Ousman Traore- (Film Review)

Ousman Traore- (Film Review)

Lance Roffers
Lance Roffers
Miami picked up an unexpected boost to its 2019 recruiting class in the form of OL Ousman Traore. He’s a full-qualifier Junior College player who played last year at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas. As many of you who have watched the Netflix series Last Chance U already know, the Jayhawk Conference in Kansas is probably the best conference in all of Junior College football.

Traore hails from College Park, GA and continues a trend of Miami pulling players out of the Peach State. Standing at a listed 6-4, 327, Traore has the size to help Miami along the OL immediately. While he played OT in high school, He played OG in junior college and will most likely play OG at Miami.
I decided to watch the game against Garden City for several reasons: 1. They are both highly ranked teams. 2. They are conference rivals. 3. It was a close game. Traore is number 67 in any screen shots and plays LG if that helps keep him straight.

First play and they run a reverse with Traore out as the lead blocker as he pulls around. While not an elite athlete, he honestly showed pretty good movement to get several yards downfield here. I’d like to see him keep his feet under him and his knees more flexible once he identifies his target. Keep in mind, the defender has to come to him if he ever wants to get by him, so staying patient is a key for a pulling OL. He gets way over his toes here, is completely bending at the waist, and has to resort to simply reaching and pushing at the defender, who swats his arm away and closes off the sideline. Some good here, but some technique things to work on for sure. He never does block the defender and he even pats him on the back as he walks back to the huddle to say, “good job.”

Pulls again on the next play (very top OL ducking his head along the 40-yard line). He does get over his toes again, which seems to be a technique issue, but could also be a lack of confidence in his athletic ability as well. The good news is he gets to his spot and does his job of pushing the defender out wide. This is a designed cut back up-the-middle, but the DT blows the play up before the RB can get there. This was an adequate play from Traore due to a lack of balance.

Third play in a row and I’m seeing the tools that get you to notice him with his size and soft feet. You also see the reasons for a lack of early offers as he a lot of technique issues to clean up. On this play he had a very soft anchor at setup and almost tried to catch the defender like you would catch an egg. He re-anchored and used his natural strength to toss the defender but you want to see an initial violent strike on a play like this. I’d imagine he gets called for holding on this play more often than not. Initially, the LT took this man and then passed him off to the LG and then took the outside rusher.

It is obvious why he would be given an offer to a program like LSU, as he absolutely looks like their prototypical type of guy. You see the natural tools here as he has his legs underneath him, his back flat, and uses his drive to push the DT three yards past the LOS immediately (he’s right on the 45-yard line).

Interesting play here. They pulled him again on this play and this is a play where he does a good job of “doing his job” as he is responsible for the furthest defender here. The second defender beats the cut block, closest defender ducks inside the OL (RB is supposed to get this guy) Traore is supposed to take the furthest guy. Both the earlier blocks get beat and the RB gets TFL, but you can see he takes coaching if he has the discipline to stay with his assignment but also the awareness to use his off-arm to hit that defender coming through and try to slow his momentum.

Next play is a long TD pass and they had max protect. Traore again got over his toes but I like his activity where he keeps looking for work. (Not pictured)

After the offense gets the ball again they pull Traore and the same kid who missed the cut block on the previous pull misses again. This time Traore throttles down and tries to block the defender that got past the blocker. This offense puts him on the move a ton.

He moves decently for a man his size, but he gets over his toes on almost every instance because he needs to be more patient. This defender at the 50 ducked inside and Traore is getting ready to punch there and the defender goes around him. He’s there in perfect position several yards downfield, he just got off-balance instead of finishing the block.

When Hutchinson throws the ball they definitely like to run a passive zone-blocking scheme that keep Traore protected in both directions. I’m still not seeing any type of violent strike in pass protection and he’s leaving power on the field by not rolling his hips and popping the defender. He gets away with it at the Juco level, but to play here early they need him to bring the punch. In fairness to him, they are an extremely run-heavy offense that uses a lot of misdirection and pulls so he doesn’t pass-block a ton. (Not pictured)

Here is a nice wide-base to anchor against the DT. When he shows decent technique he looks like a P5 OL. If he keeps his hands inside the DT here he would have a lot more power and control.

