Editor’s Note: Randolph becomes the 20th player to commit in this year’s class. He is consensus 4-star player and an excellent addition to current Linebackers Smith, Anzalone and Mattingly.
First off he is a four star recruit that is ranked 120th overall who recently decommitted from Stanford for unknown reasons. In his films he plays wide receiver, defensive end, and outside linebacker. The most film I saw was him at defensive end, but the end and outside backer position are slightly similar at times. Especially when it comes to keeping contain. Randolph is very fundamentally sound at each position and can rush the passer very well. He mixes up the outside rush, spin move, and the dip and rip technique well. His speed, quickness, and technique make him a very good pass rusher. You don’t often see high school guys with good technique, because the good athletes get by with their athleticism and tend to disregard technique. Randolph combines his athletic ability with good technique and that is what sets him apart from the rest. His best quality as a defender is his hustle, pursuit, and never giving up on a play. There are many times in the film where Randolph makes the tackle coming from the backside of the play for all three of the reasons I mentioned above, hustle, pursuit, and never giving up on a play. Keeping his head on a swivel allows him to take his first steps forward read the offensive line and backfield then react quickly to each play. His tackling is consistently good; he stays on the balls of his feet and uses proper techniques to make a tackle. Seeing him perform well at the receiver position tells us he has some good ball skills that many linebackers don’t have. He can go up and get the ball at its highest point, most linebacker don’t have that quality.
As a 6’3’’ 220 pound outside linebacker at the college level needs to add some muscle weight to his frame, which is common with high school athletes going into college. The lack of film of him at outside linebacker worries me a little bit, because at the outside linebacker position your job is to make sure nothing gets outside of you at any point in time. Although his speed and technique should guide him it’s hard to say without seeing much film at the outside linebacker position. His linebacker shuffle from side to side could use a little work, since he turns his shoulders and hips too soon, which could turn into over pursuing a ball carrier at the college level. Strength is what he lacks the most, at the next level these guys need strength to fall back on when things don’t go their way. If he could develop that and use it to shed blocks quicker and cleaner, watch out.
Overall I think this is a really solid recruit that could develop in at least a year maybe longer depending on how hard he works in the weight room. Notre Dame needs another solid recruit to develop since the All-American Manti Te’o will graduate this year. Randolph has the speed, technique, and smarts to get the job done correctly. How consistent can a guy like this be at a position he hasn’t spent a lot of time at? Time will tell with Randolph and it will be interesting how Brian Kelly plans to use him on the defensive side of the ball.