Yosuah Nijman Has a Huge Ceiling at Defensive End


Aug 30, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; William & Mary Tribe quarterback Steve Cluley (16) rolls out to pass during the first quarter against Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end Ken Ekanem (4) during the first quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies have two very talented defensive ends returning next season in Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem. Nicolas and Ekanem are definitely one of the best duos of defensive ends in the country, and have the talent to improve in 2015 after a great 2014 season with both players having over 9 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

However, Nicolas is going to be gone after next season, and the group of potential replacements has a lot of uncertainty. One player who has the potential to end up being a great replacement for Nicolas in 2016 along with being a very good backup in 2015 is Yosuah Nijman.

Nijman has a huge amount of potential with a big reason for that being his great size at 6’7” and 268 pounds. There are not many defensive ends with that type of size, but one that comes to mind is Baylor’s 6’8”, 290-pound DE Shawn Oakman who had 51 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks this past season.

Yosuah Nijman has decent speed, but has the athleticism to become a lot faster and a guy that can run a low 4.7 40-yard dash time. Nijman also is a fairly strong player, but is someone that definitely has the great frame to add another 20 to 25 pounds of muscle.

Nijman is a great athlete, but is still fairly raw as a defensive end outside of his solid tackling skills, and above-average strength and toughness that he already has. Nijman is an early enrollee for the Hokies which will give Charley Wiles more time to work with Nijman at defensive end.

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Many people have suggested that Nijman will end up at offensive tackle which definitely could happen, but he has a ton of potential as a defensive end.

Nijman does show that he has some basic pass rush moves, and the chance to work with Wiles this spring should help him develop his pass rush moves. Nijman will also get the chance to be in a collegiate weight room with coaches who are some of the best in the business.

Nijman will also have some very good defensive ends ahead of him to help mentor him in Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem. Having talented players ahead of you to work with can be a great tool in pushing a player. Nijman is the type of player that should get improve a lot over the course of this spring.

Yosuah Nijman has huge potential, and it would not surprise me if he is one of Virginia Tech’s backup defensive ends in 2015 and a starting defensive end in 2016.

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