10 Underrated 2014 College Football Recruits You Need to Know More About
Will Grier Via 247Sports
The world of college football recruiting is all about hype and anticipation, and without a doubt there are a few 2014 recruits who are already receiving a ton of attention even though we're still just weeks removed from national signing day 2013.
While those three players, plus many more 5-star recruits, undoubtedly have great potential, there are also a plethora of recruits who may not be getting the big headlines or 5-star rankings—but they have just as much potential star power.
If you're a fan of college football recruiting, you need to check out these 10 underrated 2014 recruits:
Jordan Poland, 4-Star OT, La Jolla Country Day School (CA) *USC
Jordan Poland has the potential to play far above his 4-star ranking.
The first thing that's worth mentioning is his size, because he has elite measurables as a junior in high school. Poland checks in at 6'6.5'', 335 pounds, according to 247Sports.
His size alone gives him immense potential, but he also displays all the intangibles of an elite left tackle. He has good footwork, and he has the quickness to get to the second level and be effective against linebackers.
Poland also uses his hands well as a blocker and gets good extension and punch. He displays good drive and keeps his feet moving through the block.
Overall, Poland has the abilities to be a dominant left tackle at the college football level in time.
He's currently committed to USC.
Jordan Hoiem, 4-Star OLB, Baldwin High School (HI)
Keep an eye out for Jordan Hoiem out of Wailuku, Hawaii.
He's ranked as the No. 11 outside linebacker in the 2014 class, but he has the intangibles to be one of the best edge defenders in the country when all is said and done.
Hoiem has elite size for a junior linebacker at 6'4'', 207 pounds. What really makes him an intriguing prospect, though, is that he combines his size with great speed. He runs a 4.88 40, according to 247Sports.
At 207 pounds, he'll be able to play strongly against the run, and he may even put on some mass during his senior season, mind you. With his speed, though, he'll also be very effective on the edges when the play spills outside, and he could also be a very good pass-rusher.
Hoiem has the potential to be physically dominant at the college level. He has offers from Hawaii, UNLV, Utah and Utah State so far. Cal, Oregon and USC are listed as his top interests, but he has yet to receive offers from those schools, according to his 247Sports interest list.
Speedy Noil, 4-Star WR, Edna Karr High School (LA)
Speedy Noil has the ability to live up to his name.
He's ranked as the No. 13 wide receiver in the 2013 class, but he's also a dual-threat quarterback. He seems to be an LSU lean at this point, though, so if he were to end up with the Tigers we'll most likely see him line up at wideout.
He's 5'10'', 175 pounds and runs a 4.45 40, according to 247Sports.
Noil projects to be a great slot receiver at the college level because of his quickness and agility, and he'll be a big-time mismatch against linebackers and many No. 3 cornerbacks. He could also be a big-time vertical threat on the outside, though, so look for him to be utilized in many ways at the college level, and he'll be very effective.
Other programs high on Noil's 247Sports interest list include Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M.
Milan Richard, 4-Star TE, Calvary Baptist Day School (GA)
Milan Richard is known as Herschel Walker's nephew, but he has much more than that connection to offer the college football world.
Richard has good size at 6'2'', 232 pounds, and he runs a 4.75 40, according to 247Sports. He'll be fast enough to stretch a defense up the seams, but he should also be able to stay in and be an effective pass blocker if needed.
Naturally, Georgia is the top team on Richard's 247Sports interest list, but Clemson, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt are also listed as "warm interests." He does have a ton of potential, and he could end up being a star tight end wherever he does end up.
Because of his connection to the program, look for Georgia to remain the heavy favorite throughout his recruiting process.
Demarcus Christmas, 4-Star DT, Manatee High School (FL) *Florida State
Demarcus Christmas has great size for a junior defensive tackle at 6'4'', 287 pounds, and he's currently committed to play football for Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles.
He represents a big in-state commitment for the Seminoles (ranked as the No. 14 player from the state of Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite), and he has the intangibles to be very good.
Christmas obviously has great size and especially height, but he also displays above-average technique and very good quickness. He uses his hands well to fight off blocks, and he also has good explosion and acceleration when it comes to shooting the gap and getting into the backfield.
With his combination of size and speed, Christmas projects to be very effective against both the run and as a pass-rusher.
