I always say that scheme fit is so important for a football player and I believe that recruits really need to think how they might fit into a college football program’s scheme and have that be an important factor into their decision making process when it comes to the on the field part of the equation.
Scheme fit is just as important for a recruit at his high school because he needs to be in a scheme that best showcases what his skills are so he can be recruited. Tomon Fox isn’t in a great scheme that suits his skills at his high school so it doesn’t quite show what he is capable of. I’d love to see him in a scheme where he could line up wide at the next level because I think he has the potential to become a very good edge rusher.
Fox looks like he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him. He is a lean and solidly built with room to add more weight to his frame. His testing numbers aren’t outstanding, but he looks like he is more athletic than he tested on film and flashes some twitchiness and good lateral movement.
I mentioned before about Fox being in the wrong scheme for him and he is basically in a 4 technique (head up on the tackle). It doesn’t give him the ability to naturally attack the outside edge of the offensive tackle as a pass rusher and forces him to really do work to move laterally to beat a player outside. It takes away his speed to the outside and that’s unfortunate.
He does show a good natural lean as a pass rusher and flashes a nice first step that he used quite a bit to knife inside to create pressure. He does do a nice job of knocking away the hands of a tackle if they get on him, but needs to learn to finish with a next move so his blocker can’t reset and pick him up. Knocking the hands away isn’t going to be enough most of the time at the next level.
He shows a nice punch that create separation and allows him to shed and get to the football. He needs to learn to bring that punch more consistently, though, because it’s not an all the time thing and he will expose his chest to blockers.
The thing he needs to improve on the most is his snap anticipation. When he gets a good first step, he can cause havoc and be a presence in the backfield. When he is slow off the ball, he struggles to hold up at the point of attack, like most players his size. I like how he fights to get back into the play and works hard to not give up, but that won’t matter if he is being driven five yards back on a play. That will be worse at the next level against better competition too. He’s not big or strong enough to win on a play if he doesn’t get off the ball when he should. It has to be a point of emphasis for him to succeed at the next level.
He needs to be in either a 3-4 as an outside linebacker in a two point stance or a weakside end in a 4-3 where he can line up wide and be allowed to attack the quarterback.
Fox doesn’t play to his potential right now, but that’s partially due to the scheme he plays in and what he’s asked to do in it. He would probably be ranked a bit higher if he was someone who got to consistently rush off the edge. I think he has the chance to be a solid nickel rusher and if he gets strong enough, could develop into a solid starter as a 4-3 end as his career progresses.
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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).