25 College Football Recruits in Class of 2014 with Best Shot at Elite Stardom
Everyone wants to be star and they should want that. Being a star means you're talented and producing at a very good rate on the field. Some recruits are stars now at the high school level, but they will become just another incoming freshman next February.
However, their journey won't stop there and many recruits will develop into stars on the college level. For this read, I want to give you 25 players from the 2014 class who have the best chance at becoming stars. Sometimes it's tougher to become a star at certain positions, especially if a player is on defense or in the trenches.
Yet, this 2014 class does feature several players who have so much talent they have a shot at becoming a star at a non-traditionally featured position. Come see who those players are and the rest of the other top recruits who have the best chance to reach elite stardom from the 2014 recruiting class.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
McMillan is a big 'backer from the Peach State who has excellent size at 6'3" and 236 pounds. He's not just a large LB, but McMillan is also productive and athletic.
He has a chance to become a star at the college level due to him being solidly instinctive, quick to fill run alleys and strong at the point of attack. Ohio State and Clemson could be schools to watch.
Damian Prince, OT
Big Prince is a 6'7" OT from Maryland who weighs over 300 pounds and has high ceiling. He isn't consistently aggressive enough right now, but a college OL coach could bring his inner dog out.
With his quick feet, agility and athleticism, Prince is a top-flight LT prospect. Offensive linemen usually aren't in the spotlight, but Orlando Pace proved in the '90s that they can be stars too.
Parris Campbell, RB/WR
The quickest way to become a star is to make big plays with the ball. Well, that's exactly what Campbell does and his elite speed will continue to allow him to do.
He's from Ohio and stands about 6'0", 180 pounds. Campbell is committed to Ohio State and can play both RB and WR. Urban Meyer will make sure this guy gets the ball in a variety of ways, and Campbell should have a chance to be a star in Columbus.
Lorenzo Featherston, DE
On potential alone Featherston is a top 100-level prospect. What concerns you is his lack of bulk, as he is just 215 pounds while standing 6'7".
Turn on the tape and you see this oak tree of a player moving around the field making tackles and sacks. Once Featherston gets into a college weight room and adds some strength, the sky could be the limit.
Elijah Hood, RB
Most of the time, if a recruit is super-productive in high school then he's going to produce in college. Hood has been super productive in high school over in North Carolina and ran for over 3,000 yards last year.
He's a 5'11", 215-pound RB with deceptive speed, excellent run strength and a tenacious powerful style. He attacks, bullies and challenges defenders to tackle him.
I think he eventually lands in Chapel Hill and becomes a star.
Hoza Scott, OLB
If you play on offense and don't keep an eye on Scott at all times, he'll make sure he reminds you. The 6'3", 220-pound 'backer can run and hit with the best in the country.
Scott can rush the passer as well as buzz in coverage and has a chance to become a complete LB in College Station. I think he's definitely a future star for Kevin Sumlin.
KD Cannon, WR
From Texas, Cannon caught over 100 balls last year and lit up Lone Star State defenses all fall. He's a 6'0" WR who weighs about 160 pounds and reminds me of a more polished LaQuvionte Gonzalez.
Cannon has outstanding hands and large catch radius. He also can stretch defenses on the perimeter and has a knack for finding voids in coverages.
He has the work ethic of a potential star.
Cameron Robinson, OT
Robinson has the body of an NFL offensive lineman right now, as he stands 6'6" and weighs 330 pounds. The Louisiana prospect plays with good knee bend, quick feet and balance.
What I dig about Robinson is that the big man is also a good athlete and appears to be a pure LT. He can shield defenders away from the passer thanks to the ability to cut off inside moves, adjust and mirror.
Adoree' Jackson, CB
Jackson is an accomplished track and field athlete, most notably being a pretty dominant long jumper. He's a 5'10" CB prospect who plays in Los Angeles.
He's not the biggest CB I've ever seen, but he's among the most athletic. Jackson has great transition quickness and is deceptively strong.
He has star potential thanks to his cover potential as well as being a dangerous return man.
Jalen Hurd, RB
Obviously Hurd's size gives him an advantage over his opposition and you better believe he uses it. However, he's just a 6'3", 225-pound RB who bulldozes over defenders.
Hurd also has some wiggle and flashes a burst to and through holes at times. He's headed to Tennessee and has a prime chance to contribute as a true freshman, which could bring him early stardom.
Khairi Clark, DT
Clark is a flat-out man in the trenches and once a guard breaks the huddle and sees he has to block Clark, intimidation comes into play. He could become a superstar over time.
Clark's from Miami and already stands 6'2" and 325 pounds. He has good snap quickness, plays big at the point of attack and can hawk ball-carriers in short areas. Look for him to be a star in Coral Gables.
Deshaun Watson, QB
Finally, a QB on this list right?
