College Football Recruiting 2013: 12 Best Recruits for the Spread Offense
The en vogue offense in today's college and high school football ranks is the spread offense. It is an offense that aims to exploit defenses by wide formations, forcing them to disclose their coverages and widen their front seven alignments for creases in the run game.
Many recruits of today run some form of the offense at their high schools and will continue to operate in an offense with spread principles and concepts when they arrive in college. This list will look at 12 prospects from the 2013 recruiting class that have the skill sets that project as prime fits in a spread offense in college.
This is not a rankings piece, but rather, a list or group of prospects that should translate best into a spread offense.
Kailo Moore, RB
Moore is a 5'11", 185-pound back from Mississippi that would fit well in a spread offense because he's dangerous in space. Moore likes to jump to the edges and get to the perimeter to stay clean from tacklers.
The spread offense would also be a good fit for him because of his speed and quickness. Moore is one of the fastest players in the country.
Robbie Rhodes, WR
Rhodes would be electric in a spread offense, and that should be the case at Baylor. He's a 6'1", 190-pound receiver that has smooth athleticism, good speed and has the potential to be a great route runner.
Rhodes, from Texas, also has great hands and is a very good RAC player. His competitiveness and skill set would work well in a spread look.
Tyrone Swoopes, QB
Swoopes may not be the best QB in the pocket and needs to refine his mechanics, but this 6'4", 230-pound athlete can be a dynamite spread offensive QB.
Swoopes has excellent size and is very athletic for the QB position.
If you put him in a system where the reads are simple and also build in designed runs to exploit his speed and playmaking ability, then you may have a Vince Young at Texas type of player, at Texas.
O.J. Howard, TE
I believe that 6'5", 225-pound Howard is has the traits to play a hybrid WR/TE role in a spread attack. He shows great speed, release quickness, ball skills and incredible athleticism.
You can flex Howard out on the perimeter and let him work out there or move him into the seams and match up him on safeties and linebackers to rack up yardage in a spread offense.
Dontre Wilson, RB
At 5'10", 174 pounds, Wilson was born to be a spread offense RB. He has outstanding quickness, elusiveness and speed, which all are great fits to tote the rock in the spread.
Wilson can pick and slide behind the line, exploit creases provided by wide splits and also be used as a receiver out of the backfield on swings, bubbles and smokes.
These are all things he will do at Oregon.
Chris Johnson, QB
Johnson is going to Baylor with Rhodes, and they should make a lethal offensive combination. The dual threat QB stands 6'4", 210 pounds and has great physical tools.
Johnson shows a strong arm to rifle throws all over the field, including the ability to attack deep and outside the numbers.
A spread offensive coordinator can also install the read option with Johnson, as he has the speed to turn the corner of defenses and reel off long runs.
Tarean Folston RB
Folston is from Florida and stands 5'9", 190 pounds. He has a thicker body than his measurables suggest and runs with a fair amount of pop.
However, he also has the makings of a great spread RB. Folston has excellent feet, can stop and start with ease while displaying remarkable explosiveness.
He shows decisive vision and big-play ability that could be maximized in a spread offense.
Robert Foster, WR
Foster has too much speed, burst, explosiveness, release quickness and RAC skills to not be included on this list. The Pennsylvania native is a 6'2", 190-pound receiver that pretty much every school in the country wants.
I can easily see Foster producing in a spread offense thanks to his ability to eat up cushion, use smooth athleticism and separation quickness to get open.
Cord Sandberg, QB
Sandberg is from Florida and is headed to play in a spread offense under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. The 6'2", 200-pound signal caller is at his best when throwing on the run and can be used on sprints, rolls, boots, waggles and nakeds.
He has good athleticism and can also run the zone-read option stuff that many spread QB's do. Sandberg works well from the pocket and has great touch on his throws.
The lefty looks to be a great looking spread offense QB.
Jalin Marshall, RB/ATH
The super versatile Marshall is committed to Ohio State, where he will play in Urban Meyer's version of the spread, known as the "Spread Option." Marshall has a lot of the same traits as Percy Harvin had when he arrived at Florida.
At 5'11" and close to 200 pounds, Marshall combines speed, athletic ability, elusiveness, quickness and natural instincts with the football to do many things. He can play QB, RB, WR and also return kicks and punts.
Meyer will definitely use his spread offense to accent Marshall's many talents.
LaQuvionte Gonzalez, WR
Gonzalez looks a little bit like a stick figure at 5'10" and barely 150 pounds, but he can flat-out fly. This guy's speed shows up on tape, and he projects well in Kliff Kingsbury's spread offense at Texas A&M.
Gonzalez can work as a receiver, use his speed to skate away from coverage, get the football and outrun teams to pay dirt.
I can see him being a Randall Cobb-type of player in College Station, where he plays a little WR, slot receiver and also takes handoffs while returning on special teams.
Thomas Tyner, RB
Tyner is 6'0", just about 220 pounds and plays RB. You'd think at that size that he'd be a more of a strong, power guy but actually, Tyner is probably the fastest player in the nation.
He's headed to Oregon, and his speed and running style translate well into Chip Kelly's spread offensive scheme. Tyner doesn't like to mix it up much between the tackles, rather using his remarkable speed to jump to the corners, square his shoulders and jet upfield.
He'll see a lot of creases and loose fronts in Eugene, to which he will exploit in the Ducks' spread attack.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.