Army All-American Bowl 2014: 10 Sleeper Recruits You Need to Know More About
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is taking place on Saturday, but a good portion of the action has already started. The week of practices leading up to the game features some matchups recruiting fans can only dream about.
However, while the opportunity to see 5-star recruits battle each other for several days is great, sleepers also have a platform to prove they belong.
Heading into Saturday's game, there's several recruits you need to know about who have not been in the spotlight as much as they deserve.
Devante Downs, LB/RB
Devante Downs is a 3-star linebacker from Washington who can also play running back. At 6'3" and 230 pounds, he's got a thick frame that has a lot of strength.
Downs, who isn't the fastest player in the country, gets a jump on his opponents by using great vision and instincts. He plays with power at the point of attack, plus he has deceptive short-area quickness.
Downs has not gotten a lot of love and attention, but the California commit is a good football player.
Demetrius Johnson, WR/ATH
While his offense in high school didn't do a good job of showcasing his skills, Demetrius Johnson has a high ceiling as a receiver.
The Maryland native is a 3-star prospect who is 6'2" and 195 pounds. He flashes solid strength and ball skills, plus he appears to have a knack for changing speeds to get open. If things don't work out on offense for Johnson, he has the range and instincts to become an effective safety.
Marshall and Syracuse are his top schools, says 247Sports.
Chris Lammons, CB
Although he is a 4-star prospect, Chris Lammons does not get mentioned with the elite cornerbacks. Yet, he is not far behind the top group, as he just needs to be polished.
Lammons, who is committed to Florida, has exceptional short-area quickness to mirror and recover on the perimeter. The 5'9.5", 170-pounder plays with good confidence, plus he has quick feet to explode out of transition.
He's a player who will help the Gators before his career is over.
Connor Humphreys, DE
Connor Humphreys is a 4-star defensive end who could be a "swing" defensive lineman in college. At nearly 6'4" and 270 pounds, the Oregon native can play inside or on the edges.
Humphreys has terrific first-step quickness to launch upfield at the snap. He routinely jumps on top of blockers, but he also has above-average strength at the point off attack. In fact, the Arizona State commit could be on pace to develop into a great 3-technique defensive tackle.
Kevin Mouhon, LB
Tennessee has an excellent recruiting class in the making. The group features a lot of talented players, which means a couple of pledges will get lost in the shuffle from time to time.
Kevin Mouhon, a 4-star linebacker from Georgia, is one of the recruits who has been a bit overlooked in the Volunteers' class. The Peach State native is a speedy 'backer who plays with impressive range.
At nearly 6'1" and 223 pounds, Mouhon has the ability to factor in coverage on third downs. With his speed, quickness, range and solid athletic ability, he will carve out a niche for himself in Knoxville.
Connor Mayes, OL
Hailing from Texas, Connor Mayes is an underrated 3-star offensive lineman who can play guard or center. At 6'5" and 320 pounds, Mayes has fantastic size and strength.
He has average quickness at the snap but gets stronger as the play wears on. The Minnesota commit can lean on defensive tackles to tire them out once the fourth quarter arrives. Mayes also has solid vision, evidenced by his ability to handle twists, stunts and blitzes.
He will become a solid starter for the Gophers.
Naijiel Hale, CB
There are cornerbacks in this class who are bigger and faster then 3-star prospect Naijiel Hale. However, not many play with the heart, hustle, fire and vision he has.
At 5'10.5" and 175 pounds, Hale displays outstanding short-area quickness to drive and close on balls underneath him. The California native has good instincts and awareness in zone schemes, plus he possesses deceptive strength to fight bigger players to make different types of plays.
He's committed to Arizona.
Natrell Curtis, OG
An offensive line coach is going to get ahold of Natrell Curtis and mold him into a stud. The 3-star guard has a lot of potential—he just needs coaching and development.
Curtis, who is from Phoenix, is 6'3" and 335 pounds. He has fantastic strength and power, plus he shows adequate range and short-area quickness. Curtis has the potential to be dominant as a run-blocker due to his size and upper-body strength, plus he flashes the skills to effectively short-set in pass protection.
Keep an eye on Oklahoma and Washington, per 247Sports.
Ainuu Taua, DL
At 5'11.5" and 287 pounds, Ainuu Taua doesn't have ideal size for the defensive tackle position. Yet, he has solid first-step quickness at the snap to slip blocks and penetrate gaps.
He has above-average strength to hold his own in the trenches, plus he has uses his hands in a powerful manner to beat up blockers. The 4-star California native is headed to UCLA.
Caleb Henderson, QB
The more one evaluates Caleb Henderson on tape, the more it seems the 4-star quarterback could deserve an extra star. He has just about every physical tool a passer needs to be successful in college.
Henderson, who is committed to North Carolina, is 6'3" and 230 pounds. Aside from having a great frame, he has good quickness in his drops to set up in a flash. Henderson doesn't have a hitch in his delivery, plus he can make all the throws.
He sees the field well, evidenced by his ability to work through his progressions across the field. The future Tar Heel has good awareness to read coverages and fronts, plus he can make some plays with his legs.
UNC is getting a good one.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Check the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map to see if some of these sleepers are on it!