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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Devin Aupiu

December 9, 2020

Everyone who has read my thoughts on ISD for the past five years knows my thoughts on roster building. I’m always someone who believes that you can never take enough defensive linemen in a recruiting cycle.

If there is a prospect that Notre Dame likes on the D-line, they should try and land him no matter what the scholarship numbers are. So even though they may have a greater need at other spots to finish out the 2021 cycle, I’m all for adding another edge defender to replace David Abiara‍ in the class.

They just did that by flipping former UCLA commit Devin Aupiu‍. A long and athletic defender, Aupiu has a lot of room to grow his game and has traits that translate to becoming a great edge rusher.

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 220

Projected Position: Vyper

ISD Grade: 87 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 86.9 (3-star)

What he does best:

There are some exciting flashes with Aupui that show why Notre Dame is intrigued by his talent. First off, he has a great motor. Athletes who are 6’5” who can run like him and hustle like he does are rare. That’s easily the best part of his game.


He shows the ability to dip and bend around the corner, another uncommon trait for many 6’5” defenders.


Aupui displays an ability to set the edge in the run game. Though he does not take advantage of his length as a pass rusher enough, he will punch and separate versus the run.


He does a very nice job of disrupting passing lanes and getting his hands on the football. It’s an underappreciated talent that matters more than it is given credit for.


What he needs to improve:

There’s a lot. He is inconsistent off the ball with his snap anticipation. I don’t see twitch I like to see on every play.

He doesn’t have a plan of attack as a pass rusher. That’s part of the reason why he will be passive off the ball. He’s very raw with his hands and needs to utilize his athleticism to win more.

He’s going to take some time once he gets to Notre Dame. Mike Elston will essentially have to build his game from the ground up in a lot of ways.

What’s his ceiling?

Watching his junior film, he is all caps RAW in so many areas of his game. He’s definitely a prospect that I would have loved to watch senior film on because he clearly has great physical tools, but had not put the pieces together on the field yet. 

Raw pass rushers with great physical gifts take time to develop, but his motor makes me believe he has a shot to be a very good player eventually for the Irish. It may be a three year journey to get there once he is in the program, though.

He has the potential to develop into a starter for Notre Dame. He wouldn’t have been a take if that wasn’t the case. He also is going to be someone who will need to put in quite a bit of work with his craft to get there.

I’m looking forward to re-evaluating if he has a senior season in the spring.

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