Hill's future role: Attack Mode

Our 17th of 23 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges examines hybrid OLB/DE prospect Kolin Hill and how the promising pass-rusher could improve head coach Brian Kelly's Irish roster both in 2014 and beyond.

Below is a film review of 6'2" 220-pound prospect Kolin Hill, Scout.com's 64th-ranked outside linebacker in the 2014 class.

Strengths and areas for development

High-effort pass rusher with good technique (bends well, stays low coming out of his stance and into tackling position)…Uses his hands exceptionally well, especially as a pass-rusher working an offensive tackle's inside shoulder/set…Has the quickness and speed to stop-start, and chase down ball-carriers…A great pocket athlete as a prep star and it should translate at the next level -- rarely off balance in the backfield vs. cut-backs or misdirection/elusive opponents…

Needs strength to set the edge vs. a collegiate rushing attack where he (now)occasionally ends up a bit high while beating a block…Gives admirable chase even when seemingly out of a play…Sacrifices his body when he's within shouting distance of a quarterback, runner…Not only a speed edge rusher, Hill attacks an offensive tackle's inside shoulder with authority…Showed remarkable quickness off the snap as a 4-3 defensive end and is doubtless best attacking upfield and along scrimmage...

Diagnoses and understands the read-option hand-off/keeper well…Reminds of me of classmate Jonathan Bonner when he finishes his pursuit of the ball-carrier or of an elusive QB in space…Appears to have excellent functional football strength -- will only need to add ballast at the next level (standard for a hybrid end/OLB) to take on larger players and power running games...

Reminiscent of former Irish Cat (boundary) linebackers Prince Shembo and Darius Fleming in that he's likely better equipped to put his hand on the ground pre-snap than to stand-up and cover a boundary zone as a linebacker (Fleming became proficient, Shembo improved but was never totally comfortable in space)…Hill shows natural instincts at scrimmage and his unique quickness off the snap…His 5- to 8-yard quickness indicates a defensive end role in the future…Keep this athlete in constant pursuit and aggressively going toward scrimmage, not turning his hips and dropping into coverage…

Able to uncoil and strike ball-carriers in short space after beating the initial block…A relentless player along scrimmage and in the backfield…Good leaping ability as well and can get off the ground quickly when engaged by a blocker…Coordination, use of hands, and football instincts will make him tough to cut as an edge player - a key to defending quick slant routes…

Can turn and run to the sideline but doesn't have the raw straight line speed possessed by incoming classmate Jhonathan Williams…Not sure a reported 4.51 40-yard dash time is accurate but Hill's 10- to 15-yard time is likely elite, and that's far more important.

Road blocks to playing time

A season on the scout team is likely, because though Hill has the skill set to get to a college quarterback upon arrival, he'd have trouble vs. the run on first and second down. I can't see a successful Year One transition in pass coverage (as a true outside linebacker), which means a niche role in pass-rushing packages is his quickest path to the playing field…Could run under kicks and aid the coverage units as well.

Veterans Ishaq Williams and Romeo Okwara are in front of him and there's ample competition for edge assignments in the 2014 class (Williams, Bonner, Grant Blankenship).

My gut: Hill is a starting defensive end in 2016 and makes waves in 2015 as a pass-rusher.

Reminiscent of… Former Irish linebacker, Darius Fleming (2008-2011).

Kolin Hill on Film

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