Saturday Lookout: Notre Dame's jack of all trades or master of none?
How to get the best out of Fighting Irish do-it-all defender
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a key part of Notre Dame’s upset victory over Clemson last week. The linebacker contributed 9 tackles, 2.5 for loss, half a sack and a vital fumble recovery touchdown. The showing put him firmly on draftniks radar.
Interestingly, he has already drawn comparisons to a key cog in Clemson’s 2019 team. Like Isaiah Simmons, Koramoah is an athletic freak whose versatility makes him difficult to scheme for in college. As seen with Simmons, that versatility isn’t always valued as highly at the next level.
So how does the Fighting Irish ‘backer project in the NFL. Last year, he lined up plenty in the slot and he was solid in coverage. However due to his size, NFL teams would look to expose him in that position with quicker backs split out or speedy receivers.
This year the Irish has used him more as one of the main nickel linebackers. His length and sure tackling are well utilised in the second level of a defense. He has enough lateral speed to work sideline to sideline but is at his best working through traffic and getting into the backfield.
With experience as an edge rusher as well, you could use him as a 3-4 linebacker, if developed properly. Owusu-Koramoah will likely continue to show out for Notre Dame but he may want to focus in on a particular role if he is to convince pro teams that he can fit in their defensive scheme.
Can Thompson-Robinson progress from raw talent to NFL passer?
Both teams forgot to bring their defense in the PAC-12 matchup between Colorado and UCLA last week. Despite early missteps Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson nearly led his team back to an unlikely victory.
The four star recruit has had plenty of attention since his days at Bishop Gorman High School. First coming to national attention as part of the Elite 11 quarterback camps. Fantastically athletic, good arm talent but unable to put everything together consistently.
The trouble is, even after two years in the system, the description of DTR remains pretty similar. Saturday’s encounter with the Buffaloes acted as a microcosm of where he is at currently. A lapse in concentration resulting in an easy pick, a fumble giveaway offset with a couple of electric runs and impressive throws on the move.
It’s easy to label prospects as developmental but you have to be careful when someone has had the opportunities of Robinson. The issues have been fairly consistent without solution yet. The optimist in me says it was a rollercoaster first start after a short offseason. However, as a junior DTR must develop into his potential or his shot at an NFL role will diminish quickly.
Midweek MACtion puts spotlight on dynamic runner Lewis
Although this article is Saturday Lookout, I’m going to bend the rules and shoehorn some midweek MACtion into the mix. The Central Michigan Chippewas have won their opening two fixtures beating Ohio and Northern Illinois respectively. A big part of that has been junior running back Kobe Lewis.
Lewis was a dominant force in the opener vs the Bobcats. He accounted for 146 all purpose yards and two touchdowns. His ability to make the first tackler miss jumps off the tape. A well-built physical runner who can power through between the tackles. Also showing the lateral agility that helps open up space in confined areas.
The brute force he has is the main reason why he is used from the wildcat formation in short yardage situations. It stood him in good stead when he added a touchdown against the Huskies this Wednesday.
It will be worth keeping an eye on Lewis when Central Michigan face in-state rivals Western Michigan next Thursday evening. His all round ability as a thumper, finisher and pass catcher mean he is certainly a prospect to watch now he is eligible for the NFL Draft.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com