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2016 NFL DRAFT
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Ben Ishola

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 248 | College: Indiana
 
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Overview

Ishola is a late bloomer with outstanding quickness and range. Because of his lack of size for a down lineman and his explosive acceleration and good range, Ishola could shift to outside linebacker at the pro level.

A native of Berlin, Germany, Ishola played for the Berlin Adler American Football Club and helped the team to a 7-8 record in 2002 and an appearance in the league semifinals. Ishola anchored a defense that recorded two shutouts and held a third team to only seven points. He spent time living in Nigeria, the birthplace of his father, as a child.

Ishola joined Indiana in 2003. He played in twelve games as a reserve defensive end, managing only two solo tackles and a sack. He appeared in nine contests during the 2004 season, producing 14 tackles (12 solos) with a pair of sacks.

Ishola earned the team's Breakthrough Player Award after starting 11 games at right defensive end in 2005. He registered 27 tackles (16 solos) with two sacks and 6.5 stops for losses. He recovered a fumble, deflected two passes and blocked one kick.

In 32 games at Indiana, Ishola started eleven times. He finished with 43 tackles (30 solos), five sacks for minus-45 yards, 9.5 stops for losses of 57 yards and a quarterback pressure. He recovered a fumble, deflected two passes and blocked one kick.

Analysis

Positives: Lacks ideal size for defensive end, but has adequate muscle development, good arm length, low body fat, good bubble, muscular legs and room on his frame to carry additional bulk … Has exceptional speed off the line of scrimmage and is disruptive closing on the pocket … His speed makes him a player who needs to be accounted for on the field … Has very good balance, flexibility and acceleration … Fluid runner with good body control and change of direction agility … His quickness allows him to gain an advantage over lethargic offensive tackles coming off the edge … More effective stopping the run on the edge rather than working inside … Has the strength to split double teams … Has the ability to knife through traffic and make plays in backside pursuit … Shows consistent ability to reach and collapse the pocket, whether coming from the short or long area … Has the strength to jolt and stun ballcarriers on impact, showing good hip snap and roll.

Negatives: Needs to have a clear lane to gain penetration, as he struggles to get off blocks … Still rough around the edges and needs more reps in order to get a better feel for the flow of the game, but is steadily improving … Still bites on fakes and is also fooled by play-action (still learning the mental side of the game) … Has good strength, but can be engulfed by the larger offensive linemen when trying to contain the inside run … Fights hard to shed, but lacks the bulk to prevent blockers from locking on to him.

If a team utilizing a 3-4 defense converts Ishola to linebacker, he could have very good upside. Despite his strength and outstanding speed, he has to battle too much with blockers to compensate for a lack of bulk. He has excellent timed speed and range. While not used in pass coverage, he displays the hip snap and roll to come out of his backpedal cleanly to close on the play.

Ishola is a fluid and flexible runner who is still trying to understand the mental aspect of the game, as he is sometimes late making his reads and is easily faked. He does have great edge rushing quickness, but when he plays high in his stance he stays locked on the blockers and struggles to disengage.

Ishola plays with consistently good effort and is outstanding chasing down ballcarriers when on the move. He is effective sifting through traffic, but while he can split double teams, he can get bumped out and washed down taking on inside running plays.

Ishola is by far not a polished product, but has the natural speed and burst to be much more effective playing off the line. A move to linebacker could see him develop into another David Thornton (Tennessee) down the road.

Career Notes

Is the fastest defensive end in college football … While he was recently timed at 4.51 in the 40-yard dash, he also has a career-best time of 4.42.

2005 Season

Super Sleeper Team selection by The NFL Draft Report … Recipient of the team's Break-through Player Award … Took over right defensive end duties, recording a career-high 27 tackles (16 solos) with two sacks for minus 20 yards and 6.5 stops for losses of 32 yards … Had one quarterback pressure and blocked a punt … Recovered a fumble and deflected a pair of passes.

2005 Game Analysis

Central Michigan … In his first career start, Ishola made three tackles and sacked QB Kent Smith for a 14-yard loss … Head to Head Competition -- OT Joe Staley.

Nicholls State … Registered six tackles (4 solos) and recovered a fumble by tailback Yale Vannoy in the third quarter, setting up IU QB Blake Powers' an 18-yard touchdown pass to James Bailey … Head to Head Competition -- OT Jacob Benader.

Kentucky … Deflected a pass and tackled tailback Arliss Beach for a 2-yard loss … Head to Head Competition -- OT Fatu Turituri.

Wisconsin … Had three tackles, sacking QB John Stocco for a 6-yard loss on a third-&-17 pass in the third quarter and earlier stopped tailback Brian Calhoun for a 2-yard loss on a third-&-1 run in the second quarter … Head to Head Competition -- OT Joe Thomas.

Illinois … Held to a pair of tackles, as he assisted safety Will Meyers in taking down Pierre Thomas for a 7-yard loss on a first quarter screen pass from QB Tim Brasic … Head to Head Competition -- OT J.J. Simmons.

Iowa … Held to two assisted tackles … Head to Head Competition -- OT Ishola Gates.

Ohio State … Posted four solo tackles, including one that stopped tailback Antonio Pittman for a 4-yard loss in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition -- OT Rob Sims.

Michigan State … Held to no tackles, but blocked a punt that he returned 10 yards … Head to Head Competition -- OT Stefon Wheeler.

Minnesota … Made two assisted tackles, teaming with linebacker Jake Powers in stopping tailback Laurence Maroney for a 1-yard loss in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition -- OT Steve Shidell.

Michigan … Produced two tackles, including one that stopped fullback Jerome Jackson for a 1-yard loss in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition -- OT Adam Stenavich.

Purdue … Managed only two solo tackles in his final collegiate game … Head to Head Competition -- OT Mike Otto.

2004 Season

Appeared in ten games, including nine on defense … Played in a reserve role at defensive end … Recorded 14 tackles (12 solos) with a pair of sacks for minus 10 yards.

2004 Game Analysis

Had two solo tackles, as he sacked QB Kellen Clemons twice for minus 10 yards vs. Oregon … Made a season-high five solo tackles vs. Michigan State … Had two tackles in each of the Northwestern, Ohio State and Illinois games.

2003 Season

Played in twelve games during his first season at Indiana … Recorded only two solo tackles … Registered a 15-yard sack of QB Dustin Ward vs. Illinois.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.51 in the 40-yard dash … Bench presses 225 pounds 30 times … 34-inch vertical jump … 10'1" broad jump … 4.12 20-yard shuttle … 11.99 60-yard shuttle … 7.31 three-cone drill.

High School

A native of Berlin, Germany, Ishola played for the Berlin Adler American Football Club and helped the team to a 7-8 record in 2002 and an appearance in the league semifinals … Ishola anchored a defense that recorded two shutouts and held a third team to only seven points.

Personal

Business Administration major … Spent time living in Nigeria, the birthplace of his father, as a child … Hails from Berlin, Germany.

 
 

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