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DE Zion DeBose closes out #Statement17

Virginia Tech got a late 2017 commitment on Friday with the addition of North Carolina defensive end Zion DeBose

DE Zion DeBose
Photo Courtesy of StudentSports-Flickr

Well, to put a bow on the class, Tech had to wait JUUUST a couple extra days. Signing Day is the first day that players can sign NLI/LOIs. It doesn’t mean that they have to, though. In this case, Tech had to wait for another defensive end, a consensus three star defensive end from North Rowan High School in Spencer, North Carolina. DeBose is the fourth commitment from North Carolina, joining Hendon Hooker, Caleb Farley, and Drake Deiuliis. He joins Nathan Proctor, Tyjuan Garbutt, Robert Porcher, and J’Bril Glaze on the defensive line. His primary recruiters were Charley Wiles and James Shibest. Tech was competing with Pittsburgh, Missouri, and Illinois for his commitment, though he had offers from Duke, NC State, UNC, and ECU as well, among others.

Let’s take a look at the tape.

Zion DeBose (Spencer, NC. 6’-2.75”, 226lbs. Defensive End)

Okay, I LOVE this kid’s acceleration and burst off the ball. It’s ridiculous. He doesn’t have an overly refined move because half the time that he would need one he’s already outside and around whoever he’s lined up against. His other strength is that he seems to be able to disengage from whatever blocker is put in front of him. He chases down plays from the backside pursuit angles quite well. Some of the plays are simply the fact that no one is assigned to block him because they plays are going in another direction and he still runs them down. He’s just extraordinarily athletic and pretty strong for his size. I like the fact that he already works on his hands and shedding blocks, but when you can’t even double-team a high schooler, that’s a problem. He’s good at spotting the ball and staying flush along the line if it’s a longer-developing play, but if he has a chance, he’s going for the tackle behind the line due to his closing speed. It’s just clear he’s more athletic than the offensive linemen he’s playing against. Now…will that translate to this level? Not sure. It depends on if he can continue to get faster and stronger. But he’s definitely a rush end. Send him with his ears pinned back and let’s ride.

Welcome to #Statement17, Zion. We left the lights on for you. Close the door behind you, though. Time for #ExitLight18.