Apr 6, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT
I’m not usually one to gush over a recruit, and I’ll never claim to be a recruiting guru, but I’m incredibly impressed by the Irish locking down Jordan Prestwood. While most of us are probably still stinging from the news of Matt James passing, Prestwood’s commitment to the Irish is big news. Really big news.
Prestwood is every bit a national recruit. He was the only tight end selected to the 5A Florida All-State team, doing so as a junior, no small feat. Even more impressive, after watching Prestwood’s highlight reel, you’ll realize all the gushing comments from his high school coach weren’t simply hyperbole.
When Brian Kelly introduced his first recruiting class in March, he talked about the athleticism that Tate Nichols possessed — another tight end that was being recruited to play tackle — but than clearly stated that Nichols would be done catching passes. With Prestwood, he made be coming in as a offensive tackle, but it’s not a stretch to think that he could still play tight end, even if he does continue to grow from the 6-6, 270-pounds he’s now at. Prestwood’s athleticism just jumps off the screen when you watch him play football. He’s an offensive weapon, and dominates a football game. Very rarely do I believe a forty time on a recruiting profile, but Prestwood actually seems to run a sub-5.0 forty-yard dash, which is incredible impressive for an athlete that size.
I wrote yesterday that “it’s a scary thought picturing a guy that big catching bubble screens and running fades.” Well, having watched tape of Prestwood actually doing it, I can assure you it isn’t just scary, its down right freakish.
Just because a guy has a big body and is a great athlete doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have what it takes to be a great offensive tackle. But Prestwood will walk in the door with an athleticism that the Irish haven’t seen in a lineman since Ryan Harris.
Prestwood’s commitment doesn’t lessen the tragedy of Matt James’ death, but from a football point of view, this is a recruit worth getting excited about.