The 90 Illini #19: Justin Staples August 14, 2012
6′-4″, 240 lbs.
Senior (on scholarship, 1 year to play 1)
St. Edward HS / Lakewood, Ohio
ALE Ranking last year: #33
ALE Ranking in 2010: #46
What I Know About Him:
I know if playing defensive end consisted of one thing – speed rushes around the outside – he could be a 1st team All American. You watch him in edge rushing drills, and his speed around the corner is amazing. Such burst.
Unfortunately, playing defensive end in college consists of a lot more than just speed rushes around the outside. It’s about holding the edge and bull rushes and shedding your block to stop a ballcarrier. Which is what will determine just how much playing time Justin Staples will receive. If he can grow in other areas, he can give us a solid senior season at defensive end. If not, we’ll see more Kynard, less Staples.
What I Expect From Him:
A surprising senior season. Playing next to Michael Buchanan, Glenn Foster, and Akeem Spence can make anyone look good. So there will be some of that, but also some of Justin Staples showing what he can do as a pass rusher. He has the unenviable task of replacing Whitney the Mercilus on this defensive line (and doing so in his first year at DE, coming over from Bandit the past two years). He won’t be Whitney – not even close – but he can be a consistent edge pressure for our already solid defensive line.