clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Virginia Football Recruiting: Naji Abdullah signs with UVA

Abdullah is a raw DE/OLB who will need a few years before he's ready to contribute.

Profile: Naji Abdullah

High School: Sandalwood(Jacksonville, Fl.)

Height/weight: 6-4, 230

Ranking: Rivals 2*, ESPN 3*, 247 3*

Additional offers: None that we know of

The skinny:


Mike London and his staff brought in a number of DE prospects in this class, which is good because the position is thin right now. Abdullah was the last to commit, just last week. With his tall, lean frame, he definitely looks like a DE.

Abdullah is still fairly raw, and right now gets by on athleticism. He's 6'5" 230 pounds, which is very lean, so he'll need to add weight. With his height, he could easily bulk up to 250 pounds or more and still be athletic enough to play DE. At 230 pounds, he could play OLB, although he may not be fast enough to stick there.

The above highlights are from Naji's senior year, courtesy of Hudl.

Right now, Abdullah is basically all quickness and athleticism. Obviously, quickness is a skill you want from your pass rushing DE. But until he bulks up, he's not going to be able to hold his own against college level pass blockers. His height also makes it more difficult for him to get leverage, although it also allows to get his hands up into passing lanes. This is why he may move to OLB. He has quickness off the snap and his length allows him to cover more ground in pass coverage.

Abdullah is too raw to play college football right now; he needs time in the weight room and he needs to work on technique. His frame and his athleticism are ideal for the position. Once he builds up some more muscle and learns how to play DE, he could be very good. That will not be for at least another 2 years.