Here’s a complete list of high school defensive tackles recruited under Jim Jeffcoat for the last five years:
- Israel Antwine (with a healthy assist from D.J. Eliot)
- Jalen Sami
- Lyle Tuiloma
- Frank Umu (who was released from the team before any real playing time)
- Eddy Lopez (who was moved to tight end)
- Jase Franke
That averages out to about one per year, but functionally, there were only two prep defensive tackles available to play last year in Tuiloma and Franke. Colorado has relied on the junior college ranks to fill up the defensive trenches. Well, it seems that Kwahn Drake is trying to get back to a healthier balance. After a long wait while Drake gets his feet under him, there is finally a defensive line recruit. And he’s a high school player! And he plays at a nationally recognized program and has multiple Power 5 offers! It’s a new day.
This player is Na’im Rodman. The nose tackle for St. John Bosco, a southern California powerhouse, quietly visited Colorado this weekend and was ready to commit within the next few days. He has yet to start for Bosco, which makes sense given how talented that program is, but he still garnered offers from Minnesota, Boston College, and Oregon State earlier in the recruiting process. Offers from Rice, Dartmouth, and the service academies also show that he is one smart cookie.
His film is fun to watch. He’s around 6 feet and already around 300 pounds as a high school junior, but it looks like most of that is good weight. He throws some people around in his first few clips, but it’s the third highlight that really impressed me. Against Mater Dei (and likely USC starter JT Daniels), he reads the play as a run play, moves the center where he needs to while still engaging the block, and arm tackles the running back all in one motion. It’s that type of play on the inside that stops drives. Rodman should come to Boulder polished, built, and ready to play soon.