In the film room…Three-star prospects

Among the more underrated prospects in the Class of 2015 are safety Mykelti Williams (Indianapolis, Ind.), offensive guard Trevor Ruhland (Cary, Ill.), and cornerback Nick Coleman (Kettering, Ohio).

The following is a final pre-signing day evaluation of the eight student-athletes verbally committed to the Irish who are listed by Scout as three-star prospects. Prospects are “loosely listed” in descending order of projected contributions to the program over their time at Notre Dame.

• Assets: Active, aggressive, try-hard defensive linemen with a bunch of untapped potential. Errs on the side of aggressiveness. A bull-in-a-china-shop approach in lieu of established technique, which can be difficult to handle. Size, length allow for some versatility as a weakside end or on the interior.
• Room for improvement: Undetermined technique. A very raw prospect. Plays out of control at times without gap-integrity consciousness. Will run himself out of plays due to over-aggressiveness. Lot of movement but not much progress covering ground in Semper Fidelis all-star game.

• Assets: A relentless player on the back end of the defense. Thrives on contact. Compensates for lack of size with a fearless approach to the game. Shows excellent pad level. Confident he belongs on the field with the best. A special teams contributor with attitude from day one. If attitude overcomes physical shortcomings, this is the player.
• Room for improvement: Lacks the speed and burst ideal for athletes his size. Also does not appear to have great verticality. Unlikely as tall/big as his listed height/weight.

• Assets: Legit size, frame for the next level. Good up-field surge with lower-body drive. An active use of his hands. Shows quickness off the snap. Makes it difficult for offensive linemen to cross his face. Possesses short-area quickness. Should have enough versatility to play one- or three-technique.
• Room for improvement: Gets caught playing too tall at times. Fairly limited lateral range, at least until he maximizes his conditioning. Limited pass rush skills as an interior defensive lineman. Needs to find another gear for the next level.

• Assets: Bouncy, energetic, aggressive defensive back with good size for cornerback. Smooth-looking athlete in pass drops. Solid hip turn with the ability to get into full-stride quickly and chase the football. Has the makings of a physical defensive back. Uses his hands liberally to redirect receivers. Appears to offer the versatility of a run-supporting, physical corner who also could grow into a safety.
• Room for improvement: Can be a bit deliberate out of his backpedal. Change of direction isn’t always as lightning-quick as you’d like from a cornerback. Sometimes engages receivers so physically that he’s caught off-balance when they make their cut. Needs to fine-tune technique.

• Assets: A prototypical in the box inside linebacker. Plays with an edge. A hungry, angry football player. Plays as if he wants to make a lasting physical impression on every snap. Excellent lower body strength and explosion. Sledgehammer hitting ability and a high degree of toughness.
• Room for improvement: Let’s rule out size. He was listed shorter than he really is during much of the recruiting process. Greatest concern is his ability to cover ground laterally.

• Assets: Football-savvy athlete with skills on both sides of the football. Sound technician as a press cornerback with scatback-type RB skills, vision and tenacity. Aesthetic, long strides with open-field elusiveness. Competitive defensively at the line of scrimmage. Uses hands aggressively to re-direct receivers. Excellent pad level in backpedal with good break-on-the-ball skills. Physical for his size. One of the most underrated players in the class.
• Room for improvement: Needs to add some ballast to his body, namely, in the backside to aid his burst into tackles and drive through ball carriers. Probably not as tall as listed height, but not a limiting factor at the cornerback position.

• Assets: Relentless blocker. Outstanding leg, hip and backside strength makes him a prototypical interior-line drive blocker. Plays with a nasty streak. Makes it difficult for defensive players to get off his blocks. Gathers his weight and reaches full thrust of power upon contact. Impeccable pad level. Maintains balance while working laterally/vertically. Maintains center of gravity as a pass blocker.
• Room for improvement: Lateral mobility. More accustomed to playing a vertical game. Best approach is to go around him, not through him. Probably not a legitimate 6-foot-4 as listed. Size of frame is greatest concern.

• Assets: Quality athlete who attacks the line of scrimmage and plays a physical brand of football. Light on his feet with excellent break on the ball. Explodes into low tackles. Fundamentally sound in keeping outside shoulder free. Has all the physical assets to be a success on this level. An underrated football player coming out of the state of Indiana.
• Room for improvement: Does not have ideal size for the safety position. Can look a little stiff in his backpedal at times.


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