By MATT MILLER
While he may not be the household name that Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis are, Aaron Curry is the nation’s top linebacker earning the Butkus Award. His physical tools and desire on the field make him one of the top defenders in nation, regardless of position. Curry hits hard and covers extremely well for a man his size, which makes him an every-down terror for the opposition. He could be a very special player playing on Sundays for years to come.
Character / Leadership Ability: Curry is a good student who chose Wake Forest for its academics. Always firing up his teammates, he is an emotional leader on the field.
Competitive Nature / Work Ethic: Curry decided to return for his senior season to help Wake Forest make a run at the ACC title. He is a competitive player who works hard on and off the field to improve his game. H has put in a lot of hours in the weight room in an effort to improve his strength.
Football Intelligence: Curry plays fundamentally sound football. He uses good form, breaks down well,a nd always plays with his eyes up. His awareness is his main weakness—he has trouble reading plays and diagnosing what is coming next, relying too much on his athletic ability.
Size: Curry possesses ideal size for the outside linebacker position. He is very well built and has tremendous power to go along with his massive frame.
Athletic Ability: Curry is a terrific athlete, especially for the position. He has good straight line speed and is fluid in his movements for a man his size. He also possesses tremendous physical strength, both in the weight room and on the field.
Toughness / Durability: He brings it on every play; Curry plays very hard and seems to get stronger as the game goes on. He’s had no major injury concerns.
Speed: Curry has good speed for his position, clocking in at around 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. He runs well and uses his speed well without over-pursuing the play.
Instincts / Recognition: Curry has trouble diagnosing the play. He plays on pure athleticism at this point and will need better coaching to improve that part of his game at the next level.
Pass Rush: Has decent pass rush moves and can get off the edge quickly though his three sacks in 2007 don't really show it. With coaching, Curry has the physical tools to play as a rush OLB, but that is not his game.
Pursuit: Curry closes very quickly on the ball carrier and works well through traffic. He always seems to be in the opposing backfield—he had 13.5 tackles for a loss in 2007. He takes good angles to the ball.
Tackling: Packs a lot of power in his hits. Has the ability to make a high-light reel hit on a ball carrier. Fundamentally sound in his tackles, Curry is very good at wrapping up and driving the ball carrier backwards. He also stays square to the runner very well.
Coverage: Phenomenal in coverage. Curry is very smooth into his drops and moves well within his zone. Has the ability to stay with backs out of the backfield. He’s big and strong enough to stay with tight ends and has the necessary speed to run with them.
Shedding Blocks: Curry has the strength to disengage from just about any blocker—he uses his hands well to fight off blocks and always plays to the whistle.
Photo Credit: College Press Box (Wake Forest University)
Friday, December 19, 2008
By MATT MILLER