As of last week, five-star offensive tackle Chuma Edoga has officially begun his USC career with his first semester of classes.
While he may not see much playing time in his first season with the Trojans, his high school tape from McEachern HS in Georgia is quite impressive, and he will almost definitely be a mainstay of the USC offensive line in the near future.
From watching his highlight tape, Edoga is a good-lookin' prospect who looks athletic and coachable. He consistently gets to the second level and looks comfortable in space. And what I mean by "coachable" is this:
Edoga (77) plays right tackle here, and executes his assignment perfectly. He navigates his way through the traffic, and instead of hitting anything and everything he sees, he simply does his job and blocks the guy he's supposed to block.This play isn't particularly high-difficulty, but the fact that he knows his assignment and does it without trying to do too much is notable -- at higher levels of football, trying to do too much will get you benched more often than not.
Edoga's high school offense was clearly run-first, so his run blocking was on full display on his highlight tape. He is obviously a freak athlete, and is therefore relatively difficult to evaluate playing against such a vastly different caliber of competition.
For instance, he didn't always have to use good blocking technique, since he could get away with simply running into smaller, slower dudes and knocking them over with ease, making it hard to evaluate his pad level consistency and hand use. Still, there were some plays where he showed good technique that will be necessary at the next level.
In this clip below, his pad level/leverage here (coming off the left side of your screen) is very good, as he gets low and explodes into the defender while extending his arms. There is also a subtle "hip pop" (almost like a pelvic thrust) as he contacts the defender, which is what you want to see:
And again, good job getting low and controlling his defender from the right tackle position:
Run blocking is important, but I would argue that in today's pass-first style of football (at the highest level of the game, in the NFL), pass blocking is much more of an asset. Edoga didn't pass block on most of his tape, but when he did, the signs were encouraging.
Offensive linemen are supposed to "punch" at a defensive lineman with their arms as opposed to "catching" him using their body. That's exactly what Edoga does here:
His feet are bad in the above example (I think he briefly lost his footing), but his initial left-handed punch is good and he's able to recover just fine.
In other examples, his feet are much better:
He doesn't let his feet get too close together, and again uses his hands well to force the wide rush, which enables his quarterback to step up in the pocket.
Again, more good feet:
Edoga's upside is extremely high. He's got a bit of nastiness to him, which you can see on his tape on nearly every snap when he finishes blocks and takes his defender to the ground.
We may see him as a sixth offensive linemen in certain situations this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him eventually even catch a few touchdowns on the goal line.
His tape is very encouraging, with the only concern being the fact that I want to see him put in more difficult situations where he has to rely on his technique rather than just athleticism alone.
If he can show he has the consistency part of the game down, he'll be a first round pick in the next four years.