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June 15, 2013

Ledwik a high quality addition for A&M

I finally got a chance to check out Zach Ledwik's highlights today thanks to head coach Matt Kates at LaGrange. Most of them are from his sophomore season rather than his junior campaign but they are still pretty instructive as to just how much ability Ledwik has…and remember, he was just a young pup at that point when the films were shot.

Ledwik plays both left and right tackle. LaGrange likes to run I formation and one back sets and most of the clips are of him run blocking.

He's compact in his stance and he's got great flexibility in his knees and hips. That means that he's going to be able to get in stance, come off the ball low, and establish leverage. In his first clip, he fires out at the defensive end, has good punch, gets him back on his heels, and then takes out a linebacker moving to the outside by rolling him up with a cut block. It takes a lot of athleticism and coordination for a guy who's 6 foot 5 to be able to come off of a block and drop all the way to the ground to take out a smaller player at the knees.

In his second clip, he comes off the ball, establishes good pad leverage, gets his hands underneath the shoulder pads of the defender, and pushes the defender back across the alignment of the center. It's just a great one on one block.

His feet are good enough that they can run toss to his side and he can get to a guy lined up a yard outside of him. He also doesn't just turn his body to gain ground on the defender and lose leverage in the process of gaining momentum…he stays parallel to the line to cut off penetration, keeps his feet moving, and get his hands up to the point that he finally just pushes the defender down to the ground.

He's very good with his hands and his punch to get his hands inside and under the defender's shoulder pads is just really quick. He's able to obtain leverage that way and then he keeps his feet moving to turn the defender and open up a hole. He'll stay after people too and give them a little shove right when the play is over to show them who is the alpha male on the line.

Because of his technique and feet, he doesn't strike me as a guy who's going to get a lot of penalties. He gets to the second level much quicker than you would expect for a guy his size. He'll take linemen downfield, stay with them for 20 yards, and keep them out of the play. He's not nasty as much as he is relentless in that regard.

There's limited film of him in pass protection. However, he's very impressive in that aspect of the game as well. He keeps his feet under his shoulders and his punch in the running game extends to pass protection too. As a result, he initiates contact, stops penetration, and doesn't let them get too far into the backfield. Even though there's limited film of him in pass pro, his ability to move his feet laterally and wall people off in the outside running game should translate well to quality pass protection.

Overall, after watching his sophomore film, it's really hard to believe that he did not have offers from A&M and Texas way before now. It is easy to see how he had offers from 11 other programs including names that are easy to recognize such as Nebraska, Oregon State, and Missouri. In fact, he's going to have to be under serious consideration for honors as the top tackle prospect in the state because he has some things that Kealvin Davis and Koda Martin don't have right now. He's literally everything that you would want at the position except for 300 pound size….big frame, long arms, great lateral movement, flexibility, and punch. Ledwik is a great take for the Aggies or just about any program nationally. Between him, Martin, and Davis, A&M has locked up the top three tackle prospects in the state for 2014 and all of them are in the 6 foot 5 plus range with room to grow to 300 plus pounds and maintain their athleticism for pass protection.


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