Jan 6, 2013; Fort Lauderdale FL, USA; Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (left) answers questions during a press conference for the 2013 BCS National Championship game at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Update: Deon Hollins Jr.

After A.Q. Muhammad started to waiver on his “silent commitment” to Notre Dame and Miami’s late push for the recruit led him to be a Hurricane. As we saw in the Army All-American game he is one of the best defensive linemen in the 2013 class. Notre Dame would have used him as an outside linebacker, but mostly on the pass rush like a Prince Shembo. Now that A.Q. is officially committed Notre Dame still wants a 5th linebacker to solidify this class, and they are going after UCLA commit Deon Hollins Jr. He seems to be very true to his commitment to UCLA and is very close with all of his fellow 2013 recruits. The one thing that UCLA must worry about is that Hollins Jr. will visit South Bend on an official on January 25th. He also has an official visit scheduled for Utah, but it is reported that isn’t set in stone yet. Deon would be used like a Shembo as well in the Notre Dame defensive system, because he is a great pass rusher and is slightly undersized to be a defensive end.

Standing at 6’2’’ 225 pounds Deon Hollins Jr. is a 4 star recruit and is highly sought after for the cat linebacker in the 3-4 defensive schemes. Hollins is rated differently by all of the major recruiting websites, so different it makes you wonder why. When he is strictly rated as a defensive end he doesn’t have the build to take on run blocks from FBS offensive linemen, but he has the speed, agility, and the hands to get off blocks, but he isn’t going to keep a tackle off the linebacker. There is a huge difference when he is rated as an outside linebacker, because he has the ideal size for that and has the speed and tackling ability to play the position.

First looking at this recruit and you see speed and agility, which make up his game. Then as you look deeper into his skill set the use of his hands and the footwork are by far the best aspects of his game. Hollins has the dip and rip down to a science and the quickness of his feet are simply amazing, especially when pass rushing. Watching his film makes you sit back and wonder what kind of damage this guy could do at the college level. He obviously needs to get stronger and put on muscle weight, but other than that he has a great build to play outside linebacker. Improving on his technique against the run will be very important and he will have to keep the offensive linemen off the linebackers at times, but look for this guy to excel as a pass rusher as soon as he gets the chance.

If Hollins was to choose Notre Dame, it would more than likely wrap up the 2013 recruiting class, which should be a great one. After Max Redfield committed, Notre Dame is ranked as the best recruiting class in the nation.

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