Best Fit for Every Uncommitted 5-Star 2014 College Football Recruit
Every uncommitted 5-star recruit has a tough choice to make.
Aside from deciding which school gives them the best chance to succeed off the field and academically, the uncommitted 5-star recruits will also have to determine where they each fit best on the football field.
A running back can fit in anywhere, but one of his top schools will have exceptional talent across the offensive line. A linebacker may be favoring a Big Ten school, but two SEC programs run schemes that are better fits for him. Plus, an athlete would be wise to choose a team that runs a spread offense.
Note: Prospects considered 5-star recruits are based on the 247Sports composite rankings.
Laurence Jones, S
Best fit: Alabama or LSU
At 6'2" and 214 pounds, Laurence Jones is a 5-star safety who looks like a linebacker. He has great range on the third level, as the Louisiana native displays great speed to make a variety of plays.
Jones is at his best when he can roam around to jump passing lanes. Alabama and LSU are his top schools, says 247Sports. Both schools have a history of producing great defensive backs, so Jones can't go wrong with either choice.
Damien Mama, OG
Best fit: USC, Alabama or Wisconsin
Damien Mama is a talented 5-star offensive lineman who has the potential to dominate at guard. He is 6'4" and 370 pounds, plus he has outstanding strength at the point of attack.
Mama is not restricted to just mauling in a phone booth, as the big man has light feet to play in space. The California native can powerfully anchor versus massive defensive linemen with ease.
USC is in the mix for Mama, along with Wisconsin and Alabama, per 247Sports. He would be a great fit at any of those three programs.
Clifton Garrett, LB
Best fit: LSU
Hailing from Illinois, 5-star linebacker Clifton Garrett has a playing style that can travel anywhere. He is a ferocious hitter who is 6'2" and 228 pounds.
Instincts and ball-location capabilities are also included in his skill set.
Garrett is a blue-collar player who relishes contact on every play. He also has explosive short-area quickness and speed. The stud 'backer's fast and physical style of play is a perfect match for LSU's defense.
Speedy Noil, WR/ATH
Best fit: Texas A&M
If there is one player who definitely belongs in a spread offense, it's 5-star athlete Speedy Noil. The New Orleans native has incredible speed and athleticism.
At 5'10.5" and 176 pounds, Noil is a terror for defenses in space. He has natural instincts with the ball, plus he possesses exceptional explosiveness. A high-octane offense like Texas A&M's would be ideal for him, as it would accent his strengths perfectly as a player.
Jamal Adams, S
Best fit: Anywhere
Jamal Adams is a 5-star safety who can play anywhere in the country. He has the toughness to play in the Big Ten, the speed to perform well in the SEC and the athleticism needed to have success in the Pac-12.
Adams, who is 6'0" and 199 pounds, has a great burst to the football. He also is willing to support the run like an extra linebacker. Texas and Florida are his favorites, according to 247Sports. Adams projects as a good fit at any program due to his well-rounded skill set.
Gerald Willis, DL
Best fit: LSU or Texas A&M
At 6'3" and 275 pounds, Gerald Willis is a 5-star defensive lineman who can play inside or outside. He can shoot through gaps with quickness, plus he has the toughness to hold his own in the trenches.
Willis belongs in an attack-style 4-3 defense, as he is at his best when he is allowed to use his short-area speed to surge upfield. The Louisiana native has LSU and Texas A&M beating down his door, according to 247Sports, and he would fit in well at either school.
Jalen Tabor, CB
Best fit: Maryland
If 5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor wants to give himself the best chance at playing as a true freshman, he will sign with Maryland. The D.C. native would be in a comfortable and familiar environment, which will help him transition into college.
At 6'1" and 182 pounds, Tabor has ideal size for the cornerback position.
He loves to press and reroute receivers at the line before carrying them downfield with his solid speed. Florida and Alabama are also in the mix, reports 247Sports.
Joe Mixon, RB
Best fit: California
Joe Mixon is a 5-star running back who also has great skills in the passing game. At 6'2" and 195 pounds, he is comfortable catching the football downfield.
Mixon, who has good straight-line speed, belongs in an offense that will let him showcase his talent as a runner and receiver. The northern California native would be an excellent fit at nearby Cal, as playing in head coach Sonny Dykes' spread offense would be a great fit for Mixon's skill set.
Solomon Thomas, DL
Best fit: Stanford or Notre Dame
Solomon Thomas is a 5-star defensive end, but the Texas native is not going to lead anyone in sacks. He is at his best when he can punch blockers at the line of scrimmage to set the edge versus running plays.
