JZ’s Scouting Reports; Lliam Horrocks, using his technique and fundamentals to better his game

In the game of football versatility is key. If you have the ability to play multiple positions or if you have a history of playing different positions you have an advantage over several athletes and among the players that have that advantage is Ottawa’s Lliam Horrocks. You can now find him on the defensive line at defensive end, though Horrocks also has history at outside linebacker which helps him get the upper hand on some other defensive linemen in Ottawa, making him a part of JZ’s Scouting Reports best defensive linemen list. 

Lliam Horrocks has been playing football since he was a kid growing up in Ottawa with the Orleans Bengals in NCAFA, a league that has introduced the game of football to a number of division one and CIS athletes. With the Bengals, like the most part of his teammates, Horrocks was able to get his first exposure to the game of football. He had the chance to play football for the first time, was able to learn the fundamentals and most importantly he found a love for the game of football. Not only did he learn a lot and find a love for the game, but he was able to put it all together and have some success on the field. In just one of his first years playing, in 2014 Lliam won the Orleans Bengals Defensive Player Of The Year, really finding out how to be disruptive on the defensive side of the ball. After playing a few years of NCAFA football, Horrocks took his football career a little more serious. The linebacker (at the time) started to workout more with trainers in Ottawa, attend camps outside of Ottawa and also put himself against some of the better talent he can get in front of.

For him, the best talent he could get in front of was at the high school level in Ottawa. Horrocks played with Franco Cité High School in Ottawa from grade 7 through 9, playing against and with some of the better players in the city of Ottawa, though his big opportunity came following his 9th grade season at Franco Cité when he was approached by Saint James High School in Hagerstown, Maryland. The High School in Maryland, Lliam Horrocks and his family each made a decision which would better a future, and just the following year Horrocks was playing football south of the border. Playing at Saint James, of course it helps in recruiting and it shows that Horrocks played against some known talent in his High School career but also gave Lliam Horrocks a great experience. He had the chance to get coached by a number of great coaches who have brought numerous players to the division one level, Horrocks was able to match his talent up against the talent he played against in the USA, but most importantly he had a great learning experience, being on the same roster of a few players, most specifically a few canadians that went the same route he aims to go, playing division one football. He said himself, “My 9th grade year at Saint James I was lucky enough to play with John Metchie, who later committed to Alabama. I learned a lot from a lot of good role models at Saint James.” A lot of people now know who John Metchie is because of the time he spent across the border, playing high school ball at Saint James and that is something that Lliam Horrocks noticed himself, that he could be exposed more in the states. Noticing just that, Horrocks stayed in Maryland, playing a whole 3 seasons across the border with Saint James school, two of the 3 seasons he was able to play a good amount of snaps, really fitting in on the defensive side of the ball but right as he was getting into his groove at St James, the Covid-19 Pandemic began. 

For him, the best talent he could get in front of was at the high school level in Ottawa. Horrocks played with Franco Cité High School in Ottawa from grade 7 through 9, playing against and with some of the better players in the city of Ottawa, though his big opportunity came following his 9th grade season at Franco Cité when he was approached by Saint James High School in Hagerstown, Maryland. The High School in Maryland, Lliam Horrocks and his family each made a decision which would better a future, and just the following year Horrocks was playing football south of the border. Playing at Saint James, of course it helps in recruiting and it shows that Horrocks played against some known talent in his High School career but also gave Lliam Horrocks a great experience. He had the chance to get coached by a number of great coaches who have brought numerous players to the division one level, Horrocks was able to match his talent up against the talent he played against in the USA, but most importantly he had a great learning experience, being on the same roster of a few players, most specifically a few canadians that went the same route he aims to go, playing division one football. He said himself, “My 9th grade year at Saint James I was lucky enough to play with John Metchie, who later committed to Alabama. I learned a lot from a lot of good role models at Saint James.” A lot of people now know who John Metchie is because of the time he spent across the border, playing high school ball at Saint James and that is something that Lliam Horrocks noticed himself, that he could be exposed more in the states. Noticing just that, Horrocks stayed in Maryland, playing a whole 3 seasons across the border with Saint James school, two of the 3 seasons he was able to play a good amount of snaps, really fitting in on the defensive side of the ball but right as he was getting into his groove at St James, the Covid-19 Pandemic began. 

Going into what would have been his senior season and his fourth season at Saint James, Horrocks was set to have a big role on the defense. The three previous seasons he was growing as a player, and he was really in for a big 2020 season with the team he knew so much, though unfortunately due to the Pandemic and the Covid-19 spread Saint James was forced to cancel their 2020 season, taking Lliam Horrocks’ senior season out of the window, at least at Saint James that is. Eventhough Saint James wasn’t going to have a season, Horrocks made sure he’d be able to get one last shot at his dream, getting a division one offer. Lliam ended up transferring to Cocoa High School in Cocoa, Florida and had the chance to play on an 10 win Tigers team, who also were named among the top 20 schools in the state of Florida. Being on a team so talented and having future division one athletes around Horrocks on the defense, it was tough for Horrocks to fit in at linebacker, though the coaches and him found an alternative. Being a little bigger than the average linebacker, standing at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds  Horrocks was later found as an edge, playing his first ever snaps on the defensive line. 

It may have been tough for him to adapt right away but he was able to find a way he can showcase his skill in a way other defensive linemen have trouble with. He used his speed. At linebacker he wasn’t always the fastest player, he used his techniques to make up for it, though on the defensive line he demonstrates a lot of quickness. Ottawa Redblacks defensive lineman Michael Wakefield even said while watching film on Horrocks, “He can get to the quarterback fast if he needs to. You can tell he is one step ahead of other ends and his ability to read plays is good too.” When asked about playing different positions and how that may help on the defensive line Wakefield also says, “If you played linebacker which (Lliam) did you should have a better understanding of runs and passes and even you would know coverage better than the typical defensive lineman as well. It helps a lot if you can move fast enough which he (Horrocks) can so he can use it to his advantage.”

It may have been tough for him to adapt right away but he was able to find a way he can showcase his skill in a way other defensive linemen have trouble with. He used his speed. At linebacker he wasn’t always the fastest player, he used his techniques to make up for it, though on the defensive line he demonstrates a lot of quickness. Ottawa Redblacks defensive lineman Michael Wakefield even said while watching film on Horrocks, “He can get to the quarterback fast if he needs to. You can tell he is one step ahead of other ends and his ability to read plays is good too.” When asked about playing different positions and how that may help on the defensive line Wakefield also says, “If you played linebacker which (Lliam) did you should have a better understanding of runs and passes and even you would know coverage better than the typical defensive lineman as well. It helps a lot if you can move fast enough which he (Horrocks) can so he can use it to his advantage.”

Using his history at linebacker to his advantage is exactly what Horrocks has been doing over the course of his career and now at the stage which he is at in his career he is looking to showcase exactly what he can do on a big stage, preferably the division one level. Horrocks said when talking about what he does differently than others, “I would say what sets me aside is my will and perseverance. Even though I’m not the strongest or fastest guy on the field I still find ways to make plays, get to the ball, and get to the QB.” he also said, “I model a part of my game after TJ Watt, I am not the strongest or the fastest but I get stuff done.” Getting stuff done at the next level is what Horrocks hopes to do, and everyone should stay tuned for exactly that as he  moves forward with his football career. 

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