Posted On: 05/10/19 1:08 PM

Minnesota prep football is always an interesting watch due to the size of its front seven players. Bucking the dominance of the spread and veer/option at all levels of football, many Minnesota teams still run power from classic formations. It makes evaluating offensive and defensive lineman much more straightforward. It also means that you get to see defenders with projectable physical and athletic traits playing really physical offenses. Boye Mafe comes to mind as the most recent edge defender to come around in Minnesota. His coordination and lanky explosiveness stood out amongst other large athletes right away.

Loshiaka Roques flashes similar ability at times from his edge spot with Wayzata. He’s an explosive and powerful athlete with the frame of a P5 linebacker. I broke down his game and why I think he’s due for a blowup his senior year.

 

Loshiaka Roques – Linebacker Wayzata

Roques is a problem off the edge for many teams

 

Size/Body Type

MSHSL lists Roques as 6’3″ and 190 lbs. while Gopher Report has him at 6’4″ 215. We’ll say 200 pounds which seems light but he looks and plays bigger. Very lean and high-waisted frame with big legs and long arms. Could put on another 20-30 lbs. and not lose any ability.

Athleticism

Flashes impressive burst off the line. Decent not great hip mobility running the arc and keeps his feet moving. Average speed sideline to sideline but picks up a lot of steam coming downhill. Can translate speed to power at the point of attack. Ok balance in space but can be a little wobbly at times. Overall solid athlete who may still be growing into his body:

Pass Rush

More of a projection than a true take at the moment. Roques has moments where it’s not crazy to imagine a 20 sack senior season. His burst, flexibility, length and power upon contact make him a valuable commodity on the edge. However he is just so raw and isn’t taking full advantage of his athletic gifts just yet. He’ll still show off his power at times or execute the occasional swipe to get past a blocker.

Run Game

Tough and strong taking on pullers and motioned blockers. Runs and sinks to explode into contact and rock offensive lineman and H-Backs alike. Feet can get narrow which gets him off balance but they stay active which helps him save plays. Good extension and consistently looks for the ball. Here he’s able to extend and run laterally to string the run out to the right and make the tackle:

Hand Technique

He’s pretty underdeveloped in this area at the moment. Nearly an exclusively strike and rip player so just a little improvement here would open his entire game up.

Coverage

Minimal film evidence. He’s not very fast and can be a little janky in space. He is balanced and has some quicks so with a little work I can see him picking up shallow zones with ease.

Power

A consistent, hard-charging strong side backer type. He’s bouncy on his feet and flexible when tangling with opposing blockers. Generates impressive power with his lower body but can be a little out of control at times. Power is definitely a focal point of his game as he showed plowing through two backs against Centennial.

Effort

Consistently intense, high-effort player who loves to get in on the action. He shows a consistent desire to run to the ball and help finish tackles. Point blank doesn’t take many if any plays off.

 

Summary

Roques’ burst, power, length and flexibility make him a very solid linebacker prospect. He plays hard and knocks people around which is always an in-demand combo. His size and growth potential should get him much more FBS attention once word about his offer list gets out.

Gopher Report has Roques at 20 tackles for loss and 8 sacks in 2018. I typically want to see at least 10 TFL for underclassmen and he blows right by that. He already sports offers from South Dakota State, UNI, North Dakota and USD (much like recent Gopher commit Cody Lindenberg) and to me that’s as good an indicator as any that he can play in the FBS.

Don’t be surprised to see Roques with multiple Power 5 offers by the time Signing Day 2020 rolls around.

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Hometownsource.com, article images and videos courtesy of CCX Media