Kentucky has landed its first defensive line commitment in the class of 2022.
Tomiwa Durojaiye is currently a low three-star prospect with a very high ceiling. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive lineman has a ton of room for growth, and that showed in his recruitment. The Middletown (Del.) High rising senior took visits to Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt in June while also getting some strong interest from Northwestern. However, Kentucky was able to get the prospect to Lexington in July for an unofficial visit as defensive coordinator Brad White closed to record a solid recruiting win.
— Tomiwa Durojaiye (@TomiwaDurojaiye) August 15, 2021
Now it’s time to step into the KSR Film Room to see what type of player Anwar Stewart will be adding to his defensive line room next season. Durojaiye shows some playmaking potential on tape, and that was backed up on the stat sheet — 45 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks in eight games. This is a twitchy defensive line prospect with a great frame, length, and a lot of room to grow his body and game.
On tape, Durojaiye plays high and doesn’t hand strike well enough yet at the point of attack, but most everything else jumps off the screen. At 245 pounds, this is a prospect that can move and chase down ballcarriers.
On the toss sweep, Durojaiye does a good job shooting out of his stance even if the defensive end plays high. He gets into the backfield quickly by disengaging from a block. Once there, Durojaiye shows some nice foot speed to record a big tackle for loss. Twitchiness out of a stance and positional foot speed is evident on this defensive line prospect. These are two traits that can be hard to find on players over 240 pounds on the recruiting trail.
Despite the need for improvement at the point of attack, Durojaiye does hold up well when power is needed.
On the outside run, the defensive end does a good job holding off the block while not overpursuing. This forces the tailback to continue to stretch the play horizontally towards the sidelines and this is a win for the defense. Once the block is defeated, Durojaiye chips in on the tackle. The positional athleticism is evident.
Some of that play strength for Durojaiye shows up when it’s time to put the ballcarrier on the ground.
The defensive end is able to hold off the block, disengage, and make a knockback tackle. This is what you want to see from a defensive line prospect.
Over the offseason and into fall camp, Kentucky’s coaching staff has stressed the need for length in the defensive line room. The class of 2020 had some very good players, but none of the four — Josaih Hayes, Octavious Oxendine, Justin Rogers, Tre’vonn Rybka — have much length. The Wildcats are now trying to fix that on the recruiting trail.
True freshmen Jamarius Dinkins and Kahlil Saunders were added to the program in the class of 2021. Now Tomiwa Durojaiye joins to help cover a need for the defense. The 6-foot-5 prospect has length, size, and athleticism. This is a player with a very high ceiling. Some development will be needed in Lexington to fill out his frame, and improve on fundamentals, but Durojaiye has room to grow. This prospect could turn into an impact performer down the road thank to some of traits he possesses.