Any time anyone is looking at football recruits, floors and ceilings are always discussed. It’s not just about how good a player can be, but also what a player is now and definitely will be.
With Oregon safety commit Brady Breeze, it’s all about his floor. The things he does well right now will allow him to at the very least be a solid player at the next level even if he might not have the same ceiling as some other defensive backs.
He is a good, but definitely not elite, athlete. He has decent speed and it looked like a better athlete in person when I saw him at The Opening than he looks on film. We’ll see how that translates to his senior film. He is a little tight in his hips.
He plays bigger than his size and looks like he will have the frame to get to the 205 range while at Oregon.
I’m going to start with a couple of negatives I see first. He does look tight when he has to open up his hips and transition. I would worry about him getting matched up with great athletes in man to man. That’s also not helped by him not being the smoothest in his backpedal. He needs to be more consistent with his technique.
Now that the negative is over with, I’m going to explain why I really like Breeze as a football player. He plays with outstanding eye discipline and instincts in coverage. He is able to jump routes and get himself in the proper position to make plays on the football or deliver big hits. He might actually look for the big hit too much and could probably jump some of the routes and step in front of receivers to intercept the football. Either way, he gets where he needs to be and has good ball skills.
He is a great player versus the run whether he is attacking from depth or as an extra defender in the box. In the box, he works through the trash well to find the football and does a nice job of disengaging or slipping blocks. From depth, he takes strong angles to the football and is a consistently strong tackler.
He’s a very intelligent football player and it allows him to make a lot of plays.
Normally a guy with his athleticism might be confined to being a box safety, but I think he has the smarts and instincts to play deep for Oregon as well.
Is Breeze the best athlete at the position? No, but he makes up for his athletic shortcomings with so many other things that make him a very good prospect. I would be surprised if Breeze doesn’t become a starter and a good one at some point in his career. Others may run faster and jump higher than him, but he will be better with the pads on than a lot of those guys.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).