No. 1 RB Leonard Fournette and the Top Recruits to Watch on ESPN Friday Night

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2013

No. 1 RB Leonard Fournette and the Top Recruits to Watch on ESPN Friday Night

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    Leonard Fournette, a 5-star running back, will be on full display when ESPN broadcasts a double treat for high school football/recruiting fans this Friday night.

    John Curtis (Louisiana) and St. Augustine (Louisiana) square off 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and at 10 p.m., Booker T. Washington (Florida) versus Bishop Gorman (Nevada) will be shown on ESPNU.

    A ton of talent will be featured in both games, as Fournette is not the only 5-star prospect who will be on your screen. Also, several sleeper recruits will be looking to have big games to boost their stock.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU. 

Aliz'e Jones, TE—Bishop Gorman (2015)

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    Aliz'e Jones is a junior tight end who is already considered a 5-star prospect. He is a wonderful athlete who plays like a receiver.

    Jones, who is 6'4" and 222 pounds, has the speed and hands to be a fantastic weapon in the passing game. He displays good quickness to release upfield, can beat linebackers and safeties in coverage and has solid run-after-catch skills.

    Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are among his top schools, per 247Sports.

Randall Cunningham II, QB—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    If the name sounds familiar, then you are on the right track. Randall Cunningham II is the son of the former NFL quarterback of the same name, and the younger Cunningham has a similar skill set to his father.

    A 3-star quarterback, Cunningham is a 6'6", 185-pounder who has good arm strength and mobility. He displays solid accuracy with his quick release, sees the field well and doesn't get too rattled in the pocket.

    Baylor appears to be a school to watch, according to 247Sports.

Nick Gates, OT—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    Nick Gates is a 3-star offensive tackle who helps anchor the offensive line for the Gaels. He is 6'4", 270 pounds and has the ability to counter moves by defensive linemen.

    Gates can roll out of his stance, quickly punch a target with good hand placement and has quick mitts to counter and re-counter during a play. He has good strength, which allows him to sustain and steer targets in the running game, and rarely gives up sacks to inside moves.

    Alabama, Texas A&M and Nebraska are his main schools, says 247Sports

Armand Perry, DB—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    Armand Perry is a 3-star safety for Bishop Gorman who could become a cornerback in college. Perry is comfortable in the deep-middle portion of the field, but he shows the traits of a solid perimeter defender.

    At 6'0" and 180 pounds, the Arizona State commit plays with great awareness, read-and-react skills and instincts. He seems to have a good feel for the game, can smother a receiver in man coverage and has above-average transition quickness.

Zack Singer, DT—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    The Gaels will need a big game from 3-star defensive tackle Zack Singer on Friday night. Coming into this season, Singer had totaled 117 tackles and 12 sacks since the 2011 season.

    The 6'2", 280-pounder is not the biggest defender one will see in the trenches, but he plays with a solid motor and good toughness. Singer has adequate quickness at the snap, doesn't play small at the point of attack and can generate a solid push in the middle of the pocket.

    He has yet to receiver an offer, but schools such as California, Colorado, New Mexico and UNLV are listed by 247Sports. If Singer comes up big during this game, he should see some offers rolling in. 

    Also, do not be surprised to see a college program take a flyer on Singer as a guard. 

Terrance Chambers, ATH—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    Although he is just a 2-star prospect, Terrance Chambers could have a big impact for the Gaels on Friday night. He is 5'10" and 160 pounds, has average speed and solid versatility.

    Chambers could see time at receiver, running back, cornerback and safety during the game, while also playing various roles on special teams. He doesn't have any college interest, per 247Sports, but that could change with a good performance on the big stage this week. 

Daniel Stewart, CB—Bishop Gorman (2014)

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    Daniel Stewart arguably faces the most pressure out of any player on the Bishop Gorman roster coming into this game, as he will charged to stop Booker T. Washington's aerial assault.

    Stewart, a 2-star cornerback, is a 5'10" and 170-pound cover man who is the top defensive back for the Gaels. He has wiry strength, plays with solid athleticism and can play man and zone coverage. Stewart will have to come up with several big stops on passing plays for Bishop Gorman on Friday.

    New Mexico State has offered him, according to 247Sports

Lamar Parker, WR—Booker T. Washington (2014)

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    Lamar Parker is a 3-star receiver who is committed to West Virginia, and he will remind the folks in Morgantown a lot of former offensive talent Tavon Austin.

    Parker, who is 5'8" and 152 pounds, lacks imposing size but has exceptional speed and quickness. He just needs the football in his hands and he takes care of the rest. Parker is a player who can be used on smoke and bubble screens, jet sweeps and reverses, as well as running traditional routes as a receiver.

    If Bishop Gorman is not careful, he will burn them for big plays several times during this game.

Nigel Bethel, CB—Booker T. Washington (2014)

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    Watching Nigel Bethel is the epitome of viewing a natural cover cornerback. The 4-star prospect has outstanding short-area quickness, loose hips and reaction skills.

