Makell Esteen is officially a Dawg.
Esteen, part of the cascade of secondary commits the Huskies had in the summer, is one of Washington’s two defensive backs from the 2020 Lawndale High School class. He’s listed variously as both a cornerback and safety, along with Lawndale teammate Elijah Jackson. While he probably projects as more of a safety (and that’s where UW lists him right now), his experience at both positions and Jimmy Lake’s love of versatility in the DB room means it wouldn’t be mind-blowing to see him at either or both positions at different points of his college career.
Overall, his ability to track the ball while in coverage and his relentless pursuit of doing so is readily clear. What really stands out as a high school DB, however, is his intelligence when in zone coverage, anticipating routes, and reading a quarterback. Those skills combine with the fact that, while he isn’t a tailor-made, bone-crushing hitter like Taylor Rapp was coming out of high school, he clearly is a fundamentally strong tackler; he has great drive and tackle form, and his potential as a safety becomes most clear when you combine his aforementioned anticipation and downhill hitting ability to meet a ball carrier or receiver in the flat — then consider the ball skills, and he looks like a really well-rounded player for the secondary.
If you had to distill Esteen’s skill set to one thing, it would be “intuition.” Whether in space as a coverage player or regarding his own physical leverage, his intuition is abundant.
His most recent full season Hudl is of last year. See for yourself here:
Esteen chose Washington over Cal, ASU, Kansas State, Kentucky, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, and USC.
Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.