Alabama has another excellent recruiting class, and one of its top commitments is from 4-star cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent. A Georgia native, Bessent is one of the top prospects in the country at his position.
'Bama has produced several outstanding defensive backs recently, so it knows what it is doing when it comes to picking cornerback recruits to go after on the trail. Bessent could be the next great player in the Crimson Tide's secondary.
His skills, accomplishments, and talent give him a bright future, and also warrant a more in-depth observation.
Bessent is an elite cornerback prospect who plays for Camden County in Georgia. He established himself as a standout defensive back in 2012 by posting 22 tackles and six interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Bessent also added four pass-breakups and forced a fumble. He has been selected to play in the 2014 Under Armour All-American game in January.
Bessent is a 6'0", 170-pound cornerback with excellent length in his frame. This is not a robotic player, as he displays great instincts and awareness on the field.
Bessent excels in off-man and zone coverage, where he sits off a receiver and reads their routes before quickly processing information. He has loose hips, operates low and square when backpedaling and possesses outstanding transition quickness. Bessent, who is agile and has quick feet, rarely wastes steps.
He has a knack for understanding route combinations when multiple pass-catchers align on his side of the field. Bessent shows a great feel for routes versus single receivers, plays with confidence and could be dominate on the boundary.
He has the ability to stick to the hip of a receiver, and has great short-area quickness to recover. The Peach State prospect is disciplined at insisting he is the middle of passing lanes. He attacks the ball with his hands, and flashes natural receiving ability.
Overall, this is an instinctive defensive back with flexible hips, field vision, fluid athleticism and ball skills.
Bessent has adequate speed for a cornerback, but there are faster players in the country at his position. He may be better suited to be a "faster" safety, rather than a cornerback with average speed.
He could have minor trouble with speedy SEC receivers at the top of their routes on the third level of the defense. Bessent also has questionable strength, which hinders his ability to press and re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage.
He will need to add more bulk and power to challenge college receivers in press-man coverage. Bessent also needs to become a better tackler. His lack of strength leads to him leaking yards to ball-carriers after contact.
This is a clip of highlights of Bessent put together by B/R's Full Ride video series. It constantly shows his great ball skills, athleticism and hands.
At 0:36, watch Bessent displays great explosiveness and short-area quickness to get to the football.
Here are some additional highlights of Bessent making plays. At 0:44, his ability to react quickly and turn and run with receivers is displayed. Bessent also makes a few plays on offense during this reel.
Another interesting tidbit about Bessent is that he seems to exclusively line up at left cornerback for his defense.
Bessent must add bulk to his long and skinny frame. So expect him to commit himself to Alabama's strength and conditioning program, which will likely get him to at least the 190-pound mark.
He will likely be a boundary-style cornerback in college, where he'll be asked to play on the short side of the field.
However, do not rule out a move to safety, as Bessent's ball skills, instincts and ability to cover tight ends could be better assets at that position.
Bessent can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map, which features the best recruits in the country. This mobile-ready tool should serve as your main resource for locating prospects during the 2014 recruiting cycle!
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.