    Bethel has the skills to play man coverage, but his vision and route-recognition skills also help him in zone schemes. The 5'9", 173-pounder has a confident demeanor, as he knows he possesses an advanced understanding of the game on the perimeter.

    Bethel is committed to Miami, where he could win a nickel or dime cornerback role as a true freshman. 

Treon Harris, QB/ATH—Booker T. Washington (2014)

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    The leader of the nation's No. 1-ranked team, according to USA Today, 4-star athlete Treon Harris has shown he may be able to effectively play quarterback in college.

    Although he is only 5'11" and 180 pounds, Harris has displayed excellent accuracy, touch and arm strength from the pocket. He has great poise, seems to see the field well and has the mobility to get out of traffic if the pocket gets too crammed.

    While he could play cornerback or receiver at Florida State, Harris could cement himself an initial look as a quarterback in Tallahassee if he continues to play well. 

Chad Thomas, DE—Booker T. Washington (2014)

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    Chad Thomas is a 4-star defensive end who beats offensive tackles with speed and quickness. He can play tough at the point of attack but prefers to surge upfield quickly at the snap to run around blockers.

    Thomas, who is 6'5" and 240 pounds, could grow into a gap-penetrating defensive tackle down the line in his career. He can skinny through creases, has the athleticism to change directions in pursuit and flashes a good burst to close on the ball.

    Thomas is committed to Miami. 

Hunter Dale, S—John Curtis (2015)

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    A promising player for John Curtis is 4-star junior safety Hunter Dale. He is one of the top players for the Patriots and figures to have a lot of recruiting attention coming his way next year.

    Dale, who is 6'0" and 180 pounds, can play free safety, strong safety and cornerback in the secondary. He displays solid athleticism, range and cover skills. Dale has above-average instincts, good speed and closes on the ball in a hurry.

    Florida and Miami have already offered, among several other schools, shows 247Sports

Henry Smith, WR—John Curtis (2014)

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    A 2-star prospect, Henry Smith has the potential to be a good possession receiver in college. The New Orleans native has average speed on his best days, but he possesses terrific hands and ball skills.

    Smith, who is 6'1" and 185 pounds, can build up into his routes and has a knack for attacking the ball with his mitts. He has long arms to pluck passes, so many times he's covered but actually open.

    Smith is committed to Houston. 

Raekwon James, RB—John Curtis (2014)

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    The Patriots will rely on Raekwon James to assist their rushing attack versus St. Augustine. The 3-star prospect has solid quickness, speed and has been a productive runner for several seasons.

    As a sophomore in 2011, James ran for 761 yards while scoring 11 touchdowns. He displays quick feet, good vision and runs hard on each carry. James doesn't have an offer, reports 247Sports, but Colorado, Tulane and Southern Miss are on his list. 

George Moreira, RB—John Curtis (2014)

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    George Moreira is a tough and durable 3-star running back who appears to be the main cog in John Curtis' running game. He's a runner who may not have a dominant trait, but he appears to grade out well in several categories.

    Moreira, who is 5'10" and 185 pounds, runs with good toughness, strength and quickness. He can slash through alleys with force, can explode upfield and flashes tackle-breaking ability.

    Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Houston and Louisiana Tech are just a few schools who are in the mix for Moreira, says 247Sports

Terrence Alexander, CB—John Curtis (2014)

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    A physical cornerback who has some toughness to him, Terrence Alexander is a 3-star prospect who will be looking to have a big game for John Curtis on Friday.

    Alexander, who is 5'10" and 180 pounds, has no issues rolling up on a receiver at the line and aggressively jamming his man to reroute them. He fights receivers for balls, has wiry strength and is not afraid to come off of the perimeter on running plays.

    Ole Miss, Arkansas, Stanford and Northwestern are his favorites, according to 247Sports

Mattrell McGraw, S—John Curtis (2014)

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    Mattrell McGraw is a playmaker in the secondary for John Curtis. He's simply the type of defensive prospect who is always near the ball or making something happen on the field.

    McGraw, who is 6'0" and 183 pounds, has great instincts and awareness. He can cover receivers in off-man alignments due to his loose hips and sharp short-area quickness. McGraw also has the speed and range to patrol deep thirds and quarters in zone coverage.

    Plus, he will willingly support the run to help his linebackers and defensive linemen. Florida State, Oregon and UCLA are his core schools, according to 247Sports

Kenny Young, LB—John Curtis (2014)

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    Kenny Young is a 6'2", 220-pound linebacker who plays like his head is on fire. He's the emotional leader of John Curtis' defense, and the unit goes as he goes.

    Young, a 4-star prospect, has great straight-line speed. He's an adequate athlete who can find the football and attack. He can be used to blitz up the middle, can fight an offensive lineman to get to the quarterback and is vicious in pursuit.

    Keep an eye on Young throughout the game; you'll be watching a player who plays with passion. He's expected to sign with LSU, according to the experts at 247Sports

Malachi Dupre, WR—John Curtis (2014)

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    A 5-star receiver, Malachi Dupre is the top player for the Patriots. He stands 6'2.5", weighs 187 pounds and has the potential to become a No. 1 receiver at the next level.