As an OL, there is always work to find. Look for work, Traore. Look for work.

Here he is “absorbing” a hit again, rather than delivering one. I want to see a lot more nastiness and physicality in my OG at the point of attack.

Good news is he does have a quick re-anchor and actually uses his strength to block his defender into a second defender. His natural tools are there to unlock with the right OL coach. He has nice feet, which is a big attribute for any OL.

Creates a nice cutback lane on this run out on the edge at the top of the screen. This is probably as under control as I’ve seen him this game.

Next play is a down block that he has all the advantage since the line was pushing down on the side of the DT and he doesn’t have enough pop at contact to knock the DT out of his spot, who comes around him and gets in the way of the run. (Not pictured)

As is often the theme with players like this, the nuances of technique will need to be taught to him. On this rep, he lines up just a tick back from where he normally does away from the LOS. As soon as I got to the alignment of this play I thought to myself, he’s pulling here. Sure enough, he pulls on the play (and does a fine job), but teams will notice this tell if he doesn’t clean that up at this level.

At the top of the screen he gets over his toes and has his center of gravity lean forward too far, which causes his head to duck. If he were to bend his knees, have head up, explode from the ground up on this block he would have so much more power to his game. His lack of power on contact has been glaring in this game.

Another play where he lines up a few inches deeper than normal and another play he pulls. Here he is getting stood straight up at contact by a much smaller player (around 26-yard line). They’re playing the #2 ranked Juco team in the country in this game, but the competition is going to get better, not worse, in the ACC.

On a traditional pass play he absolutely lines up 6” closer to the LOS. I could see it was a pass play before the play happened simply due to his alignment. This is a bad rep for our new OG. At the 30-yard line he is stood up on contact by the defender (long arms extended here shocking the OL back), then the defender chops his hands off of him, ducks inside, completes the sack. Even worse, this knocks his team out of FG range.


Next possession and they pass on first down and Traore has nice feet and a good base. Easily stops the pass rusher he was facing. The defender jumps when the pass is thrown and I’d love to see Traore bury a guy any time he tries to jump like that and make them hesitant to do that in the future. Alas, he lets him off free on that one, but the pass is completed. (Not pictured)

Next play is a nice down block where he brought his feet and used his hands to turn the defender away from the play. It was in the muck of a pile so it’s hard to grab a picture, but it was a good rep. (Not pictured)

Next play is another run and he chips the DT and then releases to the second level (a play we ran a ton last year). He does a nice job getting out to the second level, but when he gets there he is way over his toes and bending completely from the waist. No balance or power here and he just to rely on his mass getting the job done for him. (OL furthest downfield, bending over here)

On this rep he gets blasted by the DT and walked backwards (next OL above C). Power consistently gives him trouble. I believe a lot of it is his technique lacks a strong base. Pressure right into his QB’s face here which prevents the QB from being able to step up. Backside defender knocks the ball out of the QB’s hand and it’s a turnover. Disappointing rep as the LOS was the 49-yard line and he’s walked back to the 44.


That turnover led to a TD for the opposition. Backed up in their own red zone and he’s lined up back again. I’d suspect the defense starts keying on that in this game. (Not pictured)

A rep here that at least shows his motor. He blocked his guy on a release to the second level, the RB broke a tackle and got through and Traore keeps active to give him another block downfield.

Gets over his toes, ducks his head, loses his base, defender slips inside and comes off initial contact and fills the hole here. He’s the guy extending his arms into the back of the defender in the middle of the screen.

Another example of lining up as a tell. Look how his butt is 6” back from everyone else here. He’s going to pull, I can tell that before I even hit play.

You’d like to see him more aggressive on the run here and dive at the feet of this LB. He ends up blocking nary a soul here.

This is first possession of second half and he got some movement on this play. He came out lower, used his legs as a base to fire up from the ground and delivered more pop at the point of attack. He’s right in the middle on a down block and his TE is leading through the hole he creates in the middle here. This play goes for a TD run of 97 yards off the edge to the top of the screen where another TE has the edge sealed.

