Film Study: Notre Dame DE commit Jordan Botelho

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

DE Jordan Botelho, 6-3, 230; Honolulu St. Louis

The numbers: Botelho recorded 50 tackles, 15 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and four defensive touchdowns as a junior. He garnered the Cover2 Manti Te’o Award as the Defensive Player of the Year in Hawaii. 

The rankings: 247Sports — Four stars, No. 2 ILB, No. 34 overall. Rivals — Four stars, No. 24 OLB.


First impression: Though recruiting sites designate Botelho as a linebacker, the Irish recruited him as a drop defensive end. That should not require much of an adjustment for him. Botelho’s tape almost exclusively features him coming off the edge. He often lines up in a stand-up position without a hand on the ground. Botelho seems to possess all the tools to develop into a dynamic drop end or linebacker.

Strengths: Botelho’s quick hands and feet makes him slippery as a pass rusher and run stopper. He’s also a force at the point of attack with his strong upper body. Thanks to his solid motor, strength and quickness, Botelho gets to the quarterback or impacts plays often. He thrives on defensive line twists and stunts that force blockers to read and react to him on short notice. At 6-3, 230, Botelho looks “skinny” with high upside in regards to growth potential physically. Botelho’s athleticism, light feet and instincts help him shed blocks. Those traits also make him versatile in that he can cover tight ends and receivers when necessary. He could play multiple linebacker positions or drop end.  

Proof of prowess: (:47) The speed rush looks like Botelho’s primary pass-rushing move. His light feet, quickness and athleticism helps him speed through offensive tackles and cover a lot of ground when tracking the quarterback ... (1:14) The Crusaders like to utilize Botelho’s quickness via stunts along their defensive line. Here, the three technique jumps outward as Botelho fakes outside before bursting inward. Before the two interior offensive lineman realize it, Botelho powers through their front for a sack.

(1:20) Botelho’s tackle here requires plenty of upper body strength. Obstructed by a blocker, Botelho managed to only club the ball carrier with his right arm. Yet, his strength was enough to block the runner and stop the play ... (1:33) If a quarterback receives a free shot from Botelho, he will feel it the next morning. When given space to roam, Botelho can deliver thunderous hits ... (2:25) It looks like Botelho incorrectly read this as an inside run. Nevertheless, he flashes the speed capable for recoveries and when running backs bounce it outside.

Competition level: Botelho competes in Hawaii’s largest division — HHSAA Division I-Open. He helped the Crusaders to a 13-0, state championship season last year. St. Louis defeated seven of Hawaii’s top 10 teams in 2018, per MaxPreps. Then-defending state champs Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne, ranked No. 170 nationally per MaxPreps, fell to St. Louis 47-7 in non-conference action last season.

On a national scale, Botelho seems to face middle of the road competition. This year’s recruiting class reverted back to the norm for Hawaii's standards. 247Sports provided a four-star rating to three 2020 Hawaii players. For the 2019 class, 247Sports provided a four-star rating to six Hawaii players, which included Ohio State OL signee Enokk Vimahi. Botelho dominated against Vimahi's Kahuku squad twice. However, Botelho lined up on the opposite side of the left tackle.

Left to prove: Botelho’s success at the next level should depend on a few factors. For one, he must grow into the drop end position. Botelho figures to add weight throughout college. He needs to handle those gains, particularly from a speed and strength standpoint. He must also be able to adjust to Notre Dame’s academics, climate and strength and conditioning program. Learning the position and developing more pass-rush techniques will be required of Botelho as well. Expected to participate in next year’s All-American Bowl, Botelho has an opportunity to prove himself against elite competition.  

Honolulu St. Louis' Jordan Botelho, a 2020 defensive end, took an official visit at Notre Dame between April 12-14, 2019.