FINNEYTOWN, Ohio – The biggest game of the opening weekend for Ohio high school football featured two Ohio State commits as Tegra Tshabola, Jyaire Brown, and their Lakota West team looked to get revenge against the defending OHSAA Division I state champions in St. Xavier after the Bombers ended their season last fall.
It was not meant to be for the future Buckeyes, however, as they fell to St. Xavier 31-14 in the first game of the year.
Nevertheless, that did not mean both Ohio State commits didn’t perform well. Tshabola specifically had a very solid game down in the trenches and Buckeye Scoop was in attendance to see it all.
Let’s head into the film room to talk about it!
- Let’s start off the takeaways with the good side of things. To start, Tshabola moved very well and potentially the best we have ever seen him. Coming into the season his goal was to be 315 pounds or less and appears he met that goal. Whether in run blocking or in his pass sets, Tshabola moved laterally with ease which was nice to see since that hasn’t always been the case. In the clips above you can see the aforementioned movement ability when he runs defenders out of the pocket or in the first clip with his reach block.
- Technically, this could fit in the movement ability section but Tshabola did this so well that it deserves its own special mention. For the first time in all of our viewings of Tshabola he pulled on a few plays and did so effectively. This is a welcomed sight not only because he shows how well he is moving but also because it helps project to what he may be asked to do in college as guard. Long story short, there are a few clips above where you can see him pull above and punish unknowing defenders, which is nice to see.
- Finally, on the good side of things Tshabola was a straight up mauler in the trenches per usual. Once he got his hands on defenders last Friday they typically ended up two places — on the turf or a couple yards away from the ball carrier. Again this is nothing too new with Tshabola as this has always been his best attribute but it is still always nice to see since it is so applicable to his future along the interior.
- Now for the negative, not that it’s all too bad. It can be easily fixed with the right coaching, which he will receive from Ohio State offensive Greg Studrawa in Columbus. The issue is his stance. Overall, Tshabola just looks uncomfortable sitting in his stance which puts him at a disadvantage on occasion. Specifically, his feet look a tad too far apart and his outside foot seems to be turned too far out. Once he begins looking more comfortable in his stance then you’ll likely see Tshabola have better pass sets and he’ll get off the ball quicker.
All in all, nothing we saw from Tshabola against St. Xavier last Friday was vastly different from what we have seen out of him before. Seeing him move laterally with ease and playing at a better weight was a very welcomed sight. And both will only improve after he arrives in Columbus. As for the negatives, they can be easily fixed and once they are you’ll likely see even better play from the big man. In the end, nothing really changed from our viewing of him on Friday. His ceiling is still the highest at guard where he is more in a phone booth than out in space.