With the final quarter of the 2014 recruiting cycle approaching, 247Sports takes a look at the best prospects available at each position. In this series, the industry-generated 247Composite is utilized, which compiles the ratings and rankings used by the major recruiting services and is used in the 247Sports Team Recruiting Rankings, making them the most unbiased and comprehensive in the recruiting industry.
Damian Prince could trim his list soon.
In this feature, we check out the five best available offensive tackles. This group includes a five-star prospect and four others considered among the top 170 prospects in the 247Composite. One of, if not the most difficult position to evaluate on offense, these five tackles are in the midst of some of the fiercest recruiting battles of the 2014 cycle.
1. Damian Prince, District Heights, (Md.) Bishop McNamara
The five-star tackle has yet to publicly trim his top ten (Alabama, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Maryland, Ohio St., Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt), but could do so in the next few weeks. Ohio State recently offered another offensive tackle in Frank Ragnow (Chanhassen, Minn./Chanhassen), perhaps signaling how the Buckeyes feel about their chances with Prince. After he trims his list to five, look for Prince to set official visits in December and January. Florida and Florida State are in the best shape to get him on campus, with Maryland being so close that he might forgo taking an official there so he can see a new place. Most feel his recruit will come down to in-state Maryland and Florida State, with the Seminoles recently handing the Terrapins their first loss 63-0. That has to help FSU’s chances with Prince, who intends to announce his decision after signing day on Feb. 14 in honor of his late great-grandmother, who had a strong presence in his upbringing.
2. Casey Tucker, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
Since decommitting from USC back in April, Tucker has been mostly quiet about the recruiting process. Right now he intends on setting up officials to ASU, Stanford, Oregon and Texas A&M, most likely after his season is over. As it stands, things are trending well for the Cardinal to land Tucker.
Crystal Ball: 87 percent Texas A&M, 13 percent Arizona State
3. David Sharpe, Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence
Early on, Sharpe was considered a heavy lean to Florida, with numerous visits to the nearby campus and both Sharpe and his father speaking very highly of the program. Late in the summer, Georgia trended for the mammoth tackle, who has taken in three Georgia games so far this season. While his interest in the Bulldogs remains high, he wants to visit more schools to make sure he finds the right fit. A major factor in his decision will be the chance to play early, and the family would like to check out programs like Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU and possibly Georgia again, just to leave no stone unturned. Sharpe takes the ACT later this month and will schedule official visits shortly after, with intentions of making his decision by the end of December. Keep an eye on the Seminoles here, especially if they can get him on campus soon.
4. Roderick Johnson, Florissant (Mo.) Hazelwood Central
Johnson is focusing on his season; at least that is what he will tell you if you inquire about his recruitment. He says Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri and Florida State are recruiting him the hardest, but he has yet to set any official visits. With a signing day decision on tap, expect Johnson to keep everyone guessing until the end.
Crystal Ball: 100 percent FSU
5. Alex Bookser, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Mt. Lebanon
Michigan State, Tennessee and Virginia are still in contention for Bookser, but with his preference to stay close to home, his decision will likely come down to Penn State, Ohio State and Pitt. As stated before, the Buckeyes appear to be looking elsewhere to fill its need at offensive tackle, making the recruiting battle for Bookser a Keystone State cat fight between the Panthers and the Nittany Lions. Nearby Pitt might have the edge at the moment.
Crystal Ball: 89 percent Pitt, 11 percent Ohio State