June 9, 2012

Film study: Naim Mustafaa

On Saturday Alpharetta defensive end/outside linebacker became Georgia's 20th commitment of the 2013 class.

In Naim Mustafaa, the Bulldogs landed a player that has plenty of strengths as a defender but also has a great deal of upside going forward. Despite his production and current talent level, the four star prospect is still raw and has his best football ahead of him.

• Where he is great: Mustafaa has tremendous length and uses it well. His long arms and long, flexible torso allow him to keep blockers at bay until he finds the ball and separate from that block after the ball is located. Those long arms will also help him create havoc on the edge at the next level in Georgia's 3-4 defense as it will be tough to throw outside of the hash marks to his size due to his length and athleticism.

One thing that really stands out about Mustafaa on film is the way he closes on the football. He has an excellent ability to explode once he zeros in on the ball carrier and that kind of explosion will help him cause turnovers in the future.

Mustafaa also possesses an excellent ability to move laterally and string plays out so that help defenders can close. He understands lateral leverage very well and rarely loses containment when he is given that responsibility.

Lastly, Mustafaa is relentless. Whether he is knocked down during a play, loses balance, or gets blocked, he never gives up on the play and will often make plays down the field with energy and hustle.

• Where he is good: Mustafaa has an above average inside move where he can find the football and rip to the inside to make a play. He does a solid job of standing up blockers and not allowing them to move him while he finds the football.

His above average speed gives him the ability to chase plays down from behind, and he possesses very good balance that helps him turn the corner while being engaged by a blocker.

He isn't as flexible as he can be, but Mustafaa bends well in his lower body and can often use that flexibility to dip and get by defenders when rushing off the edge.

• Where he can improve: Mustafaa has a habit of playing high at this point in his career and lets offensive linemen get into his breast plate too often. He is able to combat this at times with his long arms, and can play off those blocks due to the fact that he is so athletic.

He also needs to get stronger both in his upper and lower body. Getting strong in his upper body will help him shed blockers more quickly, and improving his lower body strength will help him get quicker penetration and develop a bull rush move.

It isn't necessary a weakness at this point, but Mustafaa also needs to show that he can play in space if he is going to be successful at the outside linebacker position in the 3-4 defense.

• Overall: Mustafaa is a tremendous prospect that has a very high ceiling. He is a four star recruit now, but he has many ways to fine tune his game and can become an All Conference or even an All American performer if he reaches his potential.

• Recruitment: Mustafaa committed to Georgia on Saturday.

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