Class of 2020 Film Room Breakdown: LB DeShaun Watson, Barnwell HS

Defense will be the headline for the Class of 2020 and one of my top players for that group is Barnwell linebacker DeShaun Watson. Here’s a look at one of SCVARSITY.COM’s Top 20 players from the Class of 2020 in Jim Baxter’s Film Room Breakdown.

Watson is a 6-2, 210lbs athlete playing multiple looks on defense for Coach Dwayne Garrick’s Barnwell Warhorses. His film shows him lining up on the edge and he is virtually unblockable at his level. He’s got a quick first step and takes perfect angles in pursuit of the ball. What I like most about this kid is he is a violent player; plays like a savage. He is punishing in his tackles and his tackle motion is not complete until the player in buried in the ground. At the linebacker spot, he plays well in space and has a good nose for the football.

I think he’s obviously a linebacker prospect at the next level. I believe he would flourish in a 3-4 defense where he could come off the edge and cause havok in a backfield as a rusher. His speed will have to increase slightly if he’s going to play outside in a 4-3. Speed aside, he’s a player and gets to the ball regardless of where he lines up. Right now, I see him as the No. 2 linebacker in this 2020 class in South Carolina.

Jim Baxter’s Film Room Breakdown of  Linebacker DeShaun Watson, Barnwell HS, Class of 2020

1. Versus inside run: When lined up outside, sniffs out the ball and gets to it quickly. He sheds blocks like a veteran, slipping past would-be blockers with ease.

2. Versus outside run: Sees the play developing behind blockers; has speed to pursue and takes perfect angles to the ball.

3. Blitz/pass rush: He is explosive in his rush off the edge, slipping by blockers easily. He’s violent with his hands and has good feet.

4. Key and diagnose: Reacts quickly to his reads and gets a very good jump on the ball. Displays very good instincts for a young player.

5. Lateral pursuit: Athletic in pursuit; gets over the trash very well; has good hips and is able to chase to the sideline.

6. Tackling: Strong skill; wraps up well, tackles both high and low depending on pursuit; is a powerful tackler; punishing to the ground.

7. Pass drop: Has suprisingly good transition speed and can get back in coverage when its his assignment.

8. Pass coverage/hands: Runs well with good hips for a big guy; separate player from ball very well.


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