Wide receiver Frank Iheanacho wasn't even on the college football radar entering the 2013 season, but after a fantastic campaign at Westside High School in Houston, Texas, interest heated up. It all culminated in him committing to play at Texas A&M Saturday, according to Brandon Huffman of Fox Sports:
Houston (Texas) Westside receiver Frank Iheanacho commits to Texas A&M... #ArmyBowl— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) January 4, 2014
Despite Iheanacho's obvious physical tools, he had to play his way into the conversation this past season. According to 247Sports.com, he didn't play football in 2012, instead concentrating solely on basketball. He returned to the gridiron in 2013, though, and managed to reel in 44 passes for 652 yards and 16 touchdowns.
That touchdown total is what had so many top schools salivating. At 6'7" and 220 pounds, it shouldn't take Iheanacho long to be a red-zone weapon at the very least. He still has to develop other areas of his game, but he has all the potential in the world.
When asked about his return to the sport of football, Iheanacho told Brian Perroni of 247Sports.com that his teammates convinced him to give it another try.
“My teammates, I would talk to them about it,” Iheanacho said of returning to the football team his senior year. “Those are like my brothers. I really just wanted to come out and have fun with them and get to play football again.”
What will Iheanacho's role ultimately be in college?
Per 247Sports.com, Iheanacho is the No. 71 overall recruit and the No. 8 overall wide receiver, which is amazing when you consider how little experience he has. Even so, Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, Missouri and a host of other top programs were vying for his services.
Iheanacho clearly seemed to enjoy the recruitment process as well. As seen in this photo courtesy of his Instagram account, he was quite impressed with what the Razorbacks had to offer:
Westside head coach Frank Byrd has had nothing but good things to say about Iheanacho, per Perroni.
“He’s a big kid that moves so well,” Byrd said. “We saw flashes of it his sophomore year but we didn’t know quite what to expect when he came back. He was just a natural route-runner. He was so smooth, especially for being so big."
What Byrd sees in Iheanacho is likely right in line with what those who were trying to recruit him saw. Even though he's still somewhat raw as he tries to convert his natural talent into on-field excellence, it is blatantly obvious that he has the ability to be a very special player.
As seen in this video of Iheanacho's high school highlights, he often uses his size to take advantage of smaller defensive backs. That is something that he must continue to do since he'll have a height advantage no matter who he goes up against.
With that said, there is more to the collegiate game than that. Iheanacho will have to polish his route-running even more, especially in the short and intermediate areas. He is a big threat over the top due to his leaping ability already, but he can be even better once he rounds out his game.
Clearly, there is plenty of belief that Iheanacho can take that next step since so many high-profile programs wanted him. He has finally made his decision, but the work has only just begun in terms of fulfilling his immense promise.
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