Demarre Kitt, 4-Star WR, Sandy Creek High School (GA)
Demarre Kitt is a big-time recruit from the state of Georgia, and he has elite potential as a wideout.
He's the No. 8 recruit from Georgia and the No. 17 wideout in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Kitt has good size at 6'1'', 182 pounds, and he runs a 4.53 40, according to 247Sports.
Kitt has the speed to be a deep threat, and he can go up and high-point a jump ball over a smaller cornerback. Where he'll really excel, though, is in the open field after he makes a catch.
He displays great footwork, incredible vision and elite elusiveness. Kitt can turn a five-yard hitch into a 70-yard touchdown because of his footwork and agility. He has the uncanny ability to make defenders miss, and he's great in the open field.
Clemson and Ohio State are the top two teams on his 247Sports interest list, followed by Auburn, Oregon and Texas A&M.
Jeb Blazevich, 4-Star TE, Charlotte Christian School (N.C)
Jeb Blazevich has the potential to be a very good tight end at the college football level. He checks in at 6'4.5'', 230 pounds as just a junior, so he already has tremendous size for the position.
For as big as he is, he could end up being a very valuable in-line tight end or H-back in the right system, but he also has the ability to get vertical down the field and make plays in the passing game.
He has the height to go up and high-point the ball, but he also has deceiving footwork and quickness. He doesn't possess great straight-line speed (5.01 40, according to ESPN), but he does have good football speed.
In time, Blazevich could end up being a big-time mismatch as a pass-catching tight end as well.
He has tremendous potential, and his interest list (247Sports) backs that up. His top six consists of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss.
Drake Harris, 4-Star WR, Grand Rapids Christian High School (MI) *Michigan State
Drake Harris is a bit underrated as just a 4-star wide receiver, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
There's also the fact that he's committed to Michigan State right now. If he was an uncommitted recruit or an Alabama/Ohio State/USC/Michigan commitment, he would probably be getting much more hype.
He has elite size at 6'4'', 180 pounds, and he has all the intangibles to be a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver at the college football level. He can really do everything as a wide receiver.
Harris has very good speed and can stretch the defense vertically, and he combines that with soft hands and the height to go up and high-point the football. He has the ability to be a pure deep-threat.
That said, he also displays excellent vision, footwork and elusiveness, so he can be extremely effective in the slots or on routes where he's asked to make a defender miss and make something happen.
Overall, Harris has 5-star potential.
Lorenzo Carter, 4-Star WDE, Norcross High School (GA)
Lorenzo Carter has all the intangibles to be elite. It is worth noting that the 247Sports ratings do have Carter ranked as a 5-star, although the composite rankings do not. In time, I do believe that he'll gain the composite 5-star as well.
Where Carter really stands out is with his size, and it gives him incredible potential. He has tremendous height at 6'6'', and he's already 232 pounds. He should be able to gain a bit more mass over the next year, and he'll be ready to physically compete with the best offensive tackles in the country once he gets to the college level.
Carter is extremely explosive off the ball, and he has a very quick first step. He's fast enough to get upfield in a hurry and turn the corner on a tackle, but he also displays good technique, and he has a strong inside move.
Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Mississippi State, Notre Dame and South Carolina are all listed as "warm interests" on his 247Sports interest list.
Will Grier, 4-Star QB, Davidson Day School (N.C.) *Florida
Will Grier is a 4-star quarterback who committed very early to the Florida Gators. He made his commitment in December of 2012, and he'll be a big commitment for the Gators to hold on to when all is said and done.
Grier is 6'3'', 180 pounds, and he's ranked as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's a 4-star and he's ranked high at his position, but Grier has the potential to play much better than a 4-star quarterback at the college level.
He has a very strong arm, but he also displays good accuracy and touch. He also has great footwork for just a junior in high school. He has a good, fluid throwing motion and is able to quickly set his feet and throw. He can also be effective throwing out of the pocket or on the run.
Speaking of running, Grier has the ability to use his athleticism and speed to be an effective runner. He can get upfield in a hurry, and even though he's not a true dual-threat quarterback, he will be effective as a runner at the college level.
Because of his early commitment, Grier may not get the hype or attention that he warrants, but in time, he could have the chance to be the next great Florida quarterback.
At the very least, he has that potential.