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Preseason Scouting Notes: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Redshirt Sophomore | 6’7” 253 lbs | Coconut Creek, FL | Second Team All-America

 

Athleticism/Build:

Gregory Rousseau is an effortless athlete with very good balance to corner and recover when pushed off base. He has the body control to get skinny through traffic to pursue, and shows explosive burst off the line of scrimmage. His long frame allows him extension to keep OL hands off his chest and provides very good tackling range, while his good weight allows him to hold his ground, even against double teams.

Pass Rushing:

A feared pass rusher, Rousseau ranked 2nd nationally in sacks last season with 15.5 despite only starting seven games. He consistently shows a pass rush plan, utilizing his varied arsenal of moves. Shows a good upfield burst, extending his long arms to keep the defender off his chest and possesses the hand quickness to swim or upper body strength to rip through the OL. His most effective move is his inside counter when converting speed to power. He bursts upfield off the edge, engages the OT at his set point with long strong arms while driving his legs, and uses his upper body strength to shed the block, countering back inside to get the sack. Very effective on stunts, as his lateral agility allows him to quickly stunt across multiple DL techs. Miami had him occasionally line up at 0T in obvious passing situations and had him stunt back to the edge or attack the outside shoulder of the OG, which both proved effective. He can give up the edge when countering inside, but shows the motor to pursue.

Against the Run:

Rousseau is a patient, instinctual run defender. His length allows him to extend with good hand placement inside the shoulders of the OL or TE and create a two-way go. He has the upper body strength to truly control his blocker, peaking his head into the outside gap to force the RB back inside, then shedding the block to counter and make the tackle. Against power runs, he has the ankle flexion and pad level to stand his ground when facing pulling OL and has the lateral agility to slide off double teams while maintaining gap integrity. His patience as a run defender gives him a tendency to come off blocks at the last minute, which can result in weaker ankle tackles or lunges rather than form tackles.

Awareness/Competitiveness:

He shows good awareness and play recognition ability. Rarely fooled by fakes. Has good vision in traffic to pursue and the awareness to bat down passes at the line. Consistently competes with good toughness and raises his game in clutch situations.

Injury History:

2018 – Season-ending right ankle fracture (Week 3)

2019 – N/A

Overall:

Rousseau is a smooth, athletic, and powerful EDGE defender who fits best as a 4-3 DE. He will be feared as a pass rusher due to his length, hand usage, and variety of effective pass rush moves. Running the ball in his direction would be unwise, as his extension and shedding ability allows him to both set the edge and counter inside.

What to look for in 2020:

Just how good can he be? Firmly entrenched as a starter this season, can he improve upon his 15.5 sack performance with only seven starts in 2019? With Temple transfer Quincy Roche paired with Rousseau, this Miami defensive line has the potential to be scary good.

Projection:

The top EDGE prospect in the class, Rousseau is a virtual lock as a top-10 selection if he declares. With a big 2020 campaign, do not be surprised to see him in the top-5 conversation.



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