UofL picked up another big hoss for the offensive line as 2020 3 Star OG Luke Kandra joins the flock.
— Luke Kandra (@luke_kandra) June 18, 2019
Standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 290 lbs, Kandra chose the Cards over offers from IU, Boston College, Purdue, and Cincinnati, among others. OC and OL Coach Dwayne Ledford and Co-DC and OLB Coach Cort Dennison were the primary recruiters for Kandra per 247sports. Kandra plays for Elder High School, the Alma Mater of former UofL great Eric Wood.
Kandra is another big, athletic OL. He fits the profile of the other offensive linemen UofL has recruited; strong, agile, and mean on the field. He is one the staff has been in on for a while now.
Why? Well, his highlights tell the story pretty well. Kandra is a nasty mauler, a road paver for his RB. Explosive at the snap, he is a powerful run blocker. Once he engages a defender, he maintains leverage, drives his legs, and finishes the block by putting the defender on the ground. Kandra has quick feet and is fast enough to pull and be a lead blocker on certain plays.
As a pass protector, Kandra is proficient. He’s able to still be a forceful blocker due to his strength. However, he uses his quick feet and athleticism to stay in front of defenders.
So, let’s look at some of his abilities in a little more detail.
Run Blocking/Finishing Blocks
Kandra absolutely shines as a run blocker at the OG spot. This guy is just a beast, pancaking guys left and right. This comes from his natural strength and his explosive ability to get off at the snap. He’s strong enough to finish one block by putting a defender on the ground and then immediately block someone else.
Almost all of Kandra’s highlights feature him pancaking some poor fellow; driving them forcefully into the ground. He’s very good at staying low and driving with his lower half.
One highlight I really enjoyed was his second one. At the snap, he is able to hit a big block on his initial assignment. Defender tries to get around Kandra, but Kandra has none of it. He just pushes the defender right into the dirt. That’s not the best part. The best part is he turns around and then gets in on another block. Kandra is always looking for defenders to block until that whistle blows.
The other thing about his run blocking is they often ask him to get out and block guys at the next level. I enjoy watching him in the open identifying who he needs to block. He is very good about getting the block and not whiffing. Once he puts his hands on the poor soul, they end up with the big guy crushing them into the earth.
The last thing I enjoy about his run blocking is the ability to quickly turn his body to seal off a defender on either shoulder from the hole the RB will be hitting. He maintains a good base and his power.
The highlight that best illustrates this ability is his third one. He pops up out of his stance, turns to his right, and sends a defender onto the ground allowing the RB to have a nice hole to run through.
Kandra is very good at pulling. He has the balance and quickness to get down the line and become a giant FB. It makes him an even more dominant blocker because he now has momentum and that momentum makes him a train that will destroy anyone in his path.
The first example of how well he pulls occurs at the 1:45 mark of his highlight video. Kandra is lined up at LG. At the snap, he quickly moves right just behind the line. He hits the hole and picks up his blocking assignment. He then shoves the defender down to the ground easily.
The other highlight I think exemplifies his ability to pull is actually a bootleg pass at the 2:57 mark. He’s at LG again. At the snap, he pulls out of the line and heads right mirroring the QB’s movement. He identifies a free rusher and, at full speed, obliterates the poor defender sending him careening to the earth. It was a very very athletic play.
His athletic ability shines when he’s used as a pulling OG.
Kandra is a good pass blocker. He exhibits the ability to push guys into the ground as much as he does as a run blocker. He moves his feet well, staying with the defender and uses his strong arms to keep defender at bay; very good at standing the defender up as he keeps his center low.
His very first pass blocking highlight shows Kandra literally pancaking a poor pass rusher. He just manhandled him.
Kandra moves his feet and really uses his strong arms and hands to, well, to strong arm opponents in pass protection. Rarely are the pass rushers going where they want to go. Instead, Kandra escorts or sometimes forces them away from his QB. To me, his ability to bend his knees, stay low, use his arms and hands effectively, and move laterally well make Kandra a very good pass protector at the OG position.
Once again, another OL that loves to really block with a nasty attitude. Kandra wants to plant a dude into the ground every single play. He loves putting a hurting on a defender. If a defender shows fear, Kandra is licking his chops. When he blocks, he’s sending a message that he’s going to be a defender’s nightmare all game long.
UofL got themselves a very talented OL with a world of potential. Kandra has the size, agility, power, and disposition to be a killer OG on UofL’s offensive line. The running game is going to be much improved running behind a player like Kandra.
UofL Football’s recruiting momentum is still strong and now they look to close out the 2020 class, currently ranked 21st on 247sports, strong.