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2015 Texas Longhorn Football Recruiting: DT Du'Vonta Lampkin Commits, #14

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The Horns are rocking along on the recruiting trail.

The 6-3, 290 pound DL from Houston chose Texas over his other primary suitors LSU and OU (he was a former Sooner commit).  Rated a 4 star on 24-7, he's a high 3 star on ESPN and Rivals.  However, in a class where I'm more enthused about some of the unknowns than "known guys", I'm not sure I care.  There's a lot to like about Lampkin, but do we represent his best schematic realization?  In my eyes, Lampkin is a classic Bama style 3-4 DE who owns a gap, demands the double team play-side, pursues well backside against single blocking and develops into a rock against the run.


Fortunately, some of those strength do translate to DT in Strong's 4-3 Under defense.

Strengths

Great frame.  Flat belly/big booty is a welcome combo in high school interior DL that too often carry a lot of bad weight.  Lampkin has great natural strength, even when he doesn't apply it efficiently.  He controls blockers even when his pad level gets sloppy (that's boredom, not a lack of bend) and he's good at controlling blockers, shucking and pursuing.  There are several examples in his clip of Lampkin working across a blocker's face to make a play inside (look at 2:15 for a nice play that most fans won't appreciate - doubled, ball goes inside of him, he still works across and saves the frozen LB).  His anchor is also pretty good when he wants to sit down and own space.  His motor is lively and he's active in pursuit and chasing down from the backside. He's not fast, but very agile in a short radius.  A really strong, pretty athletic big man with an obvious motor is a fairly easy offer decision for most coaches.

Weaknesses

He doesn't have a great first step.  If he did, he'd be a top 5 national DT, not the #3 DT in Texas.  That lack of get-off limits his effectiveness as a pass rusher and true disruptor and puts a governor on his effective power.  Lack of an amazing first step in a DT is sort of like criticizing a safety for not having Earl Thomas' quickness, so Lampkin, like the rest of talented mortals, will have to develop his game through dedication and development.

As I mentioned, I think he's a natural 3-4 DE (his high school role), so if he's going to be used inside he's going to have to learn to play with his pads down and not rely on catching weaker athletes, controlling them and then discarding them to chase the ball.  He'll have to figure out how to root around in there.

Best Use

I might eventually cast him in the Desmond Jackson role as a shaded NT.  Let him throw around centers, jam up the middle, use his strength and solid backside pursuit and natural motor to thwart inside zone and keep the MLB clean. Despite a solid motor, he's not an explosive 3 tech who can pin his ears back, explode through the gap and plant the opposing QB's sternum like a geranium.  At least not yet.  He's going to plug the run, give your D an active body and grow into a welcome part of the DT rotation.  Fortunately, with our current staff, I don't have to be concerned that they'll let Lampkin eat himself into a food coma.

Welcome, Du'Vonta Lampkin.