December 21, 2011
Don Bosco prospect makes plays
ILB Mike Strizak
6-2/228, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep
What stands out: Strizak plays defensive end in high school probably because Don Bosco Prep could use his outstanding speed off the edge to its advantage. In college, Strizak is probably undersized to play on the defensive line but he's a standout on the prep level. His quickness is the first thing that really stands out. He usually lines up quite wide and then beats offensive tackles into the backfield to make plays on the quarterback or running back. It's almost impossible to run to Strizak's side, too, since he can get to the outside really fast and make plays. Even though his speed is one of his biggest assets, Strizak also plays under control and is always around the ball to make the tackle. He's tough and strong and seems to play with relentless pursuit.
What needs work: The one concern as Strizak moves to an entirely different position at the next level will be just that - the transition to inside linebacker. His reads will be different, he'll be standing up instead of having a hand down and his viewpoint on how plays are developing will change. That might require a redshirt year just to study and understand the position a little better but the good thing is that Don Bosco Prep is such a solid program that his skills are so advanced that moving to another position could be seamless. There is no doubt that switching from defensive end to linebacker will bring about some changes but Strizak seems up to the challenge and he definitely has the ability to make good things happen.
How he fits in: Strizak should be a perfect fit in Boston College's defensive scheme for a bunch of reasons. First off, he relentlessly attacks the ball and that means he should be a good fit at any position. He's smart and capable and knows how to make plays without overrunning things even though he plays with a lot of intensity and speed. Strizak has great size for an inside linebacker even though he doesn't play the position in high school. Finally, he's a playmaker. There's no doubt Don Bosco uses him on the defensive line to shut down running games and cut off half the field so there's no question he's valuable in the defensive scheme there.
Bottom line: Strizak is a great pick up for Boston College but the only concern would be how easy his transition from defensive end to linebacker will be. It should be fine since there probably isn't a major rush to get him on the field early and he's a smart player from an outstanding program. Strizak has said all along that Boston College intends to use him at linebacker and he's actually looking forward to the challenge so it's something he's prepared for. He should be fine and Strizak has the chance to be a special player for the Eagles down the road because he has such versatility.
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