It didn't take Louis Nix (6-foot-3, 315-pounds) long to get the attention of the Scout.com recruiting analysts on hand at Wednesday's Under Armor All America practice, but it may take a couple more days for him to change the perception that he needs to play hard every play.
Wednesday was different, as Nix was outstanding most of the day. His name was mentioned most often by the recruiting analysts when the subject of defensive linemen surfaced. He played strong and he pursued plays down the line. He beat double teams and bullied the guy across from him at times.
A reference point for Notre Dame fans is that he is in the mold of Brandon Newman and Tyler Stockton, but a little taller and a little broader. He's a big kid, but a guy that still needs to be molded physically. Still, he's a powerful guy that could play either nose tackle or defense tackle at Notre Dame.
He showed surprising agility and explosiveness in drills. During the scrimmage portion of the practice, Nix mainly used his bull rush to rush the passer. The offensive guard had a lot of trouble handling him, as did two guys when he was double teamed. On a middle screen he pushed the guard back into the quarterback, turned around when the ball was thrown and tackled the running back behind the line.
The knock on him has been that he took plays off... I did see him do that at times, but I thought he played hard.
Scout.com's Florida Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons has seen a lot Nix this year and he had this to say about the future Notre Dame defensive lineman.
"I focused on Nix for a little while and he was dominant when he wanted to be," Simmons said of Scout.com's No. 12 defensive tackle. "It is all about Nix in my opinion. If he wants to be a top defensive tackle in South Bend, then he has that kind of ability. It is going to be up to him.
"He is a very strong DL with good strength at the point of attack. When he dominated the man in front of him, he started low, exploded his hands through his opponent's chest, and drove him into the backfield. He has that type of ability. He just needs to stay motivated.
"As quickly as I would see him dominate, he would then not fire off the ball and get pushed around," Simmons said. "If he wants to be that guy all talk about at ND, then he can be. He was borderline top-10 for me today and I look forward to seeing him tomorrow.
Florida Recruiting Analyst Mike Bakas was also liked what he saw from Nix on Tuesday.
"I watched Nix today and was impressed as well," Bakas said. "It didn't surprise me though because I watched his last high school game in person and he was outstanding then. He's carrying too much weight now and needs to keep his motor going on a more consistent basis, but when he wants to, he's an absolute load. He's very powerful, can bull rush just about anyone you put in front of him, and he could really develop into a difference maker at defensive tackle early on in his career at Notre Dame.
"Nice pickup. I think he's a borderline Top 10 kid in Florida."
Scout.com's Florida Recruiting Analyst Geoff Vogt provided similar thoughts on Nix's effort during Tuesday's practice.
"I have always liked Nix, but downgraded him some since he struggles with his motivation," Vogt commented. "That was not a problem today as he was a dominant defensive tackle. Nix is an elite talent and can be as good as he wants, he just needs to focus. Notre Dame is probably a great place for him because the added structure should be a huge bonus for him.
Nix, Stock Up!
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