    Dupre has great length, adequate quickness when releasing off the line and shows he can build up to top speed in the middle of of his routes. He needs to learn how to drop his weight to make sharper cuts, but he has great hands.

    Dupre also flashes good run-after-catch skills and could develop into a solid blocker on the perimeter. LSU and UCLA are in the hunt, among a few other schools, per 247Sports

Blaise Brown, S—St. Augustine (2014)

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    St. Augustine has a talented roster, and one of its top players is 3-star safety Blaise Brown. The 6'1", 185-pound defensive back is at his best when he is on top of the defense, as he can survey the entire field.

    Brown does a good job of keeping things in front of him, roams around with range and makes quick decisions. He'll support the run by filling alleys, but this is a safety who fits best as a zone defender up top.

    Washington State has offered, among several other programs, per 247Sports

Austin Craig, LB—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Due to his versatility, Austin Craig (or Craig-Lewis, depending on where you look) plays defensive end and linebacker for the Purple Knights. He has the speed and quickness to be all over the field and has an opportunity to command some recruiting attention with an impressive showing on Friday versus John Curtis.

    Craig, a 3-star prospect, is 6'3" and 220 pounds. He can surge upfield with a good burst, flashes the ability to bend on the edges and plays big at the point of attack. St. Augustine will definitely turn him loose during the game.

Peyton Winbush, OL—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Peyton Winbush is a 3-star offensive lineman who has swing-tackle potential. He's not the most athletic blocker in the country, but Winbush's straight-line ability can be effective in the trenches.

    The 6'3", 295-pounder has good strength, heavy hands with his punches and doesn't appear to be soft. Winbush works best as a short-setting pass-protector who quickly latches onto his opponent, as he moves well when engaged. 

    South Florida and South Alabama have offered, according to 247Sports

Courtney Garnett, DT—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Although he's listed as a defensive tackle, Courtney Garnett has the traits of a 3-4 defensive end. The main asset to his game is his strength, as he's at his best when he can punch, read and then react to a play.

    Garnett, who is 6'2" and 285 pounds, has some gap-penetration ability, but it's not a strength of his due to his lack of explosiveness at the snap. However, he plays big at the point of attack, can anchor down to make a mess in the trenches and has the ability to walk blockers back into the pocket.

    Garnett, a 3-star prospect, is committed to Texas. 

Joseph Paul, OG—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Helping the Purple Knights control the line of scrimmage on offense will be 3-star offensive lineman Joseph Paul. He's a mammoth at 6'4" and 335 pounds, who plays as his size would indicate.

    Paul, who likely will be a guard in college, has excellent strength and power. His mitts are his main weapons, as he is a grab-and-control type of blocker. Paul doesn't panic versus bull-rushers when protecting the quarterback, can maul in the running game and should get a few pancake blocks credited to his name before his career is over.

    Florida, Texas A&M, Florida State and Texas have offered, according to 247Sports.

Peter Woullard, DE—St. Augustine (2014)

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    A 2-star prospect, Peter Woullard is a defensive end who is best against the run. He will help pressure the passer and has the strength to work his way into the pocket, but Woullard won't register many sacks.

    However, the 6'2.5", 240-pounder can set the edges with force and power. He flashes some anchor strength, is adequate athletically in pursuit and can use his hands as weapons.

    He is committed to Tulane.

Tim Dawson II, DE—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Tim Dawson II is another 2-star defensive end for the Purple Knights, and he's a similar player to teammate Peter Woullard.

    Dawson, who is 6'3" and 225 pounds, has adequate quickness at the snap but plays more with strength. He can stack blocks on the edges, fight to pressure passers and has good ball-location skills. He could find a role as a reserve defensive end in college.

    Dartmouth, Harvard, Navy and South Alabama have offered him, per 247Sports.

Jermaine Roberts, CB—St. Augustine (2014)

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    The top cover man for St. Augustine is without question 3-star cornerback Jermaine Roberts, who deserves another star.

    Roberts, a Texas pledge, is a 5'9", 175-pounder who can flat-out cover. He has excellent speed to turn and run with receivers deep, great short-area quickness to re-attach himself to pass-catchers coming out of their breaks and isn't afraid to support the run.

    With a fine showing on Friday night in a big game versus juggernaut John Curtis, Roberts could earn that elusive extra star.

Leonard Fournette, RB—St. Augustine (2014)

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    Perhaps the nation's best player, 5-star running back Leonard Fournette will be showcasing his rare talent on Friday night. Fournette is 6'1", weighs nearly 230 pounds and has great speed and strength.

    He has good instincts as a runner, can break tackles and shows above-average agility and elusiveness. Fournette, who is ready to play college football right now, also has the hands and ball skills to be a huge weapon in the passing game.

    All eyes will be on him during this huge matchup, and rightfully so. Big-time players, make big-time plays in big-time games.

    Expect Fournette to do just that.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Leonard Fournette, Malachi Dupre and several other players on this list can be located by using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.