The Opening: Mique Juarez Evaluation

Jul. 16 -- There wasn’t a more athletic linebacker at The Opening in Oregon last week than North Torrance (Calif.) athlete Mique Juarez...

Playing on the biggest stage of the off-season, linebacker Mique Juarez put on a show and showed why he’s among the nation’s top prospects, regardless of position.

Juarez is currently rated the No. 3 OLB in the country and No. 17 player overall and you can expect that ranking to continue to rise as we head in to the fall. Simply put, the more we watch Juarez, the harder it is to find a single flaw in his game. He battled a sore hammy the last day of competition and had to sit out the last few games but before the injury, he was called his team's best defensive player by his 7v7 coaches.

Every time we see him in person, he looks a little bigger and he measured out at a rock solid 6-1.5, 226 pounds in Beaverton. Juarez clocked a 4.69-40, 4.42 in the shuttle, jumped 34” in the vertical and threw the power ball 42’.

The 40 and shuttle numbers don’t do him justice as Juarez might have been the most dynamic ‘backer in the event. He plays much faster than those numbers and was an absolute blur in running down opposing offensive players from behind. What really impresses with Juarez is he’s not just a straight line guy, he’s so fluid in his movement, can stop and start, change direction and then explode.

He’s also an extremely instinctual player. While other ‘backers have to see a play develop, wait for a back, tight end or receiver to catch the ball and then react, Juarez is about a step ahead of everyone else. He’s very good diagnosing a play and putting himself in a position to blow it up a second ahead of just about everyone else on the field.

He showed very good ball skills with multiple interceptions, flashed excellent cover skills and will be an every down 'backer in college and will never need to leave the field. With his timing and instincts, he’ll be very good blitzing off the edge, is tremendous in space and can drop and cover backs and tight ends.

Simply put, he’s an incredible talent and has the ability to step in and play as a true freshman at just about any school in the country. Juarez is currently a USC commit but other schools including Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA are pursuing him heavily as well.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories