Moments ago Baltimore, Maryland (Gilman School) defensive end/linebacker prospect Melvin Keihn announced his commitment to Virginia Tech. Melvin is rated as a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com and a 3-star recruit by 247Sports. Keihn, who was recruited by Aaron Moorehead, selected the Hokies over Maryland and Virginia.
This is what Keihn said last week, prior to committing.
"I visited all three schools at least twice, and I have great, great relationships with all the coaches there," Keihn said. "It's just about me doing the pros and cons, what I like and what I don't like about each school, where I would happy and where I would be more comfortable, how I feel about the kids -- just all those things, try to put them together and count up the points."
At 6-3, 220 pounds, Keihn has been used at both defensive end and linebacker by his high school coaches. At linebacker, his highlights stem mostly from plays where he is blitzing. He is very comfortable lining up in different depths behind the line of scrimmage, and has a great knack for timing his blitz so wide holes open up for him. There is very little footage of Keihn scraping east-west to make tackles, although on several clips he recovers to make tackles on good gains going away from him. As a linebacker, he also has a tendency to lunge and grab ball carriers, and in the process he has great reach, but he loses his feet. When a defender doesn't keep his feet under him, it is difficult to stop a good runner's forward momentum.
Given his knack for blitzing and his size, I think that he could be effective playing as the backer in a 46 set, ala Bruce Taylor in 2012. Taylor, who spent some time at defensive end early in his career as a Hokie, was a very effective blitzer and pass rusher from the mike spot, but really became a threat coming off the edge in the 46. Tariq Edwards, who was better in pursuit and coverage, never really presented as consistent a threat off the edge on the blitz as Taylor. Perhaps Keihn can give Foster that element at the backer position. Keihn moved around, on film he aligns at end, a 3-4 outside linebacker, and a 3-4 inside linebacker. All three techniques are used at the backer position in Bud Foster's defense.
From a defensive end perspective, Keihn has natural ability, but his technique is a bit raw. His best pass rush move looks to be a very subtle push-pull technique, where he bull-rushes and then gives a little to create separation. Against the run, he has a tendency to turn his pads into a kick-out block. If he gets defensive line repetitions, Coach Wiles will likely make teaching inside shoulder force technique a priority. He also appears to take on and shed blocks well, but doesn't show any refined leverage moves in these clips. Unless he gets much bigger, I think his future is at backer.
Welcome to HokieNation Melvin!