Massive Mokwuah has time to grow

O'Malley's 22nd of 23 "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming freshmen examines interior defensive line prospect Peter Mokwuah and how the former Rutgers pledge could improve the Irish evolving front in future seasons.

Mokwuah: strengths and areas for development

Shows a good first-and second-step quickness and can finish in short space…Gives determined chase when he's near the ball carrier but motor doesn't appear consistent a la incoming classmates Andrew Trumbetti and Jay Hayes when he's initially blocked…Plays a bit high, but still appears athletic and is a physical prospect that could be tough to handle playing alongside another big body inside a 4-3 front…Strikes through ball carriers upon impact, suggesting short-space quickness and change of direction could evolve into a true strength for a player his size…

With one (or two) seasons of strength and conditioning, Mokwuah should command double-team action from opposing lines…Was aligned all over the defensive front during his senior season at St. Joseph by-the-Sea (Staten Island, NY) but appears to be a true interior prospect at the collegiate level…A good tackler with the ball carrier in his sights but is more effective battling in the tackle-to-tackle phone booth than he is outside the pocket...

Could evolve into a three-technique (DT) disrupter and pocket mover at the snap, a player that can power through a gap when he wins initially vs. an offensive lineman…Relatively inexperienced with just two seasons of varsity action…At 6'3" 315 pounds, a five-year plan for Mokwuah seems prudent, but he shows the potential to become adept at shedding blocks and maintain that momentum toward the ball carrier…Relies on raw physical skills to win his individual matchups…Will hold the point when "his cargo is transferred to horse power" to borrow from Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston.

Road blocks to playing time

A season of tutoring, strength and conditioning, and scout team work doubtless awaits Mokwuah, but the Irish defensive line personnel that begins 2014 could differ greatly from the unit that ends 2015.

In good health, the "best" true defensive linemen among a collection of 13 (including six incoming freshmen) are arguably: junior Sheldon Day first, senior Tony Springmann second, most likely junior Jarron Jones third, and reasonable minds can offer varying opinions thereafter.

Of those 13, only one, 5th-year senior Justin Utupo, exhausts his eligibility at season's end.

Opportunity knocks for Mokwuah, et al, or it will over the next 22 months.

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