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National Signing Day 2014: Tracking Where Every 5-Star Recruit Lands

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 27, 2014

National Signing Day 2014: Tracking Where Every 5-Star Recruit Lands

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    247Sports

    Hundreds of recruits are available each year, but the cream of the crop are the 5-star prospects. These players are regarded as the best of the bunch, as they are rare talents who have the skills to become elite college difference-makers.

    For the 2014 class, 247Sports' composite board lists 33 recruits who are deserving of a full five stars. Check out the following slides to see where they'll be playing their college ball. 

     

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.com, Rivals and 247Sports.

Nick Chubb, RB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Georgia

    Hailing from Georgia, Nick Chubb is a 5-star running back who is staying in the Peach State. The Georgia Bulldogs will welcome him to Athens, as he should become a good one.

    At 5'11" and 216 pounds, Chubb has a good combination of quickness and strength. He can shoot through creases from behind the line of scrimmage before powerfully running through arm tackles to get to the second level.

    Chubb has just enough wiggle and speed in the open field to break long runs. He needs to polish his receiving skills, but he'll be fine at UGA.

Malik McDowell, DL

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    247Sports

    Projection: Michigan State

    Actually committed to: Michigan State, per Allen Trieu of Scout.com

    At 6'7" and 290 pounds, 5-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell already has the size of a college player. The Michigan native is an above-average athlete for his position, plus he has surprising quickness at the snap.

    While McDowell has spent most of his career on the edge, he likely will move inside to defensive tackle in college. He has good strength at the point of attack, as well as impressive range and quickness in pursuit.

    On Jan. 27, he tweeted his top four schools: Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State and Ohio State.

KD Cannon, WR

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    Signed with: Baylor

    KD Cannon is a 5-star receiver from Texas who will be feared by secondaries all around the Big 12 soon. He's a speedster who uses his 6'0", 162-pound frame to launch into his routes off the line.

    While Cannon has the vision and awareness to settle into holes in coverage, he's at his best when he's asked to beat secondaries over the top using his speed. He needs to expand his route tree, but Cannon's ability to quickly get out of his breaks should be an asset in this area of development.

    Finally, Cannon possesses terrific hands to naturally pluck passes out of the air with his mitts.

    Martin Rickman of Sports Illustrated said securing an elite athlete like Cannon will help continue Baylor's recent trend of high-powered offenses.

Tre' Williams, LB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Auburn

    At 6'3" and 237 pounds, 5-star linebacker Tre' Williams is a good fit for Auburn's defense. The Alabama native is a tough and smart 'backer who does a solid job of quickly locating the football.

    Williams has the requisite short-area quickness to explode to running backs in the box to make stops. Before arriving at the ball, Williams plays big at the point of attack by using his strength to fight through blocks.

    He could become a defensive captain on The Plains one day.

Clifton Garrett, LB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: LSU

    While he is from Illinois, Clifton Garrett's style of play fits best in the SEC. At 6'2" and 228 pounds, Garrett loves to mix it up with anyone at anytime.

    The 5-star prospect explodes into gaps when he reads a running play, and he delivers powerful blows to blockers at the point of attack. Garrett has the strength to shed, but he also has impressive short-area quickness and range to track running backs to the edges of the box.

    The future LSU Tiger hits like a truck, plus he is developing into an adequate defender in coverage.

Damian Prince, OL

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    Projection: Maryland

    Actually signed with: Maryland, per Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports

    Damian Prince is a talented 5-star offensive tackle from Maryland. He is improving his strength, but his athleticism and mobility are what separate him from many other offensive-line prospects.

    Prince, who is 6'5" and 295 pounds, would be an excellent fit in a zone-blocking rushing attack. He has quick feet, plus his agility allows him to get his hat on linebackers with ease. Prince can dance with rushers in space as a pass-blocker, as he slides and mirrors well during his sets.

    He is considering Maryland, Florida and South Carolina, per 247Sports.

Solomon Thomas, DL

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    Projection: Stanford

    Actually signed with: Stanford, per Rivals

    Solomon Thomas has the versatility to play several different defensive-line positions in a variety of schemes. He can play strong-side defensive end and rush as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment, and he can also play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

    Thomas, who is 6'2.5" and 258 pounds, is a 5-star prospect who hails from Texas. His quickness off the ball has improved over time, but his strength to set the edge versus the run is still his best asset. Thomas does a solid job of gaining leverage at the point of attack, shedding and pursuing the ball.

    He is favoring Stanford over UCLA and Arkansas, according to 247Sports.

Ermon Lane, WR

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    Projection: Florida State

    Actually signed with: Florida State, per Noles247.com

    Receiver Ermon Lane is a quicker-than-fast athlete who makes plays on the perimeter.