Watson can play as a dual-threat signal-caller and as a pro-style guy too. He's about 6'3" and weighs 200 pounds along with showing a quick release, good decision-making skills and a strong arm.
Watson is committed to Clemson and I'm sure Dabo Swinney feels the Tigers could be getting the next Tajh Boyd.
Joseph Yearby, RB
Yearby is already a star in South Florida and is headed to Miami. He reminds me a lot of Duke Johnson and the pair will be teammates in 2014.
At 5'9" and 191 pounds, Yearby has great instincts, quickness, elusiveness and stop-and-start ability. He's been producing against good competition and is a feared runner each game he comes into.
JuJu Smith, S/WR
Smith is one of the better athletes out West this year and is the best player from powerhouse Long Beach Poly. Some compare the 6'1", 190-pounder to Marqise Lee.
Smith can play safety or receiver due to his natural ball skills, speed and agility. He's got good strength for a skill position recruit and is expected to stay close to the Pacific Ocean.
Lorenzo Carter, DE
Georgia's best prospect this year, Carter could be a potential nightmare for college offenses. He's a 6'6", 232-pound DE who has the athleticism and bending ability to play as a 3-4 OLB.
Carter gets a good jump at the snap, has the length to stay clean but flashes some ability to convert speed to power during his rushes. His length can lead to a lot of passing lanes being clogged, and this is definitely means a potential starter and star at the next level.
Will Grier, QB
Florida is awaiting Grier's arrival next year and he could have a chance to compete for the starting job right away. Grier is a smart guy, shows fine arm strength and has the accuracy needed to be a good one.
The 6'3", 185-pound QB threw 69 TDs as a junior and could re-write the national record books this fall. Gainesville could be getting another star QB in 2014.
Marlon Humphrey, CB
Humphrey comes from a good pedigree, as his dad is former Alabama RB Bobby Humphrey. Marlon is a 6'1", 175-pound CB prospect with exceptional skills.
He plays with a natural feel for the position, great instincts and the anticipation needed to make a lot of plays. His size lets him match up with big WRs and his speed allows him to carry them all over the field.
Think Dee Milliner here.
Andrew Brown, DT
This is a good year for talent in Virginia and Brown is the best the state has to offer in 2014 recruiting. He's a 6'4", 295-pound DL prospect with big time strength at the point of attack, pursuit quickness and power.
I really like the way Brown uses his hands, which something that a lot of high school players don't how to do at that stage. Brown could be a plug-and-play guy.
Dalvin Cook, RB
This is one smooth runner and I think Clemson is getting a great one. Cook is from South Florida and shares the load currently with Joseph Yearby.
He's 5'10" and about 192 pounds, which isn't overly big, but Cook has special elusiveness, quickness and instincts. He shows a good burst and could be the CJ Spiller for Clemson.
Jabrill Peppers, DB/ATH
New Jersey has another great prospect who can ball on the secondary again in Peppers. Some say he's better than Eli Apple already as a prospect.
The 6'1", 205-pounder has fantastic athleticism and instincts. He's one of the headiest players in this national class, has great size for a DB and makes a lot of plays that have you drop your jaw. Wherever he plays full time in college, he should become a star.
Tony Brown, CB
Brown is one of the top defensive players in America and the game is slowing down for him as he develops.
This guy has good size at 6'0" and 185 pounds, but it's his toughness, strength to press and instincts that help him the most.
From Texas, Brown plays all over the field for his team whether it's at CB, FS, SS, MLB, OLB and even some rush end. He'll be a CB first in college, but he may leave as a FS.
Quin Blanding, S
Blanding is a big 6'2", 200-pound safety from Virginia and has already pledged to Mike London. He's a future team captain and is real leader on the field.
His size, range, speed and ball skills are all impressive and Blanding communicates well each snap. He can get the back end lined up and has good route recognition skills.
He could be the best safety at Virginia since Anthony Poindexter.
Sony Michel, RB
Michel is from Florida and is a special runner. I'm sold on this guy as a potential star and will be shocked if he isn't among the best in the country in college.
The 5'11", 205-pounder is the total package and has good character too. Whatever you need your RB to do, Michel can do it and excel at it.
Leonard Fournette, RB
Fournette could be the next Steven Jackson and I'm not shying away from that claim. He has similar size, runs hard, instinctively and also can catch out of the backfield like Jackson can.
He's already a living legend in Louisiana and has offers from many juggernaut programs. There's no reason why this guy can't be a star and be a star immediately in college.
Da'Shawn Hand, DE
Hand also should be able to make an immediate impact wherever he goes to college. He's a 6'5", 247-pound offensive terrorizer from Virginia who's pretty close to peaking as a player.
Hand has awesome quickness, good strength, uses his hands well and can chase plays from the backside. He plays hard and has a great work ethic, which will help him quickly become a star in college.
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.