Film Study: Notre Dame OL commit Tristen Hoge
OL commit Tristen Hoge, 6-4, 276; Pocatello (Idaho) Highland
The numbers: Hoge helped clear the way for a dynamic offense as a senior. He racked up 133 pancake blocks for an offense that averaged roughly 377 yards and 43 points per game. Hoge ended his career with a 12-0 record and a Class 5-A state title in Idaho.
The rankings: 247Sports – Four stars, No. 1 C, No. 105 overall. Rivals – Four stars, No. 1 C, No. 150 overall.
First impression: Hoge is a punishing offensive lineman. With the size to play almost anywhere on the offensive line, Hoge is a unique fit at center. He finishes his blocks with defenders on the ground with regularity.
Strengths: Hoge plays offensive line determined to overwhelm his opponent. His ability to end blocks in pancakes requires both strength and persistence. He doesn’t mind continuing to block his guy when the ball has long left his area. Hoge looks most comfortable as a run-blocker and moving his feet. He works in space well as a pulling lineman or reaching linebackers at the second level. He stays balanced beyond the line of scrimmage, which allows him to corral shifty defenders and clear them out of the way. As an experienced center, Hoge shows a mastery of shotgun snapping.
He did what? (:56) Hoge drives a defensive tackle from the 11-yard line all the way into the end zone … (4:04) Hoge snaps the ball at the left hash and pulls to his right. He ranges so far across the field that he doesn’t block anyone until he reaches the right hash. There he plants a defender into the ground … (5:05) Hoge brings the pain to a poor defensive lineman. He folds the defender in half in an instant.
Competition level: Hoge plays in the highest football classification Idaho has to offer. But overall, the state’s talent is very limited. Hoge is one of only four Idaho recruits in the 2015 class to receive star ratings from Rivals. He won Gatorade Player of The Year twice in the state. His Highland team cruised through the season with only two wins by less than seven points.
Left to prove: Hoge will have to prove himself against better competition than some of the potatoes he faced in Idaho. He has the framework of an elite offensive lineman, but will need to add strength to take on 300-plus pound defensive linemen on a regular basis. Hoge probably isn’t used to having to block defenders bigger and stronger than him. A better feel for pass protection and keeping his ground against a pass rush will be a big adjustment. Hoge will have time to develop before seeing the field at Notre Dame.
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