September 9, 2008

Durham making noise at Austin Westlake

With the growing popularity of the spread offense around Texas high schools, the traditional linebacker position has almost gone the way of the Dodo bird, pet rock, and McRib sandwich. For that reason when the state produces a top-level linebacker, schools from across the country come looking.

Austin Westlake is home to one of the state's best, junior David Durham, who is already beginning to hear from many top schools.

"I'm hearing from lots of schools all around Texas, the southeast, and even up in Oregon." Durham said. "I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina so I like North Carolina, LSU, I really like the coaching staff at Georgia Tech, and I really like the tradition at Texas A&M."

Durham started the game against Lake Travis playing inside linebacker in the Chaparral's' 3-4 defense, and then moved to defensive end in the second quarter and stayed there most of the game.

"The coaches have me play defensive end because we're a little undersized and I add some speed." Durham said. "I like to play like Lawrence Taylor or Shawn Merriman. I can play linebacker and rush the quarterback."

While at Defensive End, Durham lined up opposite Texas commit Paden Kelly and David had high praise for the future longhorn. "I went against Mark Buchanan from Austin High last year, and Kelly is the best linemen I've ever faced."

Scouting report: Durham's real strengths as an inside linebacker is his ability to work through trash at the line, he plays with a high motor, and he is a good pass rusher both from the linebacker and defensive end positions.

The things I saw that Durham needs to work on is his play recognition, and top end speed. Durham failed to recognize a screen on a couple occasions and he lacks the sideline-to-sideline speed of elite linebackers.

Like most high school inside linebackers, Durham is at his best working downhill against the run and rushing the passer. Whether he ends up at Linebacker or End at the next level, his leadership and work ethic will lead to him being very successful.

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