There are many things that stand out to me when watching offensive lineman recruits. I want to see things like good feet, an ability to finish, and good pad level to name a few. One thing I really like to see is how they play in short yardage situations. Is this a guy a team would want to run behind when it’s third and short?
That answer is a resounding yes when it comes to Tommy Hatton. The St. Joseph’s offensive guard prospect is a nasty player that is extremely good at the point of attack. He has the potential to be a player that a team can rely on in big moments.
Hatton might not have the height and length teams are looking for in a tackle, but he certainly has the feet. He’s got very good feet and is natural knee bender. He’s got good size and should easily be able to get over 300 pounds after some time in a team’s strength and conditioning program.
There isn’t much I don’t like about Tommy Hatton as a football player. He plays nasty and consistently gets after it. He looks to finish on every play in the run game. His pad level is outstanding most of the time and especially on short yardage plays where he is able to drive his man off the ball in a dominant fashion. Hatton also does a great job of fitting his hands inside just about every time.
Hatton’s feet also are a big reason why he is so effective. He moves extremely well when pulling and getting to the second level. He consistently gets his hips around when reach blocking opponents and gets himself in a proper position to finish his block. A lot FBS offensive line recruits are able to physically dominate at the high school level, but not all of them understand positioning. Hatton understands it and it makes him a step ahead of many other prospects.
I also love Hatton’s feet when pass blocking. He slides easily and moves fluidly. It’s rare to see him off balance and he does a great job of anchoring against a bull rush.
I can see Hatton fitting in just about any type of offense because of his feet and I think he projects best at either guard or possibly even center.
Not many offensive lineman have the ability to play early in their career, but Hatton may be an exception if he can be physically ready. Fundamentally, I think he is pretty close to competing at the next level right now. If he develops like he should, I see him starting for multiple years and being a consistent all conference candidate at guard or center.
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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.