In the Film Room: Christian Lombard

The 2010 recruiting class started with a bang before the Class of 2009 had even signed on their respective dotted lines. Most believe the game of football is won or lost at the line of scrimmage, which makes recruiting both lines a high priority. So starting off the Class of 2010 with one of the nation's top linemen was an excellent start to this class for the Irish.

The first commitment of the 2010 recruiting season was Midwestern standout Christian Lombard. Lombard is a typical Midwestern power player who has the size, strength, and attitude to be dominate his competition.

The Wm Fremd standout is already a big fella and is only going to get bigger and stronger. Lombard is a power player who uses his 6'5 frame and 290 pounds to absolutely dominate Illinois high school defensive players. Lombard is a thickly built young man with extremely long arms. Strength and power are the name of his game. Lombard is naturally a very strong young man who has a strong initial punch, strong hands, and is able to push around high school defenders. His strength is his greatest asset and as he develops it is imperative that he maximizes this attribute. Despite having strong hands, Lombard does not use them properly. He has a tendency to be late with his hands and doesn't always drive them into defenders. When he does, he possesses as much natural pop as any Irish commitment since Sam Young was dominating the state of Florida. If Lombard is able to shoot his hands with better quickness, more consistency with his hand placement (staying inside), and get better extension he can be a dominant run blocker in college.

Lombard uses his strength and toughness to dominate as a run blocker, which is clearly his best attribute at this stage in his development. The 290 pound right tackle plays with a good base, gets off the line quickly, and uses his strength to get good movement at the point of attack. Lombard will have to learn to play with better leverage/pad level. He has a tendency to stand up off the ball which causes him to lose some power and at times even causes him to lose defenders to the outside. He'll have to learn to stay low, drive off the line (rip with his hips), and allow his feet to take him where he wants to go. When he does these things he's a stud. Lombard takes good angles to defenders and works very well in combination blocks. He shows good quickness getting up to the second level and working off the combo blocks. Lombard is also an excellent finisher, and when he gets his hands inside on a defender it's over, the defender is beat and is likely going to find himself on the ground. Lombard also is quick to react to movement up front and does a good job picking up twists and stunts.

Lombard is a solid athlete who has decent foot quickness and as mentioned works quickly through combo blocks and up to the second level. In college Lombard will have to improve his footwork in order to excel. While he has good foot quickness, he isn't quick enough to play with average technique. He has a tendency to be too short with his steps, take false steps, and at times lunge into defenders rather than proper step and drive through them. Lombard does, however, get off the line quickly and will be even more so when he learns to drive off the line rather than lift up. He also shows good quickness driving into blockers on his cut attempts. Lombard moves relatively well in the open field on screens although his lack of pure speed might limit his ability to screen at a high level in college.

There is no question that Lombard's greatest strength is and always will be as a run blocker. His potential as a run blocker is extremely high and if he improves his technique, I see him being a true dominator as a run blocker; having said that he also has some potential and tools as a pass blocker. Anyone who has watched Note Dame under Charlie Weis knows that if a guy can't pass protect he won't be effective as a linemen for the Irish. Lombard needs work, but he certainly has good tools. First and foremost Lombard has to learn proper footwork in pass protection. He has the foot quickness to be effective, there is no doubt, but he doesn't set well from a footwork standpoint and has a tendency to lunge at defenders. But the Wm Fremd standout makes up for his lack of footwork with range and strength. Lombard is a wide bodied kid with extremely long arms, which makes him difficult to run around. It forces to defenders to try to go through him, which is difficult. Lombard is good at mirroring defenders and uses his solid quickness and long arms to counteract double moves. He tends to get heavy with his feet and not extend his hands, but when he is proper, he is tough to beat. Lombard uses his strength to hold up against bull rushers, but has to be more consistent with his footwork in this area. At times he gets too wide which allows defenders to get a push on him and prevents him from reacting to the outside move of the defender. Other times he tends to overreact to an outside rush by lifting up which prevents him from using his power to drive the defender wide. When he keeps a solid base he is able to use his quickness and power to drive out rushers and often times put them on the ground. Once he learns to properly use his hands and use better footwork Lombard can be very solid as a pass protector.

Christian Lombard is a right tackle for his Wm Fremd High School football team. He can certainly play that position for the Fighting Irish. He has the size, strength, power, and agility to play right tackle at the collegiate level. Lombard is also quick enough and powerfully enough to play guard as well. This versatility makes Lombard an intriguing prospect who will give future line coach Frank Verducci plenty to work with. The 290 pound Lombard provides the Irish with a big body who will help develop the power rushing attack many Irish faithful have pined for over the past few seasons. He is athletic enough to block the zone and powerful enough to get a push in man schemes. Whatever the Irish decide to do up front, Lombard certainly fits into the plans for the Irish and will look good in Blue and Gold. Top Stories