Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow landed their second consensus four-star prospect for the class of 2019 and their third commitment from the city of Louisville this afternoon.
Moore high school defensive end JJ Weaver picked the Wildcats over Purdue, Louisville, and Tennessee along with a host of other Power Five programs. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound hybrid defensive end projects to play the Jack linebacker spot currently filled by Josh Allen and once played by Bud Dupree.
Here, we’ll be diving into the Hudl tape and summer camp highlights to tell you what to expect from the blue-chip prospect. The South Florida native who recently moved to Louisville has a very high ceiling and could be next in line at the outside linebacker pipeline Mark Stoops is building in Lexington.
When watching JJ Weaver play football on tape the first thing that jumps out is his motor. The defensive prospect plays hard on every snap and is constantly seen hustling to the football. Here you see him fight through two blocks and make a tackle downfield. At the next level, Weaver will have some work to do when it comes to technique and consistently beating offensive tackles. But in his position he’ll be tasked with setting the edge. That means constantly fighting through multiple blockers to maintain outside leverage. To do that takes effort. Playing with that consistently is not something you can teach.
In JJ Weaver’s high school tape, its hard to find explosive plays of him rushing the passer due to the level of teams Moore is playing against. When Weaver’s senior Hudl tape is released will get some better examples, but thanks to the camp circuit we found some evidence.
Going up against four-star LSU commit Anthony Bradford, JJ Weaver flashes a big boy move. Due to his wide stance off the ball, the offensive tackle must gain depth at the snap to defend against the speed rush. He does that, but that is when Weaver’s athleticism takes over. The tackles quick and wide step gets him off balance and Weaver comes back with a power move.
This could potentially turn into his best pass rushing move as he progresses. Weaver has the frame to get up to 260-270 pounds. When he gets there the power element will be a huge part of his game.
There’s more to JJ Weaver’s game than just power. Here he shows off some flexibility in his pass rush. Once again the offensive tackle over extends himself due to the fear of the speed rush. Weaver comes back with an inside move that would’ve created an instant pressure in a game like situation. As he grows as a pass rusher, it will be essential to create counterpunches.
After seeing the monster season Josh Allen put together just a few years after Bud Dupree went in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, it is easy to see why JJ Weaver wanted to head east to Lexington. The Wildcats’ defensive staff has proven they can develop the outside linebacker spot as well as anyone. Weaver knows he will be put in a position to succeed by Mark Stoops and his staff.
Weaver is probably going to get too many unfair comparisons to Josh Allen early. The fact of the matter is that Weaver is more of a defensive lineman than linebacker. He’s not going to be a player you can really drop into coverage. Where he is going to do his damage is taking on blocks and causing disruption along the line of scrimmage. Expect him to put on some major strength and weight in UK’s strength program. A move to full-time defensive end is a possibility.
From all accounts, Weaver is a very hard worker. If he comes in with a strong mindset and can physically hold up at the line of scrimmage he’ll have a chance to play as a true freshman. However, to be his best he needs to add on weight and improve his raw technique. That will take time. You cannot coach his motor and frame. Kentucky landed a good football player who should be another very productive player in the front seven.