Three-Star Linebacker out of South Carolina Derek Bigblack is starting to make waves in the college recruiting scene as of late. While not known for his fundamentals or his football instincts, Bigblack has two things going for him that college scouts always love to see in a player. Size and speed. Derek is no small kid. In fact Derek is damn near a grown ass man at his current size. Standing at 6' 2" and weighing in at 240lbs he is already at pro size and only 18 years old. While most freshmen coming into college need time to put on the weight to compete, he will need to do no such thing. Previously having played at strong safety during his Freshman and Sophomore years of high school Bigblack starting putting on weight much faster than the rest of his teammates, prompting his coach to move him to outside linebacker.
However even after putting on all that weight Derek retained the trait that made him such a good safety to play varsity as a sophomore, the kid was damn fast. Although not having run a 40 yard dash for scouts yet, Derek is one of the fastest kids on the field while also being one of the largest. After putting on 30 pounds between sophomore and senior he barely seemed to slow down at all, some people actually think he still sped up. With his size currently about max for his frame it is unlikely he continues to gain weight but he will continue to run fast.
Some knocks on Bigblack are currently that his skillset is still very raw for a linebacker. He is good in the box at chasing down runners and rushing the passer, but his skills in coverage are still lacking. He struggles to get his hips turned and often bites on moves and gets beat. His tackling form is poor and he is over-reliant on his raw athleticism to compensate for what he lacks in his fundamentals. Coaches would do well to work closely with him in drills to work on these shortcomings and find ways to scheme him to use his athletic abilities and minimize the downsides of his lack of instincts.