Football Recruiting Update – June 7, 2018
Recent Commitments: OLB Jaylon Scott and RB Jamious Griffin. (We will break down recent Commits Drake Thomas and Zovon Lindsay in our next post).
Several analysts have compared Griffin to a mixture of Matt Dayes and Nyheim Hines, a complete player who can contribute out of the backfield by running and catching the ball. Even though Griffin was splitting carries last year for Rome HS, I fully anticipate him to have a huge senior season both receiving and running the ball. At this stage, I would compare Griffin to Gallaspy, but with better hands, more agility, and more game breaking type speed. For comparison reasons, Gallaspy was a 3* (#41 overall Running Back in the country) and Griffin is a 3* (#22 overall Running Back in the country) on 24/7 sports and Scout.com.
Several analysts have also raved about Jaylon Scott. As I mentioned in my previous update about Linebackers, Scott is a marquee, super athletic talented linebacker who may contribute immediately on special teams for us. Analysts have said that Scott is a lot better than he is currently rated and should definitely be in the top 10 prospects in NC in the 2019 class. After reviewing his tape a few weeks ago, I completely agree. I think at times he outshined All-American Dax Hollifield last year for his high school team. An interesting thing about Scott, he is already 6’3″, 230, and is only 16 years old. Keep an eye on this because if his height keeps shooting up or his weight gain goes up a lot, he very well could wind up at Defensive End for us.
Big Decommitments: 4* RB Zonovan Knight from Southern Nash HS (NC) and 3* WR Donovan Greene from Mount Airy HS (NC) have both decommitted from Duke and are looking around. I mentioned this as a possibility for Knight a while back. I think with Hines getting drafted as high as he did and being a local product, a lot of heads are turning, especially in a positive way for the recruiting prowess and developmental ability of Coach Des Kitchings. I look for both of these guys to visit State this summer, and I like our chances for both of them.
Upcoming Official Visits:
JUCO DE Savion Williams, 4* DE Derrick McClendon, and 3* OL Carter Colquitt are all officially visiting Raleigh on June 14- 16th.
3* OL Triston Miller is officially visiting Raleigh on June 21 – 23rd.
I fully anticipate more marquee guys will be officially visiting State this summer, including 4* ATH JR Walker, 4* LB Traveon Freshwater, 3* LB Drake Thomas (announcing June 1st), 3* QB Zach Calzada, 4* RB Zonovan Knight, 3* WR Donovan Greene, 3* TE Kyle Bilodeau (who might commit in early June), 3* DE Christian Rorie, 4* DE Savion Jackson, 3* Terrell Dawkins, 3* OT Zovon Lindsay, and 3* CB Syhiem Battle.
Position of Need Breakdown:
Commit: 3* CB Jalen Frazier.
4* Safety Khalid Martin – Attends East Forsyth HS (North Carolina). 6’2″, 195. Rated the #21 Safety in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, NR 3* on Rivals, and the #20 Safety in the country (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 77 Tackles, 3 Tackles for loss, 1 Sack, 4 Interceptions (3 returned for Touchdowns), and 1 Fumble Recovery
Analysis: This kid is a great football player. Reminds me a lot of Adrian Wilson by his ability to square up ball carriers and deliver a massive hit. Needs to work on technique with hitting sometimes instead of selling his entire body out for a massive hit. Great ball skills. Reads and reacts to plays very well. Well coached player who will be a star in college, especially if he can add 20 pounds or so to his frame and improve his overall speed. He has even played some nickel in HS, so he could definitely see the field immediately if he would commit to the Pack. Looks like our primary competition for him will be Virginia Tech. We have surged quite a bit for him lately and I would not be surprised to see him drag out his commitment announcement until sometime in the fall.
3* CB Warren Burrell – Attends North Gwinnett HS (Georgia). 6’0″, 166, 4.72 40. Rated the #35 Cornerback in the country (3*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, the #28 Cornerback and the #250 overall prospect in the country (4*) on Rivals, and the #55 Cornerback in the country (3*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 26 Tackles, 5 Interceptions, 2 Fumble Recoveries
Analysis: High School Teammates with another one of our CB targets, DJ Turner. A good athlete with good ball skills, but lacks physicality due to needing to add some strength and weight to his frame. Makes good plays on the ball downfield and high points the ball well in pass coverage. Does not play a lot of man coverage in High School, this could be due to schemes being called or lack of strength. Appears to have long arms and a lean frame, which our coaches covet. Needs to work on loosening up his hips when backpedaling and some technique things, which could be coached very easily at the collegiate level. Plays against extremely talented competition in HS. We have made his top 7 list recently. Leaning to Georgia recently, and I could see him committing to Georgia early this summer.
3* CB Shyheim Battle – Attends Rocky Mount HS (North Carolina). 6’2″, 173, 4.72 40. Rated the #33 Cornerback in the country (3*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, NR (3*) on Rivals, and the #43 Cornerback in the country (3*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 17 catches for 361 yards with 4 Touchdowns. 31 Tackles and 1 Tackle for Loss
Analysis: Lengthy and athletic corner that our coaches covet. We have been consistently in his top schools for a while. Very good athlete in space, needs to gain some weight and strength. Comes up well on the run but relies a little too much on his size at times downfield in the passing game. High points the ball well. Reminds me a lot of Mike Stevens’ tape from High School because of his length and great athleticism. With his height, he could do a lot of different things, even play Nickel in college. We are his current leader and I think that he will commit to us by the end of June.
