Film study: Notre Dame OL commit Josh Lugg

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

OL Josh Lugg, 6-7, 280; Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny.

The numbers: Lugg helped pave the way for a North Allegheny offense that averaged 260.3 rushing yards per game in his junior season. The Tigers (9-2) lost in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals.

The rankings: Rivals – Four stars, No. 13 offensive tackle. 247Sports – Four stars, No. 36 offensive tackle.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: Lugg is an athletic offensive tackle comfortable blocking on the second level of the defense. He’s aggressive as a run blocker and patient in pass protection. Lugg fits the prototype of high quality offensive linemen Harry Hiestand has recruited at Notre Dame.

Strengths: Lugg is a balanced lineman with quick feet. He works best blocking in space and finding defenders to clear out of the way. He has great awareness as a pulling lineman and routinely terrorizes linebackers. He is agile enough to stay in front of quicker defenders in the open field. Lugg also works well washing defensive lineman down the line of scrimmage and in double teams. In pass protection, Lugg can deliver a strong punch with his long arms.

He did what? (:10) Lugg pulls around from the left side to lead the quarterback through the hole. With no defenders in his immediate path, Lugg looks inside until he finds a defensive back to block nearly 15 yards down the field. Unfortunately, the quarterback didn’t stick behind him. Lugg could have served as a gigantic fullback in the middle of the defense … (3:34) Lugg tramples the defender in front of him and takes him to the ground almost immediately at the snap. It solidifies an edge for an easy touchdown run … (7:08) Lugg retreats in pass protection and waits for the defensive end to attack. As soon as the defender tries to engage, Lugg jolts him with a strong punch that knocks the defensive end off balance.

Competition level: North Allegheny played three games against two of the top teams in Pennsylvania according to MaxPreps. The Tigers lost to Pine-Richland (No. 14), and split a pair of games with Pittsburgh Central Catholic (No. 2). Lugg’s biggest challenges came against Central Catholic’s loaded front seven. He was often matched up against Pittsburgh DT signee Rashad Wheeler. The defense also included DT Kurt Hinish and LB David Adams, both 2017 Notre Dame targets.

Left to prove: Lugg showed improvements in his pass blocking from a sophomore highlight film that lacked many plays in pass protection. Lugg does a good job of keeping in front of the defender, but he’s rarely tested with a speed rush. Lugg is nimble moving forward, but he’ll need some development moving backward as a pass blocker. Drive blocking is another area of improvement left for Lugg. At times, he leans his long frame against defenders instead of getting underneath them with leverage to push them from the line of scrimmage. He’ll need to lower his pad level to control stronger defenders.

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

North Allegheny offensive tackle Josh Lugg became the third member of Notre Dame's 2017 recruiting class on Friday night. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)