Recruiting: Predicting the best available
The best available uncommitted prospects from both the 2014 and 2015 recruiting cycles all are trending toward some of the top programs in the country.
There are plenty of highly-regarded prospects in the Class of 2014 that are uncommitted and could make college coaching staffs extremely happy come national signing day (Feb. 5). Here’s a look at where things stand with each, plus a glimpse at which programs are the best bets to land the top prospects in the 2015 cycle.
Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine: Fournette is an instant program-impact prospect. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash is the closest thing to Adrian Peterson since, well Adrian Peterson. There are rumors nearly every week that hot-recruiting programs like Florida State or Michigan (during the summer) have a shot at landing the talented athlete, but this one is going to come down to two programs- LSU and Alabama. If the Tigers do not ultimately land Fournette, it will be an upset, but we’ve all learned to never count out the Crimson Tide on a prospect it wants. Fournette is the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2014 247Sports Composite rankings and the No. 1 running back.
247Sports Crystal Ball says: LSU (96 percent)
My pick: LSU with high confidence
Watch out for: Alabama
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Hoover (Ala.): Humphrey is the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the 2014 cycle and has the elite cover skills that guys like Vernon Hargreaves III and Dre Kirkpatrick have had coming out of high school. He’s also an Alabama legacy- the son of former Tide running back Bobby Humphrey (one of the all-time greats) and attends high school in the greater Birmingham, Ala., area. It all adds up to it being a complete stunner if he heads anywhere but Tuscaloosa. Florida State and ace recruiter (and Alabama native) Jeremy Pruitt are in this, but their chances of ultimate success here are slim.
247Sports Crystal Ball says: Alabama (95 percent)
My pick: Alabama with very high confidence
Watch out for: Florida State
Adoree’ Jackson, CB/ATH, Gardena (Calif.) Serra: Jackson is the No. 1 overall prospect in California this cycle and is an explosive playmaker on both sides of the ball. He is a west coast prospect that has family ties to the east, so it’s not a stretch to believe he could head away, far away, from Los Angeles for college. Florida, Florida State, LSU, Tennessee- all are in the mix to varying degrees. With that, the school down the road- USC- has considerable momentum here and he could be a signature get for the new Trojans staff.
247Sports Crystal Ball says: USC (63 percent)
My pick: USC with medium confidence
Watch out for: LSU
Lorenzo Carter, DE/OLB, Norcross (Ga.): A basketball star who can be an amazing pass rusher at times, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Carter is one of the most athletically-gifted prospects in the 2014 class. His recruitment has centered for the most part around three programs- Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Carter is an excellent scheme fit at any of the three programs and the in-state Bulldogs have been trending of late (note that UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham makes good use out of guys with Carter’s build- Leonard Floyd, <player idref=-Clemons both come to mind) and should be able to keep Georgia’s No. 1 overall prospect this cycle in-state, even though many predict Alabama.
247Sports Crystal Ball says: Alabama (62 percent)
My pick: Georgia with medium confidence
Watch out for: Alabama
Tony Brown, CB, Beaumont (Texas) Ozen: The No. 10 overall prospect in the 2014 cycle has good size and is an outstanding track athlete as well. His sister, Beloved Brown, runs track at LSU and the southeast Texas standout is expected to follow in her footsteps. Texas A&M, Alabama and others are chasing, but at the end of the day the family ties will be hard to beat.
247Sports Crystal Ball says: LSU (98 percent)
My pick: LSU with high confidence
Watch out for: Texas A&M
It’s early for the Class of 2015, but already there are trends emerging that offer a preview of which programs could land the top talent in the next cycle.
Mitch Hyatt, OT, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett: The No. 1 overall prospect for 2015 according to 247Sports Composite rankings has deep family ties to Clemson. It is going to be tough for any program to overtake the Tigers here. 247Sports Crystal Ball agrees and picks the Tigers at 100 percent.
Tim Settle, DT, Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson: Settle, the No. 3 overall prospect for the 2015 cycle, is already one of the more heavily-recruited prospects in the country with offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and more. The cat-quick 6-foot-3, 305-pounder likes in-state Virginia and could be the next big in-state get for Mike London and staff, but sources close to him also say that the Buckeyes and Tide are strong players. 247Sports Crystal Ball says early that Settle is Columbus-bound at 56 percent over UVA at 28 percent.
Martez Ivey, OT, Apopka (Fla.): Ivey has elite ability as an offensive tackle prospect and the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder has a load of early offers. There’s one program, however, that is the overwhelming favorite to landing the No. 1 2015 prospect in the Sunshine State- that’s Florida. 247Sports Crystal Ball agrees and has the Gators predicted at 100 percent.
Trent Thompson, DT, Albany (Ga.) Westover: Much like Settle, the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Thompson is an elite athlete on the interior of the defensive line. Thompson has a laundry list of early scholarship offers and is an early selection to the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. One program, Georgia, is in the best shape early and he’s on a fast-track to a commitment there. 247Sports Crystal Ball agrees and says Dawgs 100 percent.
Josh Rosen, QB, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco: The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Rosen has a strong arm and is the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2015 class. Rosen has not hidden his preference for attending college in the Bay Area. Stanford would be the team to beat had the Cardinal offered, but since that hasn’t happened yet, Cal is in the driver’s seat early. With that, watch out for USC and UCLA here as things move forward. 247Sports Crystal Ball believes at this stage Rosen is Berkeley-bound at 86 percent.
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