2014 Recruits Who Could Play College Football Right Now
College football is beginning this week, and several 2014 recruits have shown they are ready for action right now.
Some have prototypical size. Others possess excellent strength. And still others just have tremendous instincts. What they all share is the ability to play at the FBS level today.
A running back already has the size, strength and speed to carry the load for a college offense. A pair of physical linebackers have the strength and quickness to play on running downs, plus a cornerback is blessed with college-ready athleticism and instincts.
Andrew Brown, DT
A 6'4", 282-pound beast in the trenches, Andrew Brown has the quickness and strength to immediately play for Virginia.
He has to continue getting better at using his hands, but the 5-star defensive tackle is a stout defender who can make a mess at the line of scrimmage.
He has good explosion at the snap, plays big at the point of attack and displays the potential to have a strong anchor versus blocks. Brown also has excellent short-area quickness, as he can redirect to pursue a running back and explode to make a tackle.
Joseph Yearby, RB
Joseph Yearby is a 4-star running back from Florida who has an explosive running style. Although he is only 5'9" and 190 pounds, Yearby has a thick frame and outstanding quickness.
He possesses excellent instincts, vision and has the ability to get out of traffic jams when running inside. He can dart to the edges thanks to a rare burst, is elusive in the open field and also flashes good hands.
He could immediately contribute on third downs and as a returner for Miami.
Clifton Garrett, LB
When watching Clifton Garrett play, it becomes evident early on that he is the epitome of a linebacker. He is tough, nasty, physical and loves collisions.
Garrett, who is 6'2" and 228 pounds, has good ball-location skills and bursts to alleys to stop running plays. He does not back down from blockers, challenges them with power at the point of attack and makes thumping hits.
The 5-star prospect is developing his skills in coverage, but he flashes adequate athleticism to hold up in space. Look for him to sign with an SEC team.
Tony Brown, CB
Tony Brown deserves to be a 5-star cornerback because he possesses every trait of an instant impact recruit. Brown is talented enough that he could join a college defense now and win the starting nickel cornerback role.
At 6'0", 188 pounds, he has outstanding recovery speed, quickness and instincts. He can press receivers at the line, ride them into the boundary and has the awareness to peel off his man to go make a play on the ball.
Brown is also fantastic at supporting the run, as he will come off the perimeter to squeeze the edges of the box to make a tackle on a running back. Do not be shocked to see Brown develop into a safety before he leaves college, which is likely to LSU, per 247Sports.
Elijah Hood, RB
Running backs usually are in the best position to make an early impact, but that is not the only reason Elijah Hood belongs on this list.
The 4-star runner is a tank with the ball in his hands, as he has terrific power and tackle-breaking ability. Hood, who is nearly 6'0" and weighs 220 pounds, challenges defenders upon contact, drives his legs and pushes piles to pick up extra yards.
He has great build-up speed in the open field, and if he has the room, he can rumble downfield for big gains. North Carolina is expected to land him, says 247Sports, and Hood has the skills to carry the ball for the Tar Heels now.
Bryan Mone, DT
Bryan Mone is a 4-star defensive tackle from Utah who has limited public film. However, after a few plays of watching this mammoth recruit attack blockers, it is easy to see that he is ready for college football.
Mone is 6'4" and 338 pounds, so he immediately catches observers' eyes. He has great quickness for a big man. He does not waste time getting out of his stance at the snap.
Mone plays to his size at the point of attack, can be violent with his hands and displays fabulous power. The Michigan commit is not just a space-eater, he is a player who has the tools to make plays in the trenches.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
A 5-star recruit, Raekwon McMillan fits best as an inside/middle linebacker. He has the strength, athleticism, quickness and speed to be able to contribute on early running downs for a college defense in the 2013 season.
McMillan, who is 6'2" and 242 pounds, has good instincts and a solid feel for anticipating plays. He quickly shoots gaps, plays strong at the point of attack and forcefully sheds blocks.
McMillan displays great range, as he laterally scrapes to the edges and hits like a truck when he meets a running back. He is expected to sign with Ohio State, according to 247Sports.
Cameron Robinson, OT
Offensive linemen typically do not make instant impacts, so it is rare for a blocker to be on a list of this kind.
However, Cameron Robinson has the potential to be a special left tackle in college. The Louisiana native is 6'5", 330 pounds and is a natural knee-bender. Robinson fires back quickly out of his stance, is tough to beat deep in the pocket and has the agility to shadow rushers to protect his quarterback.
He has good strength to clear holes in the running game, can reach linebackers on the second level and has the ability to break down to hit moving targets in space.
LSU or Alabama will sign the 5-star lineman, says 247Sports.
Da'Shawn Hand, DE
Da'Shawn Hand is not the most explosive defensive end in the country, but he can set the edge versus running plays and fights like a warrior to pressure the passer.
The 5-star defensive end is 6'4" and 254 pounds, possesses great strength and displays quick hands. He can use his mitts as weapons, punches blockers with power and can burst to close on the ball.
Hand is a versatile defender, as he can play the traditional defensive end positions, kick inside to defensive tackle, play the 5-technique defensive end spot or stand up as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Michigan, Alabama and Florida are his leaders, per 247Sports.
Jabrill Peppers, CB/ATH
The most versatile player in the nation, Jabrill Peppers is ready for the college game right now. He is a 5-star recruit who is 6'1" and 205 pounds, and he will initially play cornerback for Michigan.
Peppers has rare instincts, awareness and anticipation for a high school player. He understands concepts, is rarely fooled and plays with great confidence.
The New Jersey native also is a gifted athlete who has great speed, explosiveness, agility and strength. He can match up with big receivers on the perimeter, support the run and even play safety.
If Peppers became eligible for college football today, he would be starting in Ann Arbor by the middle of the season.
Leonard Fournette, RB
Leonard Fournette is a special running back prospect who stands 6'1" and weighs nearly 230 pounds. He can be a patient runner, set up his blocks and take advantage of a defense's mistakes.
Yet Fournette can attack defensive fronts since he has great quickness through holes, strength to break tackles and the speed to make big plays. Although he gathers to cut at times, Fournette has good agility and displays solid elusiveness.
He also has great hands and can be a featured weapon in the passing game. Fournette has been ready for college football since his junior season.
He is expected to sign with Alabama or LSU, per 247Sports.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
The recruits on this list are all located on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map.
It is never too late to begin using this tool to see where the elite college football recruits are located.