The dice are hot at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility and Vince Marrow is again the main reason why. One day after picking up a commitment from Paul Rodriguez, Kentucky returned to the Buckeye State to land another offensive line pledge for the class of 2021.
The ? are hot ?.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) February 20, 2020
David Wohlabaugh, who is a mid three-star recruit out of the Akron area, announced on Twitter that he is joining Kentucky’s class of 2021 over offers from Purdue, Maryland, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Kentucky was the first Power Five program to offer the offensive tackle prospect who visited Duke, Michigan, West Virginia and Penn State back in the fall. Despite the recruiting season about to heat up, the 6-foot-6 and 280-pound prospect decided to make it official.
— David wohlabaugh (@WohlabaughDavid) February 20, 2020
Once again it is time to take you inside the KSR Film Room and show you what John Schlarman will be adding to his position room next year. Wohlabaugh is currently a tackle who could easily slide down to guard and becomes just another member of that Ohio pipeline that is migrating south. That “Big Ten Killer” piece by The Athletic is really starting to hit home with the early returns in Mark Stoops’ eighth full recruiting class at UK.
This past season we saw Kentucky go all in on Bowden Ball and that meant Eddie Gran had to totally modify his playbook. UK went from a team that was primary an inside zone run game to one that mixed in a lot of stuff. Among those new concepts were plenty of gap scheme runs and those often required guards and tackles to pull in order to create running lanes. UK ran a ton of counters with a lot of success. Wohlabaugh has the ability to contribute in these designs.
Walsh Jesuit runs a quarterback counter with a tag (pulling backside tackle) and Wohlabaugh does an excellent job moving down the line to knockout the stunting strong side linebacker. He squares up on the backer and delivers a knockdown block. This block creates a wide open lane for the quarterback and the play develops exactly how you would draw it up on the whiteboard. Even with his size, Wohlabaugh shows some very nice flexibility and athleticism that will be much needed at the college level.
Playing in the SEC you are going to be going against some tanks at the line of scrimmage every week and if you do not have power in your arsenal it’s going to be very hard to survive. Wohlabaugh has proven to be light on his feet, but he also has the close range thumping ability that is required in the inside running game.
The tackle hammers the defensive end on the outside run and he finishes the block with some gusto. Wohlabaugh shows off a nice punch that totally stops the defender’s momentum and knocks him completely out of the play. Kentucky’s Big Blue Wall plays with a nastiness on the line of scrimmage and they need their guys to provide this type of physicality.
As we all know, pass protection is much needed at the college level and tackles are quite often put on islands. You have to win one-on-ones against superior athletes rushing in sometimes obvious situations. To give yourself a fighting chance at winning, your fundamentals must be up to snuff.
On the five-step drop out of the shotgun, the quarterback needs plenty of time and a clean pocket in order to make the throw to the slot receiver over the middle. At left tackle, Wohlabaugh does a good job getting out of his stance with calm feet and no panic. He takes what the rush end gives him providing a strike even though it occurs a little too high. He shows some nice bend at the end when the defender dips his shoulder as the quarterback gets the throw off. There is some development needed, but tools are there. The tackle does a good job of keeping his weight back and appears to have some nice positional flexibility.
When you turn on the tape, the athleticism and foot ability of David Wohlabaugh immediately jump out. The big guy moves very easily and buries defenders when he gets there. On contact, he has some plus finishing ability and can be effective in both a zone and gap scheme. Due to his sheer size, he appears to be a tackle but we’ve seen UK move projected tackles (Logan Stenberg, Luke Fortner) inside to have very successful careers.
The Ohio native is the son of Dave Wohlabaugh who played in the NFL for nine seasons with the Patriots, Browns and Rams. The Syracuse product started all 128 games played before leaving hanging up the cleats after 2003. Wohlabaugh’s brother was a high three-star recruit in the class of 2016 who went to Ohio State before transferring to Duke and is now entering his redshirt senior season as a two-year starter at center. The bloodlines are there.
From his junior tape, David Wohlabaugh appears to be better than his recruiting ranking. He has the size to play tackle, but could easily be moved to the interior of the line. As expected, he has been well-coached and plays the game with poise and smarts. His pass set fundamentals appear to be advanced for his age and he knows what he’s doing on pulls and iso blocks in the run game. John Schlarman is adding another nice piece to his offensive line.