Weishar to follow familiar footsteps at ND

Our eighth of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges examines tight end prospect Nic Weishar and how he could improve head coach Brian Kelly's Irish roster over the next four -- or five seasons.

A four-star prospect ranked 13th among the nation's tight end prospects by Scout.com, Weishar

Below is a film review of Weishar with an eye toward how his current receiving skills will project later in his collegiate career as he evolves into a complete tight end.

Strengths and areas for development

Played almost exclusively as a wide receiver at Marist High School (Chicago) and enters Notre Dame as a flex tight end prospect ready to compete from the outset as a pass-catcher…At 6'5" 235, Weishar consistently high-points the football vs. defensive backs, using his body to create separation on contested throws…Displays outstanding body control, a natural pass-catcher that can adjust to poor throws both high and low, and behind him…Doesn't slow down to cut, nor to jump, the latter an underrated skill for downfield targets…Uses feet well to set up a defender in space…Nice use of body when necessary to shield defenders from the football in tight quarters…

Shows toughness after the catch, but inline blocking adjustment will be a major undertaking early in his career…Good sense of chains and where to fit against a short zone…Aggressively goes after the football in traffic….Economy in his steps will help him get open vs. the forthcoming faster defenders he rarely saw in high school (he doesn't rely only on outrunning or out-jumping a lesser athlete at present, he beats them with technique and functional football speed)…

Plays quicker than his 4.7 timed 40-yard dash listing, though that's likely his top end speed in a straight line…Showed he could catch all required routes for his position (stick, out, post, seam, back-shoulder fade)…Will need 10 pounds before competing with the varsity then likely 5 more to survive full-time duty…More important, his new world includes blocking major college linebackers, defense ends, and safeties, something that will require great adherence to yet-to-be-taught techniques…

As with previously reviewed pledges Jimmy Byrne and DeShone Kizer, Weishar showed great improvement as a senior, his rise in the rankings was well-deserved. Adds to litany of red zone threats for future Irish rosters.

Road blocks to playing time

Strength, weight, and technique. The Nic Weishar coaches inherit this summer will bare little resemblance to the future sophomore that hits training camp in August, 2015. Like last year's tandem of Durham Smythe and Mike Heuerman, and like prized recruits Alex Welch, Tyler Eifert, John Carlson, and Anthony Fasano before them, Weishar would benefit greatly from a year on the scout team before taking on a full load.

He's likely ready to turn heads in 7-on-7 sessions, but the in-line responsibilities of Irish tight ends in head coach Brian Kelly's offense cannot be understated, and Weishar will need more than added bulk to fill those myriad responsibilities.

Look for Smythe and Heuerman to backup returning senior Ben Koyack in 2014 and for the new era of Irish tight ends (Smythe, Heuerman, Weishar, Tyler Luatua, and the 2015 pledges) to make their mark beginning in '15.

Current Minnesota Vikings standout Kyle Rudolph didn't redshirt for two reasons: 1.) The 2008 squad was bereft of healthy tight ends, and 2.) He was the best of the lot and a ready-made college body. Weishar doesn't fit into either of those categories (nor did the names of past Irish starters noted previously).

Reminiscent of… Former Irish transfer and Stanford alum, Konrad Reuland.

Nic Weishar Film

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