As noted yesterday evening, Iowa's stellar 2021 recruiting class got its crown jewel with the commitment of 4-star OL David Davidkov out of Ohio, over bluebloods like LSU, Oregon and the upper crust of the Big Ten.
We can tell you Davidkov is listed at 6'6", 295. We can tell you he's a consensus top-25 tackle prospect in the nation. We can tell you 247 grades him as a future early-round NFL draft pick.
Or, we can show you 10 minutes of him absolutely erasing his competition as a junior:
I won't (read: can't) break down the entire tape. It's like 50 plays, it's a school night, I'm technologically illiterate... and honestly, how many times can I tell you "here he flattens a guy" before you get the message?
Now, if you've ever been the weak link on the defensive line [raises hand], you know this whole dynamic too well. There is nowhere to hide in the trenches, and when linemen start imposing their physical will on you, they don't tend to stop in the middle of the second quarter for the hell of it. And you're not magically going to get better than them over the course of the game. It's snap after snap of pain until one of the two coaches puts the matchup out of its mercy.
Among this mix, though, one opponent stands out: #11 on Fake Michigan. I don't know what transpired between him and David of House David prior to kickoff, but the end result is outright brutality. Several times. And Davidkov's tactic of choice is an unusual but effective one: block the poor soul out of the other side of the play.
- 0:05: An inauspicious beginning to the reel for Fake Michigan.
- 1:08: At least here Davidkov's victim stays inside the frame of play, mainly because they trip over another Fake Michigan player who's being driven into the dirt.
- 1:35: Davidkov, left tackle, blocks #11 into an impromptu double-team with the right tackle. The end result of the play is familiar.
- 3:14: Some say #11 is still on skates to this day. We'll never know, as he was blocked completely out of frame, the long way.
- 5:16: Another play where #11 is roughly escorted out of the camera's eye. Say, you know who else liked plays with dramatic exits? Bill Shakespeare, that's who!
- 5:50: At some point you almost feel sorry for the young man, until you realize he's wearing Michigan colors and this is just how things are going to go.
- 6:39: The point's been made. Davidkov is a road grader. Maybe #11 will fare better rushing against his pass pro, aaaaaaaand...
The entire film is pure dominance, and yes it's a highlight reel so all the good stuff ends up here, but this is play after play of Davidkov making opponents crumble and disappear. These are not competitive matchups, at all. Obviously, #11 isn't the caliber of opponent that awaits at the next level—if he didn't retire from football by the time he got on the bus home, he needs better mentors—but clearly Davidkov has a physicality, skill level and overall nastiness that are ready for big-time competition.
Be psyched about this one, Iowa fans. GO VIOLENCE AWESOME.