Utah received some very big and welcome new on Sunday night, as Tyson Cisrow and Chris Hart, from St Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, both verbally committed to play for the Utah Utes. Both Cisrow and Hart are very highly regarded players and both held over 15+ other offers. Cisrow will come to Utah with the intent of playing safety or corner, while Hart will be primarily looked at as a defensive end.
The first thing that stick out with Cisrow are his ball skills. He's a very instinctual player and has a nose for the ball in the secondary. He routinely is able to read the QB's eyes and jump opposing receiver's routes, in order to pick off the pass. It's impossible to teach a defensive back to be instinctual, so it's a huge positive when they have that already out of high school. Another thing that sticks out with Cisrow is his ability to cut down runners at their legs. Cisrow isn't the biggest player at just 6'0-180lbs, but he does a good job at wrapping up ball carriers and is able to take down bigger backs by attacking their legs. Lastly, Cisrow has great very good speed, especially once he gets going. He's not the quickest runner, but he takes long strides and is able to cover ground very quickly after he gets going.
The biggest weakness that stood out on film was Cisrow's technique and footwork. In high school he's able to dominate in the secondary based solely on his athleticism, speed and instincts, but he'll need to learn proper technique and footwork at the next level. He'll also need to put on much needed weight and muscle. Cisrow has a good frame for defensive back and should be able to add that weight at Utah. Once he does, he'll only become that much better. Cisrow should quickly become a valuable asset in the Ute secondary.
Hart's biggest strength is just that, strength. He's strong as an ox and just throws around tackles and running backs that tried to block him in high school. He's also got fantastic closing speed and converges on the QB extremely quick when pass rushing. Another thing that stood out to me about Hart was ability to shed blocks and use his hands, especially in the run game. Hart does a great job of standing up his blocker and then diagnosing where the run is going, and then shedding the blocker to make the tackle. That is something that is not easy to learn, and is a credit to the St Thomas Aquinas coaching staff for being able to teach that technique.
The biggest thing Hart will have to work on and learn at Utah is pass rushing moves. He mainly relied on just pure strength to beat tackles and running backs en route to the QB, but that won't always work at the college level. He'll need to learn to use his hands to knock away the arms of tackles, and also will need to work on his first step off the line. If he can become a little quicker off the line he'll be extremely difficult to contain off the edge. The last concern with Hart is his frame. He's currently listed at 6'3-235lbs. He'll need to be able to add about 10-15 lbs without losing speed, and that can be difficult to do sometimes at just 6'3.
This is a big day for Utah football. To be able to land both Cisrow and Hart is a very big deal as they both come from one of the premier high school programs in the country. Both should be able to pick up the schemes and life of college football quick, and expect Hart to push for playing time as a true freshman, due to the lack of depth at defensive end. It's certainly a great day to be a Ute.
Commit Analysis: Tyson Cisrow and Chris Hart
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