2014 Committed Recruits Facing Serious Depth Chart Battles
Many recruits choose schools that give them the best chance of playing early. However, a common mistake they make is failing to realistically survey a school's depth chart.
Recruits often overlook who the program of their choice signed in the past two classes, as there can be a logjam at their position or a budding star who is an incumbent. This leads to recruits facing great battles just to crack the two-deep depth chart.
Several committed recruits in the 2014 class appear to headed for an uphill climb on the depth chart, including a pair of speedsters headed to a Big Ten program. A talented quarterback will have to beat out multiple passers to start next year, while an offensive lineman may not be heard from for a while.
Cameron Sims, WR
Cameron Sims is a 4-star receiver who is nearly 6'4" and weighs 199 pounds. He has good speed, releases quickly off the line and can catch in a crowd.
Sims, who is from Louisiana, is headed to Alabama, but he will face stiff competition at the receiver position.
Aside from boasting talented playmaker Amari Cooper, Alabama also features players such as Chris Black, Christion Jones, Robert Foster and Ardarius Stewart, plus fellow 2014 4-star commitment Derek Kief.
While Sims has the ability to become a great receiver in Tuscaloosa, he will have to beat out several talented players before he reaches greatness.
Royce Freeman, RB
Running backs today do not like to redshirt, so many of them pick a school where they can get immediate carries.
Yet Royce Freeman, a 4-star running back from California, may not see the field immediately at Oregon. The Ducks have 2013 signee Thomas Tyner and 2012 signee Byron Marshall in the stable, so Freeman's carries may be severely limited early in his career in Eugene.
At just over 5'11" and 215 pounds, Freeman could spend a year increasing his flexibility while fully learning Oregon's offense and protections.
Parris Campbell, WR/RB and Curtis Samuel, RB/ATH, Ohio State
Ohio State is expecting to see an immediate return in its investment in freshman Dontre Wilson. The speedster can play running back, wide receiver, slot receiver and return kicks.
The Buckeyes also signed Jalin Marshall in 2013, and while he can play quarterback, look for Marshall to settle into his role as a receiver/running back.
With the emergence of these two talented young Buckeyes, 4-star recruits Parris Campbell and Curtis Samuel make this list. The players are both electric with the ball, but it will be tough for them to see action as freshmen with Marshall and Wilson already producing on the roster.
Bo Scarbrough, RB
Bo Scarbrough is a 5-star athlete who is more of a running back who can play receiver than he is a receiver who can play running back. The 6'2", 225-pound Alabama native will play for the Crimson Tide next year, but he likely will not make a big impact.
The Tide signed four excellent running back prospects in 2013, including Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones. Alabama also will return starter T.J. Yeldon, plus runners such as Dee Hart and Kenyan Drake.
Scarbrough's best chance to see the field as a true freshman will be on special teams, as he could potentially be behind seven players on the depth chart at his position.
Quenton Nelson, OL
Quenton Nelson is a talented 4-star offensive lineman headed to Notre Dame. He is a 6'5", 295-pounder who can play tackle or guard for the Irish.
However, as good a prospect as Nelson is, he will join a program that has signed eight offensive linemen in the past two years, including five in 2013. It may be in Nelson's best interest to expect to be redshirted during his initial year in South Bend.
David Cornwell, QB
At 6'5", 241 pounds, David Cornwell is one of the best passers in the country. The 4-star recruit plays in Oklahoma, where he routinely displays excellent arm strength.
Cornwell can stand in the pocket, look over the rush, go through his progressions and accurately deliver the football to targets with authority. He is committed to Alabama and is not coming to Tuscaloosa to sit on the bench.
That is a great mentality to have, but it may not be enough. Alabama will have quarterbacks such as Cooper Bateman, Luke Del Rio, Alex Morris and Parker McLeod also competing for the right to replace A.J. McCarron.
Cornwell is going to have to light it up if he's to play early in Tuscaloosa. If not, it may be awhile before he makes any impact.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Several of the top committed recruits who face serious depth chart battles can be located on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!
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.