Colorado seems to have a few blue chips come out of the state every year and this year the top player is defensive end Carlo Kemp.
He is a pretty good athlete at his size, but he is an even better football player and that’s why he has offers from Michigan and Notre Dame in addition to schools in the Pac-12.
Kemp has huge legs, but isn’t closed to filled out in his upper body. He looks like he can get up to the 280 pound range. He does not have the ideal height or length to play on the outside. He is not a twitchy athlete, but is extremely coordinated and moves really well for his size. He probably doesn’t have the quickness to be a great edge rusher.
Kemp plays multiple positions for his high school team because he is the most superior player on the field. You’re not going to see him play as a linebacker and blitz from the interior (although he is very good at) or in a two point stance on the edge as the college level. He shows good things in high school doing those, but that is not his future.
He flashes a solid first step when he is in a three or four point stance at defensive end, but his snap anticipation could be more consistent. When he fires off the football lows and delivers a solid punch, he can penetrate into the backfield and make plays. He is an incredibly instinctive player who has a GPS for the football. He gets involved in a lot of plays because he knows where the football is going right at the snap of the ball. He will sometimes stop his feet and not bring his hands while he is waiting for a play to develop and that means he will give up ground at the point of attack. He can’t get away with that at the college level and needs to play with good technique on every snap.
He does a great job of playing his responsibility and can set the edge on the outside despite not being the quickest player. He puts himself in a great position to make plays.
He lacks real pass rush moves right now because he can get away with simply bull rushing inferior players. I worry about him having the flexibility to bend and wrap on the outside. That and his lack of length is why I think he is better suited to rush the passer from the interior, which he did at his high school sometimes. He should be quick enough to overwhelm a lot of slower footed guards, but again, needs to develop his hands and finish to get to the quarterback.
One thing he did versus the pass which was exceptional was hold up a running back who was releasing into his route. He did this a couple of times and one of them resulted in him batting a pass to himself and intercepting it. He just has a natural feel for what is going on and that makes him a heck of a football player.
I think he is either a 4 technique defensive end in a 3-4 or a strong side defensive end in a 4-3 that kicks inside on passing downs to rush the passer. He may even grow into a full time 3 technique.
I think Kemp’s potential is much greater if he puts on the weight I think he will and ends up being an interior player that can penetrate into the backfield. There are things he needs to improve on, but his size and instincts will probably get him opportunities to play early in his career before developing into a solid starter.
|Recruiting Site||Position||Position Rank||Stars|
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).