Defender tries to attack low and penetrate. He stays low, but what he does really well is keep his feet moving as he is blocking here. That allows him to have balance and drive as he turns his shoulders and buries this defender into the dirt here. You can see the defender just off the right shoulder of the LT.

Comments (28)

Third down on this series he hits the DT across from him, then releases onto a LB. He does a nice job on combination blocks but still needs to bring his legs to get more power. Sometimes it’s just about getting the job done as an OL, and he did that on the rep. (Not pictured)

Ducks his head at the initial point of contact, gets over his toes, loses his balance, defender slides off his block (you can see his head ducked and looking at the ground right in the middle of the play). You see the RB in the backfield and the DT makes the play.

He is really too much of a “shoulder blocker” right now. He not only fails to bring his legs a lot of times, he also leans with his shoulder rather than delivering a strike with his hands. You can see what I mean on this play. He’s right in the middle in front of the two guys blocking each other here. Even with just a shoulder block, he has so much natural strength when his base is strong like this that he’s moving people.

Pulls on the first play of the next drive and takes too shallow of an angle to get to the S. They had a backside LB running free as well so he was sort of stuck in the middle and blocked neither effectively. Tough ask to get way out there and would need to take a better angle to do so. (Not pictured)

Hand down, leaned forward (he leans back in his stance when he’s going to pull), in-line with the other guard. This is a pass play. I’ve guessed their play and whether he’s pulling correctly on all but one guess thus far. He’s giving away the plays.

After this play, when there was miscommunication on the line, he gets angry at this LT and swats down on his arm to get off him when he was trying to talk to him. Coach immediately comes out and talks to him about it. Not a judgment either way, simply observing the actions.

On the move, has his feet in-line, ready to bury this defender. Instead, he ducks his head and tries to shoulder block him (you can’t even see him behind the LB on the edge here). LB uses his hands to sprawl off the block and get onto the RB.


3rd down is a pass play as he was right in-line, leaned forward, hand down. His pass pro has been fine as a zone blocker. He’s not especially aggressive, but in allowing the defender to come into his zone he stays on balance more often. (Not pictured)
Doesn’t use his hands well on this play and stands straight up. The DT explodes into the hole and uses a long-arm technique to control the OG. You see the RB at the 35, the defender is just off his shoulder using his fist into the chest of Traore and blows the play up.

Next possession, stands straight up, which throws his balance off when he goes to deliver a punch. Defender uses an arm-over move and pushes Traore on his left hip. This gets Traore off-balance completely and he falls on his face here. He’s at the 25 and you can see his helmet just past the butt of the defender. This defender crushes the QB and forces an incompletion when they had a guy wide open.

He anchored and stood his ground on the next play, which was a big pass play. (Not pictured)

There are natural tools for this player, but his technique has a long way to go. Here he is blocking the DT with his face. Hands are down by his sides here because he didn’t deliver a strong punch and the defender knocked his hands down.

Much better using his leverage and size here. Gets to the LB, squares him up, delivers a nice strike. Timing is a bit off as he’s closer than you’d like on this strike, but he shocks him back.

Traore has a very nice, thick frame. He’s meaty, big boned, and just carries the 325 pounds on his frame quite well. He’s not a sloppy lineman who can’t move his feet.

Feet: I don’t mean in reference to his foot speed, I mean it in reference to his ability gather and re-anchor and to marry his feet to his upper body. All great OL have the ability to have their lower half work in concert with their upper half and it starts with the feet.

Motor: He is not a lazy player and he definitely wants to provide good effort and make plays for his team. Fiery and competitive on the field, a good coach can turn this attribute into a net performance positive.

Patience: On passing plays he does an excellent job of allowing his opponent to declare where he’s going and then steer him away from the play. As a zone blocking offense, it is imperative to allow defenders to declare where they are going or you will be lost on stunts. He does a nice job of passing defenders off and defending his zone.

