Malik Agbo (OT, 6’5” 295, Todd Beamer HS, WA)
As one of three in-state blue chip OL in the 2022 class, and an early offer from Coach Huff, Agbo is a high priority recruit for us. For avid readers of UWDP’s recruiting discussion threads, Agbo was a recruit that got very early praise for OWW after getting playing time as a freshman. When I watched his sophomore tape, it was immediately clear to me why OWW was so excited about this kid. Agbo is a kid that pretty clearly fits into Bill Parcell’s Planet Theory, where there are only so many people on the planet that have the genetics to grow that big, and at that age Agbo could still be growing. Even by OWW’s last estimate that he’s closer to 6-4 rather than 6-5.5 (247 listing), Agbo has the natural heft and upside that you’d like to see in a young lineman.
Based on his sophomore tape, Agbo is probably a RT or iOL prospect at the P5 level. He flashes solid quickness and light feet for a guy who’s nearly 300 lbs, but Agbo’s overall movement can be described as bit lumbering. When he puts all of his technique together, he can be dominant. However, he has yet to find consistency in his technique. He’d take a solid first and second step on a run play, but once in decent position, he’d attempt to push or throw defenders from a fixed base rather than utilizing proper drive blocking technique. Pad level also needs better consistency across the board since it prevented him from dominating smaller opponents like he should. From what I saw, these inconsistencies in fundamentals tended to happen more against larger opponents who he might not have had as much of a physical advantage over. I’ve seen this a lot with younger OL who don’t trust their technique yet, but it is also common when OL haven’t developed aspects of their flexibility and functional strength yet. He has a solid base and lower body strength, but hip and ankle flexibility will help him get more comfortable playing in a better stance, and improving core strength will help balance and maintain those lower stances. I’d also expect him to improve his complete upper body strength (not just the major muscle groups) to better control opponents when engaged might go a long way in improving his performance.
Overall, Agbo has a lot of potential, and he should be a high-end 4* OL with instant impact potential if he can improve his technique and fundamentals, but he needs to commit to a S&C program that can help him lean out his frame, round out his functional strength, and develop stamina to play more consistently over the course of a game. The best case scenario is sticking at OT, where most teams will view him as a RT, but he has enough size and power to slide inside and be an effective guard. A Jaxson Kirkland career arc could be a good plan for Agbo to get early reps before stepping up on the edge, if the coaches see his skill set fit better on the outside. Alternatively, a Luke Wattenberg or Henry Bainivalu type of “start outside, kick inside” plan could be another possible development arc that could benefit Agbo long-term. If Agbo proves to be a decent tackle, then the value is in him playing on the edge, but I think he could be a more dominant interior player if he sees improvement in the areas that I mentioned earlier. If we end up having another player who fits at tackle, Agbo has strong enough iOL traits that we could start the other guy at tackle and still capitalize on Agbo’s talent on the inside.
Its hard to tell where we stand in his recruiting at this point, but I’d imagine that he’s in the top tier of UW’s OL targets for the 2022 class. Let me know what you think in the comments below.