Expert: McBryde will be great fit in Ellis Johnson’s defense

Published 7:28 pm Monday, July 28, 2014

When national recruiting guru Sanjay Kirpalani got word Richard McBryde verbally committed to Auburn, he knew the Tigers had landed a prize piece of the future.

Kirpalani, lead-recruiting analyst at Bleacher Report, says McBryde possess nearly every characteristic needed to be a playmaker at linebacker in the SEC.

“He has all the talent to be a very versatile player during his time on The Plains,” Kirpalani said. “He has great lateral speed and moved quickly sideline to sideline, and in today’s game where most teams use a spread system as its base offense, that is big tool to have.”

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McBryde said he expects to get looks at both inside and outside linebacker, but Kirpalani things he could be a star, in more ways than one.

Ellis Johnson, Auburn’s defensive coordinator uses a 4-2-5 scheme, a defense that features a hybrid safety/linebacker instead of three traditional linebackers. At Auburn, Johnson named the position Star.

Robinson Therezie, a senior, currently mans the star. Kirpalani feels McBryde could be the incumbent at the hybrid position.

“Defensive coaches love versatile players, and McBryde fits that mold,” Kirpalani said. “He is a sure tackler, works well in space and has a nose for the football. He is physical enough to play in the SEC, and I see him more of an outside backer or Star.”

While McBryde’s positives far outweigh the negatives, Kirpalani feels there are two areas in which he can get better.

“He is listed at 210 pounds, which a little light for a SEC backer,” Kirpalani said. “However, I feel that when he gets to college and on a college weight and nutrition program that will increase. Another thing I would like to see is how he works in coverage. If he plays outside, he will be working against slot receivers, tight ends and backs. Does he have the instincts to play and cover those guys? Either way, it is a good pick up for Auburn.”