In the first of a series of articles that will run during the offseason, Osceola Recruiting Analyst and CEO of Elite Scouting Services Charles Fishbein, former FSU offensive lineman and Osceola Football Analyst Mark Salva and Football Writer Patrick Burnham offer their thoughts on a pair of prospects, George Fitzpatrick and Omar Graham, based off each recruit’s highlight tape or game footage.
Both of the aforementioned prospects reported receiving offers from Florida State within the last week.
OT George Fitzpatrick (6-6, 255), Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek
What you see/like: Love the frame, body type, athletic ability and understanding of playing his position. Fitzpatrick has impressive understanding of how to use leverage for such a young player. He presses defenders in a way that demonstrates that understanding and know where his hands and hat should be. He also has a great “feel” for the game and finishes blocks. He will fill out nicely physically and I imagine this is what former Cleveland Browns All-Pro offensive tackle Joe Thomas probably looked like as a 16 year old. Based on his development at this point and what he has the potential to do I think this would be an outstanding “get” for FSU. I think he could be a guy that could be a top player in a Power 5 program by his second or third year in college. I can’t wait to see how he fills out between now and next season and look forward to seeing his senior tape.
What you don’t see or know: I question the level of his competition. Does he love the weight room? Is he committed to train in a way that will add strength and weight to his frame?
What you see/like: Very athletic. Feel he could play on the defensive line because of his athleticism. He has great feet. You can see him get on the edge and block defensive backs and linebackers. Moves very well laterally. No doubt he can play left tackle in college. Plays with good leverage and balance. You don’t see him on the ground after blocking a defender. He does need to work on his overall strength. He is only a junior so there should be improvement in this part of his game. He gets good hand placement on defenders. Does a good job of moving defensive lineman where he wants them to go. My guess is this kid is young for his class….He will have a ton of room for improvement.
What you see/like: Fitzpatrick has great size and length. He is extremely athletic and quick off the ball. I can see why Fish could see him as a defensive end as he continues to develop. He is more athletic than some of the defensive ends FSU has on its roster currently and certainly just as athletic, if not more so, than anyone it currently as on its roster at either offensive tackle position. Excellent feet both in tight quarters and in space. He does a great job of keeping his body under control and gaining ground on defenders on the second level. Very effective as a puller. Runs his feet through blocks in the ground game.
What you don’t see/know: There is not a ton of tape of him in pass protection but has some work to due technically in this area. At times he leans on pass rushers, which could lean to over extending and allow the rusher to use his leverage against him instead of sitting back his stance. This is not uncommon in young offensive linemen. How will he do against bigger players? How good is the high school competition he is playing against? How much weight can he add and still move as well as he does now?
Please click on the link below view Fitzpatrick’s HUDL highlights.
OLB Omar Graham Jr. (6-1, 205), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan
What you see/like: Wow, Graham’s highlight tape is impressive. He is a very instinctive player, sniffs out danger, avoids blocks, sees plays, develops and reacts fast. Transitions speed to power in an elite way, which is evidenced in his pass rush. Plays with great leverage and has great hips. Great short-space quickness, relentless in pursuit and squares ball carriers up and tackles really well. I just like the way he moves, diagnoses plays, pursues and tackles.
What you don’t see/know: Why doesn’t he have more offers? Based of his film, and I realize it’s highlights, you would think he would have more offers.
What you see/like: Linebacker has become one of the hardest positions to evaluate at the high school level. Why? Take a look at his first clip on his highlight film. Graham is being used as an edge rusher. He is very aggressive off the edge and can put pressure on the quarterback. He does diagnose plays well and reacts how you want a linebacker to react. He is sound against the run.
What you don’t see/know: How effective is he playing in space? You don’t see enough of that to know. Can he play effectively in coverage from either inside or outside linebacker? Is he a guy that might end up as a weakside (FOX) defensive end once he get to college?
What you see/like: Graham is very effective in high school as an edge rusher. He plays with a high motor and is relentless in pursuit of the ball. Looks to be more comfortable and productive playing at the outside linebacker/defensive end spot than at inside linebacker. Plays with bent knees and does a good job of dipping his shoulder to get underneath and around offensive tackles. Has tendency to play high when lined up at inside linebacker. Does a great job in play recognition.
What you don’t see/know: How does he hold up against the run as a boxer or spiller? Is he long enough to be effective in straight pass rush situations when lined up against a major college offensive tackle? Can or will he develop into a defensive end or middle linebacker?
Please click on the link below to view Graham’s HUDL Highlights.