Ronald Fields, DT, Mississippi State
Height: 6:01.5 Weight: 322
Overview: Ronald was a regarded as one of Louisiana's top defensive prospects, earning Class 4A All-District honors as a senior defensive tackle at Bogalusa (La.) High School. He recorded 97 tackles with 18 stops for losses and five fumble recoveries as a senior, picking up All-District recognition. He also made 65 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles in his junior campaign. Due to academic ineligibility, he spent the 2000 season at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy before enrolling at Mississippi State in 2001. In his first year with the Bulldogs, he started three of eleven games at nose guard, recording 22 tackles (6 solos) with three stops behind the line of scrimmage. Fields started ten games the following year, posting 41 hits (11 solos), but only had 1.5 tackles for losses. He continued to start at nose guard, collecting 52 tackles (27 solos) with his only career sack and 4.5 stops for losses during his junior season. A change in the coaching staff saw Ronald mature both in the weight room and on the field in 2004. He registered a career-high 57 tackles (28 solos) and made 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage to earn first-team All-Southeastern Conference accolades. In 46 games at MSU, Fields started 36 times. He finished with 172 tackles (72 solos), a 5-yard sack, 16.5 stops for losses of 28 yards, six quarterback pressures, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.
Analysis: Positives He served as team captain under head coach Sylvester Croom and may have turned the corner career-wise under the guidance of the new staff. In previous seasons, Fields was known as the type of player that performed strictly on sheer strength, lacking field recognition, taking plays off and generally trying to find "short cuts" in the weight room and practices. Let's face it, he was coasting. Croom came in and decided that a fatherly hand could turn Fields around and unleash his talent. Ronald is still strictly a box player, as he does not have the lateral agility or speed to make plays in pursuit. He will still take a few plays off, but played with more intensity and a steadier motor in 2004 than he did in the past. He is as strong as a bull and is aptly called an effective bull rusher. Fields possesses a wide, strong frame that is ideal for a two-gap system. He utilizes his strong leg drive and lower body power to maintain a solid base and anchor at the point of attack. His marginal lateral agility and poor change of direction skills make him a poor choice for a system utilizing a three-technique. He still needs to be more active with his hands, but he learned how to get an edge on the blocker's outside shoulder to shed blocks and gain penetration. When he gets a clear path in the backfield, he can be disruptive. He plays with adequate leverage and shows a decent burst in short area pursuit. While he has the power and burst to penetrate, he does not bring his feet in pursuit and fails to show any consistency closing on the quarterback (six pressures, one sack in 46 games). Fields is best served playing inside the box due to his poor change of direction skills. He now uses his hands better to engage and shed and by learning to stay lower in his pads, he gets more push trying to collapse the pocket than he did in the past. Ronald is a physical point of attack tackler, but I doubt if he will ever generate the quickness to work on the edge or in space. He is more of a power-oriented type that uses his body mass to jolt, shock and stack blockers at the line of scrimmage. He is best when having to face down and single blocks, as he uses his size and strength to get decent leverage. He has little value as a pass rusher and his limited range prevents him from offering production outside the box. However, he is an effective bull rusher who can dominate at times in one-on-one action. His stamina is also an issue, as he is not the best-conditioned athlete and is known to wear down as the game progresses. Fields needs to do a better job of playing at a lower pad level, but his girth and wide midsection prevent him from hunkering down at the line. When he gets too high in his stance, he leaves his feet exposed to the cut block and is slow to recover when taken down. He needs to improve his conditioning, as weight problems prevent him from generating any type of speed needed for the pass rush. Still, he proved in 2004 that he was more than just a space-eater. He proved to be stout vs. the ground attack and could bring some value as a two-down run defender. Given time, he could prove to be a capable backup, but he will be limited to performing in a 3-4 defense because of his inability to play past the line of scrimmage.
Agility tests: 5.25 in the 40-yard dash...420-pound bench press...500-pound squat...275-pound power clean...33-inch arm length...9 -inch hands.
High school: Attended Bogalusa (La.) High School, playing football for coach Calvin Hymel...Rated with the top players in Louisiana by Pigskin Preps recruiting magazine following his senior season...Named Class 4A All-District during a breakout senior season, as he registered 97 tackles, including 18 hits behind the line of scrimmage and recovered five fumbles...Made 65 tackles with five sacks, two fumble recoveries, and three caused fumbles as a junior.
Personal: Teaching and Coaching major...Cousin is Ken Allen, plays on the defensive line at Louisiana State...Son of Ronald Weary...Born 9/13/81 in Bogalusa, Louisiana.
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