The SEC is the premier conference in college football. However, many non-SEC schools still have still scored top commitments for 2014 recruiting. Not every high school player wants to play in the SEC, although it seems that way.
Several non-SEC schools have convinced elite prospects to commit to their programs over becoming just another player in the talented conference. While the SEC will still land some of the best recruits in the country, several of the nation's best players are headed elsewhere.
An ACC program beat out several SEC schools for a pair of elite recruits. A quarterback who plays in the South will throw passes for a non-SEC program in the South, plus a pair of great running backs are also on this list.
Although Kc McDermott can play left tackle, his skill set projects best to the right side in college. He is a tough blocker who is from Florida and committed to Miami.
McDermott, who is 6'6" and 285 pounds, is a 5-star offensive tackle who has good strength and agility. He can set up quickly to protect the quarterback, flashes a good punch and moves well when engaged in tight space.
He does not fall for twists and tricks often, adjusts well to delayed blitzes and has a powerful anchor. McDermott will reach linebackers on the second level but is a better man-on-man drive-blocker in the running game.
A 4-star defensive tackle, Bryan Mone should be ready to play as a freshman for Michigan. He is a mammoth at 6'4" and 338 pounds, but Mone does not move like a heavy player.
The Utah native has great quickness in the trenches, evidenced by his explosive get-off at the snap. Mone likes to punch a blocker at the point of attack, peak in the backfield to read a play, shed and pursue the ball.
He can anchor to make a mess in the middle but also flashes the ability to squeeze through gaps. Mone has quick but violent hands and can be a menace when he attacks the pocket.
Deshaun Watson is a 6'3", 200-pound quarterback who sees the field well and makes quick decisions.
Although he works from the shotgun most of the time, Watson flashes the ability to quickly drive to his launch point, plant and get the football to a receiver in a hurry due to the Georgia native's ability process information while dropping back.
He displays good arm strength, especially in the intermediate areas of the field. Watson can attack the perimeter and third level of the field but also is an accurate passer. If the pocket gets jammed with traffic, the 4-star Clemson commit has the mobility to escape and make plays with his legs.
North Carolina has to be excited over the pending arrival of 4-star running back Elijah Hood. He is the face of the Tar Heels' recruiting class, works hard and will help keep UNC's offense on schedule.
Hood, who is 5'11.5" and 222 pounds, has good quickness to and through holes. He flashes some wiggle in his running style, but this is a running back who operates with power, strength and force.
He can challenge defenders at the point of attack, lower his shoulder and deliver a pop to finish runs. Hood also has the ability to break tackles and carry defenders for extra yardage after contact.
If he has the space, he can build up to top speed and rumble for big gains. He's a talented running back who will be fun to watch in Chapel Hill.
After catching 102 passes for 1,600 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior, 4-star receiver K.D. Cannon will have a tough time topping those marks as a senior in Texas.
However, the 6'0", 162-pounder has the talent to do so. He releases quickly off the line and threatens safeties with speed but can also sharply cut to separate from cornerbacks on intermediate routes.
Cannon has outstanding hands and ball skills, as catching in crowds is when he is most focused. He displays good run-after-catch ability, can transfer upfield quickly and has good instincts as a runner.
Keller Chryst has an excellent pedigree for a quarterback. His father, Geep, is the quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers, while his uncle, Paul, is the head coach at Pitt and one of the better offensive minds in college football.
Chryst, who is 6'4" and 220 pounds, is a 5-star passer with all of the needed physical tools to be successful. He has great mechanics, drives away from the center quickly but with poise and keeps his eyes downfield.
Chryst has an over-the-top delivery that he uses to throw the football to receivers, with solid velocity. He can pitch with touch and control, and he has deceptive mobility.
Stanford will love him.
Joseph Yearby is a 4-star running back who could be the next Duke Johnson for Miami. He has fantastic quickness, agility and speed, which makes him lethal in space.
Yearby, who is from South Florida, has good instincts and vision both behind and past the line of scrimmage. He can shoot to backside holes, skate through creases and has the lateral movement skills to jump to the edges.
Yearby is as elusive a runner as one will find in the 2014 class. He wiggles away from defenders and does not let anyone get a clean shot on him. He will impact the Hurricanes roster as a runner, receiver and returner.
Explosive defensive tackles are always in demand, which is part of the reason why Andrew Brown was such a coveted recruit. However, he has elected to stay close to home and play for Virginia.
Brown, who is 6'4" and listed at 282 pounds, can fire off the ball to quickly gain leverage on an offensive lineman. He flashes the ability to use his hands to press blockers off of him, has the strength to anchor and plays big at the point of attack.
Brown, a 5-star prospect, also is a solid athlete when pursuing the football. He can re-direct and explode to the ball to finish a play.
Quin Blanding is a 5-star safety who is the best player at his position in the country. The Virginia native has just about everything one needs to become an All-ACC player.
Blanding, who is 6'2" and 200 pounds, can sit on top of the defense and control the game from the third level. He has a knack for not being looked off by quarterbacks, doesn't panic when attacked by multiple receivers on combo routes and is explosive out of transition.
Blanding has good speed, outstanding vision and also does not waste time when attacking the line of scrimmage to defend running plays. He should start early in his career for the Cavs.
A 5-star athlete, Jabrill Peppers could be the most versatile prospect in the country. He can excel at running back, safety, receiver, outside linebacker and as a returner on special teams.
However, Michigan will likely line him up at cornerback to begin his career. Peppers, a 6'1", 205-pound New Jersey native, has fantastic speed, agility, intelligence, awareness and quickness.
He can play all three general coverage techniques on the perimeter, flip his hips to carry receivers deep and explodes out of transition to close on underneath routes. He has great range, supports the run off the edges and has an impressive work ethic.
The 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map should be your main resource for information through signing day!
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