Wednesday, July 13, 2011

the recruit: Ryan Doull

Name: Ryan Doull
Position: OG
Hometown: Kanata, ON
School: All Saints Catholic (FUMA)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 305

24/7: NR
ESPN: 75; three stars; #66 OG
Rivals: 5.3; two stars
Scout: NR

Other offers: None

A huge but lightly regarded Canadian offensive lineman leaves Ontario for his senior year to play at Fork Union.  He visits UVA, earns an offer, and commits practically on the spot.  It's a formula that worked once before, why not again?

Big Canada is Austin Pasztor; the sequel is Ryan Doull.  Doull is in fact already enrolled at FUMA, and jumped in with both feet by joining the lacrosse team there this spring.  That kind of dual-sport (Doull-sport? please don't hit me) athleticism is the big story here, made even more significant because Doull tips the scales at over 300 pounds already.  And actually, the pun isn't even quite accurate, because as recently as 2008, Doull also played hockey.  I suspect Canada of having compulsory hockey service the way other countries have compulsory military service, but regardless, I'm glad I wasn't the one getting checked into the boards by a guy who must've been about 260 pounds at that age.

Doull was born in 1993, which makes him already 18; an unspecified illness in 2010 held him back a year.  Physically, therefore, he's a tad more mature than his competition would've been in high school, and the same age as his future FUMA teammate Adrian Gamble.  The thing you see repeated in any evaluation about Doull is his athleticism, yes, but specifically his "nimble footwork," which is pretty much believable given the lacrosse and hockey thing.  He seems to be projected for now as a guard by the services, but he'll play all over the line at FUMA as well as on the defensive side.  A guy that big with good quick feet would make a good defensive tackle.

So as with most offensive linemen, his position is somewhat in flux and will depend quite a bit on needs of the team and his own development.  Doull is very lightly thought of by the scouting services, so much so that Scout hasn't even put him in the database.  Scout is the laziest of the four, so it's unlikely they ever will.  Two stars is basically par for the course for any prospect out of Canada who has yet to play a season of football in the States, so there's practically nothing to go by there.  ESPN actually went through a full review, so they have the one review worth noting.

You can expect Doull to be raw, but a year of coaching at FUMA will go a long, long way.  It's too much to expect him to follow precisely in Pasztor's footsteps any more than he already has, because that would mean being a starter early in his first season.  For one thing, the line will be in better shape in 2012 than it was in 2008 when Pasztor stepped in.  (Pasztor replaced an injured Zak Stair, who was basically a second-string talent playing on the first string.)  For another, it's just a very rare thing to see a true freshman on the line in the first place.  I'd feel a little foolhardy predicting when Doull will see the field, at any rate, because he's a member of an offensive line class that seems to have very little separation between its members in the talent department.  The separation will start next fall. 

At a minimum, I'd guess Doull is someone who will be able to rotate in and out of the line at OG by his junior, maybe sophomore year, with little if any dropoff between him and whoever he platoons with.  That could be someone already on the team like Conner Davis, or it could be a fellow 2012 player.  At best, his footwork could give him a leg up on the competition, and/or allow him to be plugged in to start at whatever position needs him the most.  Keep in mind, this class is still in need of defensive tackles, and we're at the point where anyone in this class who plays DT (besides Tyrell Chavis) probably converted to the position.  Doull could do it.

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