absolutely crushed the pocket playing against lesser competition…

A relentless player that diagnoses a play, locates the ball, and uses short space quickness to finish…recovers well after taking a shot (absorbs contact and maintains his balance when hit)…Will size up a ball carrier and deliver a shot when the time is right…Won't be a player you need to convince to put forth the daily effort away from the field…Long arms make him an ideal Mike Elston pupil up front…Will likely develop pass-rush moves as an interior player (3-4 end or 4-3 tackle)...

Irish are fortunate Stanford didn't get him, because he'd be three years of trouble…A true competitor (a few practice field and Saturday scuffles are in the offing)…To borrow from head coach Brian Kelly regarding 2013 offensive lineman Steven Elmer, Trumbetti will be "good at 11-on-11" from the outset…Seems to have a strong field presence in the short-space, physical world of the front seven…

Won't be overwhelmed by game speed after his initial assimilation…Looking forward to seeing him in the team's one-on-one and two-on-one Rodeo Drill (Irish Eyes drill)…Hope he doesn't put on 40 pounds too quickly, Trumbetti can thrive at 275-280 in today's game…Will embarrass any disinterested teammates in the dog days of August camp in the coming seasons.

Areas for improvement

Step up in competition will be dramatic, not only on fall Saturdays but this spring at the LaBar Practice Complex…Plays a touch high because he was simply too physically imposing to have to worry about getting low…Versatility in high school allowed him to develop into a complete player but that also means he'll need time to master the necessary techniques to survive full-time up front…

Road blocks to playing time

Precious few. Aside from Sheldon Day, Jarron Jones, Isaac Rochell, and a return to health by Tony Springmann, Notre Dame's defensive line rotation will be a work in progress through next Thanksgiving.

2014 will doubtless feature a fifth straight season in which a Notre Dame defensive end cracks the game day rotation and Trumbetti is the best bet.

Reminiscent of… An apt comparison is former Notre Dame inside linebacker, Wes Pritchett (1984-88)…If you're looking for hyperbole, 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt comes to mind, though the comparison is due to Trumbetti's utter discarding of inferior prep competition on film.

Still, his effort, use of hands, and frame made him easily the best, and most ready to improve, player on the field throughout my film reviews.

Trumbetti Highlights

Click here for our Eye in the Sky film breakdown on Trumbetti's fellow early enrollee and current roommate in South Bend, Justin Brent. Top Stories