2017 DT Earnest Brown IV
Denton Ryan HS (Denton, TX)
The Good: It’s easy to immediately spot Brown on a highlight tape simply because of his sheer size and dominance. The junior has a quick first step at the snap of the ball, and he does a great job of getting into the backfield to disrupt the offense. Despite measuring in at 6-foot-5, Brown does a great job of maintaining a low center of gravity and low shoulder pad level when engaging with the offensive line. His size and arm length also allow him to use the swim move effectively against most interior linemen. Once the defensive lineman is in the backfield, his quick feet and athleticism allow him to locate the ball and track down the carrier. While Brown is somewhat on the lighter side, that doesn’t stop him from taking on any offensive lineman. His height also allows him to see over most opponents, so he has little trouble locating the ball even if he’s engaged with an offensive player.
Needs Work: While Brown does a good job of shooting up field at the snap of the ball, there are times when he can get pushed out of his lane thanks to a down block. He just needs to stay aware of where the block comes from so he can do a better job of fighting it instead of trying to outrun it up field.
The X-Factor: For Brown, his combination of size, length and athleticism make him an extremely versatile defensive player. Not only can he man up against any big offensive lineman, but he can also get around them thanks to his quickness and length. As the junior continues to put on more weight and strength, he’ll have an even easier time shedding blocks and making tackles in the backfield.
Offers: SMU, Indiana, Iowa, Texas State, Tulsa and Colorado State
WT: 228 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.80 seconds (unofficial)
Earnest Brown Highlights
2018 DT Jaylon Hutchings
Forney HS (Forney, TX)
The Good: Just a sophomore, Hutchings already shows a good motor and a quick get off at the snap of the ball. His quick first step allows him to beat a lot of offensive linemen across their face to get into the backfield. When he does engage with offensive linemen, he does a nice job of keeping his feet moving while trying to get penetration and locate the football. Hutchings also has violent hands, which helps him push back and shed the lineman he’s going up against. His motor also standouts out to me, because even if he does get pushed back by a bigger offensive lineman, he doesn’t quit on the play.
Needs Work: Hutchings biggest area of concern is obviously his size. While in high school it may not hold him back that much because of his strength and quickness, he’ll be going up against guys in college who are just as strong and have 30 pounds on him. But again, he’s just a sophomore, so he has all the time in the world to gradually put weight on while maintaining his quickness.
The X-Factor: This was a great early offer by the SMU staff simply because there’s so much upside to Hutchings game. While he is on the smaller side right now, it’s hard to come by a defensive lineman with the kind of quickness and motor that this kid has. As he continues to get stronger and grow, Hutchings should have no trouble finding an ideal collegiate weight to play at while maintaining his speed and quickness.
WT: 240 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.67 second (unofficial)
Jaylon Hutchings Highlights
2017 OL Alan Ali
Timber Creek HS (Fort Worth, TX)
The Good: Ali already has good size, strength, athleticism and footwork as an offensive lineman. From the snap of the ball he plays aggressively and physically until the whistle is blown. Even at his size, Ali shows good overall speed and quickness, and shows the ability to get up to linebackers when run blocking. Once engaged, he also does a nice job of keeping his feet moving and staying locked on to the defender. Against the pass, he shows a solid kick step and does a nice job of staying in front of the rusher.
Needs Work: While Ali shows good overall footwork and aggressiveness when run blocking, but there are times where he doesn’t take a good first step, which allows defenders to initially get past him. The junior does a nice job of recovering because of his size, but taking a stronger first step and being a little more patient on blocks would benefit him.
The X-Factor: As a junior in high school, not man kids stand 6-foot-5 and weigh 275 pounds. Ali already has the frame and body type of a collegiate tackle, so now he just needs to continue to get stronger. With his solid technique and aggressiveness, the Fort Worth native has already laid the foundation for becoming a successful lineman in college.
WT: 275 pounds
Alan Ali Highlights