Hometown: Portland, Oregon
High School: Jesuit
Key Offers: Arizona, Boston College, California, Stanford, Wisconsin
- Ratings are consistent, but should be higher
- Great overall athleticism (speed, agility, footwork)
- Likely an inside linebacker
- Tough, physical tackler
- Potential to be great pass defender
Joey Alfieri's profile is one that is very good across the board, but would likely be higher if he were in a larger population center. By the end of the recruiting cycle, Alfieri should be a consensus four-star prospect who may not garner all of the offers one would expect, but who will have enough accolades from the camp circuit to more than justify such a rating.
Joey Alfieri presents an impressive skill set that could find a fit at either inside or outside linebacker, as solidly evidenced by his play at inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and on offense. Alfieri displays change of direction, foot work and long speed not often found among linebacker prospects of his size. While he doesn't hesitate to bowl defenders over when running the ball, Alfieri can make quick cuts to elude defenders. He naturally and quickly lowers his hips, which allows him to cut sharply against the grain or come to a complete stop to make a defender miss. His footwork allows him to slide and pick the hole to run though, and once he hits the hole, Alfieri's speed kicks in, as the 6'3" athlete runs away from defenders.
Alfieri advertises many of the same skills on defense, along with excellent acceleration to the ball and good sprint-to-shuffle transition. Once a ball carrier or quarterback declares his path, Alfieri recognizes and attacks in a hurry. He arrives much faster than the ball carrier expects, leading to violent collisions when he makes the tackle. That acceleration allows him to be a devastating blitzer, as he is often too fast for running backs and quarterbacks to avoid, let alone for linemen to get a decent piece of him. Two aspects of linebacker play that don't show in his film are his ability to play laterally through the chaos near the line of scrimmage (i.e. playing through ‘trash') and his ability to disengage from blocks. In both games and in his camp clips he shows that he has the athletic ability to do both, but proving his competence in those skills will be essential to his college success.
Change of direction, great hips and good ball skills can make Joey Alfieri a top-end pass defender at the next level. His loose hips, which is what allows him to accelerate laterally and transition from shuffle to sprint, will enable him to quickly get into his zone and use his change of direction skills to play "man within the zone" against small, quick running backs and wide receivers. Those attributes combine with his acceleration to put him in good position to break up and intercept passes. His hands and ball skills, exemplified by his offensive play, suggest that he will be able to capitalize on those opportunities.
Joey Alfieri can play inside or outside linebacker, but his home looks to be on the inside. He does have the athleticism and shoulder turn to develop pass-rush moves as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but the skill displayed on his film, as well as his projected size by the time he arrives at college (6-foot-3, 230-ish), would probably be a better fit at inside linebacker. However, at either spot, Alfieri has the potential to develop into an early contributor once in a college program.
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