Which Team Is Best Fit for Uncommitted 5-Star WR Speedy Noil?
New Orleans area star Speedy Noil is currently involved in numerous recruitments with programs from coast to coast. The 5'11", 180-pound prospect is a senior quarterback at Edna Karr High School, but he's viewed as a wide receiver or athlete-at-large in collegiate recruiting departments.
Noil, who tallied more than 3,500 total yards and 44 touchdowns as a junior, lives up to his moniker with a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, per 247Sports. He displays elite athleticism largely unrivaled in the 2014 class.
The uncommitted 5-star prospect is listed as the nation's No. 1 wide receiver prospect in 247Sports rankings, which also considers him the 13th-best overall prospect in America. His expansive offer list includes Auburn, Ohio State, Miami, Florida State and Notre Dame.
He unveiled a list of his top five choices in July, according to The Advocate. Noil named Oregon, Texas A&M, LSU, USC and Florida as his favorites after attending camp in Baton Rouge.
Noil, who plans to announce his decision in January at the Under Armour All-America Game, has since trimmed his top suitors to three schools. He considers Florida, USC and Texas A&M the teams to beat at this point, per ESPN.com reporter Mitch Sherman.
With those three schools in mind, let's take a look at how Noil would fit in as a member of each program. He's still nearly three months away from the big announcement, so don't be surprised if a team like nearby LSU slips back into the mix, even if he's grown weary of sales pitches for the hometown team.
The Florida Gators are in an offensive drought these days, ranking 93rd in the nation in points and 96th in passing yards, per ESPN.com. A supremely talented Gators defense (ranked fourth nationally in points against) can only do so much as the team looks to return to the glory of Urban Meyer's tenure.
Head coach Will Muschamp has done an excellent job of attempting to address offensive woes through recruiting. His 2014 class currently includes three of the nation's top 30 players, all stars on offense.
5-star prospects Ermon Lane (wide receiver, Homestead, Fla.), Dalvin Cook (running back, Miami, Fla.) and Will Grier (quarterback, Davidson, N.C.) provide immediate explosiveness. If Noil elects to join this group, the Gators will have an offensive core for the future that challenges any in the nation.
A receiver's best friend is his quarterback and the Gators found a great one in Grier, who is considered the nation's No. 2 pro-style passer in 247Sports composite rankings. Florida would look to exploit defenses with Noil's quickness, setting the stage for dangerous bubble screens and timing routes.
The Gators' top 2013 receiving targets are predominately upperclassmen, including Trey Burton, Solomon Patton and Quinton Dunbar. The door is open for Noil to solidify a significant role as a freshman at Florida.
Noil visited College Station with Edna Karr teammate Gerald Willis, a 5-star defensive lineman. He watched the Aggies' anticipated SEC matchup against Alabama, a team that also extended an offer to Noil.
Texas A&M is hitting on all cylinders offensively again in 2013, as the team ranks fourth in points per game and sixth in passing yards. Obviously, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is paramount to the Aggies' attack, and his status beyond this junior season remains unknown.
Regardless of what Manziel opts to do following the season, head coach Kevin Sumlin will welcome in the nation's No. 1 quarterback recruit next year, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) High School quarterback Kyle Allen is committed to Texas A&M. The 5-star prospect would surely love to arrive on campus with Noil and create an instantly fearsome freshman tandem.
Aggies leading receiver Mike Evans is only a redshirt sophomore but could depart early for the NFL. He is currently listed as a firm first-round draft prospect by CBS Sports.
Fellow Texas A&M standout receiving targets Derel Walker (senior) and Malcome Kennedy (redshirt junior) won't be around much longer. Noil would thrive in the Aggies' quick-hit offense, providing Sumlin with a key weapon because of his ability to stretch the defense down field.
Obviously the Southern California Trojans must be considered a wild card in any recruiting discussion. The program recently dismissed head coach Lane Kiffin and most anticipate an impending pursuit for a big-time coaching candidate.
USC's offensive attack has been anemic throughout the season, especially in the passing game. The Trojans have had trouble getting the ball to one-time Heisman Trophy candidate Marquise Lee with regularity and at this point the receiver is biding his time before he suits up on Sundays.
The Trojans have an ample amount of youth behind Lee at the position, but no player has established themselves as a star-in-the-making through five weeks of action. USC currently ranks 102nd nationally in passing productivity.
Perhaps more alarming than the present issues is USC's lack of incoming talent at offensive skill positions. The program's eight-person 2014 recruiting class, which currently hangs in limbo following Kiffin's firing, features six lineman, a linebacker and a 3-star safety.
Noil needs to realize that if he commits to USC, it's as a part of a new foundation for a rebuilding team. A series of unimpressive seasons and scholarship sanctions have left the Trojan's cupboard of talent quite bare.
Noil has the skill set, confidence and athletic prowess to play immediately at practically every school in the country. He would have opportunities to compete for early playing time with all three squads, though success would be hardest to find at USC.
He may be more of a focal point at USC, where skill level has dissipated during recent years, but it would be a process of peaks and valleys in a new regime with inexperienced players. Florida and Texas A&M present better options.
The chance to join a uniquely rare freshman class at Florida sets the Gators apart. He would enter training camp as a member of an immensely promising group of young playmakers that haven't been seen in Gainesville since Tim Tebow was targeting Percy Harvin.
It would break the hearts of LSU fans everywhere to watch a native son battle the Tigers throughout his career, but Florida is the ideal fit for Noil when considering his top three choices.
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