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September 19, 2013Houston, Texas (Lamar) defensive back John Plattenburg made his official visit to check out the Oregon Ducks take on Tennessee this past weekend. While much attention has been paid to several other defensive backs recently Duck Sports Authority takes a look at Plattenburg playing defensive back.
Hands In the clips we reviewed, Plattenburg shows very good hands when making a play on the ball. His hands are soft when the ball approaches and he looks the ball all the way in before returning the ball upfield. There are not a lot of opportunities for him to fight for the ball, but when needed, his hands show the strength to knock the ball out. He has a good feel for when to break up the pass and when to make a play for the interception.
Feet: Plattenburg is a little upright in his drop position and drops back stiff at times. He looks better in his drops when playing deeper in the defensive backfield.
Hips: Hip turn can be the difference between a cornerback and safety at the Division I level. Most high school defensive backs with Pac-12 scholarship offers have the ability to play anywhere at the high school level and be dominant lock down defensive backs. However, without exceptional hip turn, they might struggle at the next level, especially in Oregon's defensive scheme where cornerbacks play tight coverage often without help.
Plattenburg has average hip turn. He looks a little stiff when making the turns for a play on the ball. Fortunately, that is an area he can learn if needed at the next level. Coach Radcliffe's flexibility training could do wonders for Plattenburg in this area.
Size: At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds Plattenburg has the kind of size to play corner back or safety. In fact, his play is reminiscent of what we saw from Avery Patterson as a high school senior and we could see him filling the kind of role Patterson filled during his first two years as the nickel back who can play safety or corner back. Plattenburg has the ability to add a little more muscle and maybe become a pure safety before he is done at Oregon.
Speed: Plattenburg shows excellent speed on film. On the first clip, he returns a kick for a touchdown right up the middle of the field blowing by defenders. This is a team from Houston, so he faces tough competition and still shows excellent speed. In another clip, the intercepts the ball in the end zone and nearly runs it back for a touchdown before running out of steam.
Bottom line: John Plattenburg may only have a three star rating from Rivals, but with offers from 10 of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 as well as other powerhouse programs like Oklahoma, he clerly has the kind of talent to make many teams dream of his potential. Plattenburg shows great vision and a very good understanding of angles playing defensive back. He breaks on the ball well and is not afraid to stick his nose in for run support when needed.
Plattenburg would be a strong signing if Oregon is able to sign him.