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Analyzing Arizona commit Sylvain Yondjouen

What will the Belgian defensive end bring to Tucson?

arizona-wildcats-recruiting-commitment-sylvain-younjouen-2019 Photo via @sylvainHYK on Twitter

The Arizona Wildcats have landed a defensive end for the 2019 recruiting class, Belgian-based Sylvain Yondjouen.

Our original story can be found here, and below is more in-depth analysis on Yondjouen from Brandon Combs and Gabe Encinas.

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 232 pounds

School/Hometown: Anderlecht, Belgium

Offers: Cincinnati, Colorado, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, Rice, Temple, Towson, Tulane, Virginia, Western Michigan

Rankings: No. 373 overall, No. 24 weak-side defensive end, No. 1 player in Belgium


Brandon Combs: Yondjouen is an interesting prospect. He is raw, that is for sure. But at the same time, he has tremendous upside and size (6-foot-4 and over 230 pounds) you can’t teach. As a matter of fact, he kind of reminds me of a Gerhard de Beer-type player.

He moves incredibly well for his size and has quick feet. In general he is just a freakish athlete and has all the basic tools. A concern could be the level of competition he is playing against in Europe, but his film below shows what he can do in live action.

He has a pretty explosive first step and can come off the ball quickly. He needs work on his tackling technique but you can tell that he loves contact. One thing I notice that he does very well is shedding blocks. Due to his athleticism and increasing knowledge of the game, he has a variety of moves to shed blocks.

As mentioned above, he has tremendous upside. I believe defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei can develop him into a very productive and explosive playmaker off of the edge. One thing is certain, he is a project.

Gabe Encinas: Throughout the recruitment process this is not a guy that I ever had on my wish list, but it’s hard not to see the potential upside here, mostly due to the thought of him being so athletic and having little football experience. He’s one of the highest-ranked prospects to ever come out of Europe.

I’m shocked that 247Sports has him ranked as top-500 recruit and also surprised that even ESPN, who lags terribly in ranking guys, has him as 3-star. I applaud Rivals for still having him unranked due to the limited knowledge and film on him.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound edge rusher certainly has appeal. He’s big, strong, fast and is so raw that he can molded into a Myles Garrett lite. There have been a lot of successful guys that have come from overseas, and there are a handful of programs, particularly Big Ten schools, that consistently pursue these prospects. His offer list isn’t anything special, but he has received attention from Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State.

I’m worried about two things here. First, how the transcript, admission and residency process plays out for him and if he ever makes it to campus. Second, how he’s going to be against actual competition when he’s going up against guys his size and getting popped by a pulling guard.

He has an incredible motor, and should take a redshirt year to learn, but I wish there was a little more substance for me to get excited about the upside compared to other guys on the roster or commitment list. I’ll take it, he has a lot of time to grow, the upside is there, this is a major project, but I think it could potentially work with Coach Iona.