Film Study: Notre Dame OL commit Cole Mabry
OL Cole Mabry, 6-6, 270; Brentwood (Tenn.) High.
The numbers: Mabry paved the way for a balanced offense that racked up more than 2,000 yards both passing and rushing. Brentwood (9-5) lost to Independence in the TSSAA Division I Class 5A state semifinals.
The rankings: Rivals – Three stars, No. 37 offensive tackle. 247Sports – Three stars, No. 45 offensive tackle.
First impression: Mabry is a raw and athletic lineman with work to do in developing his game. Mabry positions himself well to complete blocks, but he hasn’t acquired the technique and strength to dominate. A couple years of tutelage under Harry Hiestand and Mabry should be able to grow into a contributor.
Strengths: Mabry moves up to the second level of the defense with precision. He’s comfortable gliding past the line of scrimmage to take on a linebacker and create a lane for his running back. Mabry enjoys blocking through the whistle and imposing his toughness on defenders. His quick feet allow him to gather momentum to provide a push. Mabry works well in pass protection with his teammates to wall off defensive linemen and recognize blitzers.
Proof of prowess: (1:10) Mabry maneuvers through the line of scrimmage while giving the defensive tackle a shove. He reaches his target, the linebacker, quickly and seals him off from the play … (1:26) The defense tries to fool Mabry with a stunt and a blitz, but he manages to diagnose the attack. When the defensive end veers wide, he looks back inside to find the blitzing linebacker and picks him up to protect his quarterback … (3:27) Mabry drives his defender back at the point of attack to help create an alley for the running back. But for whatever reason, it appears the quarterback kept the ball.
Competition level: Tennessee has been churning out four-star recruits with regularity in recent years. Offensive linemen have been a particular strength in the state. Mabry hasn’t hit four-star status, but he’ll have a chance to do so following his senior season. As a junior, Mabry didn’t have to match up with many FBS-level defensive lineman. One of his best opponents may have been Franklin defensive end Barrett Brown, a two-star recruit in the 2017 class who plans to play at Memphis as a walk-on. Brentwood played against two teams — Independence (No. 12) and Franklin (No. 17) — ranked in the state’s top 20 according to MaxPreps.
Left to prove: The outline of a blueprint for college football success is visible for Mabry, but there’s a lot of filling in left to do. Mabry has significant work ahead on his technique, strength and consistency. While he’s athletic enough to manipulate the defense, he needs to work on gaining better leverage and powering his blocks with his lower half. Mabry also must learn to better use his hands and arms to control defenders. Mabry leans into his blocks too much and appears to get away with a number of holding penalties on film. He must keep his hands inside on his target and reposition rather than grab. Mabry lacks the polish of an elite offensive line recruit, but in time Hiestand should be able add some lacquer.