In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a player that could be the latest out of State OL to play a big role up front: OL Zach Dykstra.
A talented player from the OL factory of the Midwest, Dykstra is one of the longest tenured commits in the 2017 recruiting class. The Spirit Lake (IA) native is one of the top recruits from his State, and at a position Miami could use upgrades.
In his recruitment, Miami came on strong close to Dykstra’s commitment, and beat out local Iowa and Iowa State for his services. While some may think of Iowa as a middling outfit, they do well with identifying and developing OL, so getting one of the Hawkeyes’ top targets away from the in-state school is noteworthy.
Later on Dykstra’s recruitment — he was an Early Enrollee so his decision was made prior to graduating HS in December for January enrollment — Vanderbilt came into the picture. After considering visiting and flipping to the Commodores, Dykstra decided to stick with Miami, a wise choice if you ask me.
Dykstra has earned several honors as a playing, including being a 2-time All-State selection (1st team in 2015, 2nd team in 2016).
On the 247sports composite, Dykstra is a 3-star prospect, the #71 OT in this class, #6 in the State of Iowa, and #716 recruit overall. Dykstra has great size at 6’6” 290lbs, with room to add size if he so chooses.
Dykstra picked Miami over 5 other offers, including Iowa, Iowa State, and Vanderbilt.
Dykstra as a player
Like many HS OL, Dykstra seems to be more comfortable in run blocking situations than pass protection at this stage of his development. While Dykstra did well with outside rushers when he played RT, he would be best suited to move inside to Guard at the college level.
Dykstra’s junior HL’s are better than his senior tape, which is slightly concerning but not a deal breaker. Regardless of if he was playing outside at T or inside at G, it is my belief that Dykstra will need a RS year to grow into a game-ready player at Miami.
For another look at Dykstra, here’s an eval from a HSFB coach:
Zach is another long armed tall body. He looks more refined in his skills than other players I’ve seen on the OL. His tape opens with a nice combo block showing leg drive and technique. The 2nd play is a nice pass set with a great punch and footwork. On play three you can see leg drive, hip pop, I love that his hands are inside and locked in but he's not holding or doing the twist move. He punches, locks in, drives, uses his feet, he doesn't lean and fall on someone. He has really good fundamentals. I love a kid that plays both ways too, around 2:03 he makes a really athletic play where he fights off two blocks and picks up a tackle for loss.
The only downside I can see is his level of competition, which was poor. The opposition just didn't look quite as athletic as Dykstra, he's the big fish in the small pond.
Miami returns most of their OL in 2017. And, with Dykstra likely moving inside to Guard after playing Tackle in HS, there could be a learning curve for him to get to the level of performance to crack the 2 deep.
Chances for a redshirt: 10/10
Dykstra has good size, functional strength, and developing skill as a blocker. However, with no less than 6 players who can play Guard returning to the roster in front of him, Dykstra will likely have to wait at least 1 year before contributing to the OL group.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.