4-Star LB Alex Anzalone to Notre Dame: Analyzing Skill Set of Irish's New Commit
Notre Dame was often criticized last year for not being able to hold on to top recruits. So far in 2013, the Irish have received early commitments from a total of 17 talented players.
The most recent commitment comes from 4-star linebacker Alex Anzalone. He is the same prospect who originally committed to Ohio State earlier in the year, but later decommitted after a photo was posted on the Internet by a sex offender targeting Buckeye recruits.
This pickup is now the third linebacker in the 2013 class to commit to Notre Dame and the 14th player who has a 4-star rating or better.
But is Anzalone worth the hype, and how will he effect this team in years to come?
To start, Anzalone is a versatile player, who has the ability to play outside or the inside linebacker positions. He has good size at 6'3", 231 lbs and plays the game very physically. While his 40 time isn't terrific (4.75), he covers a lot of ground and can make plays from sideline to sideline.
He is a great player to have in run support, but is also strong in zone and man-to-man coverage. He uses his hands well and is great at shedding blockers. He is also about as sure a tackler you are going to find in the 2013 class.
While he has all of the tools to become an asset for Notre Dame, it's his versatility on the offensive side of the ball that makes him even more valuable.
"To tell you the truth, I liked his offense," High school coach Bob Wolfrum said. "There were a whole bunch of schools that said he could play on either side of the ball for them. Some where one, and some were the other. I think Alex would prefer defense, and I guess that’s what he’s going to do. I thought he was a heckuva offensive player, too." (Via Scout.com)
If Anzalone was to play any position on offense, it would likely be running back. With his size, he would absolutely wear down a defense and could pick up tough first-down yardage. He also boasts underrated receiving skills.
Overall, the 4-star recruit is a dynamic athlete who has the skill set to become something special in South Bend. He should have plenty of opportunities to contribute from day one.
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