I got to see Rashan Gary up close at The Opening back in July and to say I was impressed would be a massive understatement.
He was one of three 2016 recruits who were invited to the event and the only linemen from 2016. Not only did he prove he belonged with the best of the class of 2015, by the end of the camp he was one of the best defensive linemen period. He is talented enough to be a 5 star player in 2015 and is one of the top players in the 2016 class regardless of position.
Already has great size, but he has the frame to add much more. Gary does not have a lot of fat on him and has big legs. His length and hand size are very good for the position. He’s a very good athlete than can bend and changes direction well.
Gary displayed incredible strength and power for a sophomore. Has a strong punch to create separation from offensive linemen and does a nice job of utilizing a push-pull move to shed and pursue the football. There is a violence in his hands that is uncommon for a player his age.
He can sometimes get too high out of his stance and will stop his feet while looking for the football, but he can be unblockable when he plays with low pad level. He flashes explosiveness off the ball and has the quickness to be disruptive.
He’s raw as a pass rusher right now, but has the physical skills to be exceptional in this area.
Getting to see him in person though was a revelation. He could physically hang with the elite 2015 offensive linemen at The Opening at the beginning of the camp, but by the end of it he was bullying kids off the ball and his technique improved leaps and bounds. He was using his hands much better in pass rush one on ones and did an outstanding job of beating players with leverage.
He should be dominant as a junior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High (NJ).
Updated after his junior season:
Gary showed the kind of dominance he displayed at The Opening during his junior season. You could tell the advancements he made as a pass rusher. He’s excellent at converting speed to power and shows he can dip and bend around the edge. He’s still raw with his hands and needs to develop counter moves, but he shocks offensive linemen with a violent punch.
He plays with good pad level the majority of the time, but will sometimes get caught up looking with his eyes instead of reacting to the block he’s getting. He can get away with his because of his physical dominance at the prep level, but needs to improve in this area.
Stout at the point of attack and plays so strong. He can be a special football player at the college level.
Gary may be the rare player that can play end in a 4-3 or 3-4, but his best future position is likely at three technique in a 4-3 defense.
There is no limit to how good Gary can be. He showed he can take coaching and get a heck of a lot better in a short amount of time and he is going to continue to improve once he gets to the next level. He has the potential to be an All-American in college and complete player as a three technique defensive tackle.
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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). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.