    The Florida native is a 6'3", 193-pounder with the ability to quickly get into his routes off the line. Lane has adequate strength, but he escapes jams by maneuvering around cornerbacks. He can sharply cut, which is why he has a high ceiling as a route-runner.

    Lane has a large catch radius, as he has the hands and dexterity to adjust to various throws around his frame. Miami is in the mix for the former Florida commit, per 247Sports, but he is Florida State's to lose.

Roc Thomas, RB

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    Signed with: Auburn

    With Auburn running a spread offense, it has to find running backs on the recruiting trail who can catch the football. Roc Thomas just so happens to be comfortable in the passing game, as the 5-star running back from Alabama has polished receiving skills.

    However, he's still a runner who attacks front-seven alignments with power, strength and quickness. Thomas, who is 5'11" and 196 pounds, has the vision and cutting ability to get to the edges in a flash. He runs awfully hard each carry, plus he can break a tackle or two.

    He's a future offensive cornerstone for the Tigers.

Raekwon McMillan, LB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Ohio State

    At 6'2" and 242 pounds, Raekwon McMillan is one of the bigger linebackers in the country. The 5-star recruit has a thick frame that packs a mean punch at the point of attack.

    McMillan, who is from Georgia, exhibits explosiveness versus the run. He strikes blockers with power before shedding them to meet running backs near the line of scrimmage.

    McMillan has the range to reach the ball on the edges, plus he has the athleticism and speed to develop into a solid defender of tight ends and running backs while dropping back into coverage.

Joe Mixon, RB

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    Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

    Signed with: Oklahoma

    Joe Mixon is a 5-star running back who will get to Oklahoma by way of the San Francisco area. At 6'2" and 195 pounds, Mixon has a tall frame for a running back and looks like a receiver right now.

    Speaking of receiver, Mixon is a great one out of the backfield. He also can run routes on the perimeter before naturally hauling in passes. However, the future Sooner still has the strength and power to run between the tackles, plus he has the straight-line speed to gallop for big gains.

Lorenzo Carter, DE

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    Projection: Georgia

    Actually signed with: Georgia, per 247Sports

    Lorenzo Carter is a 5-star defensive end from Georgia with a ton of natural talent. The 6'5", 232-pounder has a prototypical frame for his position, plus he's a fantastic athlete.

    Carter has the quickness to explode off the edge at the snap. His length allows him to keep blockers from getting to his body, and Carter also has the ability to bend when rushing. He possesses the speed to close on the ball, as well as rare range versus running plays.

    Georgia, Florida State, Florida, LSU and Alabama are his top schools, according to 247Sports.

    According to Kipp Adams of 247Sports, Carter said at his press conference on Feb. 5: "After thinking long and hard, praying about it, talking with my family, I will be spending my next four years at Georgia. That defense will be nasty under coach (Jeremy) Pruitt."

Malachi Dupre, WR

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    Projection: LSU

    Actually signed with: LSU, per 247Sports

    A future No. 1 receiving target, 5-star prospect Malachi Dupre has a high ceiling. He's 6'2.5" and 187 pounds, and he will get bigger in college.

    Dupre, who is from Louisiana, has the ability to release quickly off the line and separate from cornerbacks at junctions. He has natural ball skills, plus he can catch in a crowd. Dupre is a smooth athlete who has gliding speed to get around the field, as well as deceptive strength when running after the catch.

    He is considering LSU, UCLA, Alabama and Florida State, per 247Sports.

Bo Scarbrough, ATH

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Alabama

    At 6'2" and 225 pounds, 5-star prospect Bo Scarbrough could play an array of positions for Alabama. Running back is his natural spot, but Scarbrough can play receiver, linebacker and a little defensive back.

    He's at his best in a straight line, as that is when the Alabama native's speed allows him to run by people. Scarbrough possesses the strength and power to play physical football, plus he has the natural hands and finesse that make catching the ball second nature.

    It'll be interesting to see what 'Bama ultimately does with him.

Rashaan Evans, DE/OLB

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    Projection: Auburn

    Actually signed with: Alabama, per Charles Power of Bama Online

    Rashaan Evans is a coveted recruit due to his rare ability to play on all three levels of a defense. While defensive end is the 6'3", 220-pound Alabama native's natural position, he can also play linebacker and a rover/strong safety role.

    Evans has a quick first step at the snap, plus he has good strength at the point of attack. He loves to attack the pocket with speed, but he can convert it to power when fighting blockers.

    Auburn, Alabama and UCLA are in the hunt, according to 247Sports.

Jalen Tabor, DB

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    Signed with: Florida

    Jalen Tabor committed to Arizona earlier this month but flipped to Florida several days later. While he is not the fastest cornerback in the nation, the Washington, D.C., native is a 6'1", 182-pounder with impressive instincts.

    Tabor is at his best when he can press and jam receivers at the line with his long arms and bully them toward the sideline. Once he has them pinned, he does a great job of hustling to carry them downfield while looking for the ball. 

