Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stockton Locked In | by Pat

New Jersey defensive tackle Tyler Stockton was a heavy Irish lean going into the Blue-Gold weekend and the latest verbal coming out of it. One of the things that helped seal the deal, according to the 6'1" 280 pounder, was the fan support.

"The fans, the fans here are unbelievable," said Stockton, who plays at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. "That's the kind of fan base I want to play for. I mean, they love their football, so I'm excited."
Stockton's other scholarship offers came from a geographically diverse group including Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, and California. So far he hasn't been ranked by, but has him listed as a 4-star recruit and the 157th ranked recruit overall. ESPN hasn't ranked any recruits yet either, but they already list Stockton on the roster for the ESPN Under Armor All-Star game this coming January. (Nothing goes wrong when our DT recruits go to that game, right? Just kidding, we'd never lose a committed defensive lineman from New Jersey.)

Included in the story about the All-Star game is the ESPN/Scouts, Inc. film review of Stockton which starts out like this:
He possesses one of the most explosive get-offs in this class. He is extremely quick off the ball and consistent. Opponents lined up against him better be prepared to get hit and jarred backwards. In addition to being quick, he will also stay low, quickly shoot his hands and on contact generate power from his lower body. He will physically hit a blocker so hard and so quickly he will snap his head back and put him on his heels.
Sounds good to me. You can check out his highlights here and judge for yourself. The third member of the recruiting Class of 2009, Stockton is being considered as a future nose guard and certainly will be more than just a space eater in the middle. While playing the same position in his high school's 3-4 defense, he was disruptive enough to be named MAPL Defensive Player of the year, First Team All-State Prep and First Team All-Area as a junior. From the sounds of things, Stockton is quick enough that he might be able to slide out to the end like Trevor Laws did this past season, depending on how much more he grows. He also plays golf for his high school, which isn't something you see from a 280 pound nose tackle very often. This is probably a good spot for a snarky Willingham reference, but I'll pass.

The Irish are still going to be thin along the defensive line in 2008, but depth is slowly being established, especially on the interior of the line. With a young starter in Ian Williams, Brandon Newman and Hafis Williams showing up in the fall, and now Stockton for 2009, the Irish are finally starting to build depth at the one position that has given Charlie some trouble recruiting-wise his first few years.