Class of 2018
Position: Outside linebacker
Top offers: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA
There are certainly some possibilities here. Winston looks plenty athletic and can run down ball carriers. Straight line speed for this linebacker isn’t a problem. Nor is getting after the quarterback. Winston lines up some in space and plays on the 7-on-7 circuit, so that’s an area of his game that should continue to evolve. There’s plenty of athleticism to work with. How his body and skill set takes shape over the next few years would likely define the roll in college a little better.
“Eli’jah Winston was intriguing, with a great body, probably 6-2-plus and 230-ish. He looked good in the drills for a guy his size, but then was a bit lost in coverage in the one-on-ones. He's played a lot of stand-up end in high school and he showed Sunday that he's very comfortable in that role, and he very well might end up a situational pass-rushing hybrid in college. UCLA offered him right after the camp.” — Tracy Pierson, BruinReportOnline.com, after Under Armour camp
Early consensus is building for Oregon, where his older brother plays. But Winston has continued to say he’s wide open to any program. Up until now, interest has essentially been limited to Pac 12 programs. Could Winston be intrigued by an option farther from home? It remains to be seen.
Brian Polian, Del Alexander
Two, maybe. Mike Elko and Clark Lea continue to pursue linebackers even with a couple four-star commitments in Matthew Bauer and Ovie Oghoufo. Winston can certainly cover and run, so he seems like a natural fit for the “drop” position. Perhaps Winston could even be a rover? All depends on his development over the next couple years. Either way, Notre Dame seems intent on continuing to pursue athleticism and position flexibility at linebacker.
Matthew Bauer (committed), Ovie Oghoufo (committed), Dallas Gant, Brandon Kaho, Alan Tisdale