    With his solid ball skills, don't be shocked if the Gators eventually make him a safety.

Jamal Adams, S

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    Signed with: LSU

    Among the most complete defensive players in the country is 5-star safety Jamal Adams, who is from Texas. At 6'0" and 199 pounds, Adams is an excellent athlete who has great speed and quickness in transition.

    He plays with fantastic instincts on the third level, as the Texan has good vision versus running plays and great ball-location tendencies versus passing plays. Adams can disrupt passing lanes, plus he has the ability to work as an extra linebacker in the box.

    LSU will love him.

Chad Thomas, DE

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Miami

    At 6'5" and 240 pounds, 5-star defensive end Chad Thomas could emerge as the best player at his position from this class.

    Thomas, who is from Florida, is an explosive pass-rusher who also has the strength to hold his own against the run. He can shoot upfield at the snap to quickly pounce on blockers, plus he doesn't back down from massive offensive linemen.

    Thomas can play with power, and he possesses solid functional strength to fight through blocks to get to the ball. There's no reason for Miami to redshirt him this fall.

John Smith, ATH

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    247Sports

    Projection: USC

    Actually signed with: USC, per Lindsey Thiry of Scout.com

    Long Beach Poly High School in California is one of the best high school football programs in America. It has produced a great deal of NFL players, and college coaches flock to its campus every year.

    With so much tradition and history, 5-star athlete John Smith is keeping the trend going. At 6'1" and 200 pounds, Smith has the speed, quickness, vision and strength to become a fantastic receiver or safety in college.

    He's an agile athlete who does not have many limitations in his athleticism, plus he displays noticeable explosiveness in pursuit of the football. Smith will have to settle on one position in college, but he'll flourish once he does.

    USC, Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA are among the top schools he's considering, according to 247Sports.

Andrew Brown, DT

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    Signed with: Virginia

    A co-headliner of Virginia's class, Andrew Brown is an intimidating 5-star defensive tackle who is an in-state commitment for the Cavaliers.

    Standing 6'4", Brown likely weighs more than his listed weight of 282 pounds. He has great first-step quickness at the snap, plus he plays like a beast at the point of attack. Brown is sturdy on his feet, but he can also drop his anchor to clog the trenches versus running plays.

    The future Cavalier is a solid pass-rusher who can slip creases to use his short-area burst to chase quarterbacks.

Kyle Allen, QB

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    Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

    Signed with: Texas A&M

    From Arizona, 5-star quarterback Kyle Allen has the skill set to shred defenses in the passing game. He's 6'2.5" and 185 pounds, plus he possesses above-average arm strength.

    However, Allen's accuracy and anticipation skills are his top attributes. He can throw into windows, while also displaying the confidence to release the ball before his targets come out of their breaks. He'll throw a receiver open, as well as use his mobility to buy time.

    Allen could see action in College Station as early as this fall.

Dalvin Cook, RB

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    Signed with: Florida State

    Clemson and Florida each once had 5-star running back Dalvin Cook's commitment, but he's now a Florida State Seminole.

    Cook, who is 5'11" and 190 pounds, is a Miami native who exhibits exceptional speed and quickness. He has a fluid but shifty running style that puts pressure on the defense anytime he touches the ball.

    While Cook's vision stands to improve with more carries in college, he's a talented runner who should provide many highlights in Tallahassee.

Sony Michel, RB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Georgia

    On the radar since the eighth grade, 5-star running back Sony Michel is close to being a complete player at his position. Aside from subtle improvements at the college level to his areas of strength, the final thing Michel needs to work on is his pass-protection technique.

    This is a 5'11", 205-pound runner who can do just about everything. Michel has the quickness to fire through holes and elude defenders, as well as the strength to escape tackles. He has excellent balance to stay on his feet, plus Michel possesses breakaway speed in the open field.

    From a mental standpoint, the Florida native has great instincts and vision and works hard at his craft. He is also an effective weapon in the passing game.

Marlon Humphrey, CB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Alabama

    Instincts, vision, awareness and anticipation are the best attributes of 5-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey. It also helps that the Alabama native is a 6'1", 175-pound athlete who excels as a sprinter.

    Humphrey performs at his best in off-man and zone schemes, as he can sit back and read routes. He'll develop into a better press cornerback when he gets stronger, but he already possesses the long arms needed to excel at that technique.

    Humphrey has above-average speed for his position, as well as great ball skills and concentration. 

Adoree' Jackson, CB/ATH

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    247Sports

    Projection: Florida

    Actually committed to: USC, per 247Sports

    Although he's only 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, 5-star prospect Adoree' Jackson plays like he's 6'3". He's a marvelous and gifted athlete who has surprising strength for a player of his stature.

