Breaking Down Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer's Highlight Tape

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 27, 2014

Breaking Down Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer's Highlight Tape

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Notre Dame signed another impressive recruiting class under head coach Brian Kelly in 2014. Among the top players in the group is 4-star quarterback prospect DeShone Kizer.

    At 6'5" and 207 pounds, Kizer looks great on the hoof. He sets up well in the pocket before displaying good arm strength and accuracy to the intermediate level of the field. Kizer may not play early in South Bend, but he does have what it takes to become a starter for the Fighting Irish down the line.

    He displays solid potential during a highlight tape that warrants a more in-depth breakdown.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247SportsPlayer evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports

Play No. 1

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    The first play of Kizer's highlight tape sees him working from the shotgun. He has a two-man route combination to his right, where the inside receiver runs a bubble-out and the outside receiver crashes inside on a slant.

    Kizer shows good patience and poise on this play, as he isn't distracted by the blitzer coming off the edge. He stays disciplined in his read, as he sees the outside linebacker flash to the bubble-out. That means the ball should go to the incoming slant, and it needs to be led to give the receiver a chance to keep going upfield.

    There are some jitters in Kizer's front leg here, but he does an adequate job of transferring his weight through his hips while leading with his front shoulder to his target. This helps him deliver an accurate throw. 

Play No. 2

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    Credit: 247Sports

    This play is essentially the same route combination as the first play. However, it appears the outside receiver is aligned wider.  

    Kizer's mechanics are a lot smoother on this throw, and his body language shows he knew exactly where he was going with the ball during the pre-snap phase of the play. His elbow could be higher when he whips the ball out, and his follow through and finish could be better, but the trajectory of the throw to the receiver is impressive.

    Kizer throws a dart from the left hash accurately to the opposite hash.

Play No. 3

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Here's where you can see Kizer handle the ball and work off play-action a bit. He's in the shotgun, and he fakes to the running back. The Notre Dame pledge works on a half sprint-out to the right while holding the ball tight to his chest.

    Watch Kizer's eyes—look at him manipulate the defense by looking to the field side. Meanwhile, he knows he's coming back to the running back, who's running a wheel route up the boundary the whole time. He gets good touch and arc on the throw, but it's behind a bit. Leading the running back into the end zone would be the ideal look here.

    However, Kizer does a solid job of just making sure he gets the ball to his open target. 

Play No. 4

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Pocket awareness, vision and mobility are shown by Kizer on this play. He quickly sees the incoming blitzer pressuring from the right edge during his set up.

    Some quarterbacks would have eluded the blitzer and escaped to their right. However, Kizer's eyes lead him back inside the pocket, where he slides and finds a crease toward the left.

    While he's not listed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kizer does display solid speed as a runner on this play. He gallops upfield, makes an adequate cut and reaches the end zone on hustle, functional strength and effort. 

Play No. 5

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    Credit: 247Sports

    It's tough to get a good read on what the coverage was on this play due to the angle of the camera. However, Kizer's two inside receivers both immediately attack vertically at the snap.

    There's a safety appearing over the top of both inside receivers. Kizer freezes him with his eyes to the out-breaking target just enough for him to give his receiver running a seam-route more room on the third level.

    The two second-level defenders do a poor job of carrying the seam route in coverage. Kizer shows a good combination of arm talent and touch to get the ball over their heads and away from the safety, which leads to a touchdown reception.

    Tim O'Malley of Irish Eyes wrote on Jan. 24: "Kizer could come in and win a game if called upon as a true freshman, but only time, film study and repetition will make him a championship level triggerman."

    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.