On July 7, three-star offensive tackle Austin Firestone announced his commitment to Northwestern via Twitter.
Firestone chose to join the Wildcats over other Power 5 schools including Virginia, Kansas, Syracuse, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona State, Kansas State, NC State, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Duke, Mississippi State, Louisville, Florida State, Penn State and Vanderbilt.
According to our reporting, Firestone was recruited by NU to play exclusively on the defensive side where he will surely be an asset. Standing at 6’5” 260 pounds, Firestone will be a problem opposing offensive coordinators will have to consider in their game plan.
In Firestone’s junior season on the defensive line at Niceville High School he finished the year with 43 total tackles and averaged 5.4 tackles per game. He also led the team in both sacks and 9.5 and 17 respectively.
Below are his highlights from his junior season along with an analysis of his strengths and weaknesses.
Firestone clearly looks like he belongs on the defensive line. He obviously has the size and strength at 6’5” 260 pounds to battle at the line of scrimmage, but what surprised me most was his speed. You don’t expect someone of that size to be able to move as well as he does, but in his highlights you can see him quickly identify the open space and burst through it to pressure the quarterback.
Additionally he has the ability to track down the ball while battling through multiple defenders, never losing sight of the play unfolding in front of him. Overall, his blend of size and quickness should make him a promising player on Northwestern’s offensive line for years to come.
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