Greg Romeus is one of the most intriguing prospects coming into the 2010 college football season. Possessing a great combination of power and speed, Romeus is set to have a dominate season for the Panthers. He only played one year of high school football, so he’s a little more raw than some other defensive end prospects. However, he’s going into his third year as a starter and he’s shown dramatic improvement every season. With the college football season about to kick off, let’s take a look at some 2009 tape of Romeus in action and break down his game.
Romeus vs. West Virginia
The game against West Virginia is a good example of exactly what Romeus can do. He shows up as a pass rusher and against the run. What I like the most about Romeus is how he uses his long arms, especially when setting the edge on the run. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes…
Right off the bat, you can see Romeus’ pass rushing skills at his best. The very first play in clip shows Romeus use some change of direction and a club/over move to get back to the inside and get the sack. This kind of inside move is even more effective when the tackles have been preparing for quick, outside rushes and you can see it clearly gets the blocker off-balance. At :16 in, Romeus shows that his awareness is nicely developing. Usually inexperienced pass rushers tend to keep their “eyes on the prize” and only focus on the pass rushing. Romeus shows that while rushing, he keeps his head up and sees the QB start to make the throw. Romeus immediately gets his long arms in the air to try to bat down the pass. While he didn’t block the pass, this play is important in showing the development of his awareness.
At :28 seconds, Romeus shows why I like him so much as a defensive end prospect. The offense has an outside running play towards Romeus and he plays it perfectly. Watch as Romeus locks out the blocker and maintains a strong base, setting the edge and flowing to the outside. When the runner gets close, he disengages from the blocker and makes the tackle. Textbook defensive end work. More great examples of Romeus setting the edge against the rush can be found at 2:59 and 3:22. At :47 seconds, Pitt is in a goal line defensive set and the offense rushes to the inside. Romeus does a great job using his hands to get off the blocker but stays home, keeping the runner from cutting back to open space and forcing him inside for no gain.
However, it’s not all roses for Romeus. At times, he can play out of control and can get sucked in on misdirection plays. A perfect example of biting on the misdirection is at 1:27 when the back gets Romeus sucked inside and cuts back to the outside, leaving him trapped in a crowd. Romeus shows that the can get out of control at times at 1:37 when he has a sure-fire sack but Jarrett Brown spins to the outside, leaving Romeus to take out another Pitt defender. Another example of Romeus getting out of control is at 2:06.
Overall, Romeus is a budding talent and shows a lot of promise for his senior season. If he further develops his awareness and plays under control, Romeus could wind up being the most dominate defensive end in the country. The draft fate of Romeus isn’t totally in his hands though. There’s stiff competition at the defensive end spot for the first round with players like Adrian Clayborn of Iowa, Allen Bailey of Miami and even some junior prospects like Robert Quinn of North Carolina and Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson.
Romeus vs. Utah — 2010
Since the Pitt vs. Utah game was a prime example of the flaws in Romeus’ game, it’s important to take a look at this footage as well. Romeus looked tired, sluggish and lazy at times during this game. He was rarely the first defender off the ball and didn’t put any pressure on the QB. Romeus also looked out of control at times, an issue he’s struggled with throughout his career. However, he did set the edge fairly well against the rush and got his arms up a few times to bat down passes, things that I mentioned earlier from his 2009 film.
Now, Romeus did miss a fair amount of August practice time with back spasms, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the conditioning he appeared to have against Utah. Let’s hope Romeus turns it around this season and gets back to the form he knows he’s capable of.