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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | David Abiara

March 27, 2020

It looks like Mike Frank and I pulled the reverse jinx when we mentioned that Notre Dame needed to make some progress with defensive prospects in the 2021 class. After picking up a commitment from safety Justin Walters‍ back in February, they just picked up another commitment from defensive end David Abiara‍ when they really needed to gain back some momentum.

He is raw in some areas, but Alabama and LSU offering him is an indication of his athletic potential. Abiara has a very high ceiling and that’s a huge reason why I like this addition to Notre Dame’s 2021 class.

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 230

Projected Position: Strong side end

ISD Grade: 89 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 89.0 (3-star)

What he does best:

Abiara is long and knows how to use that length very well. It’s fairly routine for him to lock out blockers against the run and this long arm stab move is going to be very difficult for tackles to deal with in pass protection.


He looks downright skinny at 230 pounds, which suggests he can add quite a bit of weight to his frame. At this weight he plays with power and can turn a speed rush into a bull rush. He has the left tackle on skates on this particular play.


He isn’t a technician with his hands by any means, but he’s more advanced than many who strictly rely on athleticism to rush the passer. Abiara has a good understanding of leverage and has a nice rip that appears to be his go-to move.


I’d like to see him keep his feet moving more as a run defender, but there is no doubt he is strong at the point of attack. There are plenty of examples of him bullying blockers. I think he can be a player that teams will attempt to avoid running his way.


What he needs to improve:

I see a little bit of stiffness when turning the corner around the edge. Some guys have it naturally and some need to work at it with their lean. Abiara is in the latter category.

The issue is that he needs to be more consistent with his get off and attacking half a man. He has to work an edge more often and though he shows flashes of explosiveness, it’s not an every down thing.

Khalid Kareem is an example of someone who greatly improved his snap anticipation while at Notre Dame. Abiara has to do that and be more explosive off the ball.

He looks to me like a guy who is reading too much rather than reacting. His recognition of blocks needs to improve.

What’s his ceiling?

Physically Abiara has a lot of “dude” qualities and already shows signs of being a beast against the run. Fortunately the things he needs to improve are areas that Mike Elston has proven he can improve once he starts coaching them.

Things might start to process before that for Abiara and if they do, his current ranking of being on the borderline of 4-star status could change drastically after his senior season.

He has the potential to develop into a multi-year starter at Notre Dame, but is someone who is likely going to benefit from having some time to develop behind veterans in front of him at defensive end.

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