The One 2014 College Football Recruit You Need to Know from Every State

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2014

The One 2014 College Football Recruit You Need to Know from Every State

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Whether they are exciting players, have an interesting background or had a monster senior season, each state in America has one 2014 college football recruit you need to know about.

    The public needs to be more aware of the recruits on this list. Some are popular elite prospects, some are underrated, and others have stories that need to be heard.

    Although each state has hundreds of recruits who deserve to be on this list, we picked the best ones.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Alabama: Ito Smith, RB

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    Hailing from McGill Toolen High School in Mobile, Ito Smith is an underrated 3-star running back who slashed through defenses in Alabama last fall.

    Smith, who is 5'10" and 187 pounds, totaled 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing while chipping in 27 receptions for 383 yards and five touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.

    Alabama is one of the best states for talent, so it's easy to see why he hasn't gotten as much attention as he deserves.

    He does hold offers from Georgia Tech and Duke, according to 247Sports. Whether it's from Atlanta, Durham or somewhere else, Smith is going to emerge as one of the top players from his state in the class of 2014.

Alaska: Lance Wright, WR

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    Yes, they do play football in Alaska.

    A 2-star recruit, Lance Wright has a chance to become a reliable possession receiver in college. He's 6'3" and 190 pounds, plus he attacks the ball with his hands.

    He isn't going to impress observers with his speed, but he runs good routes and works well in the intermediate passing game. Wright has good vision and instincts to read coverages, as well as the awareness to settle into holes.

    He's committed to Rice. 

Arizona: Luke Rubenzer, QB

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    Not much impresses observers when they first take a look at 3-star quarterback Luke Rubenzer. He stands only 5'11.5" and weighs just 187 pounds.

    But he plays like a giant at the quarterback position. Arizona has several studs who are rated higher than Rubenzer in the 2014 class, but he was the most productive last fall.

    Rubenzer completed nearly 74 percent of his passes for 4,201 yards, according to MaxPreps. He had 61 touchdowns and three interceptions, plus he helped out in the running game by rushing for 1,235 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    He also had 14 tackles and two interceptions on defense. He's committed to California. 

Arkansas: Kavin Alexander, CB/ATH

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    Kavin Alexander is a 2-star cornerback from North Little Rock who has been overlooked for too long during the 2014 recruiting cycle.

    At nearly 5'9" and 182 pounds, he is one of the best pure athletes in the country. He has been clocked at 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, plus he has posted a 3.9 20-yard shuttle time in the past, per Student Sports

    Arkansas, Auburn and Georgia Tech are showing interest, according to 247Sports.

    With phenomenal athleticism, Alexander is player whom recruiting fans in the South should mention to their friends.

California: Tre Watson, RB

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    With California being a hotbed for talent, a ton of players who are lower-rated prospects go on to have great careers.

    That seems to be the path for 3-star running back Tre Watson, who attends Centennial High School in Corona and is committed to Cal. Watson, who is 5'9" and 190 pounds, totaled 3,734 yards and 50 touchdowns on the ground in his senior season, according to MaxPreps.

    He seemed to get stronger as the season went on and rushed for an Inland-area record 519 yards and six touchdowns, according to Eric-Paul Johnson of PE.com.

    While the focus goes to the 5-star and elite 4-star recruits all around the Golden State, Watson is a guy you definitely should know about.

    Greg Biggins of Scout.com had this to say about him in September 2013 (subscription required):

    Centennial running back Tre Watson had a historic performance rushing for 468 yards and seven touchdowns. The California commit has put on 20 pounds since last season and improved his quickness, speed and durability. He definitely looks like one of the top five backs in the west after his performance.

Colorado: Kalen Ballage, ATH

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    Although he's a 4-star talent, not many people know much about the enigmatic Kalen Ballage.

    He is a 6'2", 215-pound athlete from Falcon High School in the Centennial State. He runs a 4.37 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports, and opposing Colorado high school teams are throwing parties now that they no longer have to face him.

    He did just about everything except sell popcorn at halftime as a senior. He ran for 1,943 yards and 25 touchdowns, plus he caught 16 passes for 360 yards and six touchdowns.

    On defense, Ballage registered 32 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and three passes defensed, per MaxPreps. He's committed to Arizona State. 

Connecticut: Arkeel Newsome, RB

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    He's not going to generate a lot of buzz in recruiting circles, but 3-star running back Arkeel Newsome is a solid football player. Only 5'8" and 184 pounds, he is a quick and explosive athlete who can make plays.

