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Northwestern football 2017 National Signing Day profiles: Linebacker Blake Gallagher

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Gallagher brings a lot of speed to the position.

@B_Gallagher41 on Twitter

Quick Hits

POSITION: Linebacker

HEIGHT: 6’0”

WEIGHT: 220

HOMETOWN: Needham, Massachusetts

HIGH SCHOOL: St. Sebastian’s

247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8563

NATIONAL RANKING: 688

POSITION RANK: 27

STATE RANK: 2

OTHER OFFERS: Rutgers, Syracuse, Boston College, California, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia

MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter

Background

Gallagher committed to Northwestern on December 14, 2015, over a host of ACC schools like Virginia, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Duke. He played middle linebacker in high school, though he could move around at Northwestern. Watching his tape, one trait stands out above all: speed. In his Hudl video below, Gallagher often bull-rushes the quarterback using pure lightning speed up the middle. But it’s not all speed—on running plays, Gallagher shows off the ability to change direction quickly and accelerate towards the ball carrier. He also played some fullback at times, with impressive blocking ability. In the tape, we don’t see much pass coverage from Gallagher, which he’ll certainly need to hone to succeed at the next level.

Outlook

Gallagher’s raw speed and tackling ability give him a boatload of potential. Like most freshmen, he’ll probably redshirt his first year in Evanston, but has a chance to become a mainstay in Northwestern’s linebacking corps after that with Anthony Walker, Jaylen Prater and Joe Jones all departing. Gallagher will get his chance, and his athleticism gives him room to succeed. He’ll have to work at pass coverage, as pass rushing and run stopping seem to be his top skills.