4-star wide receiver Mark Andrews has the potential to be one of the best players in the 2014 recruiting class, and his ranking would back that up.
Andrews' is ranked as the No. 7 wide receiver in the 2014 class and the No. 2 player from the state of Arizona, both according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He has great intangibles and even better potential, and there's no doubting the fact that there are a ton of big-time programs after his commitment.
Arizona, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma are currently on top of Andrews 247Sports interest list, but he also has offers from other notable programs such as Michigan, Texas A&M, UCLA and UCS.
What's all the hype about?
Here's my complete scouting report for the talented wideout recruit:
- Name: Mark Andrews
- Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
- School: Desert Mountain High School
- Position: WR/TE
- Height: 6'6" (247Sports)
- Weight: 225 lbs (247Sports)
- 40 Time: 4.7 (Scout.com)
- Rankings: 4-star (247Sports), 4-star (Rivals), 4-star (Scout.com), Watch List (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
Size is the first thing you notice about Andrews on film. He has tremendous height at 6'6'', and he backs that up with a 225-pound frame. Football is evolving to the point where wide receivers and tight ends need to be tall, big and athletic, and Andrews really fits that mold.
He'll be a deep threat because of his height, but he also has very good speed. Andrews displays good, quick footwork and runs crisp routes. He's the type of receiver that you can throw out near the boundary and ask him to go up, high-point the ball and make a play. He's also quick and athletic enough to line up in the slot and be a mismatch against slower, less agile linebackers.
Where Andrews will really be effective is in the red zone. In the picture below you'll get a good look at what he's capable of doing. In this clip, the defense looks to be lined up in a hard cover two or even a man look. If this is indeed a "hard two" the corner is responsible for covering the flats, which is the end zone in this case. He can't allow Andrews to get a free release or get inside. The safety will be coming over the top to defend the back corner:
At the snap, Andrews gives the corner a hard step inside, which gets him thinking slant right off the bat. In the next picture though, you can see how he's able to use his footwork to cut sharply towards the outside and get the outside release. He's able to get his outside shoulder free of the jam because of the hard "slant look" that he forced the defender to honor. The corner is also flat footed at this point because of the move:
We loose the camera shot for a minute in the end zone, but the quarterback throws it up to the end zone and Andrews runs a simple comeback or even a short fade route. His quick footwork allows him to make the move and come back to the ball before the defender can react, and you and you can see how far behind the corner on this play. The last thing to notice is Andrews leaping ability and how he is "high pointing" the ball, which will come in handy against bigger, more talented defensive backs at the college level:
This is just simple, fundamental football, but when combined with Andrews size and talent, that's what makes him such a big-time recruit.
Andrews is also a very good blocker because of his size and physicality and I wouldn't be surprised to see him utilized as a tight end or H-back in college depending on where he ends up and the scheme.
Honestly, I'm not going to make up a negative just for the sake of it. Checking out Andrews "highlights" mind you, there's not much that I don't like. He has size, speed, fundamentals and he's incredibly versatile. I can see him lining up at wide receiver, tight end or H-back, so what's not to like?
He's a very polished football player already, but that doesn't mean he's perfect. There's always room for improvement, so if I was to really nit-pick I'd like to see him put on a bit more weight and mass so that he can be a true tight end.
He'll be good as a wide receiver, but he has the potential to be an elite tight end as his career develops. If he can add 10-15 more pounds, he'll be unstoppable.
Speaking of tight ends, Andrews really reminds me a lot of a mix between Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots. He has the abilities to be a pure play maker as a tight end, and that's where I project him eventually ending up.
Andrews can be a consummate mismatch against linebackers and safetys, but he's also athletic enough to move out into the slot and be extremely effective on the edges and in the flats.
There are a ton of factors in play as to where he will eventually end up, but I would predict Oklahoma based on what they can provide him offensively. His versatility would work well in the Sooners' system, and he could come in and compete with Taylor McNamara for the starters spot at tight end once Brannon Green moves on.
There's not a spot on the field where Andrews won't be able to make a play, and I expect that he'll become a star at the college level wherever he ends up.
Note: You can watch Andrews' highlights here. Some language NSFW.