Recruiting is full of surprises, and Michigan definitely got one on Wednesday night when New Jersey three-star Dominick Giudice announced his commitment to the Wolverines after receiving his offer just a few hours earlier. Since there wasn’t a lot known about Giudice when he committed, looking at his film should help answer some questions about his game.
There weren’t any full games available that I could find, so my takeaways are coming from his junior highlight reel on Hudl.
The first thing that stands out about Giduice is his motor. He’ll be the first to tell you that, mentioning his relentlessness and violence often when giving interviews. He backs that up on the field, never giving up on plays.
He displays this on a micro level by constantly shooting across the backfield to grab a running back from behind on a run the other way. But he’ll also chase wide receivers down the field, as he does in this play below:
Giudice is also excellent at disengaging with blockers, which is obviously critical for a defensive lineman. He shoots his hands quickly to neutralize offensive linemen, then has a number of pass rush moves that gets him around his man. In this following clip, Giudice gets his hands inside the tackle’s pads, then chops his arms away to get past him.
He also combines this hand speed with his power to throw away guys before they even know what’s happening. This play showcases both his motor and ability to disengage blockers as he rips by a tackle who extends his arms way too early, then chucks a poor running back before forcing a duck by the quarterback that almost gets intercepted.
I do think Giudice has some limitations athletically that are impacting his ceiling as a prospect. For one, he doesn’t seem to have the ability to bend around the edge and get to the quarterback at seven or eight yards instead of ten or eleven.
Here, Giudice can’t quite get around the corner fast enough, allowing the quarterback to escape out of the pocket. Giudice takes a while turning around to follow him, but eventually tracks him down and makes the tackle.
Giudice is also a step slow off the line of scrimmage. I don’t think he has that quick-twitch ability that allows him to get on offensive linemen before they can react. He makes up for it with fast hands, but being slow off the line allows linemen to get depth in their pass sets and time their punches better.
He’s the last guy off the ball in this clip, but of course it doesn’t matter because he can easily work the tackle to get the sack.
This of course brings up another big issue that’s impacting Giudice’s recruiting ranking. His level of competition is abysmal. His 24 sacks and 43 tackles for loss are eye-popping, but lose some weight when you take into account who he’s going up against every week. 247Sports’ Northeast expert Brian Dohn said that Giudice did not face an FBS level offensive linemen all season.
This makes the pandemic especially harmful for guys like Giudice, since they won’t be able to attend camps and prove themselves against other top competition. In past years, Giudice would have been a classic camp guy that Michigan probably would’ve offered if they liked what they saw. However, the coaches will have to trust their evaluation here.
Giudice has said that the coaches plan to play him at the anchor position, which I agree matches his skillset the best right now. He doesn’t have the athleticism to be a pure pass rusher on the weakside, but can definitely take on tight ends and clog up running lanes. However, I think that eventually he’ll pack on 20 or 30 more pounds and slide inside to be a three-tech, where his pass rush skills will be more valuable.
No matter where he ends up playing, it will probably be a few years before we see Giudice on the field. Aaron Lewis and Kris Jenkins look to be on the same path but a year ahead, as well as Mike Morris and possibly Gabe Newburg from the 2019 class.