Sometimes all it takes is one offer. Sometimes all it takes is that first big offer. Whatever the case may be we see it year after year: a previously lightly recruited prospect sees a trickle of offers become a dam break with the arrival of the spring evaluation period.
Troy Bacon was a standout at the L.A. Nike Camp.
On April 15, college coaches around the country will hit the road for a crucial piece of the recruiting evaluation process. Between that date and May 31, you will see a flurry of offers delivered and a few prospects emerge from relative anonymity to a national recruit. Over the course of that month and a half, here are 10 prospects from around the country that are candidates for a swift rise on the national radar.
Troy Bacon, OG, Apple Valley (Calif.) High School
Listed as a guard, Bacon is not listed that way due to any athletic deficiencies on the edge but more because he’s a bit of a size tweener at around 6-3, 281 pounds. What he has is tremendous feet, athleticism and reactive quickness. At the Los Angeles Nike Camp, Bacon was one of the most athletic offensive linemen in attendance and protected the edge with ease in one-on-ones. Currently TCU is his only offer but Oregon, Oregon State and others have shown legitimate interest.
Dominic Collins, WR, Lake Forest (Calif.) El Toro
The West is absolutely loaded in 2014 at the wide receiver position and amid all that talent, Collins is a player that has managed to slip through the cracks. The tall, rangy wide receiver has been nothing but productive over the past two seasons. He caught 51 passes for 747 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore and then turned around and touched 1013 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns on 82 catches. Though the public film on Collins is sparse, schools will find him soon enough.
D’Andre Ferby, RB, Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth
Coaches should be plenty impressed by D'Andre Ferby's physical stature.
Ferby had a double whammy in 2012 to limit his national exposure. Not only was he playing behind one of the all-time leading rushers in the state of Tennessee in Miami signee Cornelius Elder but he was also slowed by an injury that knocked him out of the bulk of the season. In 2013, Ferby will emerge as the primary ball-carrier at a school that has won three straight state championships and he has the physical frame at 6-1, 200 pounds that college coaches tend to salivate over.
Denzel Fisher, CB, Compton (Calif.) Centennial
At the Los Angeles Nike Camp, Denzel Fisher was not a name that many knew much about prior to the event but afterwards, with an MVP award in his hand, everyone knew who the long cornerback prospect was. Since that event only San Diego State has offered but we’re betting that once schools see how fluid Fisher is in coverage and how long he is from a frame perspective, the offers will start flowing quickly. He’s a no-doubt BCS level corner.
Quinton Flowers, DQB, Miami (Fla.) Jackson
It may be the position that is scaring off the big name programs right now. Flowers is a high school quarterback that could be an outstanding wide receiver on the next level. But he also just might be a darn good signal-caller. Flowers’ passing ability is not to be dismissed but it’s his highlight-worthy scrambling ability that will leave the strongest impression. Currently Flowers’ offer list reads off schools like Marshall, Appalachian State and UCF. But Florida State, Miami and Alabama are among some big name schools that have been keeping a close eye on the dynamic athlete.
Jaeden Graham, S, Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek
One of the more interesting prospects in the West, Graham used to be a backup quarterback for his high school program but the 6-3, 210-pound athlete was too athletic to leave on the bench and once he got on the field as a junior, his athleticism flashed in a hurry. Graham will be a physical presence that also has the athleticism to develop extremely quickly at the safety position. Though he’s extremely raw and inexperienced, Graham has some ability reminiscent of Notre Dame defender Zeke Motta.
Jyaz Jones, S, Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff
A nagging hamstring injury that Jones was never quite able to get over disrupted his plans for a breakout junior season. But that still hasn’t slowed the likes of Iowa, Texas Tech, New Mexico State and Colorado State from offering. This spring, when he’s finally able to work out in front of college coaches, that offer list should expand exponentially. Jones will pass all of the ‘look tests’ with flying colors and athletically, he’s a no-doubt kind of kid. Those factors have led to Jones’ earning a four-star rating on 247Sports and we expect college coaches to agree in due time.
John Plattenburg, CB, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
When college coaches construct a recruiting trip to southern California, one of the must-hit programs is Corona Centennial. With heavy traffic coming from college coaches comes the opportunity for Plattenburg to take off nationally. The long, rangy cornerback has picked up early offers from Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State but his natural ability on film, his versatility and his pedigree from a nationally renowned program are all ingredients that should see Plattenburg become a highly-regarded west coast defensive back.
Maurice Ways, WR, Franklin (Mich.) Detroit Country Day
If you follow recruiting even passingly in the Midwest, you’ve heard of the big, talented Derek Kief at wide receiver. We’re hear to tell you that you need to know the name Ways too if you don’t already. The 6-4, 195-pound big body caught 51 passes for 957 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior and to date, his offer list consists of Kansas, Iowa, Ball State, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan. With the way he moves on film, the ball skills he shows and the big play ability he threatens, Ways could see his offer list triple over the next month.
Kendarius Webster, CB, Stockbridge (Ga.) High School
As a junior, Webster missed five games due to injury but that didn’t limit him from putting together some impressive 2012 film and 38 tackles. A cornerback with good size, Webster also happens to have some speed to go with it. He was a sub-11 second 100 meter sprinter as a sophomore and has already tested well at combines this spring. To date, Webster has landed offers from the likes of Mississippi State, Kentucky and Missouri but that could be just the tip of the iceberg. Look for Webster to add a number of big name offers with a healthy spring.
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