ESPN West Palm's "coach", Chris Kokell, gives a comprehesive film breakdown of high school football prospects across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
School: John I. Leonard (Class of 2015)
Note: This is his first season playing middle linebacker.
Where He Excels:
Love Widlert Thelusme's versatility and motor. Has played DT, DE, OLB and now MLB. When moved into the front four he does a great job shooting gaps and scraping down the line. Can shed blocks when picking a gap and playing half the man. Smart player that has a nose for the ball. Impressed with his ability to get his hands in passing lanes when rushing the quarterback. Hands up on swing route. I'm a big fan of Thelusme on offense playing tight end. Not a big time pass catching threat but an extremely solid run blocker. Great job using his body to seal defenders and create a running lane for the ball carrier.
What To Work On:
Thelusme's play is solid but not explosive. He runs stiff in space. I would like to see more fluid movement to allow him to play faster. This could come with more experience playing middle linebacker. It is much different than playing with your hand on the ground or even pass rushing off the edge. Needs to take a six-inch step rather than a hop step at the snap. His motor helps him get off of weak blocks but I can see him struggling with a good run-blocking team. On some plays he slipped off after initial contact because the blocker didn't engage. Also, needs to work on his tackling form for the college game. Won't be able to overcome the technique with toughness and strength the way he does at the high school level.
Kokell's Film Analysis:
After flying under the radar last year, Thelusme seems ready to make a name for himself. Head coach Kevin Fleury is very high on the versatile leader of his defense. Thelsume is the exact type of player a first year head coach loves to have. It's a defensive coordinator's dream to have a player that can be effective while you move him all around the front seven. I'm impressed with Thelusme's pass-rushing abilities and he has potential to be very successful at MLB as the season goes on. Not sure where Thelusme falls at the next level due to his tweener size and speed, but I am very confident that he can have a successful college career somewhere.
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