Dartmouth High offensive lineman Andrew Kestenbaum has verbally committed to the University of Rhode Island today, his head coach Richard White wrote in an email.
Kestenbaum, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound senior, is the No. 19 in-state prospect in the Class of 2011, according to the latest ESPN rankings. His commitment keeps the Indians recent string of Division 1 commits, the latest in a line stretching back to Arthur Lynch (Georgia), Sean Sylvia (BC), Justin Mello (UNH) and this year's Big East Offensive Player of the Year, UConn tailback Jordan Todman. The Rams were the only Division 1 program to extend a scholarship offer to Kestenbaum, last weekend on his official visit.
Scouts Inc.'s most recent evaluation on the promising lineman reads as follows:
Kestenbaum is a tough, aggressive run blocker who flashes good upper body playing strength. Has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive guard position. As a defensive tackle we see the playing strength to hold up the point of attack however his pad level is too high at times. On offense, he shows some lower body stiffness in pass protection however his balance and agility allow him to sustain run blocks and play on his feet in space. Flashes explosion and initial quickness playing out of a three point stance; demonstrates good pull / trap potential, is quick out of his stance getting to the edge and locating defenders on the move. With time to improve his techniques this guy should be able to get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. We like his tough aggressive attitude when attempting to finish blocks. His arm length and upper body playing strength should be assets in pass protection. Flashes the ability to short set and handle the straight on bull rush; must learn to play with an improved blocking base which includes bend and slide as he tends to cross his feet when attempting to handle quick up-field moves. His initial punch and location are positives however all areas of hand use will need refinement. Kestenbaum's size and toughness indicate the potential for success at the next level of competition.