Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the recruit: Jack English

Name: Jack English
Position: DE(?)
Hometown: Richmond
School: St. Christopher's
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 250

24/7: 78, two stars; #82 SDE, VA #47
ESPN: 73, three stars; #79 DT, VA #35, Atlantic #158
Rivals: 5.5, three stars; VA #27
Scout: two stars

Other offers: Virginia Tech

You've figured out what Mike London likes to do on the recruiting trail by now, right?  If he's gonna go out of state for a player, he's already got a pretty good idea (if not a rock-solid one) where that guy will slot.  Instate, he wants all the best players, but he'll also offer a guy if he's just kind of athletey, looks good at camp, and work out a position later.  Hence, Jack English (among others.)  I don't think the coaches have any idea where he'll play when he gets here.  I don't think they particularly care; the idea is that English can be useful at any number of positions.

English has drawn a lot of comparisons to Thompson Brown, who projected similarly and came from the same school.  Multiple recruiting sites can't help but mention Brown when they're talking about English.  As ESPN points out, English is bigger than Brown - Brown was almost as tall, but not as bulky, and could never have been imagined as a defensive tackle.  But Brown was a better athlete.  Really, it's almost a perfect illustration of a weakside defensive end (Brown) vs. strongside (English.)  Brown had more of that explosiveness you want in a pass-rusher, but English projects better as far as adding bulk.

It's easy to see English as a tight end; he's big enough now.  I'd even say there's an outside chance he could grow into offensive tackle territory, but I don't see it.  Much more likely is seeing him at strongside defensive end or defensive tackle.  Jake Snyder or Brent Urban are your models, though English doesn't quite have Urban's size, and Urban weighs 280 pounds and could probably go for 10 more if he had to; English probably tops out around 280 when all's said and done.  Ultimately I'd guess English will end up playing SDE in the role filled by Jake Snyder right now: run-stopper and obnoxious Gojira when quarterbacks are trying to throw bubble screens.  Almost like a defensive tackle playing on the end.

Let's be clear, though: this role isn't in the near future.  English needs a healthy dose of good weight before he's ready for defensive line duty in college.  And you don't recruit a guy like English with the idea he'll be an immediate contributor.  English had to hit the summer camps before he earned any offers, his first one coming from Virginia Tech the weekend before he camped in Charlottesville.  (Which is where he also earned his UVA offer, and committed to it very shortly thereafter.)  The scouting services all have some pretty consistent low rankings, and the offer list corroborates.  Even though SDE looks like English's best position, keep in mind that Michael Moore is currently awaiting Jake Snyder's graduation, and will be occupying the starting role for a while if things work out like they should.

The more likely scenario is that the coaches pick a spot for English when he arrives next fall - probably defensive end but you never know, they pulled a surprise and put Andre Miles-Redmond at DT so they can be tricky like that.  After that, though, they'll bury him on the depth chart for such time as is necessary to get him good and ready, and then put him wherever he's needed most.  That could be tight end, similar to how Jeremiah Mathis and Rob Burns ended up there.  That could be DE, or DT.  At this point English is probably three years from seeing the field in a non-special teams role, minimum, and projecting that far when you don't know what position you're projecting is awfully tough.  It's not the most exciting thing for fans, since it sort of requires us to forget about a guy for a while.  Coaches love that kind of flexibility, though: English represents, among other things, a protective security blanket against surprise attrition.


Anonymous said...

You know who he reminds me of a bit, from the little that we know about him? Obviously, I can see the Urban and Snyder comparisons, but I think he reminds me a bit more of a Matt Conrath, a good long athlete, but you waited to see how much weight he could add.

Going to be interesting where guys like English and Wynn end up. My hunch is that they'll be developed as quick interior linemen.

Anonymous said...

explaining the Wynn addition there - I think Harold/Moore will be the base ends, which was what I expected, and I think Wynn can add some weight. pHysically, it looks like he can.

Maybe I'm wrong. It's possible that Moore moves inside with Wynn or someone else developing outside. A long way to go, and thankfully, we're talking about quality talents.

Anonymous said...

I'm just excited about building a defense that consists solely of players with last names that double as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. If we adds some conjunctions and propositions at LB and DB we could have some really excellent defense sentences in a few years.


Brendan said...

If we hadn't moved a certain player to fullback we could tell our defense to Wynn Moore Battle.

I'm just disappointed that it's "Canady" and not "Canada." I want to meet or hear of as many people as possible with countries for last names. Yes, Ron Mexico counts.