    He has vision to see cutback lanes and backside holes, plus he can skate through creases to quickly get to the second level. He has no issues in bouncing runs to the outside, as he is at his best in space. He appears to have adequate strength, which should help his case to be a bell-cow runner in college.

    Newsome is committed to UConn. 

Delaware: Chris Godwin, WR

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    He's not the fastest receiver in the 2014 class, but 4-star prospect Chris Godwin has a balanced skill set. The 6'1", 193-pounder has good size and strength to combat jams when releasing off the line.

    He is a classic build-up athlete who needs space to reach full speed. However, once his legs are churning, he can get moving in the open field. He can pluck the ball out of the air with his mitts when on the move, plus he runs with power and toughness after the catch.

    Godwin is not going to make many dazzling plays, but he'll be fine at Penn State. 

District of Columbia: Cory Jones, DE

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    OK, D.C. is not a state, but it's included on this list. 

    While 5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor is the best player in the district, 3-star defensive end Cory Jones is a guy worth knowing.

    At 6'4" and 210 pounds, Archbishop Carroll High School's finest terrorized offensive linemen this past fall. He used his explosive quickness and speed to finish his senior season with 26 sacks, plus he notched another 24 hurries, according to MaxPreps

    Jones was around the football early and often, causing four fumbles and recovering another four. He also caught 17 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown on offense. He had offers from Illinois and Virginia, per 247Sports, but is committed to Toledo. 

Florida: Antonio Simmons, DE

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    While 5-star running backs Dalvin Cook and Sony Michel, 5-star receiver Ermon Lane, 4-star defensive end Chad Thomas and 4-star running back Joseph Yearby are all elite talents, the guy for this slot is 3-star defensive end Antonio Simmons.

    Simmons and 3-star defensive end Cory Jones are both 6'4", 210 pounds and explosive pass-rushers. 

    But Simmons led the state of Florida in sacks in 2013; MaxPreps says he totaled 29. The Georgia Tech commit also had 50 tackles and blocked a punt.

    The Yellow Jackets are getting a steal.

Georgia: Kevin Mouhon, LB

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    The competition in high school football in Georgia isn't chopped liver. That's why college coaches from all over the country comb through the Peach State for talent.

    That's also why 4-star linebacker Kevin Mouhon's 200 tackles—according to MaxPreps—is an outstanding accomplishment. He also defended seven passes and recovered two fumbles.

    Mouhon, who is 6'0.5" and 223 pounds, is a speedy linebacker with excellent range who is headed to Tennessee. He may not be the headliner of the Volunteers' impressive class, but he is going to be a rock star on Rocky Top. 

Hawaii: Kalani Vakameilalo, DT

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    Hawaii is another state that produces better football talent than many people realize. Kalani Vakameilalo is the top 2014 prospect in the state, but he's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Vakameilalo, who is 6'4" and 300 pounds, has fantastic strength and power. He's a sleeper who has a chance to develop into a menace at Oregon State. He shows impressive explosion at the snap before playing like a giant at the point of attack.

    He has no issues anchoring in the trenches versus running plays, plus he can push the middle of the pocket as a rusher.

    Allen Trieu of Scout.com saw him in person and said in November 2013 (subscription required): "Kapolei High rising senior Kalani Vakameilalo is a big, powerful kid. He's athletic for that size, he just needs to keep working on technique, but he's a BCS level prospect."

Idaho: Don Hill

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    Idaho isn't known for producing talent, but it is home to a few solid prospects each recruiting cycle.

    The best of the bunch this year is 3-star defensive end Don Hill, who is committed to USC. Hill, who is 6'4" and 225 pounds, has solid quickness at the snap to quickly engage with blockers. He shows good strength at the point of attack to set the edge, plus he has the ability to anchor down versus running plays.

    Along with adjusting to the better caliber of competition in Los Angeles, he needs to refine his technique.

    Hill isn't a finished product, but he could flourish into a great player for the Trojans. 

Illinois: Justin Jackson, RB

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    Illinois has a couple of elite prospects this year, but don't sleep on 4-star running back Justin Jackson. His name isn't mentioned much when top running back prospects are discussed, but Northwestern knows it is getting a good one.

    He was untouchable as a senior, rushing for 3,171 yards and 38 touchdowns in just 11 games. He added 16 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown, according to MaxPreps. At 5'11" and 180 pounds, he has great quickness and runs bigger than his listed size.

