Utah cemented it's offensive line recruiting for the 2015 class in a big way on Monday night, as 6'6-320lb offensive tackle Darrin Paulo, out of Sacramento, CA, committed to play for offensive line coach Jim Harding and the Utes. Here's what Paulo brings to the table for the Utes.
The first thing that jumps off the film when scouting Paulo is just his sheer massive-ness. Paulo is as well built of an offensive tackle as you'll find in the entire country, and carries his weight extremely well for 320 pounds. Simply put, he's an extremely impressive physical specimen. The other big thing that jumps off of Paulo's film is his quickness, especially for his size. He's very quick out of stance in both pass and run blocking, and is able to get to the defender in a hurry. It's rare to find an offensive tackle as big as Paulo is, and that moves as well as he does. Lastly, Paulo does a good job of moving while pass blocking. Once he gets set up in his pass blocking stance, he's very hard to get around. Again, another rare quality to find in such a large offensive tackle.
The first weakness I notice with Paulo's game is that he needs to do a better job at finishing his blocks, and staying engaged with his defenders. Paulo does a good job of getting to his assignment and packs a powerful first hit, but needs to use his hands a little better to stay engaged in run blocking. It's a tough thing to learn, as you have to balance staying engaged as long as possible with not trying to grab too much, which could lead to a holding penalty, but it's something that he'll definitely learn at Utah. The last thing I noticed was Paulo's kick step technique. He needs to kick backwards with more power and strength in order to not get beat around the edge by pass rushers, especially the quick ones that play in the PAC 12. This is something that Paulo will learn at Utah as well, as Coach Harding has already proved to be a great teacher at the offensive line position.
Utah needed 2-3 offensive tackle commits for the 2015 class, and they ended up with 3. Paulo is the gem of that group and is also one of the gems of the entire class. He chose Utah over offers from Nebraska, Washington State, USC, Michigan, California, and heavy interest from Oregon. Coach Harding and graduate assistant Nick Alaimalo deserve A TON of praise for their efforts with Paulo, as they were able to get him to buy in to becoming a part of Ute Nation.
Commitment Analysis: Darrin Paulo
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