Film Study: Notre Dame LB commit Asmar Bilal

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

LB commit Asmar Bilal, 6-3, 205; Indianapolis Ben Davis

The numbers: Bilal covered a lot of ground on defense in his senior season. He racked up 155 tackles, six tackles for a loss, six sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He even played safety in the state championship game as Ben Davis (12-2) won the IHSAA Class 6-A title.

The rankings: 247Sports – Four stars, No. 2 inside linebacker, No. 175 overall. Rivals – Four stars, No. 22 outside linebacker.

The film:Watch Bilal's highlights here.

First impression: Bilal is a linebacker cut from the same cloth as Jaylon Smith. His athleticism allows him to be equally impressive in tracking down ball carries and dropping in coverage. He covers a lot of ground and brings a lot of force with his tackles.

Strengths: Bilal shrinks the field by being able to make plays from sideline to sideline. He’s an explosive athlete with great closing speed. He brings his feet with him when squaring up for a tackle which makes him a skilled open-field tackler. Bilal’s suddenness allows him to beat offensive linemen with speed when rushing the passer. His long arms can become a helpful asset in shedding blockers. Bilal has the speed to run with most running backs and tight ends he’s asked to cover. His coaches trusted him enough to play safety at times and make plays running downhill while not letting anything behind him.

He did what? Bilal’s highlight starts with a bone-rattling hit on a scrambling quarterback. Bilal rocked him before the quarterback saw it coming … (0:54) Bilal bounced off a back trying to block him and tracked down a rolling quarterback before he could turn the corner.

Competition level: Bilal played in the highest class and toughest conference that Indiana high school football has to offer. Ben Davis is one of a number of powerhouse programs in Indianapolis that regularly produces Division I talent. The Giants finished the season ranked No. 18 nationally by the MaxPreps computer-generated rankings.

Left to prove: Bilal will have a hard time trying to shake the Jaylon Smith comparisons. Bilal isn’t as highly-touted as Smith, but the two offer similar skill sets and even look like they could be brothers. He will have big shoes to fill if he’s asked to eventually play the same position as Smith. Bilal will need to work off blockers better and not get caught up in the congestion of an offensive line. If slated behind Smith, Bilal should have time to add bulk to his slight frame. He has the tools to build himself into an elite defender with hard work on his craft.


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame linebacker commit Asmar Bilal won a state championship as a senior. (SBT Photo/TYLER JAMES)