Breaking Down 5-Star LB Clifton Garrett's Highlight Tape

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst INovember 8, 2013

Breaking Down 5-Star LB Clifton Garrett's Highlight Tape

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    Clifton Garrett, a 5-star linebacker from Illinois, is among the nation's best defensive players. He is a nightmare in the box due to his fantastic strength at the point of attack.

    Garrett, who is 6'2" and nearly 230 pounds, also has great vision to locate the ball quickly on running plays. He gets a jump on snaps due to possessing great anticipation. Garrett strikes blockers with power before shedding with strength to get clean. 

    The physical 'backer shows off his talent routinely on his highlight tape, which deserves a closer look.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPNU.

Play No. 1 0:00-0:06

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    Garrett starts his highlight tape off with a bang. On the opening sequence, he quickly and aggressively fills the alley to blow up the play at the line of scrimmage.

    Garrett's anticipation and instincts are evident on this play due to him inching toward the line of scrimmage before the snap. He plays like a giant at the point of attack.

Play No. 2 0:07-0:12

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    Here is another play where Garrett quickly reacts and attacks. He can almost be seen looking into the backfield anticipating the play.

    Another interesting part of this highlight is how Garrett slips a block at the line of scrimmage. Known for his ability to stack blocks with strength at the point of attack, the 5-star prospect decides to use his quickness and athleticism to get around a block here.

    Also, Garrett delivers another punishing blow at the point of attack when making the tackle.

Play No. 3 0:13-0:18

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    This play is a prime example of how Garrett's vision and ball-location skills do not allow him to get caught in traffic.

    Watch how he attacks the line of scrimmage, then watch how Garrett makes a sharp cut back inside where the runner attempted to hide behind his offensive line.

    Most high school linebackers would have lost the ball. Some would have attacked the perimeter due to an incorrect read. However, Garrett tracks the running back with his eyes through the play, which leads to him making a fantastic stop.

Play No. 4 0:19-0:22

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    In what appears to be a variation of a delayed blitz, Garrett attacks the passer from the middle of the box. He uses his straight-line speed to storm through the trenches, but take note of the short-area quickness Garrett displays to finish on the quarterback.

Play No. 5 0:23-0:29

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    This play is nothing special, as it looks like a missed assignment by the right side of the offensive line. Yet, Garrett displays great speed to close and finish on the ball.

Play No. 6 0:30-0:35

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    On this play, Garrett fills the A-gap quickly with force. The Illinois native jumps on top of the center at the snap. He also shows off solid hand usage, as he uses his mitts to muscle his way past his opponent.

Play No. 7 0:36-0:43

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    The 5-star 'backer displays outstanding toughness at the point of attack. He forces the center attacking him on the second level to melt by using his strength. Also, note how Garrett doesn't lose sight of the ball even when he's briefly engaged with a blocker.

    He flows well to the running back to arrive at the ball to make the stop.

Play No. 8 0:44-0:50

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    In the final play of his highlight tape, Garrett displays an array of skills.

    First, watch how he uses his hands to swim past the center after jumping on top of him at the snap. Next, he displays the strength to power his way past the line of scrimmage.

    Finally, Garrett surges on the running back to meet him with force to make the tackle behind the line of scrimmage. 

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Garrett can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! Use this interactive tool to also find many other premier recruits from all over the country!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.