Buckeye Instant Impact: David Durham

Charlotte Christian senior David Durham committed to Ohio State last February in what was accurately described as a shock to fans and recruiting experts alike. Durham's senior film was just evaluated by Scout.com and in this piece we will attempt to project exactly how Durham will be used. Take a look at this edition of Buckeye Instant Impact.

David Durham, of Charlotte Christian, stunned nearly everyone that follows Ohio State recruiting with his commitment to the Buckeyes last February. Although Durham wasn't a household name, his junior film showed a player that would fit in with the Ohio State program.

After receiving senior film on Durham, it's easy to see that he is a far better prospect now than he was last year, and the Buckeye coaching staff might have hit it big with this under-the-radar recruit.

PROJECTED POSITION AT OHIO STATE: Middle linebacker or defensive end.

WHAT OHIO STATE HAS TOLD HIM: "Coach Fickell said I need to be ready to play strong-side linebacker or middle linebacker. At practice he told me to watch the "Leo" position, and I might be playing there, so I concentrated on Thad Gibson and Nathan Williams. Coach(Jim) Tressel told me they put people on the field where they can make plays. I think I fit in great at the "Leo" spot, and I think I'm a similar player to Nathan(Williams)."

STRENGTHS: David's senior film shows how hard he has worked in the weight room over the past year. As a senior, on defense, there are very few "drag-down" tackles, and decidedly more "knockdown" tackles. He is clearly a more physical football player than he was last year, and could possibly help out at fullback in a pinch, although he is a defensive player by trade. David has great football awareness and is always around the football. I like him best as a defensive end, either strong-side or the "Leo" position, and I think that's where he will play for Ohio State. He has great strength at shedding blockers, and taking on backs in the hole. He is an effective pass-rusher, and while he may not have a blazing forty-time, he does have a quick first step off the football. He is also blessed with great football-smarts and his intensity on the field is another huge strength.

WHAT TO WORK ON: David needs to concentrate on improving his overall athletic ability, and that can be improved upon through hard work. Flexibility and change of direction are characteristics that will need to be improved before Durham is able to step out at linebacker and cover backs out of the backfield, or tight ends down the seam. He does have a similar skill set to Austin Spitler when both were at this point in time, but Spitler might have more straight-line speed.

INSTANT IMPACT: I would not be surprised to see Durham on the field next year on special teams, although a redshirt year would probably be more beneficial. There could be playing time available at defensive end in a support role in 2010, but the linebacker positions seem extremely crowded. I eventually envision Durham as a 260-pound defensive end, and a player who could realistically challenge for extended playing time in his second year with the Buckeyes.

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