Top Schools for 25 Best Uncommitted 2014 College Football Recruits
The 25 best uncommitted recruits are certainly focused on their upcoming seasons. However, recruiting never stops, and they must also begin to narrow their lists.
With the start of the season now only days away, the recruiting cycle is moving to a pivotal stage. Some of the best uncommitted prospects are close to making a decision, while several remain open.
A defensive end has three schools who are standing out for him, while a cornerback could still like upwards of 10 programs. Also, one receiver is facing pressure to stay home, but several major schools are trying to lure him away.
25. Braden Smith, OL
If your favorite program is looking for more toughness in the trenches, Braden Smith should be one of its main recruiting targets. The 4-star offensive lineman from Texas battles each snap.
Smith, who is 6'6", takes care of his body so well that he does not look close to his listed weight of 290 pounds. He flashes good quickness, plays big at the point of attack and has the versatility to play tackle or guard.
TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M are his core schools, per 247Sports.
24. Michiah Quick, WR/ATH
Possessing a multipurpose offensive player is going to be the new trend, which makes players like Michiah Quick more in demand.
Quick, who is 6'0" and 170 pounds, is a 4-star prospect who can beat defenses as a running back and receiver. He has great speed to skate around the field, is elusive and has natural instincts in the open field.
Notre Dame, USC, UCLA and Washington appear to be his top schools, according to 247Sports.
23. Damien Mama, OG
Damien Mama is a classic guard prospect who is at his best when he can maul a defensive lineman. The 4-star blocker is 6'4" and has a ton of girth at 370 pounds.
Although he must continue improving his conditioning, Mama has good quickness at the snap to explode into a defender. He brings his hips through his target, and his fantastic strength helps him pancake opponents.
He will sign with USC or Alabama, say the experts at 247Sports.
22. Speedy Noil, WR/ATH
Speedy Noil is an electric player. He has quick feet, a great burst to shoot upfield after the catch and is lethal in the open field.
Noil, a 5'10.5" 176-pound New Orleans product, still must learn the nuances of the receiver position. But if the 4-star prospect maxes out his potential, he could be the second coming of former Florida State receiver Peter Warrick.
LSU, Florida, USC, Texas A&M and Oregon have the best chance to land him, according to a tweet by Noil via Randy Chambers of Bleacher Report.
21. Malik McDowell, DL
The 4-star prospect has played significant snaps at defensive end, but he will kick inside to tackle in college. McDowell has adequate athleticism for a big man. He also shows good short-area quickness and the strength to be a factor in the trenches.
20. Clifton Garrett, LB
One of the most physical players in the country, Clifton Garrett is a warrior on the field. He doesn't shy away from contact, has great power and plays strong at the point of attack.
Garrett is improving his ability to play in space; however, he is at his best when he can attack a running back.
The 6'2", 228-pound linebacker is a 4-star prospect from Illinois but will likely play college football in the SEC.
Alabama, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida are in the mix, but he is expected to sign with LSU, per 247Sports.
19. Marshon Lattimore, CB
College coaches love that Marshon Lattimore, a 6'0", 175-pound cornerback prospect, has the length to be effective in press coverage, the speed to carry receivers deep and will support the run.
Lattimore attends Glenville High School in Cleveland, which is a direct Ohio State pipeline. Kentucky is in the hunt, says 247Sports, but it would be shocking if the 5-star cornerback did not sign with the Buckeyes.
18. Gerald Willis, DT
Gerald Willis is on track to become a ferocious 3-technique defensive tackle in college. He has played much of his career at defensive end, but the 6'3", 275-pounder is growing into an interior player.
Willis, who is a 5-star recruit, can fire upfield at the snap and has the ability to penetrate gaps to get into the backfield. He has the knack to skinny through creases, explodes in pursuit and will make several tackles for loss in college.
LSU is expected to land him, but Florida and Texas A&M are making it interesting, according to 247Sports.
17. Malachi Dupre, WR
Although he has caught fewer than 40 passes in the past two seasons, Malachi Dupre's talent is visible on tape. He has good build-up speed, is dangerous toward the top of his routes and has the ability to run with power after the catch.
The 6'2.5", 187-pounder is a 5-star receiver from Louisiana. Dupre must lower his pad level to be quicker out of his breaks, but he has good hands to catch in crowds.
LSU is trying to fend off UCLA for him, says 247Sports.
16. Joe Mixon, RB
Running backs have to be able to catch the football if they want to stay on the field on third downs. If not, they will be replaced, likely by a receiver.
Whichever program signs Joe Mixon will not have to take him off the field in passing situations, as the 6'2", 195-pounder has terrific hands for a running back. Mixon is speedy in a straight line, has solid strength and can make plays downfield.
The 5-star prospect has a list of 10 schools that includes programs such as Cal, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon, per 247Sports.
15. Jamal Adams, S
Texas produces great talent every year, and in this recruiting cycle, the Lone Star State features Jamal Adams, a talented safety who attends Hebron High School.
Adams, who is 6'0" and 199 pounds, can sit on top of a defense and explode out of transition to defend passing plays or into the box to make tackles versus running backs. Adams has great athleticism, plays with range and is rarely late in his reads.
Texas and Florida have the best chance to sign the 5-star defensive back, says 247Sports.
14. Solomon Thomas, DL
Although he will not impress many observers with his quickness, Solomon Thomas has the skills to become a good player in the defensive trenches in college.
Thomas, who is 6'3" and 256 pounds, has good strength at the point of attack and can set the edge versus running plays. He can stack a block, anchor and shed to get free. Thomas will fight to pressure the passer and plays with a good motor.
The 5-star prospect is one of the most open recruits in the country. Stanford, Alabama and Texas are just three of many schools on his list, according to 247Sports.