    Jackson should become one of the better running backs in the Big Ten soon. 

Indiana: Dominique Booth, WR

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    At nearly 6'1" and 205 pounds, Dominique Booth has a thick frame that combines strength and quickness. He has thick legs, which help launch him off the line from the slot.

    He has the potential to develop into a good route-runner, evidenced by his ability to get in and out of breaks in a hurry.

    The 4-star receiver and Indiana commit also has solid hands and concentration. He should produce immediately for the Hoosiers. 

    Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson commented on Booth in January 2014, per 247Sports:

    Dominique is one of the premier wide receivers in the country. We have been on him for several years. From day one, we made a commitment to recruit the state of Indiana and it is nice to get another Indianapolis metro player who can help our program take that next step. Dominique is ready to shine on the national stage and to continue the lineage of great Indiana receivers. He is a tremendous student who is very mature physically and mentally. Dominique is a perfect fit for our offense...

Iowa: Ross Pierschbacher, OL

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    Committed to Alabama, 4-star offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher is among the nation's top players. He's the best prospect from Iowa, and he is going to help anchor a talented Crimson Tide offensive line one day.

    At 6'4" and 290 pounds, he has excellent quickness to get out of his stance, which allows him to easily pull and trap.

    He plays with solid strength at the point of attack, plus he has no issues getting to linebackers on the second level. Guard will likely be his position at 'Bama, but Iowa's top recruit can play across the front.

Kansas: Traevohn Wrench, RB

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    It's easy to stand on the table for 4-star running back Traevohn Wrench because he's a good player who deserves more attention.

    At 6'0" and 180 pounds, he doesn't appear on many lists about the nation's best runners. However, he has good speed and quickness, plus he runs more powerfully than many think.

    Wrench slashed defenses in Kansas this past fall for 1,951 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also had two receiving touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.

    When this guy is tearing it up at Kansas, remember reading about him here.

Kentucky: Nacarius Fant, WR

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    While Kentucky has 4-star prospects such as defensive tackle Matt Elam and quarterback Drew Barker, a recruit you should know about is Nacarius Fant.

    Fant, who is a 3-star receiver, led all Kentucky senior receivers in receiving yards with 1,701. He caught 83 passes and scored 20 touchdowns, per MaxPreps. He isn't very big at 5'10" and 170 pounds, but he clearly knows how to get open.

    He was named Kentucky Mr. Football by the Associated Press, according to 247Sports. Western Kentucky appears to be getting a diamond in the rough.

Louisiana: Trey Quinn, WR

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    With 5-star prospects such as running back Leonard Fournette, left tackle Cameron Robinson,   athlete/receiver Speedy Noil, receiver Malachi Dupre and 4-star safety Laurence Jones, this is a great year for talent in Louisiana.

    But the player you need to know about is 4-star receiver Trey Quinn, who attends Barbe High School in Lake Charles. He has the national career receiving yardage record, per 247Sports, with 6,566 career receiving yards.

    The 6'1", 200-pound LSU commit caught 357 passes in his high school career, with 70 of them being touchdowns. 

    Production like that will be gladly welcomed in Baton Rouge. 

Maine: Josh Gray, ATH

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    Maine isn't exactly Texas when it comes to high school football, so this was a challenge. Yet, after combing over the state, it was determined Josh Gray is a player who deserves to be on this list.

    From Bucksport High School, he did pretty much everything for the Golden Bucks. He caught 33 passes for 522 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 190 yards and two scores on the ground, per MaxPreps. He also had 36 tackles and five interceptions on defense while also being used as a kicker, punter and returner.

    Gray may not be an elite prospect, but don't be surprised to hear his name pop up on the small school radar down the line. 

Maryland: Mark Allen, RB

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    DeMatha Catholic is one of the best high school football programs in the country, annually producing several college prospects. Alabama offensive lineman and NFL draftee Cyrus Kouandjio is an alumnus.

    This year, it features 3-star running back Mark Allen, who is committed to Penn State. He displays impressive strength and power as a runner on a compact 5'7", 185-pound frame.

    He's a tough running back with good quickness who will compare to Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

Massachusetts: Connor Strachan, LB

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    Tough and rugged, 3-star linebacker Connor Strachan is a guy who could have played in the leather-helmet-and-no-facemask days.

    The Boston College commit is a 6'2", 240-pound linebacker with impressive instincts and hand usage. He reads his keys and processes information quickly, which is why he routinely gets a jump on plays.