3* S Brandon Hill – Attends Wekiva HS (Florida). 5’11”, 200, 4.58 40. Rated the #37 Safety in the country (3*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, NR on Rivals, and the #30 Safety in the country (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: No available.
Analysis: Another outstanding prospect. Tape reminds me a lot of Khalid Martin’s tape. Very, very physical safety who loves to hit and loves to hit hard. Great size already to be a nickel type player at the collegiate level. Reads and reacts extremely well in the running game and comes up to make a lot of hits. Guesses at times with QB type option plays, but this is a correction that can be easily coached at the collegiate level. A really like his overall speed a lot for someone his size and hitting ability. Between us, Georgia Tech, and Maryland for him right now. I could see us getting a commitment from him after he officially visits Raleigh later this summer.
4* CB Kaiir Elam – Attends The Benjamin School (Florida). 6’1″, 182, 4.51 40. Rated the #10 Cornerback in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, the #20 Cornerback in the country (4*) by Rivals, and the #8 Athlete in the country and the #70 overall prospect in the country (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 25 catches for 361 yards with 4 Touchdowns. 18 tackles with 2 Interceptions. 12 Punt Returns for 103 yards, 7 Kick Returns for 122 yards
Analysis: An extremely talented athlete who excels in almost every facet of the game. Athleticism makes it so he could play anywhere from slot receiver to corner in college. Very quick for someone of his size, but excels in the open field and makes playing the game look extremely easy. We were named one of his top schools a while back, but I really think that his recruitment is going to come down to a Auburn and Florida battle, with Florida winning out.
4* CB Tyus Fields – Attends Hough HS (North Carolina). 5’10”, 175, 4.69 40. Rated the #22 Cornerback in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, the #32 Cornerback in the country (4*) by Rivals, and the #18 Cornerback and the #194 overall prospect in the country (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 92 Tackles, 4 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions. 6 Punt Returns for 86 yards, 6 Kick Returns for 68 yards.
Analysis: Another extremely good football player with a great family lineage of playing in the defensive secondary. I think his collegiate future is probably at safety or nickel instead of corner due to less than stellar height. However, he does have great ball skills and a great ability to read the ball in the air to make a play. Several of his hits on film concern me because of how high he is hitting the receiver or ball carrier, at the collegiate level a lot of these will be broken tackles and the play will continue. Great looking athlete on film, but needs to gain about 20 pounds of strength. At this point, it looks like he is leaning to Clemson (not a huge surprise because his brother, Mark Fields, also played at Clemson).
3* CB DJ Turner – Attends North Gwinnett HS (Georgia). 5’11”, 170, 4.63 40. Rated the #39 Cornerback in the country (3*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, the #43 Cornerback in the country (3*) by Rivals, and the #23 Cornerback in the country (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 50 Tackles, 4 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 2 Kick Returns for 98 yards
Analysis: High School Teammates with another target, 3* CB Warren Burrell. Probably a better overall athlete than Burrell, but Burrell is the better football player. Plays in a talent rich area of Georgia, which could explain some of his recruiting stars in comparison to other better looking prospects from other states. Looks to leaning towards Michigan at this time.
3* Safety Tykee Smith – Attends Imhotep Institute (Pennsylvania). 5’11”, 187, 4.63 40. Rated the #32 Safety in the country (3*) on 24/7 sports and Scout, the #21 Safety in the country (4*) by Rivals, and the #52 Cornerback in the country (3*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 42 carries for 469 yards with 9 Touchdowns, 9 catches for 247 yards and 5 Touchdowns. 10 tackles, 1 sack. 1 Kick Return for 25 yards
Analysis: An extremely good athlete who does a lot of different things for his HS. For some of his film, I think he would be better off as a slot receiver in college instead of a safety. Does bring a lot of athleticism and skills to the defensive side of the ball also, including playmaking in the open field. His recruitment is considered to be wide open now with no real favorites, we offered him a scholarship on March 29th. I do not anticipate that Smith will make a college decision anytime soon.
4* Safety Anthony Harris – Attends Havelock HS (North Carolina). 6’1″, 175. Rated the #10 Safety in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, the #13 Safety in the country and the #201 overall prospect (4*) by Rivals, and the #14 Safety in the country and the #243 overall prospect (4*) by ESPN.
Junior Stats: 25 carries for 219 yards with 4 Touchdowns, 13 catches for 356 yards and 3 Touchdowns. 88 Tackles, 9.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception. 8 Punt Returns for 269 yards.
Analysis: We are surging in interest for Anthony Harris lately. His recruitment has not been very noisy so far, so he is probably waiting a while to commit to any school. Havelock had a practice at Carter-Finley a few weeks ago, so I would think that we are starting to get in his head for the right reasons lately. Another player cut in the mold of Khalid Martin and Brandon Hill, very physical player who loves to hit.
I think that we take 3-4 total secondary players in this year’s class. We already have 3* CB Jalen Frazier in the fold, who I think is very, very underrated.
I look for us to get commitments from Shyheim Battle in the next few weeks, and I think that we look extremely good for Khalid Martin, Brandon Hill, and Anthony Harris lately. If we get Battle, Frazier, Martin, and Hill, we would have 2 Corners and 2 Safeties and that would be a nice haul for this year’s class.