Committed 2014 College Football Recruits Teams Wish They Had Right Now
Now that spring practices are over, college coaches should have a good idea about the makeup of their roster for the 2013 season. Positions of strength and weakness have been identified..
When surveying the areas of need, college coaches have to at least be thinking about 2014 commitments who could help them right now. Whether it's Quin Blanding at Virginia, Jalen Hurd at Tennessee or Cameron Denson at Arizona, coaches have to be casting a longing eye toward the reinforcements who won't be arriving until next year.
Thaddeus Snodgrass, WR, Kentucky
Snodgrass has good size at 6'2", 175 pounds and is a good athlete. However, it's his speed and ability to get vertical in a hurry that make him so attractive to Kentucky.
Neal Brown is an offensive coordinator who loves to throw the ball. A speedy Snodgrass is a weapon Brown won't hesitate to use to stretch SEC secondaries..
DeAndre Thompkins, WR/ATH, Penn State
The 5'11", 170-pound Thompkins may wind up a DB in Happy Valley. Yet, with Penn State's offense needing more speed, Bill O'Brien may stick the North Carolina native at WR.
Having Thompkins on campus now would be great, since he could get more reps with QB Christian Hackenberg. Thompkins could also have helped PSU as a return man this year.
Jeff Jones, RB, Minnesota
Jones is Jerry Kill's most talented commitment. The 6'0", 190-pound RB is better than what the Golden Gophers have on their roster.
His combination of size, speed, quickness and instincts would help give Kill's offense a jolt. The question is, will Kill be around to coach Jones should Minnesota have a bad season?
Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
The 6'5" Lazard weighs more than 200 pounds and has great hands. With his large strike zone, deceptive speed and playmaking ability, he's ready to contribute to the Cyclones' offense.
Paul Rhoads is a good coach, but he doesn't have the most talented roster in the world. So he needs Lazard this fall.
Kalvaraz Bessent, CB, Alabama
Alabama needs CBs this year—more so than other years—to restock is depth chart. Bessent is a good cover man from Georgia who stands 6'0" and has the skills to fit the Tide's scheme.
It is a shame he can't join the roster now and start learning the complex Alabama defense. Getting him some reps late in games and on special teams, while also adding depth to the CB unit, could have helped Kirby Smart in 2013.
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee
Butch Jones needs RBs and the 6'3', 225-pound Hurd is a good one. He's coming off a season in which he rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 40 TDs as a high school junior in Tennessee.
Jones would be overcome with joy if Hurd would have been a part of the 2013 class. The big back's speed, strength and vision would have allowed him to play a significant role in Jones' offense this year.
Drake Harris, WR, Michigan
Michigan has not lit it up at the WR position in recent years. Harris is the biggest WR to commit to the Wolverines since Brady Hoke arrived, and his 6'4", 180-pound frame is needed now.
Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges could have found a way to get Harris on the field to help quarterback Devin Gardner in 2013. Now, they'll have to wait until 2014 and go with the WRs they have.
Cameron Denson, WR/DB, Arizona
Austin Hill tore his ACL this spring, leaving the 'Zona WR unit void of a dynamic playmaker. Rich Rodriguez will make things work, but Hill's injury is a blow.
Since Hill's injury, Rich-Rod has to have thought about having Denson available in 2013. Though he may become a big cornerback in Tucscon, he could have gotten the Malcolm Mitchell treatment as a freshman this year.
UGA had Mitchell play both WR and CB early in his career. Denson may have been able to do the same in 2013.
Quin Blanding, S, Virginia
The big 6'2", 200-pound safety is the total package as a prospect. Mike London and his staff have to still be grinning non-stop over the news of Blanding's commitment.
With his size, instincts, range and athleticism, he'll soon be an All-ACC safety. Blanding also is a good leader and smart player, which should make him a team captain one day.
London and defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter probably wish they could bring Blanding in for the 2013 season, so he could add depth to the secondary and make plays.
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.