    He has the strength to challenge blockers, plus he understands how to use his hands to shed at the point of attack. Strachan has solid straight-line speed, plus he uses outstanding tackling technique.

    He should put up some ridiculous tackling totals at BC.

    Per Scout.com (subscription required), Michael Clark had this to say about Strachan in January 2013: 

    He plays sideline-to-sideline and takes good angles when pursuing the football. Physically, he is college-ready right now, so look for him to get on the field early in his college career.

Michigan: Travis Smith, QB

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    Doesn't it seem like every year there are a couple of quarterbacks at non-BCS schools who emerge as productive players?

    Well, 3-star quarterback Travis Smith could be one of those guys. The 6'2", 200-pound passer is committed to Toledo, and he could be just scratching the surface.

    Smith, who attends Ithaca High School in Michigan, threw 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last fall, according to MaxPreps. He also ran for 640 yards and 10 scores, displaying athleticism and mobility. 

    Keep an eye on this guy.

Minnesota: Jeff Jones, RB

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    At 5'11" and 196 pounds, 4-star running back Jeff Jones is a quick-footed athlete who has the potential to be a star in college.

    Jones has great short-area quickness and elusiveness coming through holes, which allows him to pick-and-slide to backside alleys and dance around defenders. He has solid strength to break tackles, plus he isn't the slowest running back in the country.

    He's committed to Minnesota, but Michigan, Michigan State and Florida are in the picture, according to 247Sports

Mississippi: D.K. Buford, RB/WR

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    Committed to Ole Miss, 3-star running back D.K. Buford has the speed and quickness to do a lot of damage in Oxford.

    The 5'10" 190-pounder is an explosive athlete who can elude and dart by defenders. He can play running back, but he also has the ability to be a receiver. The Rebels have to be giddy over all he can do, but he might never suit up for them.

    Buford is one of the top baseball prospects in the country and could be selected high in the upcoming MLB draft.

Missouri: Dalvin Warmack, RB

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    Missouri is another underrated state when it comes to football talent. That's why you probably don't know that 3-star running back Dalvin Warmack has been the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year for the past two seasons, according to 247Sports.

    Warmack, who is only 5'9" and 185 pounds, attends Blue Springs High School. He had an amazing senior season, totaling 2,223 yards and 29 touchdowns, per MaxPreps. The Kansas State commit only had one fumble in 252 carries and averaged nearly nine yards per carry.

    He will help the Wildcats and head coach Bill Snyder win some games in the Big 12. 

    Randy Withers of Scout.com had this to say about Warmack in December 2013 (subscription required):

    The Show Me State’s two-time Player of the Year piled up postseason honors like he did big plays, but one stands above them all. Warmack became only the second junior ever to claim the Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award as The Most Outstanding High School Football Player in Kansas City. In 2013, he became the first player ever to win it twice.

Montana: Dallas Cook, QB

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    There weren't many college prospects in Montana this year, but quarterback Dallas Cook deserves to be mentioned. 

    The 6'4" 210-pounder was a dual-threat sensation for Butte High School. He threw for 4,145 yards and 40 touchdowns while running for another 866 yards and 16 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps

    While he hasn't commanded much interest from FBS schools, Cook's size and production warrants consideration from some smaller programs. 

Nebraska: Harrison Phillips , DE

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    Hailing from Millard West High School in Omaha, 3-star defensive end Harrison Phillips has what it takes to succeed in college.

    At nearly 6'4" and 248 pounds, he has a huge motor. He's a relentless pass-rusher who beats offensive linemen with hustle, grit, toughness and solid strength. Phillips, whom 247Sports says was the 2013 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year, can also work as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

    He's committed to Stanford. 

Nevada: Nathan Starks, RB/ATH

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    Although he spent his senior season at Cherry Creek High School in Colorado, 4-star athlete Nathan Starks is originally from Las Vegas.

    Nevada is an underrated place for college coaches, and Starks is the best player from the state in 2014. At 5'11" and 200 pounds, he is a strong, straight-line athlete who has good speed. He runs with solid vision, plus he has above-average receiving skills.

    Starks, who is committed to UCLA, can also play strong safety on defense. 

New Hampshire: Harry Warner, OL

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    Football isn't the first thing that comes to mind when people think of New Hampshire, but the Granite State does have a college prospect this year.

    His name is Harry Warner, a gritty 2-star guard from Phillips Exeter Academy.

