Film study: Notre Dame OL commit Tommy Kraemer

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

OL Tommy Kraemer, 6-5, 310; Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder.

The numbers: Kraemer stacked up 156 pancake blocks during his senior season while paving the way for an Elder offense that averaged 32.7 points per game. The Panthers (9-4) finished the season with a loss in the OHSAA Division I quarterfinals.

The rankings: 247Sports — Five stars, No. 2 offensive tackle. Rivals — Four stars, No. 4 offensive tackle.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: Kraemer is a mauling offensive lineman who repeatedly puts defenders on their back. He’s a powerful run blocker, but he has also shown a comfort in pass protection. Kraemer appears to be a right tackle candidate for future Notre Dame’s offensive lines.

Strengths: Kraemer engulfs defensive linemen. He’s at his best blocking down inside and wiping his defender out. Said defender usually ends up on his back. Kraemer uses a solid base to keep himself balanced and finishes plays using his upper body strength. His tendency to stay balanced allows him to reach the second level and stay in front of linebackers. That balance from a wide base also works in Kraemer’s favor as a pass blocker.

He did what? (1:08) Kraemer wipes out a defensive tackle with a pancake block so quickly that the defender is on his way to the ground by the time the running back takes the handoff ... (3:31) Kraemer pulls from the left to right on a pass play and levels an unsuspecting blitzer … (4:42) Kraemer drives the defensive end back to create a hole on the left side. The running back has already passed Kraemer, but he continues his persistent effort to put the defender on the ground.

 Competition level: Few teams tested themselves against as talented a schedule as Elder did in 2015. In addition to playing half of the top 10 teams in Ohio, according to MaxPreps, the Panthers met the No. 4 team in New Jersey (DePaul Catholic) and the No. 7 team in Kentucky (Scott County). As of 2015, only six other states had produced more top 100 recruits than Ohio in the last five years. Kraemer didn’t play against many elite defensive linemen during the season, but he performed well against some of the best at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Left to prove: Kraemer will bring ample toughness and strength to Notre Dame. The biggest question may be his quickness. He projects better as a right tackle because he hasn’t quite shown the athleticism needed to be a premier pass protector. Learning to combat the speed of pass rushers will be an early challenge for him. Kraemer tends to lumber when heading to the second level. He’ll need to be quicker with his feet to take on college linebackers. Kraemer got a taste of elite defensive ends at the Army Bowl, and he should be able to apply those lessons in his freshman year.

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Notre Dame offensive line commit Tommy Kraemer started at right tackle for the East team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army All-American Bowl)