    What Jackson lacks in polish and technique, he makes up for in athleticism and instincts. Cornerback is where he'll likely play in college, but he has the speed, vision and quickness to be fantastic as a running back or receiver.

    Florida, USC, LSU and UCLA are schools in the mix, according to 247Sports.

Da'Shawn Hand, DE

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    Signed with: Alabama

    At 6'4" and 265 pounds, 5-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand is on an intriguing career path. While he could settle in as a classic defensive end on the edge, don't count out Hand growing into a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

    He also could shed some weight and work as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, plus playing defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment when he's older is not out of the question. Hand has good quickness at the snap, but it's his strength that allows him to make plays.

    This is a guy who has no issues stacking blocks and setting the edge versus the run. He can effortlessly shed blockers at the point of attack to make stops, plus the Virginia native has the ability to rapidly close on the ball in pursuit.

Quin Blanding, S

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Virginia

    Among two 5-star commitments for Virginia, 5-star safety Quin Blanding is one of the top prospects at his position in recent memory.

    Blanding, who is 6'2" and 200 pounds, has above-average speed to make plays on the back end. He gets a jump on the ball by using his outstanding instincts and vision, plus he has the ability to shoot out of transition.

    Blanding has great ball skills, but don't sleep on him as an enforcer in the box. He'll squeeze the line of scrimmage versus the run before laying a thump on a running back.

    He should be able to play early in Charlottesville.

Myles Garrett, DE

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    Signed with: Texas A&M

    Myles Garrett is a 5-star defensive end from Texas who has as much potential as any player in this class. At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Garrett has the ability to crash off the edge with strength and quickness.

    His athleticism allows him great range, plus he has the speed to catch running backs from the backside of a play. Garrett can convert speed to power as a rusher before accelerating to the quarterback for the finish.

    He needs to make better use of his hands, but that will come with higher-level coaching. Look for Garrett to get on the field this year for the Aggies.

Speedy Noil, WR/ATH

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    Signed with: Texas A&M

    A New Orleans native, 5-star recruit Speedy Noil is the most exciting offensive player in the nation. Noil has exceptional explosiveness, speed, quickness, agility, athleticism and instincts with the ball.

    The 5'10.5", 176-pounder is a self-assured athlete who is a cross between St. Louis Rams receiver Tavon Austin and Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin. Noil can do damage as a receiver, running back, Wildcat quarterback and returner.

    He's an outstanding fit for Texas A&M's spread offense.

Tony Brown, CB

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    Signed with: Alabama

    Tony Brown is a 5-star defensive back who can do just about everything. He has great size at 6'0" and 188 pounds, as well as nice strength and terrific speed.

    Brown, who is from Texas, has excellent short-area quickness in coverage. He can walk up and jam receivers at the line, plus he has the ability to recover with ease. Brown has loose hips in off-man coverage in addition to the vision and instincts enabling him to make plays in zone schemes. 

    If he can learn the defensive playbook during the spring, Brown could play early in Tuscaloosa.

Cameron Robinson, OL

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    247Sports

    Signed with: Alabama

    At 6'7" and 335 pounds, Cameron Robinson is a 5-star left tackle who can go toe-to-toe with any rusher in space. He's a rare find on the recruiting trail, as men this big usually don't possess the skills Robinson has.

    Hailing from Louisiana, Robinson bends naturally at the knees, which helps him explode out of his stance. He rarely gets beat to his post when deep-setting, plus the dancing bear can slide and mirror defensive ends in his sleep. 

    While he needs to get stronger, Robinson plays to his size at the point of attack. He's a solid run-blocker who can execute several types of blocks, while also being capable of reaching linebackers on the second level.

    True freshmen usually don't start on the offensive line in the SEC, but Robinson has a chance to be an exception.

Jabrill Peppers, ATH

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    Signed with: Michigan

    With his instincts, awareness, intelligence and athletic ability, there's not much 5-star recruit Jabrill Peppers can't do on the field.

    The New Jersey native is a 6'1", 205-pounder who is blessed with excellent speed, agility, strength, quickness, leaping ability, vision and balance. Peppers will likely play cornerback at Michigan, but he can equally and effectively excel as a running back, safety, receiver or returner.

    Peppers is simply too good of a football player to become a bust in Ann Arbor.

Leonard Fournette, RB

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    247Sports

    Signed with: LSU

    A New Orleans native, Leonard Fournette is a 5-star running back with an all-around skill set. At 6'1" and 226 pounds, Fournette has an excellent combination of strength, vision, instincts, above-average speed and quickness, tackle-breaking ability and receiving skills.

    He's a bell-cow running back who can beat defenses between the tackles, as well as on the perimeter. Fournette is comfortable catching the football in the passing game, plus he'll be a complete player once he learns his role in pass protection.

    He should immediately be a factor in LSU's offense as a true freshman.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    The 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map should be your main tool through national signing day!

     

    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.

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