Film Room: Keaten Wade

Adam Luckett5 months

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Aritcle written by:Adam LuckettAdam Luckett

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KEATEN WADE FILM
Edge rushers can be flat-out game-changers in football. Kentucky had an absolute wrecking ball in 2018 that led the way to a historic season. However, the Wildcats have struggled to rebuild the position since Josh Allen departed for the NFL. Kentucky will enter the 2021 season with just five scholarship outside linebackers on the roster. Getting a big-time player at this spot was a must for the 2022 recruiting haul. Enter blue-chipper Keaten Wade. The top-200 prospect from just outside of Nashville, Tenn., comes in at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds. The edge player projects to play the Jack linebacker spot in Kentucky's odd front defense that lines up on the weak side of the formation and anchors the attack. This is a spot that must be a havoc creator. The defense needs this player to create sacks, pressures, tackles for loss, and pass breakups. Wade appears to have the necessary skill set to succeed in this role. Now it is time to step into the KSR Film Room to see what Wade is adding to Brad White's defense and position room. The top-five prospect in the state of Tennessee has the required positional size to go along with excellent bend. Not hard to see this blue-chipper turning into a high-level player. A pass rush is the first thing needed when scouting the position. The technique is something that can be worked on at the next level as Wade hones his craft. However, speed is something that cannot be coached. On the snap, Wade shows excellent burst and breezes right by the right tackle. At the peak of the rush, the edge rusher drops a very nice, but subtle, right shoulder dip. This allows him the chance for a sack. The running back wants no part of the action in blitz pickup. Wade comes off both blocks to make the havoc play. Speed, technique, and finishing ability all shown in one pass rush rep. These are tools that a college coaching staff can build off of. The pass rush is fun, but hybrid defensive ends/outside linebackers need to pack a punch when fitting the run. Facing bigger offensive tackles, the striking ability is a key trait to have at the position. Jack linebackers need to get quick jumps off the ball, beat offensive tackles to the spot, and disengage to make tackles. On the old school lead play, Wade takes on the blocker and does a very good job winning early. The defender creates a new line of scrimmage while keeping outside leverage. Not something easy to do. Once the run is recognized, Wade comes off the block and makes a physical tackle. That was much needed after both inside linebackers were picked up in the blocking scheme. Wade will need to work on his punch at the next level as he doesn't strike violently consistently enough on tape, but the ability is there. The athleticism and feel for the game show up quite a bit. Overall, there is just a lot there from a pass-rushing standpoint. Wade is a legitimate big-time athlete that also flashes some pass-catching ability on offense. The technique needs some refining, but the prospect is oozing potential. This is a player that can develop into a big-time pass rusher that could have some reliable counter moves to use off of the speed rush. The blue-chipper does a pretty good job setting up the spin in this pass rush win. After landing blue-chip J.J. Weaver in the class of 2019, Kentucky has had some struggles recruiting the edge position. Sam Anaele has already moved to the interior of the defensive line after one season. Jared Casey is now playing inside linebacker. Tennessee beat out Kentucky for the services of blue-chipper Tyler Baron in the class of 2020. Well, here's the payback. The Wildcats went into the Volunteer State and pulled off a big head-to-head recruiting victory over the Big Orange. Slowly, Steve Clinkscale has built some inroads in the Nashville metro area and now they are starting to pay off. Kentucky and Ohio recruiting will always be the recruiting backbone for this program, but eventually, the coaching staff needs to head to the south and win some head-to-head recruiting battles against some conference foes. Mark Stoops scores a win over Josh Heupel early in the class of 2022.

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2021-09-25