Hand usage:
A shoulder leaner who doesn’t deliver powerful strikes at this time. If a good coach can coax him to deliver strikes with authority his natural strength will shine through in his ability to move people.

Balance: Because he gets top heavy and over his toes, his balance is hit-or-miss. When he plants his feet and drives up from the ground he can look pretty good. Other times he gets lost and leans from the waist and is lost.

Technique: Ducks his head and lunges in the run game. A good DT will beat him with arm-over moves all game. In my view, he almost needs to be rebuilt from the ground up in the run-game technique wise.

Knee-Bend: As a waist bender he leaves a lot of pop at the point of attack unused. Some of this stems from his tendency to waist-bend rather than knee-bend, where an OL gathers balance and power.

It’s important to note that I trust the coaching staff and their ability to evaluate players. With the lack of depth on the interior and Traore having the requisite size to help right away, it makes sense to take a chance on this player. With that said, I had hoped for a lot more when I watched him. Some of my issues with him could be an overcorrection to the Tommy Kennedy evaluation miss, where I did not factor in his lack of strength enough into his evaluation. Kennedy was more of a 278-pound LT who struggled with power against a very low level of competition, while Traore is a 320-pound OG who struggled with power due to a lack of technique.

This year I would not expect much of an impact from this player other than depth. Whether he becomes more than that in the future will rely heavily on whether or not his OL coach can correct some of the issues I see with him on film. Every player has warts coming out into this level of football but based on (only) one full-game review, I see him as a low three-star talent, who has some distance he needs to go to make an impact at this level.

With the losses of Boulware and Mahoney, and the fact that none of our current OL interior players stepped up this spring, this move was an insurance policy.
Great write up as usual. An I agree teams will definitely key off of his tells. Clemson's dline talked about how the keyed off of UM'S oline tells in the 2017 ACC Championship game.

Go Canes
this year I would not expect much of an impact from this player other than depth. Whether he becomes more than that in the future will rely heavily on whether or not his OL coach can correct some of the issues I see with him on film. Every player has warts coming out into this level of football but based on (only) one full-game review, I see him as a low three-star talent, who has some distance he needs to go to make an impact at this level.

Thank you, Lance. Overall spot-on diagnosis. I saw what you saw without all the deep analysis and insights you provide.

The kid has some good tools, can be coached up on several technical aspects. But he should be an insurance policy in case Herbert and Reed don't take that next step, or someone is injured. He's more powerful than nimble, opposite of Kennedy in that regards. Could be a good interior option once he learns to use that power. But his tape doesn't scream starter to me, much less a guy that will have a meaningful impact on whether or not we win the Coastal. In addition to posture and fundamentals, he really really needs to work on his first step and keeping his feet moving. He's going to get put on his *** by ACC defenders if he doesn't get out of his stance and pumping those legs more quickly.

Coaches are working with the hand they were dealt to the best of their ability. Traore's commit has to be applauded given the need.
We need this kid to be able to play this year. We have no depth on the line that has proven anything. He hopefully can provide quality depth at Guard.
I only read about 30% of this but as always, good stuff...two things I agree with is he carries his frame QUITE well and that he doesn't use his lower half enough in blocking, although like you said, mobility isn't really a problem for him, he moves well. A lot of shoulder and leaning

OVerall I think i was a little more impressed than you, but always enjoy and respect these write-ups.
Kennedy was more of a 278-pound LT who struggled with power against a very low level of competition, while Traore is a 320-pound OG who struggled with power due to a lack of technique.

This year I would not expect much of an impact from this player other than depth. Whether he becomes more than that in the future will rely heavily on whether or not his OL coach can correct some of the issues I see with him on film.

You nailed both of those. Anything is possible, and I don't have much faith in our O-line right now, but I can't see this kid playing this year. And I was hoping for immediate starting/rotation caliber if we were going the juco route now.
Great write up.

I stopped halfway through to come and say this is depressing. Hopefully it gets better though 🤞🏽
I know everyone wants him to play this year, but unless he’s a starter or we have injuries, seems like he would benefit from a redshirt.