Early in his coaching career, long before infractions spread across the country, before the tight end position split into two roles, Brodowicz wouldn’t have seen many six-foot-three athletes play at the highest level of college football. .
But the game is changing as shifts are increasingly important in passing attacks. And therein lies the value of feedback.
“I thought everything from a tight end position was six-five, six-six, 240 to 270,” Brodowicz said. “Just like the kid from Georgia (Brock Bowers) last year these guys are so big and can run. Jack was at six-two-and-a-half and now he’s at six-three and he’s at 220.”
Once Larsen completed his freshman year, Brodowicz quickly learned that there is a growing market for receiving tight ends primarily at the Power Five level.
“(The college coaches) are starting to say, ‘We’re going to use it more to catch passes (tight end), the game-up problem. He can play H-Back, they can put him in motion and be paired with some kind of linebacker thing.
With that in mind, Brodowicz knew that when it came to college coaches looking for a tight end who could outsmart linebackers and outplay nickel corners out of the slot, Larsen most certainly fit that profile.
“He’s an incredible road runner. His runs are amazing just in his freshman year,” Brodowicz said. “We had a 7-on-7 in South Carolina last Thursday… And I was like, ‘Holy cow!’ I mean, he made people’s heads spin, and they knew we were going to him sometimes, it didn’t matter.
“Guys who couldn’t stop him, they would literally tackle him before the ball came in, which would throw away the penalty. The thing I think he’s going to be really good at is, of course, catching this ball. He has incredibly strong hands when he follows the ball.
Until Larsen leaves for South Bend, Brodowicz plans to workshop one thing with his star player.
If the four-star rookie can develop that skill set, he’ll provide a fuller option at the position, whether he’s in the slot, attached to a tackle, or in an H-Back role.
“I want him to be a dominant blocker.
“As a freshman playing varsity football and last year as a sophomore… he was playing against some really good football players who go to Chapel Hill and everything, playing juniors and seniors. He held on… He used his body well to protect…but this year I’m trying to emphasize that I want him to be as dominant and physical in a tight block as he is as a wide receiver. ability.
“He’s a 325+ pound adviser. He squats over 450. And he has explosive tissue. So when you put those three together, now it’s all about getting the right leverage and having a bit of a mentality like, “Okay, not only am I going to run routes, but when I’m going. .. pick a linebacker, I want to put him on his back.
“So that’s the challenge I have… It’s not a weakness. I just want him to bring his blocking to the same level as his pass reception.