Jayson Ademilola is trouble in the middle.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish commit is a 6-foot-3, 283 pound defensive tackle out of Jersey City, N.J. He plays alongside his brother, Justin, at St. Peter’s Preparatory School. Jayson is currently a 4-star on 247 Sports composite, the 242nd player in the class of 2018. With a big senior season, I could see Ademilola moving up to 5-star status.
Ademilola is the only defensive tackle commit so far and has a great deal of talent to add to the future Notre Dame defensive front.
Ademilola is a classic 3 technique type of player. He has a square body build, which is perfect for the position as he has natural leverage built into his frame. He uses this advantage to get under guards and uproot them from their blocking stance, not allowing them to get set and to try to drive him off the ball. Ademilola is explosive through initial contact as he has tremendous strength, especially in his lower body. He has a quick first step that he uses to punch into the offensive lineman to get them off balance, a technique taught to inside guys so they can better gauge what gap to attack.
Ademilola’s footwork is adequate enough to have proper balance once he moves up field toward the backfield and plays under control. This demonstrates his ability to read what is going on around him and keeps his head on a swivel to find the ball and pursue.
Ademilola is relentless in his pursuit; he takes good angle toward the ball carrier and doesn’t tackle blind. He will visually follow the track of the ball and not just look for the big hit — though he will knock the snot out of you — but he will adjust so as to make a clean tackle at first contact. This is smart football and a skill that allows a defender to create turnovers because he is aware of the runner’s position in holding the ball.
Ademilola is definitely geared for inside play, because he can hold his ground and blow up inside zone reads by collapsing the guard or center down into the gap.
On one play in particular, Ademilola fought through a designed triple team blocking scheme by attacking the inside shoulder of each blocker and never lost his footing. On occasion he would line up wide in a 3 man front and try to set the edge. Even in these schemes, his inside tendencies were apparent as he would try and blow through the offensive tackle to get to the QB. Also in his high school’s defensive scheme, he would slide down into a 1-technique — getting between the guard and center to penetrate into the backfield and disrupt the mesh point between the quarterback and running back on the zone read. Ademilola was very effective in this maneuver, which would allow the DE to have a free read on the QB.
Ademilola’s rip move is his most effective skill as he would take his arm and hook under the opposite armpit of the offensive lineman, thus giving him a power move to get position inside or outside (whichever line call was made) to pursue the ball play side. Ademilola is a bull on the defensive front and just a difficult guy to contain inside.
Ademilola, like most high school players who have such advanced skills, tend to rely solely on their size and strength to gain advantage. At times, Ademilola would essentially just push the offensive lineman aside and have a free run toward the ball. As he progresses to the next level he will need to develop a few more techniques other than the rip move mentioned above. This will develop in time; you’ll probably see some growth here in his upcoming senior season.
Ademilola is not a tremendous pass rusher, again often using his brute power to try and move through the offensive lineman rather than reach around the outside shoulder and get into the backfield. His first outside step on an outside move is similar to the one he uses inside. Ademilola’s foot plants heavy. This tends to ground him because it forces his knees lower and he can’t generate a burst off the edge. All of this is relative, of course, because he is a true defensive tackle. It’s easy to see him adding 20 pounds to his frame in college and maintaining his prowess as a run stuffer. What Ademilola is designed for is to be close to the ball at the snap. In this area, he is a dominate presence in the middle.
Ademilola is a welcome addition to the class of 2018. He is a disruptive force along the line of scrimmage and an athlete that plays with aggression. It’s my belief that his senior year will bring a lot more attention to him. He’s a key guy to hang on to and develop. Ademilola is the type of defensive player Notre Dame needs to have that matches up with what other elite programs have: a physical defensive lineman who can make plays on his own. This will allow the Fighting Irish to not lean on having to create pressure by bringing a bunch of folks up. Ademilola can do this and allow the other guys to disrupt things elsewhere. This is a perfect match for Mike Elko’s scheme and will be a perfect match for Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fans in the coming years.