I’m a big believer in college football programs finding players who fit their scheme in recruiting. Some players can play in just about any scheme and be successful, but others have to be asked to do only specific things in order to truly maximize their potential.
There is still time for this to chance, but the player I see right now in linebacker Bryce Youngquist can be great if he is asked to do certain things, but would struggle if asked to do other things he may not be as comfortable with. If utilized properly at the next level, Youngquist has the athleticism to be an impact player at linebacker.
Younquist is put together physically and has the frame to get bigger. It would not surprise me to see him as a cut up 230 plus during his college career. He is one of the best athletes at linebacker in this recruiting class and shows explosive traits. He has outstanding speed and was clocked at 4.54 40 yard dash earlier this year.
His athleticism shines in many areas on the football field. He can track down players in the open field with outstanding closing speed and is a tremendous chase player. If he is put in space, it would tough for any running back or quarterback to shake him because he can match the majority of them as an athlete.
He is an absolutely explosive blitzer that can naturally bend when he has to. He can get to creases some others can’t inside and would be incredibly tough for any running back to pick up if he is coming off the edge. He looks his best when lined up on the edge on the ball.
Off the ball, he certainly shows flashes of being able shoot gaps and make tackles in the backfield on plays run away from him. However, he isn’t the most instinctive player and is late to recognize blocks a lot of the time. This is something that makes him get caught up in the trash. Because of this he ends up making a lot of tackles that are five yard gains instead of short gains or tackles for loss. He can improve with this and hopefully it’s something that he shows during his senior season.
I also think he is a big inconsistent as a tackler. I want to see him hit through a bit more and not catch as much, although he showed he has the potential to be a thumper.
I didn’t get to see enough of him dropping in coverage as I wanted to see, but he certainly showed the fluidity needed for the position. There isn’t anything as an athlete that would suggest he can’t become a very good player in coverage.
This may change after seeing him as a senior, but I think what would be best for him right now is for him to play on the edge where he is almost always going forward and has less responsibility or playing in a scheme that asks him to blitz a lot of the time as an off the ball linebacker.
Athletically, Youngquist has ridiculous potential. He looks like a future NFL player as an athlete. I do think he is further ahead as an athlete as a football player and I’m sure college coaches are excited to work with him and develop him into the impact player he has the chance to be. He has the potential to be an all conference player if used in the right way and if he develops some of the other parts of his game that he is deficient in right now, he could be an All-American one day.
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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).