2014 4-Star Recruits Who Will Gain a 5th Star
Every recruit wants to be labeled a 5-star prospect, as in the recruiting world it is the most coveted honor a prospect can receive. Being a 5-star recruit means you're the cream of the crop and the very best of the very best in the country.
Some recruits don't really pay attention to recruiting rankings or how many stars they are rated, and good for them. We've seen 2-star recruits go on to be first-round picks and 5-star recruits be some of the biggest busts in football history.
Nonetheless, being considered a 5-star recruit is a neat feat, and many recruits want to achieve it. For this read, we're going to take a look at several recruits who are rated 4-star prospects by various publications and tell you which of those recruits will eventually gain a fifth star before this 2014 recruiting cycle is over.
Here are the top 4-star prospects who'll go on to become 5-star prospects before it's all said and done!
Nathan Starks, RB/ATH
Neither Scout.com nor ESPNU feel Starks is a 5-star recruit right now. However, that could change by next February, as the 5'11", 200-pounder has too much to offer a football team not to get some 5-star consideration.
Starks is a very good athlete and can play RB, S or LB. He has good hands, instincts, agility and can do an array of things on the field. His versatility combined with his skill set will get him moved up.
Denzel Ware, DE/OLB
Ware is a prospect that even I don't rate as a pure 5-star player right now. However, last year Carl Lawson rose up my board, and I think Ware is capable of doing the same.
From Alabama, sure, Ware is a 'tweener and is a bit light in the pants for a DE at 220-pounder, but this is a guy who can get off pretty quick at the snap and is a solid athlete. He can work off the edges both a 4-3 DE in sub-packages and as a standup rush end in a 3-4 scheme.
Tony Brown, CB
I'm a bit shocked that Brown is not a 5-star prospect in the ESPNU 150, as I grade him out as one on my board. The Texan is a CB that I really dig, and he could grow into a FS in college.
He's a press-corner right now, due to his good strength, quick hands and mirror ability. However, Brown has the skills of a complete 5-star CB, as he plays with in both off-man and zone coverage schemes, has good size at 6'0", 185 pounds and great ball skills.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
McMillan is one of the top players in Georgia this year, and usually when you're on of the best out of the Peach State, more times than not you're a 5-star recruit.
Well, neither ESPNU nor Scout.com feels that way, and I think I know why: McMillan needs to prove he can cover. He's a big 6'3" LB with good bulk, athleticism and instincts, but McMillan hasn't consistently shown he's a reliable third-down/passing situation defender.
If he shows that during some camps and combines, plus during the fall and at a postseason all-star game, then I think you're going to see an extra star attached to McMillan's name.
Deshaun Watson, QB
Again, usually the top-tier prospects in Georgia are in serious consideration for 5-star status, and based on the ESPNU 150, Watson warranted heavy consideration.
It's just a matter of time, I believe, for when the folks in Bristol hand Watson his extra star. He's the top QB prospect in the country so far this year, has a dynamic skill set and good character.
He'll get his star in the ESPNU 150 soon enough.
Elijah Hood, RB/ATH
I disagree with Scout.com having Hood ranked 63rd on their board, as that is just way too low for my liking. Hood is a tank with the football and just a very talented runner.
He can also play LB or FB, but he's an RB at heart. The 6'0", 220-pounder is from North Carolina and is fresh off a junior season in which he ran fo over 3,000 yards and 40 total TDs.
He needs to be moved up and considered for 5-star status.
Dalvin Cook, RB
Maybe you think Cook doesn't run behind his pads well enough. Perhaps you feel Cook doesn't run with good strength or power.
Maybe it's because his elusive and quick running style brings tackle-breaking concerns to mind. Whatever it is, don't let that stop you from realizing Cook is a 5-star-caliber RB prospect.
Florida is getting a very talented RB in Cook, and he has the skill set to be an early impact guy in Gainesville.
Sony Michel, RB
ESPNU ranks Michel high at No. 16 overall, but he is only a 4-star on their board.
Michel is a 5-star back, period. The 5'11", 205-pounder has just about every tool needed to be an immediate impact player in college and is getting close to being complete. Michel also is a good leader, has a fantastic work ethic and has good character.
It's almost time to start a "Give Sony Michel his 5th star" campaign.
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 and Cleveland Browns.