Thursday, January 29, 2015

Massachusetts Football Recruit Profile: Joe Gaziano

 By Mike Uva (@mike_uva)

Ed. Note- We continue our month-long look at the top football recruits in Massachusetts with a profile of Northwestern bound defensive end Joe Gaziano. Mike Uva takes a look at ESPN Boston's 2014 Mr. Football from Division 1 state champion Xaverian.

Joe Gaziano

Defensive End
Xaverian Brothers High School
6'4'', 245 lbs.
College Choice: Northwestern
Senior Highlights


ESPN Scouts Inc.- 3 stars, 74/100, #5 in MA, #121 DE
247- 3 stars, 89/100, #1 in MA, #24 Strongside DE
Rivals- 3 stars, 5.7/6.1, #1 in MA, #25 Strongside DE

Ranking Notes: All three recruiting services grade on the "star scale," awarding a player 1-5 stars, but ESPN and 247 also grade each prospect on a 1-100 scale to position them more precisely. Rivals has its own grading scale, which goes from 0-6.1.

Explosiveness off line, physicality, size, closing speed, effort

Areas to Improve:
Technique, getting off blocks

Gaziano is a player who did it all in high school. He had an impact on offense, was a menace on defense, blocked three punts and even handled the kicking duties. There’s no question he’s an athlete who can make an impact at the next level at numerous positions, but his play-making ability at defensive end was bar none the best in the state of Massachusetts, and that will be the position Northwestern wants to have him play.

Gaziano combines speed and power with pure effort. He’s explosive off the line and always finds a way to make an impact on a play, whether it’s a three step drop by the quarterback or a run play going towards the other side of the field.

At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Gaziano used his speed to get by the opposition, knowing that once he had them beat they weren’t going to be able to recover to block him because of his size. Heading into a conference where he’ll be going up against some of the biggest offensive linemen in the country (BIG 10), Gaziano will need focus on his technique. Having a lower pad level, using his hands more to get off blockers quicker and proving that he capable of stopping the inside game, just as well as he can pass rush, are the key areas to look at as he prepares for his collegiate career.

He has all the tangibles and intangibles to be very successful at Northwestern, and is a player any coach would love to have because you know he simply loves playing football.

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