2014 CB Recruits Who Could Be Moved to Safety in College
The 2014 recruiting class has a great group of cornerbacks, as many college programs are looking for athletes who can cover to help stop today's revolution of spread offenses.
After looking extensively at this year's class of cornerbacks, a trend was noticed: Several could become safeties in college. Whether a cornerback is on pace to outgrow the position, lacks elite speed or has better vision from the middle of the third level, playing safety is an option for several 2014 prospects.
A cornerback in Texas could play four different positions in the secondary at the next level, while another prospect from the same state already could be too big for the perimeter. Also, a prized recruit committed to a Big Ten school will start his career at cornerback, but could leave as a safety.
Although he can play cornerback, Dravon Henry has the potential to be an even better safety. The 4-star prospect is 5'11", weighs 185 pounds and has great range.
Henry, who is from Pennsylvania, has good speed and fantastic ball skills. He moves well on the back end, has excellent transition quickness and shows great plant-and-drive ability. Henry has good instincts, does a great job of reading routes and acts like a receiver when the ball is thrown.
His best position may be free safety, not cornerback. Pitt and West Virginia are his leaders, says 247Sports.
Jalen Tabor is a 5-star cornerback who is at his best when he can walk up to a receiver, jam and re-route at the line. He is 6'1", 182 pounds and could fit well on the boundary in college.
However, Tabor flashes some tension in his hips, is not a sprinter on the field and will add natural bulk as he gets older. Those traits lead one to believe that a move to safety could be on the horizon.
If Tabor sticks at cornerback, the scheme will have to be heavy on press-man and zone coverage. If not, then it is only a matter of time before he moves to the seams. Look for Tabor to ultimately decide to stay close to home and play for Maryland.
At first glance, it is easy to mistake 4-star defensive back Edward Paris for a safety.
He is 6'1", and likely weighs more than his listed weight of 190 pounds. Depending on the publication, some already list Paris as a safety.
However, he plays cornerback for Mansfield Timberview High School in Texas.
Paris has great athletic ability, but it is his short-area quickness and length that allow him to hold his own on the perimeter. With his size, outstanding range and good ball skills, safety is his likely destination at LSU.
Of all the cornerbacks on this list, Marlon Humphrey may have the best chance to stay on the perimeter. However, he could be a dynamic safety in college because he's such a heady and intelligent defender.
The 5-star prospect is 6'1", 175 pounds and has exceptional range. He is a smooth athlete who can be left responsible for setting and re-setting coverages in the secondary, has great ball skills and will support the run when he can.
It would not be surprising to see Humphrey become a great cornerback in college, but keep an eye on him as a safety prospect. It would be shocking if the Alabama native did not sign with 'Bama.
As a press-corner, Tony Brown has terrific skills. He's also wonderful in off-man alignments, and even has the ability to work well in zone schemes.
The Texas native is 6'0", 188 pounds and is also one of the top track and field sprinters in the country. However, Brown is more than just an amazing athlete due to his natural instincts, awareness and vision on the field.
With his good size, range and well-rounded skill set, Brown could find himself playing several different positions on defense in college. Free safety, strong safety, rover and nickel cornerback all are realistic options for the 5-star prospect.
Jabrill Peppers is the most versatile player in the country, but he will begin his career as a cornerback at Michigan. The New Jersey native is a rare athlete who stands 6'1", has great speed and plays with exceptional instincts.
However, Peppers already weighs 205 pounds and will only get bigger as his career wears on. He already has the size of a safety, which means he could outgrow the cornerback position before he arrives in Ann Arbor.
His vision, confidence, range, quickness and willingness to support the run are natural traits of a safety.
The 5-star recruit could find himself defending the seams on a permanent basis sooner than Big Blue supporters think.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Many of the cornerback/safety prospects on this list can be located on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! Use this interactive tool to find them!
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.