13. John Smith, ATH
John Smith, who is more commonly known as "JuJu," is the top player at powerhouse Long Beach Poly in Southern California.
The 6'1", 200-pound 5-star athlete has a bright future at receiver or safety. Smith has great explosiveness, speed, agility and quickness. He displays loose hips in space, great ball skills and is a fierce competitor.
USC, UCLA, Alabama, Michigan, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Notre Dame are among several schools in the hunt for Smith, per 247Sports.
12. Laurence Jones, S
When one looks at Laurence Jones initially, he appears to be a linebacker. However, when the 6'2", 214-pounder trots out and lines up at safety, he quickly proves he belongs in the secondary.
Jones is a dynamic athlete with outstanding range. He can roam and play as a single-high safety due to his speed and transition quickness. The 5-star safety will support the run when he can, but he prefers to stay on top of the defense.
LSU, Alabama and Ohio State are his top schools, says 247Sports.
11. Myles Garrett, DE
Myles Garrett is a 6'4", 240-pound defensive end who is one of the best players in Texas. He has great length, athleticism and range.
Garrett can chase down running backs due to his great short-area quickness and speed. He can squeeze the pocket as a rusher, force a quarterback off his launch point and has the ability to recover and make the sack.
Texas A&M is the favorite for the 5-star defensive end, but 247Sports says Oklahoma and TCU are in the mix.
10. Jalen Tabor, CB
A tall and long cornerback at 6'1" and 182 pounds, Jalen Tabor is a 5-star cover man who excels in press-man coverage.
Tabor loves to jam a receiver at the line, as he can reroute and disrupt his man's timing with a quarterback. He has good speed, can recover and has solid transition quickness.
Do not be shocked if Tabor becomes a safety in college, and do not be surprised if he signs with Florida or Maryland, according to 247Sports.
9. Raekwon McMillan, LB
With his ability to read his keys, shoot gaps and play big at the point of attack, Raekwon McMillan is a 5-star linebacker.
The 6'2", 242-pounder is a Georgia native who flashes good athleticism. McMillan has great speed, is not restricted in space and just needs to improve his cover skills.
Ohio State leads Florida, Alabama and Clemson, according to 247Sports.
8. Damian Prince, OT
A big and athletic offensive line prospect, Damian Prince could play left tackle in college. He can quickly set up, fires back when rocking deep into the pocket and has the agility to slide with speedy rushers in space.
Prince can reach up to the second level in the running game, and he can also down-block, pull and seal on the edges. The 5-star prospect stands 6'6" and 300 pounds.
Florida State, Maryland and Ohio State are his main schools, according to the experts at 247Sports.
7. Adoree' Jackson, CB
Adoree' Jackson is one of the best athletes in the 2014 class. He is only 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, but he plays much bigger than his listed size.
Jackson has no issues rolling up to a receiver to press his man at the line, fights bigger players for positioning and has great instincts.
Although he must refine his technique, if the 5-star cornerback gets his hands on the ball, chances are he will return it for a touchdown.
Jackson likes several schools, but 247Sports says he will sign with USC or Florida.
6. Tony Brown, CB
The best press-corner in the country, Tony Brown can shock a receiver at the point of attack with his strength. He can bully his man into the sideline, pin him to his hip and has the speed to carry him downfield.
The 6'0", 188-pound 5-star defensive back is a versatile player from Texas. Brown has excellent quickness, athleticism and range. His instincts are advanced for a high school player, and he should make an early impact in college.
He is going to sign with LSU or Alabama, according to 247Sports.
5. Marlon Humphrey, CB
Marlon Humphrey is a 6'1", 175-pound cornerback with long arms, solid speed and exceptional anticipation skills. He sees the field well, reacts with quick movements and has solid ball skills.
The 5-star cornerback can play all three general coverage techniques.
Humphrey's father, Bobby, played for Alabama, and it would be a big surprise if Marlon did not end up in Tuscaloosa.
4. Lorenzo Carter, DE
A 6'5", 232-pound defensive end, Lorenzo Carter is a rare athlete for his position. He will charge upfield but has the quickness and agility to redirect, dive back and still make the tackle when he overruns plays.
Carter's long arms allow him to punch blockers to create space during a rush, as he can bend around them and explode onto the quarterback. The 5-star prospect also has the ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Carter's main schools are Alabama, Florida and Georgia, says 247Sports.
3. Da'Shawn Hand, DE
Da'Shawn Hand has solid quickness at the snap, but there are more explosive defensive ends in this class. However, none are as powerful at the point of attack as the Virginia native.
Hand, who is 6'4" and 254 pounds, uses his hands well and is a forceful player due to his athleticism and strength. The 5-star defender can kick inside to play defensive tackle in passing situations, flashes a burst to finish plays and can set the edge versus the run.
Michigan, Alabama and Florida are his leaders, according to 247Sports.
2. Cameron Robinson, LT
A moving mammoth at 6'5" and 330 pounds, Cameron Robinson is an elite left tackle from Louisiana. He bends well at the knees, is agile and has great movement skills.
Robinson has solid strength, can stymie rushers with his punch and can dominate defensive ends while blocking for running backs. The 5-star offensive lineman will play at LSU or Alabama, per the staff at 247Sports.
1. Leonard Fournette, RB
At 6'1" and 226 pounds, Leonard Fournette is a big running back who can run with speed and quickness.
He has the vision to read linebackers and the strength to break tackles and can also catch the football like a receiver.
Fournette, who is a 5-star prospect, is from New Orleans. Schools like Texas, Michigan and USC will attempt to land him, but he will sign with Alabama or LSU, according to 247Sports.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
All of the prospects on this list are in the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This is a wonderful resource for recruiting fans.