The Cardinal train rolled to the east end of Louisville for their next commit. A hometown legacy recruit with a ton of potential decided to stay home as 3 Star S Josh Minkins Jr commits to UofL.
— Josh Minkins Jr (@joshminkins) June 14, 2019
The 6’3 183 lbs Ballard High product chose the Cards over offers from UK, Rutgers, Temple, and Western Kentucky, among others. Co-DC/OLB Coach Cort Dennison was the primary recruiter of Minkins for UofL per 247sports.
Minkins is a fast, smart, agile player. He plays S, CB, and WR for Ballard. It appears likely Minkins will play on the defensive side of the ball as his father did before him. Minkins looks like the size of a S, but his skill at CB could allow him to play at that position. In my estimation, Minkins will likely be pegged as a S.
So, what does Josh bring to the field for UofL? Well, his highlights show a fast, agile player with very good hands. Punt returning is a possibility for him. He glides like Jaire Alexander did when running. His eyes are very good at reading QBs and plays and jumping routes. He’s very long and it allows him to break up quite a few passes or intercept them. Minkins possesses good leaping ability. On offense or defense, he high points the ball, attacking it in the air. Minkins is a good tackler and, like many other of the commits, wants to make a big hit when he can.
Now that we have a handle on some of his broad skills, let’s go into a little more detail on each.
Fast and Agile
Throughout his highlights, Josh Minkins is shown to be fast and agile. When on offense or when returning punts, once he has the ball in his hands he’s hard to bring down. He glides around the field when running; it looks effortless for him. He has some nice little cuts and stop and start moves to make defenders look silly. Since he’s likely to play defense, it should make him a dangerous returner of interceptions.
A highlight that illustrates his speed and agility perfectly is the very first one. He takes a punt return and deftly maneuvers through the defense, patiently allowing blocks to develop, and runs right by defenders all the way to the end zone.
The next highlight also showcases his speed and agility. He runs a slant and catches the ball. It appears a DB has him lined up for a big hit. Minkins fakes to his right and then darts to his left. He breaks the poor DBs ankles. It then appears the defense has him corralled. However, he uses the same move again to have the would-be tackler fly by him and then scores after some timely blocking by teammates.
The other place his speed and agility shows up is in closing speed on WRs and balls in flight. Numerous highlights on defense you see Minkins recognize where the pass is going and break on it quickly; either breaking up the pass, picking it off, or making the tackle.
Good Hands/Catching/High Pointing
Those long arms Minkins possesses have great hands attached. Those great hands make him an excellent catcher of the ball. Whether on offense or defense, if Minkins gets his hands on the ball, he’s coming down with it. He understands the best way to come down with the ball is to go up and get it.
One defensive highlight that illustrates his catching ability, hands, and highpointing is one where he is playing S. It appears to be zone coverage. He reads the QB and realizes the ball is going to the middle of the field. He makes a beeline for the WR. He is able to jump high and catch the ball with his sure hands, intercepting the pass. He then has a decent return.
Another highlight shows Minkins backing up in coverage and seeing the QB is going over the middle. He breaks that way and the QB overthrows the WR. Minkins dives and picks the ball off just before it hits the ground.
Minkins can use his catching ability to be a real ballhawking S.
Read and React
Minkins is a great read and react S. He’s so good at reading QBs eyes and WRs routes and figuring out what the play is and where the ball is going.
So, many of his highlights show him recognizing where a pass is going, breaking off his initial coverage, jumping the route, and getting an interception or stopping the play for little or no gain.
One example of that is when Minkins is in what appears to be man coverage. He sees the QB looking to the the sideline at the WR next to his man. He sees his assigned man running to prepare to block. Minkins quickly jumps the route, picks the ball off, and scores. If he isn’t aware, reading and reacting, he likely doesn’t make the play until it’s a decent gain.
Another play, he’s in man playing CB. At the snap, he could start his back pedal. However, he recognizes the WR only takes one step forward. Immediately he darts toward the WR realizing it’s a bubble screen. He’s so quick in his reaction that the blocker doesn’t have time to get to him. Literally as soon as the ball is caught, Minkins pops the WR and blows up the play.
Minkins is so instinctive on the field and just has a nose for the ball. Truly the definition of a ballhawk.
Length and Leaping Ability
Minkins, at 6’3, has WR length. It makes him a unique weapon in the secondary. Matched with that length is an ability to leap. Minkins can go up and get the ball.
His highlights are full of plays where he’s jumping high to catch a pass or intercept a pass. The length, especially his arms, make him very very good at breaking up passes. On one play, he’s behind a WR trailing him as the receiver is heading for the sideline. The opposing QB thinks it’s safe to throw. Minkins makes up ground and is able to use his long arms to knock the pass away.
His dangerous combination of length and leaping make him a threat to intercept a lot of passes.
Minkins is a good tackler. He gets guys to the ground. He loves to hit too. Making a WR pay for going over the middle is something he seems to relish.
On one play, he sees a WR open in front of him. Minkins breaks and has bad intentions. He lowers the shoulder and hits the WR just as the ball gets there, making sure the pass in incomplete.
In another play a QB throws high off the fingertips of a WR. Minkins comes up and blasts the WR. It’s like a car wreck. A very Calvin Pryor like hit.
Minkins isn’t just a ballhawk, he’s a hitter too.
Josh Minkins is a playmaking S. He makes plays using his mind by reading the play and reacting. Speed and hands make him a threat to pick off passes and have long returns. He will hit big. There is a chance he could play CB, but I like him at S because it allows him to sit back a bit and use his reading ability. Minkins has some physical and mental tools that could make him a very very special player. It’s going to be a fun four years watching him develop.
Scott Satterfield continues to build an excellent first full class. His class now is ranked 28th after Minkins’ and WR Dexter Rentz’s commitments, bringing the total number of commits to 12.