Thomas, who is 6'3" and 256 pounds, is on track to become a great 3-4 defensive end. Due to his strength and power, Thomas has the ideal traits of a 5-technique. Signing with Stanford or Notre Dame would be a wise move for him.
Damian Prince, OT
Best fit: Maryland
With Maryland running several variations of option plays, having offensive linemen who have quickness and agility are needed in College Park. Damian Prince is a 5-star offensive tackle who has the athleticism to fit in well in the Terps' system.
At 6'5" and 295 pounds, Prince isn't the most physical blocker in the nation, but he has the ability to hit moving targets. He also would be a great fit at Maryland due to him being from the state.
Malachi Dupre, WR
Best fit: LSU or UCLA
At nearly 6'3" and 190 pounds, Malachi Dupre is a big receiver with graceful movement skills on the perimeter. He glides off the line into his routes, but he does flash explosive quickness to separate from defenders.
Dupre would be a great fit at LSU because he would be able to stay in his state while playing for an SEC team that could offer the 5-star recruit immediate playing time. However, UCLA runs with a spread offense, plus the Bruins have freshman quarterback Asiantii Woulard waiting to take over for incumbent stud Brett Hundley.
John Smith, ATH
Best fit: USC
A 5-star athlete, John Smith has the potential to be a great receiver or safety. He is 6'1" and 200 pounds, plus he has outstanding speed.
Smith, who is from California, explodes to the ball to make plays on offense or defense. He's an agile player who has solid awareness and strength. USC will likely need to replace Marqise Lee after this season, plus the Trojans have a depleted roster.
Smith could see the field immediately at receiver with the Trojans.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
Best fit: Alabama or Georgia
Raekwon McMillan is capable of playing middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, but he would be even better as an inside 'backer in a 3-4 defense.
The 5-star recruit has great size at 6'2" and 242 pounds, plus he plays like a giant at the point of attack. McMillan possesses above-average range to man the middle by himself, but his overall skill set would reach its peak faster in a scheme such as Alabama's or Georgia's.
Tony Brown, DB
Best fit: LSU or Alabama
Tony Brown is one of the most talented high school football players in the country. The 5-star defensive back can play all three general coverage techniques in an impressive fashion.
At 6'0" and 188 pounds, Brown can play cornerback on the field side or boundary. He also has the skills to play both safety positions, plus Brown can help at nickel cornerback and even outside linebacker.
The Texas native has great speed and instincts, and he displays impressive strength. Brown is expected to sign with LSU, say many of the experts at 247Sports.
He would also be a candidate for immediate playing time at Alabama.
Lorenzo Carter, DE
Best fit: Alabama
At 6'5" and 232 pounds, Carter has the athleticism and pass-rushing ability to play the "Jack" linebacker position for 'Bama.
The Peach State prospect has good quickness at the snap to burst upfield. Carter can put his hand down to rush, but he also displays the athleticism to be fine from a 2-point stance.
Adoree' Jackson, CB
Best fit: Anywhere
At only 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, some would say Adoree' Jackson should stay out of the physically taxing SEC.
However, Jackson has the strength and athleticism to play bigger than his size.
He is an elite athlete who has natural instincts. Jackson displays loose hips to mirror receivers while on an island, plus he has terrific quickness to shoot out of transition to close in on the ball. The tough 5-star prospect is so athletically gifted that he can fit in at any program in the country.
Marlon Humphrey, CB
Best fit: Alabama
Marlon Humphrey would be wise to sign with Alabama, as he would receive excellent coaching. Head coach Nick Saban is one of the best defensive back tutors in the business, so the 5-star recruit would be schooled in a pro-style setting.
Humphrey, who is 6'1" and 175 pounds, has the prototypical awareness and instincts 'Bama wants in a cornerback prospect. Plus, Humphrey plays a position that is needed in Tuscaloosa.
Da'Shawn Hand, DE
Best fit: Michigan
At 6'4" and 254 pounds, Da'Shawn Hand is a 5-star defensive end who has the ability to dominate on the strong side. He can stand up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but Hand fits best in a 4-3 defense.
The Virginia native has above-average quickness at the snap, but it's his strength at the point of attack that is his best asset. Hand routinely sets the edge versus running plays before powerfully shedding to make stops.
Leonard Fournette, RB
Best fit: Alabama
Alabama has seven great offensive linemen in its 2014 recruiting class, so Fournette would have a lot of running room. As a program known for its commitment to running the football, 'Bama would surely know how to use the 6'1", 226-pound Fournette.
He'll be fine wherever he goes, but the Crimson Tide could put Fournette in the best position to succeed at the next level.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Use the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map to track every uncommitted 5-star recruit through February!
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.