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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Jaden Mickey

March 14, 2021
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Notre Dame is off to a very strong start in 2022 recruiting, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They hadn’t landed a commitment from anyone who projects at defensive back yet, though, and that is arguably the most important need in this class.

That changed today once Jaden Mickey‍ announced his commitment. A 4-star prospect who is only now starting his junior season in California, Mickey projects to play the field corner spot for the Irish and could possibly end up as a nickel in sub-packages.

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 175

Projected Position: Cornerback

ISD Grade: 90 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 90.2 (4-star)

What he does best:

Maybe the most important skill for a defensive back is the ability to find the football in coverage. With six interceptions and 11 pass breakups as a sophomore, it’s safe to say Mickey knows how to do that well.

He excels at playing the ball in the air while also playing with strong technique. He does a great job of getting into the body of receivers and is still able to make a play on the football.

via GIPHY

He’s not especially big or long compared to some other prospects, but he finishes plays. This is a perfect example of a receiver going over the top of him for a catch, but Mickey working through the catch point to cause an incompletion.

via GIPHY

His ability to recognize plays on the perimeter, whether it is run or pass, stands out. He attacks aggressively and is a willing tackler.

via GIPHY

This is the kind of play that some would call instincts, but it’s really preparation. He knows when he sees that motion what play is calling and he communicates it before making the play.

via GIPHY

It’s the kind of thing that separates good from average and good from great. Mickey already shows that piece of his game and it’s exciting.

via GIPHY

What he needs to improve:

In press man coverage, I’d like to see him use his hands more and be a bit more physical. His footwork and ability to open and run allows him to mirror receivers well, but there are a lot of plays where he is forced to use his speed to make up ground when I think he could be in the hip pocket of the receiver.

He’s frequently a cut tackler and that’s something that isn’t going to be as effective in college with many backs. He needs to wrap and finish more consistently.

What’s his ceiling?

I’m excited to see his improvements to his game and his physical development as a junior because I’m a big fan of what I saw from him as a sophomore.

Is he a legitimate 6’0”? If his measurables check out then his ceiling is extremely high. His athleticism, ability to change directions, and the fact that he can play off or press at a high level makes me believe he can develop into a multi-year starter for the Irish with the potential to play early in his career.

I think he’s an ideal fit at field corner and someone who could develop at slot corner. This is a great addition to the class for the Irish.

Who he could be:
Former Washington cornerback Elijah Molden

BREAKING | 2022 Four-Star CB Jaden Mickey Commits to Notre Dame

 
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