In the Film Room: Anthony McDonald

Paul Moran is a former D1 college quarterback, former college coach, and former college recruiting coordinator. He's also the current head coach of the North East Hurricanes, a semi-pro team that plays in the NEFL. We've asked Paul to take a look at a number of Notre Dame's top prospects for 2007, and here are his thoughts on linebacker Anthony McDonald.

When reviewing film on Anthony McDonald, it is pretty easy to see why he is one of the most sought after linebackers in the country. With a nice combination of speed and size, he appears to be a good fit for Corwin Brown's 3-4 defensive scheme.

He looks quite mature from a physique perspective already, and is fast enough to cover a lot of ground when the outside backers are out on the ends or dropping into coverage. Although it was tough to read on film, McDonald's high school either lined up their backers in a 5-2 look or dime coverage on a number of occasions, and Anthony, as well as the other backer, had to cover a lot of ground against the run and the short pass. This is important in the 3-4 defense because quite often there are only two linebackers standing behind the defensive line.

Anthony appears to have pretty good size already for a high school junior and looks strong. If his 6-foot-3 listing is accurate, he could probably put on another 10-15 lbs. I can see him playing in the 235-240 pound range without losing his speed. I have seem him listed anywhere from 219-230. He looked like he had the ability to shed blockers pretty easily on the few occasions that someone actually tried to get in his way. I had a difficult time figuring out if the offense actually tried to block him or if he was too quick to do so. Either way, no one spent a lot of time trying to engage him. He looked a bit like a running back carving through the line untouched on most occasions.

The first thing that jumped out at me was McDonald's technique in tackling. He is sure handed and once he gets his hands on a ball carrier, he is not going anywhere but down. In addition, Anthony has a nice first step and explodes into the ball carrier.

I read an article where McDonald stated that Notre Dame didn't have to watch a lot of tape on him before offering. Judging from his impressive list of offers, I truly believe it. He is a polished middle linebacker and his game is solid.

My conclusion on him is that he does everything quite well considering the fact that he is a junior in high school. He has good size already and will probably get bigger. He obviously had good coaching in that his stance is also impressive. Anthony has good vision and doesn't wait to read the play before attacking the ball carrier. He has good speed and even better quickness when attacking the ball carrier.

He also did a nice job of both avoiding as well as shedding blockers. Most importantly, he is a very good tackler, who squares up well and punishes the ball carrier. Some guys at his age just look great on tape because they are much bigger and stronger than their peers. Anthony is a big kid, but my excitement on him is based on the fact that he just appears to do everything well without the benefit of Division 1 coaching. I definitely see him playing on Saturdays. Top Stories