In the recruiting blogosphere, skill position players drive for show and the uglies on either line putt for dough. If you’re a stable individual checking in on the alma mater’s future, a 5-star running back or the savior of a quarterback satiates the need to know fascination before they appear on the field as college freshmen. If you’re depraved and the author sits squarely in that mold, offensive linemen from small towns and linebackers with the frame and quickness for end represent a different level of addiction with talent acquisition. And that’s what recruiting boils down to, accruing as many high school prospects with FBS ability as possible.
For whatever reason, mostly the flair of lighting 40-times and the beauty of a completed post route, wide receivers generate gobs of recruiting buzz. So while coaches in Mike Leach’s mold might craft a diamond out of a 2-star from western Washington, the national names and their choices reflect the position. Divas. It’s far from a negative connotation because why wouldn’t wide outs be that way? They’re fast, strong and tasked with scoring touchdowns. Few kids dream of plowing through a defensive tackle on a counter play but streaking for an 80-yard score? You have my attention.
According to 247Sports, five of the current top ten wide receivers in the 2013 class are uncommitted. Let’s delve in and see where these potential Michael Irvin’s might be headed.
2nd ranked Robert Foster:
His measurables certainly scream 5-star. Foster is 6’3, 190 and runs a blazing 4.49. A native of Pennsylvania, Foster announced a top seven a month ago (with Ohio State, USC and Michigan involved) but Pitt and Alabama appear the current favorites. Will he visit Tuscaloosa again? Another Crimson Tide BCS win or national title could sway the talented wide out south though distance remains a deciding factor for many high school prospects. Landing Foster coupled with the mess at Penn State could elevate new Panthers head coach Paul Chryst in the eyes of in-state high schools.
4th ranked Stacy Coley:
A 4-star from Fort Lauderdale, Coley represents the type of athlete the Sunshine State produces in spades. That is, unfairly quick and ready to terrorize opposing secondaries. 6’1, 175 and sporting a 4.5, Coley is listed as the nation’s 49th prospect overall. He appears willing to look out of state, as evidenced by a trip to Ole Miss this week, but Florida State and South Florida probably have an edge as February approaches. In recruiting, there are always exceptions, but if a player hasn’t committed to an out-of-state school by the summer, I’m betting on the regional powers.
5th ranked Laquon Treadwell:
By the time I press “publish” on this, there’s a decent chance Treadwell may have already committed. From Crete, Illinois, the spectacular wide out is 6’3, 195 with 4.4 speed. Michigan leads and as previously mentioned, an addition to the stellar 2013 Wolverine class probably isn’t far off. The player has said he’d like to visit Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before pulling the trigger but the allure of joining the rebuilding project in Ann Arbor may change those plans. Besides the Sooners, Wolverines and Cowboys, Auburn is also involved.
7th ranked James Quick:
Aptly named as a wide receiver, Quick boasts a 4-star rating and pressure from his hometown to commit to Charlie Strong‘s burgeoning Big East program. Louisville leads for Quick’s services but he’s also noted Oregon in the past as a competitor. It’s hard to knock any skill player with wheels who treks to Eugene. Chip Kelly‘s offense is a haven of pitches, sweeps and allowing his sprinters the space to house any touch. Still, the Cardinals seem the winning bet here. Ohio State and Oregon scare the Louisville faithful, but Quick stays home.
10th ranked MarQuez North:
A native of Charlotte, North’s locale puts him right in the recruiting vortex of Dabo Swinney and Clemson. And since the Tigers continue amassing local talent in droves, there’s no reason to doubt them on this 6’4, 212, 4.41 speed demon. But North remains open according to his public comments and a clear leader hasn’t emerged in this hunt. Expect North Carolina, North Carolina State, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee to point their compass toward him until Signing Day.