    At 6'3" and 290 pounds, he has adequate size and strength to hold his own in the trenches. He holds an offer from William & Mary, with Villanova, Princeton, Fordham and Brown also showing interest, according to 247Sports

New Jersey: Jabrill Peppers, DB/ATH

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    While you probably already know about him, 5-star athlete Jabrill Peppers is the college recruit from New Jersey that you still need to know about.

    He's phenomenal on the field and the most versatile high school football player in the United States. He was the All-USA Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-USA by USA Today, per 247Sports, but Peppers could have garnered the same honors as an offensive player if he focused on that side of the ball.

    The Michigan commit is a 6'1", 205-pound baller who combines exceptional physical tools with rare instincts and awareness.

    He could become the best ever from the Garden State.

    Adam Friedman of Rivals said of Peppers in January 2014 (subscription required):

    Peppers is such a unique prospect. He had enormous success in high school, winning four state championships on two different teams, and earned an invite to the Under Armour All-America Game. Peppers' incredible natural athleticism combined with his big frame and tireless work ethic has helped him become a true lockdown cornerback...Peppers should also be a playmaker right away on special teams and he could see some time on offense down the line.

New Mexico: Desmond Branch, DE

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    New Mexico isn't among the nation's top states for football, but a recruit you need to be aware of is 3-star defensive end Desmond Branch

    Branch, who is 6'3" and 225 pounds, is a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. He can put his hand down to rush the passer and also has enough athleticism to stand up and drop into coverage. He is not going to be a headliner of a class, but he'll represent his native state well.

    New Mexico, UTEP and New Mexico State have all offered, according to 247Sports.

New York: Thomas Holley, DT

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    Thomas Holley is a 4-star defensive tackle who has had an incredible rise to become one of the nation's top recruits.

    Just a few years ago, he was an undersized forward/center in basketball.

    But he transferred from Christ the King to Lincoln High School and decided to give football a try as a junior. With just two full seasons of experience, he is now considered to have major upside as a defensive lineman.

    The 6'4", 285-pound New Yorker has great quickness at the snap, along with raw strength. He needs time and development with his technique, but the Brooklyn native has a bright future. 

    He chose Florida over scholarship offers from just about all of the heavyweight programs.

North Carolina: Elijah Hood, RB

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    Elijah Hood is a 4-star running back who could be special. The 5'11.5", 222-pound tank has terrific strength and build-up speed in the open field.

    He displays good vision to read his blocks, plus he has the quickness to skate through creases to quickly arrive on the second level. The future North Carolina Tar Heel easily runs through arm-tackles, plus it usually takes several defenders to bring him down after contact.

    Once his powerful legs get churning, he has the ability to run away from chasing defenders. He should play immediately in Chapel Hill. 

    West Columbus High School (N.C.) head coach Mark Little told Rivals.com in December 2013:

    The thing I've noticed about Elijah is his acceleration when he hits the hole. He hits that hole so quick and keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. I can just imagine how hard he is to bring down.

North Dakota: Eric Bachmeier, WR

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    Not many college coaches come through North Dakota looking for recruits. That's why many good programs are going to wish they gave a look to 2-star receiver Eric Bachmeier.

    From Kindred High School, he has a long frame at 6'3" and 180 pounds. He has great length, which helps him expand his catch radius. He has average speed on the perimeter, but his ability to pluck passes with his mitts in a crowd is impressive.

    He's committed to North Dakota. 

Ohio: Dorian Baker, WR

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    If he's developed properly, Kentucky could have a huge steal in 3-star receiver Dorian Baker. The Cleveland native is raw, but he has huge upside.

    At 6'3" and 205 pounds, he has fantastic size and great speed. He hasn't put all of his athletic coordination together yet, but he flashes elite potential. 

    Baker will need refinement in areas such as footwork, route running, reading coverages and hand positioning. Yet, this blank canvas could become dynamic in Lexington. 

    Bill Greene of Scout.com said this about Baker in October 2013 (subscription required): 

    Dorian Baker is the equivalent of a basketball gym rat, and his work ethic is at the top of the charts. He is also talented enough to play either the inside slot, or outside wide receiver spot. He can overpower smaller defensive backs, and has the speed to outrun linebackers. I expect Dorian Baker to have a fine career at Kentucky.

