The Top 10 Hardest Hitters in 2014 College Football Recruiting Class
One of the top badges of honor a defensive player can have is the "hard hitter" label. Hitters are feared by offensive players and highly respected by their peers.
Aided by video proof, these are the top hitters on the 2014 recruiting trail. There is an underrated linebacker headed to Alabama who routinely punishes ball-carriers, an inside 'backer in Florida who relishes contact and a safety in Tennessee who has no problem separating the football from a receiver.
Bodies will be sore after watching these hitters perform on the field.
Kyron Watson, LB
The 6'1", 210-pound Watson is a linebacker from Illinois who is committed to Kansas. He is a physical 'backer who opposes surrendering extra yardage to ball-carriers.
Watson uses great power at the point of attack to make sure offensive players look for him on each play.
His hitting ability is proven on his highlight tape.
Tre' Williams, LB
Williams is committed to Auburn and the hard-hitting linebacker is a poison to offenses. He can be spectacular in the box and the 6'2" LB plays like a giant at the point of attack.
Look for Williams and his physical style of play to fit in well on The Plains.
Todd Kelly Jr., S
Kelly is a 6'1", 190-pound safety who is not afraid to squeeze the line of scrimmage to stop the run. He reacts quickly, uses his speed to challenge ball-carriers and usually wins those contests.
Kelly also insists that receivers know where he is all the time on the back end. If he realizes during his break on a pass that he can't jump the lane, Kelly simply blasts the receiver to stop the play.
From 1:05-1:13 in this clip, Kelly shows why he is one of the hardest hitters in the nation.
Nyles Morgan, LB
The 6'2", 228-pound Morgan hails from Illinois and is a great textbook tackler. He can sink his hips and use good leverage to explosively wrap up a ball-carrier.
It is at that point of a tackle when things turn nasty for Morgan. Once he realizes the offensive player is in his clutches, Morgan then uses great leg drive and force to powerfully put him down.
Kentavius Street, DE
At 6'3" and 265 pounds, Street is one of the strongest players in the country. The North Carolina native has excellent anchor strength and can powerfully set the edge to defend the run.
He is a bull-rusher who is as physical a defensive end prospect as one will find on the recruiting trail.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
The big 6'2", 249-pound McMillan is the best defensive player in Georgia. He made more than 150 tackles as a junior and many were punishing hits.
McMillan is not just a big linebacker who is limited on the field. He displays impressive range thanks to lateral quickness, athleticism and good play speed.
Kain Daub, LB
Daub is a 6'4", 243-pound linebacker committed to Florida State. Tallahassee better get ready, as Daub's physicality and hard-hitting ability will be on display from the first time he steps on the field.
Daub understands he has a size advantage and uses it to intimidate opponents. He has solid straight-line speed, which he uses to generate force to knock ball-carriers backward at the point of attack.
Hoza Scott, OLB
An outstanding athlete, the 6'3", 225-pound Scott is a free-moving outside linebacker. He is committed to Texas A&M and has good speed, instincts and range.
Scott doesn't make a bone-crushing hit on every play. However, he has a knack for putting a lick on a ball-carrier at the right time to change the momentum of a game.
Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB
Hamilton is a 6'1", 240-pound linebacker who hits like a freight train. Watching some of the hits on this clip should make many people cringe and Hamilton will be continuing this nasty style of play at Alabama.
He has a thick frame that could weigh more than 260 pounds one day in Tuscaloosa. Hamilton has great instincts and the aftermath of his hits look like car wrecks.
Clifton Garrett, LB
From Illinois, Garrett is a tenacious and physical missile on the field. He is 6'2", 228 pounds and plays as if he is disappointed when he doesn't blast an offensive player backward on every play.
Garrett has quick run-read ability and is an instinctive linebacker. He shows no mercy on ball-carriers and may be the most physical player in the country.
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.