Prospect: LB Reid Carrico
Projected Position: Mike Linebacker
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-3, 220 pounds
School: Ironton (Ohio) High School
Committed to: Ohio State
Frame: Tall with broad shoulders and some length in arms. Tight torso and waist with athletic lower half. Has room to carve and chisel his body.
Athleticism: Displays good change of direction to weave and squeeze A-gap and B-gap runs. Very good range from second level to reach box edges and perimeter with ease. Beats blockers laterally and can easily cross faces. Has balance to get over trash. Excellent speed and closing quickness. Arrives with forceful intent and thump at collision points on ball-carriers.
Instincts: Can click and close with a very good feel for flow versus run. Solid ability to read cross keys to mesh points through traffic. Takes good pursuit angles and can backdoor blockers. Assertive and decisive to squeeze line and insert in gaps. Syncs with snap with late declaration as a blitzer. Decent and capable of disrupting passing lanes in coverage from MOF.
Polish: Mainly plays Mike ‘backer with outstanding motor. Used mostly in blitz packages and as a hug player versus pass. Needs to continue improving hand usage at the point in take-on and shed phase versus blockers. High hat at times versus pass. Must continue to develop zone eyes and show he can relate to 2 and 3 in zone concepts. Must show he can match and copy running backs and tight ends in man concepts.
Bottom Line: Carrico has outstanding toughness and physicality, to go along with his good play speed and range. He works as a decisive middle linebacker who takes good pursuit angles with good play speed versus the run. While he must show he can do more than spy, hug and blitz, Carrico does have athletic traits to develop in pass coverage. He fits best as a Mike ‘backer in an attacking single-gap defense with a 4-3 base alignment.