Oklahoma: Jeffery Mead, WR

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    Jeffery Mead is a 4-star receiver from Union High School in Tulsa. He doesn't get a ton of attention when Oklahoma's recruiting class is discussed, but the Sooners know what caliber of player he is.

    Mead, who is 6'5.5" and 170 pounds, will remind many people in Norman of Malcolm Kelly. He has excellent size and length, plus his speed and quickness are deceptive assets. Mead attacks the ball with his hands, which makes him dangerous on fades in the red zone.

    He's not the best player in Oklahoma's class, but he will be a key piece to the Sooners offense in the future. 

Oregon: Jake LaCoste, RB

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    For some reason, a college program hasn't taken a chance on 2-star running back Jake LaCoste. All this guy did was lead the state of Oregon in rushing as a senior with 2,598 yards and 36 touchdowns, per MaxPreps

    LaCoste, who is 5'10" and 195 pounds, hails from West Albany High School. Both Oregon schools and Portland State are listed interests of LaCoste by 247Sports, but he has no offers. Air Force is listed by Scout.com. 

    He may not be as touted as Oregon running back Thomas Tyner, but LaCoste is going to produce for a college program somewhere. 

Pennsylvania: Chase Winovich, OLB

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    Pennsylvania is a huge football state, so the pool of players for this slot was massive. However, underrated 4-star linebacker Chase Winovich gets the nod.

    Michigan's class is full of great prospects, which has pushed Thomas Jefferson High School's finest down the pecking order in Big Blue's crew of recruits. 

    Although he split time between quarterback and linebacker, Winovich finished with 13 sacks last fall, according to MaxPreps. He's set to play outside 'backer for the Wolverines, but the 6'4" 215-pounder has some ability as a pass-rusher. 

Rhode Island: Matthew Sewall, QB

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    Matthew Sewall isn't a true college prospect, but he's a true football player.

    At 5'9" and 165 pounds, he rushed for 1,975 yards and 26 touchdowns for Portsmouth High School—as a quarterback—according to MaxPreps. He also added 73 tackles and two interceptions as a safety.

    Sewall isn't getting a lot of college interest, but he deserves to represent Rhode Island on a list such as this one. 

South Carolina: Christian Miller, OLB/DE

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    The player from the Palmetto State that you need to be most familiar with is 4-star pass-rusher Christian Miller.

    Committed to Alabama, he is a superstar in the making. He attends Spring Valley High School in Columbia, where he notched 24 sacks as a senior, according to 247Sports. He also had 188 tackles and forced four fumbles.

    At 6'4" and 222 pounds, he's a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in Alabama's base 3-4 defense. However, Miller has the ability to put his hand down to work as a classic defensive end when the Crimson Tide switches to four-man defensive fronts. 

    He could provide some value and production as a designated pass-rusher in sub-packages as a true freshman. 

South Dakota: Caden Quintanilla, RB

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    Caden Quintanilla is a 5'9", 170-pound running back from Lincoln High School in South Dakota. He's not big or getting a lot of attention from college programs.

    Yet he played like stud by rushing for 1,893 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Patriots in 2013. He's probably not going to be a star for a BCS program, but Quintanilla deserves a roster spot at a small school. 

Tennessee: Jalen Hurd, RB/ATH

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    A 4-star prospect, Jalen Hurd has been a superstar in Tennessee for the past several years. He set the state rushing record as a junior, according to 247Sports, with 3,357 yards and 43 touchdowns.

    However, his senior season was cut short due to a shoulder injury.

    At 6'3" and about 230 pounds, he is a big running back who actually has an elusive running style based on speed, acceleration and quickness.

    The Beech High School alumnus also possesses great ball skills and versatility, which is why he could see time at several different positions during his career at Tennessee.

Texas: Desmon White, QB

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    Stemming from a terrific story by Bleacher Report featured columnist Sanjay Kirpalani, 3-star quarterback Desmon White is the face and motivation for this entire list.

    Standing just 5'6", he weighs less than 150 pounds. But he shredded defenses in Texas during his career at DeSoto High School.

    He finished with more than 8,000 passing yards and 80 career touchdowns while also rushing for 3,847 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground, per 247Sports. DeSoto is one of the nation's top programs, competing in the 5A class in Texas, so it's not like White put up those numbers versus shaky competition.

    He's taken home a 5A MVP and Offensive Player of the Year award in the past two seasons, according to 247Sports.

    He didn't receive much interest from college coaches early on, but North Texas and TCU finally recognized his talent and offered in October. White is now committed to TCU, where his determination and athleticism should help the Horned Frogs in their quest to win the Big 12. 

