10 Recruits in Class of 2014 Most Likely to Stay Close to Home
There's no place like home and that is why most of us don't venture too far off from where our roots are. The same thing happens more times than not in recruiting with players staying close to home.
There are many advantages for recruits who stay nearby, as their friends and families can see them play in person more frequently, they're familiar with the surroundings and the culture of the area they're going to college in and they probably play with more passion for the specific school they choose since they likely grew up rooting for the program.
Of course many other recruits choose the other route and leave the local nest for college. However, more times than not, a recruit usually doesn't go awfully far from his home.
Here's 10 recruits in the 2014 class who appear the most likely to stay close to home.
Tre Williams, LB
Williams is a 6'2", 226-pound LB prospect from Alabama. He has offers from many schools, but he's going to come down to making a decision between the Iron Bowl schools.
According to Scout.com, Williams has two leaders and they are Alabama and Auburn. I seriously doubt if this guy leaves the state of Alabama.
Nife Lealao, DT
From the Sacremento area in California, don't expect the 6'5", 282-pound DL to venture far from the Bay Area. In fact, the farthest I see Lealao going to college is in Westwood at UCLA.
He strikes me as a type who values education, family and good football. Both Stanford and California can provide those things, and in the end, look for Lealao to sign with the Cardinal.
Drake Harris, WR
Harris gave an early commitment to Michigan State, but Allen Trieu of Scout.com reports that Harris has decommitted from the Spartans.
A talented basketball recruit, I expect the Spartans to get back in the picture but right now, Michigan looks like the favorite for Harris.
The 6'3", 180-pound Michigan native will likely either sign with the Wolverines or Spartans.
Solomon Thomas, DE
Thomas is a 6'3", 251-pound DE who can be really stout vs. the run. He has a knack for setting the edge, can stack up against TEs and OTs, shed and make stops.
He's a strong player who also has good power and quickness. From Texas, Thomas probably won't be leaving the Lone Star State, and at this point, I like Texas' chances.
Khairi Clark, DT
Clark has great size at 6'2" and 325 pounds, but also shows a good surge at the snap and point of attack strength. He could be a real playmaker in the defensive interior one day.
From the Southern Florida area of Hollywood, Clark isn't too far from Coral Gables. Scout.com lists Miami as his top school right now and it appears he's probably going to stay close to home.
Racean Thomas, RB
Thomas has an impressive frame at 5'11" and 196 pounds. He's a productive runner who has pretty good strength, runs through holes with force and can get yards after contact.
From Alabama, Thomas has Auburn high on his list, according to Scout.com. Alabama is also a school to watch, and if he leaves the state, he probably won't be too far as Tennessee and Georgia are suitors, too.
Lorenzo Carter, DE
Carter is one of the top overall prospects in the country this year. He's a 6'6", 232-pound DE from Georgia who could play stand up OLB in a 3-4 scheme in college.
He may prefer rushing from a two-point stance and combined with the chance he may want to stay close to home leads to me to believe schools like Georgia, Florida and Alabama may have the best chances at landing the Peach State prospect.
Cameron Robinson, OT
Robinson has a chance to be a franchise LT due his natural knee bend, athleticism, strength and 6'6", 330-pound frame.
He fires out of his stance to set up quickly as a pass protector and beat rushers to deep points in the pocket.
Robinson also shows the ability to hit moving targets and be productive on the second level as a run-blocker. He's from Louisiana, so LSU is a strong suitor but Alabama isn't too far either.
John "JuJu" Smith, WR/S
Smith can play both safety and WR for a team and is the latest top-shelf prospect from Long Beach Poly High School in Southern California.
The Jackrabbits are known for producing great talent and the 6'1", 190-pound is a good one. Michigan and Ohio State could be options, but the Pac-12 and particularly the LA schools may be the top schools in this race.
Leonard Fournette, RB
Fournette is the best RB in the country and best player in the state of Louisiana this year. LSU has had its eyes on him for a few seasons now and the Tigers usually get the best players in their state.
At 6'1" and 225 pounds, Fournette is the total package at the RB position. He could tote the rock over 20 times a game while also helping in the passing game.
The rest of the country will pursue Fournette heavily, but I think he'll stay close to home and play at LSU.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He 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 (formerly 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.