Projected Position: Cornerback
Rivals: 4-star, #28 CB, #38 player in FL
247: 3-star, #55 CB, #72 player in FL
ESPN: 4-star, #26 CB, #60 player in FL
Power 5 offers: 20
Khalil Ladler spent his senior season at IMG Academy in Florida, though he didn’t actually play football. Instead, he rehabbed a torn ACL that forced him to miss his senior season. He previously played at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, GA, which is just outside Atlanta.
Ladler had a really big offer list, and he could have gone to pretty much any school of his choosing in the southeast. However, his recruitment slowed down quite a bit after his knee injury. The Hokies, as they always did under Frank Beamer, continued to recruit him despite the injury while other teams put him on the back burner. Ladler ended up signing with the Hokies.
That can sometimes work out (Ken Ekanem), and sometimes it doesn’t (George Bell). Personally, I think Ladler will be fine, though I think it might be a disservice to him to play him as a true freshman, unless of course he completely blows up in practice.
Let’s take a closer look at Ladler…
Willingness to hit: Ladler doesn’t show any hesitation in coming up in support against the run. He’s not afraid of contact, despite his frame.
Good zone corner: Ladler seems to play best with his eyes facing the quarterback in zone coverage. This makes him an ideal candidate to play field corner in Bud Foster’s system, especially early in his career.
Anticipation skills: Ladler reads the quarterbacks eyes well, and breaks up a lot of short and intermediate passes as a result.
Quick turning ability: Obviously a cornerback at the ACC level has to have quick hips. Ladler appears to have them. He can change directions quickly (pre-injury).
Ladler will have to improve his tackling technique in college. He’s willing, but sometimes he charges in too high, doesn’t wrap up properly, and doesn’t drive his feet through the ball carrier. In the ACC, Ladler’s current technique (or lack thereof, at times) will lead to a lot of broken tackles.
I don’t consider Ladler to be a speed burner, though I would classify his speed as “good enough.”...
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