    Claude Mathis, White's head coach at DeSoto, told Kirpalani in January 2014: "When you turn on the film with your staff and coaches and finally evaluate this kid, he’s a no-brainer."

Utah: Bryan Mone, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At a staggering 6'4" and 338 pounds, 4-star defensive tackle Bryan Mone has the size and strength to do what he wants in the trenches.

    He's the top player in Utah, which doesn't initially come to mind concerning top recruits. However, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke had no problem heading there to convince Mone to play in Ann Arbor, which should make Big Ten offensive linemen nervous.

    Mone has surprising quickness at the snap, as he can slip into gaps as well as anchor at the point of attack versus running plays. He flashes quick and violent hands, plus he can punch blockers with power.

    If he works hard and refines his hand usage, there's no reason why Mone shouldn't be able to dominate at Michigan. 

Vermont: Dan Blanchard, RB/S

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    America has many states that are known for producing fantastic football talent. Vermont is not one of them.

    However, a closer look revealed a solid player named Dan Blanchard. As a running back for the Mill River High School Minutemen, he ran for 1,840 yards and 22 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps

    He also caught 10 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns while totaling 44 tackles and three interceptions as a safety on defense. The 5'10" 175-pounder isn't getting much recruiting attention, but he's the most notable player from Vermont in the 2014 class. 

Virginia: Quin Blanding, S

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    Credit: 247Sports

    A 5-star safety, Quin Blanding is an exciting player from Virginia who is the total package. At 6'2" and 200 pounds, he could be a 5-star receiver or running back if he focused on those positions.

    However, he is a natural at safety. He has great athleticism and movement skills, but his intelligence, vision and instincts are his best attributes. He isn't manipulated by quarterbacks during his backpedal, plus he's explosive out of transition.

    He turns into a receiver when attacking the football by tracking throws with his eyes and concentration. Blanding is committed to Virginia, where it would not be shocking if he were named team captain at some point during his tenure. 

Washington: Budda Baker, ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The most exciting player in the state of Washington is 4-star athlete Budda Baker. A bundle of dynamite packed in a 5'9", 174-pound frame, he has great speed, balance, quickness and agility.

    He can impact a game by playing running back, receiver, cornerback, safety and Wildcat quarterback and returning punts and kicks. He has natural skills with the ball in his hands, as he's an instinctive playmaker with rare vision and awareness.

    Formerly committed to Oregon, Baker is now considering Washington and UCLA, per 247Sports.

West Virginia: Amanii Brown, OL

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Flying under the national radar is 3-star offensive lineman Amanii Brown. Although he's 6'5", the Mountain State native is relatively light at only 265 pounds.

    However, he has solid athleticism and strength, plus he does a good job when he's asked to pull and trap. The West Virginia commit has good toughness and grit in the trenches, which is why he probably is best suited to play guard in Morgantown. 

    Brown is an example of a program doing its homework, watching tape and finding value on the recruiting trail. 

Wisconsin: Jaden Gault, OT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Although he is an elite 4-star prospect, offensive tackle Jaden Gault could still emerge as a player who was overlooked when people reflect on this class in five years.

    At 6'7" and 305 pounds, he has excellent strength to handle defensive linemen. He also excels as a pass-blocker due to his quick feet, balance and agility. He does a good job of using his arms to ride rushers past the pocket, but he can stymie their progress with a hard punch when he wants to.

    You're looking at the next great offensive lineman at Wisconsin. 

    Benjamin Worgull said this about Gault in February 2013 on Scout.com (subscription required):

    Gault has the type of size and skills that coaches covet. Gault has good strength and punch off the line in run blocking and is a key figure in a red-zone or goal-line situation with his ability to bend and get leverage.

Wyoming: Austin Fort, QB

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    There's not many notable college recruits in Wyoming for the 2014 class, but 2-star quarterback Austin Fort is the guy you should know about.

    At 6'4" and 210 pounds, Fort's size leads many to believe he is a pocket passer. However, that is nowhere near true. He has terrific mobility and quickness, which allows him to elude rushers and buy time for his receivers to get open.

    He's not going drive the football downfield with impressive arm strength, but he'll get it to his targets in adequate fashion. Fort is committed to Wyoming, where he has a chance to develop into a solid starter for the Cowboys in time. 

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    The 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map features several recruits on this list that you should know about!

    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.