2014 College Football Recruits Yet to Scratch the Surface of Their Potential
Potential can be both a gift and a curse for football recruits. Some go on to fulfill the promise they show as players, while others never reach their high ceilings.
While many recruits in the 2014 class have shown signs they are developing as players, several elite prospects still have much to learn. However, their size, speed and athleticism have made them coveted prospects, as college coaches know that if they are developed properly, they will become studs.
A cornerback has world-class athleticism and instinct, but lacks great technique. A pair of prospects who play in the trenches are raw, but with good coaching, they could be difference-makers in college. Also, if a speedy offensive player learns the nuances of the receiver position, he could be an All-American.
Thomas Holley, DT
A former basketball player, Thomas Holley has gone from an undersized forward/center to a 4-star defensive tackle in only one year.
Holley, who is 6'4" and 285 pounds, has great strength, plays big at the point of attack and his athleticism can be seen when he redirects and pursues the football. However, he still needs to get better at playing with his hands and recognizing schemes.
Holley has much to learn about the game of football, but if he gets with a patient defensive line coach, he could blossom in college.
Malachi Dupre, WR
Malachi Dupre is a 6'2.5", 187-pound receiver with solid speed and good hands. He flashes the ability to run sharp routes and also runs with deceptive strength after the catch.
However, he plays in a run-oriented offense at Curtis High School in Louisiana. Dupre only has 39 receptions over the past two seasons, and his limited reps in the passing game can show up on tape.
Dupre has a high pad-level at the junction points of his routes, which hinders his separation quickness. He also must improve his hand usage when releasing versus press coverage.
The more game reps the 4-star prospect receives, the closer he will get to realizing his great potential as a receiver.
Lorenzo Carter, DE
A 5-star defensive end, Lorenzo Carter is a highly coveted prospect. The 6'5", 232-pounder has great quickness at the snap, long arms to stay clean during a rush and a great burst to finish plays.
He has solid strength, but Carter's frame has huge growth potential. If he commits himself to a college strength and conditioning program, he could gain 30-to-40 pounds of bulk and become significantly stronger.
Already blessed with excellent athleticism, quickness and speed, if Carter adds more bulk and strength, he could have an NFL future.
Adoree' Jackson, CB
Adoree' Jackson is a 5-star cornerback who is also an accomplished long jumper. He could be an Olympian in a few years, thanks to having explosive athleticism, terrific speed and wiry strength.
Jackson, who is 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, has great instincts on the field. He can shoot out of transition, thanks to possessing loose hips and displays fantastic short-area quickness.
However, Jackson needs to refine his technique. He gets by now by being a superior athlete to all of his competition, along with being a smart player.
Yet, he needs to lower his pad level in his backpedal, become more consistent with his punch in press coverage and sharpen his footwork.
If Jackson improves his technique, he could be a cornerback similar to D.J. Hayden of the Oakland Raiders.
Speedy Noil, WR
He has been asked to play quarterback for a good part of his high school career, so Speedy Noil is behind in his development as a receiver.
Noil, a 5'10.5", 176-pound New Orleans native, has fantastic speed, quickness, agility and instincts in the open field. The 5-star prospect displays a rare burst upfield with the ball, but he needs work in several areas.
Noil must get stronger to release off the line versus physical cornerbacks, become a better route-runner and learn how to adjust his routes on the fly. He also will have to be taught how to recognize and settle into holes in coverages.
The right receiver coach can help Noil with these things, and when he improves them, he could be a special player.
David Sharpe, OT
David Sharpe is a 4-star offensive lineman who has spent most of his athletic career playing basketball. However, he has the makings of an elite left tackle.
Sharpe, who is 6'6" and nearly 290 pounds, is a Florida native who is essentially a blank canvas of a player. He displays wonderful athleticism, balance and bends naturally at the knees.
Yet, Sharpe doesn't fully understand yet how to properly place his hands on a target when punching, and he needs to sharpen his footwork and not panic and overextend when protecting the passer.
He also has to improve at recognizing stunts, twists and blitzes. However, with his size and athleticism, a good college offensive line coach could mold Sharpe into a high NFL draft pick in five years.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
All of the recruits featured on this list are featured on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map.
Each prospect on this list has a great chance to realize hisr vast potential. See if you can locate them by using this mobile-ready tool.