Recruiting has a vital importance to a prospect's future. Some take the approach of focusing on their recruitment from the beginning of the process, while others feel it can wait until their seasons are finished.
As the 2014 cycle moves on and with training camp in sight, many prospect's recruiting lists are beginning to take shape. Lists are being narrowed, favorites are being named, and commitments are being made.
However, on the other end of the spectrum are the recruits who have long lists and still have not focused on their recruiting. Speculation about where they will end up is wide-ranging, as they could end up just about anywhere.
California is home to several prospects who could stay near the Pacific Ocean as easily as they could head east. A defensive end recruit has no idea what he wants to do, while a receiver prospect is tough to get a read on. These are nine recruits who could wind up anywhere.
Williams, who is one of the most athletic linebackers in the nation, has offers from many major programs. A prediction on where he is headed is essentially a shot in the dark, as he is considering a wealth of schools.
Williams, who is 6'1" and slightly more than 200 pounds, recently informed Scout that he still has 16 schools on his list. The 'backer prospect can play the strong or weak side, as he has outstanding movement skills in space, range and speed.
Williams displays solid instincts, excellent short-area quickness and flows easily to the football. He excels as a pass defender who can buzz into coverage or play man coverage on tight ends and running backs. Williams is a lighter version of 2013 Notre Dame signee Jaylon Smith
Cannon, who has great potential, is an elite receiver prospect who is tough to read. He could sign with an array of schools, as he has many options.
As a junior, Cannon caught 102 passes for 1,600 yards and 26 TDs.
Cannon, who is 6'0" and 161 pounds, is a speedy player with great hands. Baylor could be the team to beat, but Cannon could easily end up at Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State or another school. The key portion of his recruitment will be when he takes his five official visits, as the school that is the most gracious host will gain the upper hand.
Cannon has good release quickness and exhibits strong field vision to locate voids in coverages. He can snatch balls in the air and has excellent run-after-catch skills.
Starks, who left Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, is a good running back prospect who rushed for more than 1,800 yards as a junior.
However, he was recently ruled ineligible to play at Cherry Creek in Colorado, per Neil Devlin of The Denver Post. It remains to be seen where exactly Starks will play his senior season, but the next time he plays football may very well be in 2014 as a freshman in college.
Starks, who is 5'11" and 200 pounds, has offers from several powerhouse programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas, USC and Oklahoma, per Scout. He could wind up in the SEC, Pac-12 or Big 12.
Starks, who has good straight-line speed, could be an every-down running back in college. He also shows the athleticism and range to become a great strong safety/outside linebacker.
Malone, who is a prime target for Tennessee, is a recruit who has to make a tough decision. Todd Kelly Jr. and Jalen Hurd lead Butch Jones' class and are going to passionately sell the Vols to Malone, as he is from the state.
However, Malone, who is 6'2.5" and 189 pounds, easily could opt for another school such as Georgia, Auburn, Florida State or even Notre Dame. He is taking his recruitment slowly and letting it play out in a natural fashion, which is why many teams feel they have a legitimate chance to land him.
A dangerous player on the perimeter, Malone is a big athlete who can run with great speed. He can get off the line to separate from coverage and menaces safeties by high-pointing balls and plucking passes over their reach downfield. With college seasoning, Malone could grow into a No. 1 receiver.
Thomas, who could grow into a defensive tackle in college, is a recruit who definitely deserves to be on this list. According to ESPNU, he does not have a good idea of where he wants to go.
Thomas, who is 6'3" and 256 pounds, is a Lone Star State prospect who could sign with Stanford as easily as he could with Texas, Notre Dame or Arkansas. He has no favorites, and it will be interesting to see if Thomas can make up his mind on which five schools he will officially visit.
Thomas, who can play strong-side end in a 4-3 scheme, could be best served to sign with a program that runs a 3-4 defense.
He is at his best when he can set the edge at the point of attack and read a play. Thomas is a stout run defender who has great strength and could be a dangerous power player.
Brown, the stepson of former NFL running back Chuck Levy, is a slick receiver who is desperately wanted by many programs. He has 32 offers and recently "narrowed" his list to nine, says Scout.
Brown, who is 6'2" and 170 pounds, is from Arizona, and the Wildcats are still under consideration. However, Rich Rodriguez will have to fend off programs such as Ohio State, USC and Oregon among several others.
Brown has been one of the most wide-open recruits in the country since the start of this cycle, and though his list is down to nine, he still has no favorite. The safe prediction is Arizona, due to Brown being a native of the state; however, all nine schools on his list appear to be on equal footing so he could sign with any of them.
Andrews, who caught 81 passes as a junior, has scored 32 TDs in his past two seasons. He is a prospect who is tough to read and does not give much insight into his recruitment.
However, 247Sports shows eight programs that are under serious consideration, and Andrews could wind up at any of them. Andrews, a teammate of Texas A&M commit Kyle Allen, may sign with the Aggies, but USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame and many others all have their hands in his pot.
Andrews, who is 6'6" and 230 pounds, plays receiver for Desert Mountain in Arizona, but he will move to tight end in college. He is not the fastest receiver in the country, but he has great hands and ball skills. The main question is where exactly will Andrews decide to showcase his talent, which could be anywhere.
Jackson, who could play receiver in college, is a tremendous cover corner. He has great athleticism and is welcome on every high-profile program's campus in the country.
Jackson, who is 5'10" and 182 pounds, has a list of 10 schools that all have an equal chance to sign him according to Scout. USC and UCLA do not hold an advantage for the California cover man, as he is originally from Illinois, which also is on his list.
Florida and Michigan appear to be schools to watch, as do LSU and Oklahoma State, among the rest of the list. Jackson has excellent speed and quickness to go along with wiry strength. He needs to refine his technique; however, he does show great instincts.
Jackson also could play basketball and long jump in college, but it is tough to confidently predict where that will be.
Mixon, who is one of the best offensive players in the country, is a confident recruit. He is a tall running back at 6'1" and is dangerous in a straight line.
Mixon, who has 50 offers according to ESPNU, is open with his recruitment. He will release a top-10 list soon, and quite a few schools have a chance with him. Mixon could wind up at Cal, Georgia, USC or many other schools in the country.
At 209 pounds, Mixon is a big back with good speed and also displays great hands. He can play the traditional running back role while also splitting out wide and making plays on the perimeter. Mixon is a great offensive weapon and could take his talents to any school in the country.