Notre Dame has built a very good defense, but they are not content with very good. They want to be big and stack top-notch defenders like Voltron. The last is a linebacker Jaiden Ausberry, a player who would have normally ended up in the SEC.
It’s a huge win to add it to Drayk Bowenand Preston Zinter to linebacker in that class. He’s a great talent that could suit Rover or Will for the Irish.
Projected position: Linebacker
DSI class: 93 (4 stars)
National average score: 93.4 (4 stars)
What it does best:
Ausberry plays fast. He is a nervous athlete who explodes in pursuit of football. He can trigger up and down quickly and should be someone who does a lot of tackles behind the line like on this play where he shoots the leaving guard away.
Blitz is a skill. Some players are just better than others. It helps if a player is explosive like Ausberry, but they are able to make plays like a blitzer because they know how to slide blocks when in the backfield.
Ausberry has the characteristics to be a factor in all three trials. He shows a good conscience in coverage and has the athleticism to match man-to-man running backs.
What it needs to improve:
If he stays clean, he can play a lot of games. His hand/block destruction needs to improve though.
He’s a better player when asked to attack rather than read and react. There are parts where you see him diagnose things quickly and others where he takes a beating. I think part of the pause on some games is that it waits to engage with the blocker. It’s something he can and should improve on as he develops at Notre Dame.
What is its ceiling?
I would put him in the same prospect category as Prince Kollie and Jaylen Sneed.
I don’t envision him as someone who will be plug and play as a freshman, especially given the linebackers Notre Dame has recruited ahead of him. He also has some physical development he needs to do once he gets to campus, but he’s yet another nervous athlete to add at linebacker.
The player he reminds me of is former Notre Dame recruiting target Cam McGrone. He was someone who relied on his speed and blitzing abilities to thrive as an inside linebacker for Michigan and Ausberry has the potential to be the same kind of point guard for Notre Dame.
Who could it be:
Cam McGrone, former Michigan linebacker