College football is a different game than it used to be. It’s faster than ever and speed on defense to combat spread offenses is more important than ever. Even with that change, there is still a need for nose guards that can clog up the middle and occupy double teams.
That’s why Christian Colon out of Independence High (Charlotte, North Carolina) is a prospect that has attracted so many offers. There are only so many kids built like him that can project to be that nose guard that can play a ton of snaps to help stuff the run.
It’s not surprising that he doesn’t have the ideal physique right now. He’ll have some definite reshaping of his body to do at the next level and needs to get stronger. Generally, he will need to get in better shape to have a consistent role on the next level.
He runs fairly well for a player his size and shows decent quickness going forward, but struggles moving laterally.
When he gets off on the ball like he can with low pad level, he is a tough player to block one on one because he overwhelms blockers with his size. If he attacks the edge of the man, he can get into the backfield and be disruptive.
He holds up well at the point of attack and has the sheer size to be an effective player against the double team that cannot only eat up those blockers, but also get off the block to get involved in the play. Despite being such a massive body, he hustles to the football and shows good effort in pursuit.
Right now Colon’s two biggest issues have to do with his lack of initial hand violence and his inconsistent pad level. I’m not sure if it’s fatigue that causes it, but he pops out of his stance way too often and exposes his chest to blockers. He’s so big that he can recover even when he stops moving his feet on contact against high school competition, but he’s not going to be as fortunate at the college level. He will get driven back if he does this.
His first step(s) rarely involve him bringing his hands. He needs to establish a punch or else it will nullify his size.
If he comes off low and attacks an edge like I mentioned above, he can really push the pocket as a pass rusher and affect a quarterback in the pocket. I don’t think he has the ability to move well enough laterally to truly develop counters and do much more than generate pressure that way.
He’s probably best as a true nose guard in a 3-4, but could play the one technique in a 4-3 at the next level.
It will probably take Colon some time to get in the proper shape to play at a high level in addition to improving his technique. If he can get that part figured out though, he has the tools to develop into the run stuffing tackle that every defense wants.
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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).