Monday, May 8, 2017

May 08, 2017

Following the 2017 Oregon Spring Game, the Ducks received a slew of commitments from 2018 prospects. One of those in attendance at the Spring Game announced his commitment to Oregon shortly after the completion of the annual showcase. Spencer Webb, a player who I profiled last week has some very good film. The standout tight end back from Christian Brothers High School in the Sacramento area, brings a combination of size, speed and athleticism to the tight end position for the Ducks.

One of the things I loved doing for Duck Sports Authority was our ‘Film Room’ series looking at tape of top Oregon prospects. The thing is, though, their film is readily available and our analysis of said film was always a great way to get to know the football side of recruits. I like to bring the ‘non’ football aspect to some of my stores, as I did with my recruiting feature on Webb’s past, but I also really enjoy watching film and giving readers as much information as possible.

So, from this point forward, I will bring Film room back to the reader via this website.

Size: Webb stands 6-5 and checks in at 235 pounds. He is built solidly and it is not yet known exactly how much more size he can add to his frame as he looks to have been very active in the weight room already. He has an exceptional starting point as a tight end for the next level. With the right weight program, he could easily be a 255 pound monster tight end with the ability to be a four down tight end capable of blocking in the power run game as well as making plays up field as a receiving tight end.

Pad Level: Webb shows very good pad level for a tight end. He does not stand straight up at the snap on those occasions when he is on the line with his hand on the ground. Even when he is lined up wide or in a ‘flex’ position, he does not just go straight up then start his route or block. He does not show much difficulty holding blocks, but is also not faced with many Pac-12 caliber linemen at the line of scrimmage either.

He shows great leverage with outstanding body position. He is a very good athlete who uses that athleticism to avoid being caught in the fray of interior blocking working past most blockers on his way to make plays. He a good understanding of the game and his role on the defense with very good football intelligence.

Strength: Webb is already a strong tight end, especially in his upper body and core. In some clips he can be mauling defenders to the ground and driving him backward using some of the best blocking form you will see from a tight end at the high school level. He plays low and uses very good technique.

Feet: When running routes, he shows very good footwork in his cuts and his break. He does a very good job of keeping his feet ‘under’ him without losing speed or giving up a route to rely on his size advantage. He does a good job when he catches the ball of turning up-field without losing balance on his moves.

Hands: Webb has very good hands which is important when taking on blocks and shedding offensive linemen. He has a very good ‘strike’ when taking on defenders as a blocker which shows good hand strength. He also shows very good hands as a receiver. He might be one of the better receiving tight ends the Ducks have recruited in recent memory. At the 1:30 mark of his junior highlights, he takes on a defensive back on the outside of the formation and goes up to snare a 50-50 ball as if he were a wide receiver. If you did not know better, you might actually think he was, indeed, a wide receiver.

Speed: Webb has more speed than can be expected from a guy his size. He reminds me of a more polished version of Cody Carriger. Carriger was a project that never really panned out – but Webb is hardly a project. If he played at a bigger Southern California School he would be a four star. In many ways, he is better than was Josh Falo last cycle. He has much better speed and is just as good at catching the ball. As a bonus, he is a very good blocker who will only get better.

Bottom Line: As a junior Webb caught 41 passes for 660 yards and 7 touchdowns. A 16.1 yard average per catch for a tight end at the high school level is very good. I think like most high school players, there are always areas for improvement. Webb himself told me he really wants to work on being more of a blocker a ‘monster’ is his goal for how to help his team this season. He certainly has the size and mentality to be more than a flex only tight end. Webb could be one of the most under rated tight ends of the 2018 cycle. He has great hands, very good feet and shows a good understanding of the position.

In seam patterns, he is seen beating outside linebackers and safeties up the field to make big gains. With his versatility and exceptional work ethic, he reminds me of Dante Rosario; except he is already bigger and a bit more polished as a tight end. The on;y ‘downside’ is that he plays in a league where the competition is not exactly chock full of Pac-12 caliber players. He will definitely need to use that work ethic once he arrives on campus, but do not be surprised if Webb makes an early impact for the Ducks.

He is better at this stage of his career than Johnny Mundt at the same point, and, if you recall, Mundt had a 100 yard receiving game as a freshman, so that is heady praise indeed.
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