College Football

2015 College Football Recruits with Insane Athleticism

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMay 12, 2014

2015 College Football Recruits with Insane Athleticism

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Every college football program wants to sign players who have great athleticism. Quarterbacks need to be athletic enough to elude rushers and threaten defenses with their legs. Offensive linemen have to be good athletes to execute various types of blocks.

    No matter what position a player lines up at, he needs to be a good athlete. However, several recruits in the 2015 class appear to have exceptional athleticism.

    A 4-star prospect in Louisiana has no athletic limitations, while a 5-star cornerback in Texas can run like the wind in coverage. Plus, a 5-star defensive end has tested and timed well.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Minkah Fitzpatrick is a 5-star cornerback from New Jersey who is among the top athletes in the country at his position.

    Fitzpatrick, who is 6'0" and 185 pounds, has been timed as low as 3.87 in the short-shuttle drill, per Student Sports. That is a remarkable time, as it shows how explosive and quick Fitzpatrick is. He moves well in space, plus he has the strength to press receivers at the line.

    Getting on the field at Alabama is awfully tough for a young recruit, but Fitzpatrick's athleticism may help him play early as a true freshman.

Nathan Cottrell, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Haling from Knoxville, Nathan Cottrell is a 2-star recruit who doesn't get a lot of national attention. However, his athleticism warrants more time in the spotlight.

    The 5'10.5", 178-pounder has insane athletic ability. Cottrell has been timed at 4.35 in the 40-yard dash and 4.09 in the short-shuttle drill. Plus, he has a nearly 41-inch vertical jump, per Student Sports.

    Austin Peay and Chattanooga are his only offers, according to 247Sports. Don't be surprised to see a few bigger schools jump in on Cottrell, as he's a special athlete.

Malik Jefferson, LB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Watching Malik Jefferson move around on tape is a sight to see. The 5-star linebacker is a rare athlete for his position, plus he has great instincts and vision.

    The Texas native is already 6'2" and 225 pounds, but he will likely add 15-20 more pounds in college. Jefferson has excellent movement skills in space, and he is explosive in everything he does. Whether it is as an outside or inside linebacker, look for Jefferson's athletic ability to help him contribute immediately when he gets to college.

    Alabama and Texas A&M are his top schools, according to 247Sports

Derwin James, S

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Derwin James is a big safety who is already 6'2" and 201 pounds. Anyone who thinks he's stiff and rigid in coverage only needs to watch him move in space.

    James, who is from Florida, has been timed at 4.34 in the short-shuttle drill, says Student Sports. His explosiveness is also evident by his vertical jump of nearly 37 inches. Florida State is not only getting a talented 5-star defensive back with size and instincts, but it's also getting one of the better pure athletes in the 2015 class.

Martez Ivey, OT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Among the most gifted offensive line prospects athletically in recent memory, Martez Ivey will be an elite left tackle at the next level.

    The 6'6", 270-pounder has the athleticism of a receiver. Ivey bends naturally at the knees, which helps him explode out of his stance at the snap. He doesn't have any issues settling in space as a blocker, plus he can get to linebackers on the second level.

    Ivey's quick feet, agility and balance can be seen on full display when he works against pass-rushers to protect the quarterback. If you ever want to see what an athletic offensive lineman looks like, it is highly suggested you watch Ivey play.

    Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Auburn are his top suitors, per 247Sports.

Joshuwa Holloman, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Not many people have heard of Joshuwa Holloman, but the 3-star running back definitely deserves to be on a list such as this one.

    Holloman, who is from Michigan, is 5'11" and 180 pounds. He has a SPARQ Rating of 136.11 thanks to running a 4.26 40-yard dash and a 4.09 short-shuttle drill. He also has a vertical jump of more than 41 inches, according to Student Sports.

    Holloman has offers from schools such as Buffalo, Akron and Central Michigan, per 247Sports.

Rasheem Green, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At 6'5" and 275 pounds, 5-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green is such a great athlete that he could play defensive end in college.

    Green fires out hard at the snap, and he has terrific range in pursuit. The big man can chase ball-carriers laterally across the box, and he has the speed to reach them on the edges. Green has solid strength, but he can get past blockers simply by being a superior athlete.

    He's raw, but the things he can do athletically at his size make him special. Schools such as USC, UCLA and Washington are thick in the mix, according to 247Sports.

    Green told the following to Chris Swanson of USCFootball.com (subscription required) on March 2, "My mom went to UCLA and my dad really likes USC."

Kendall Sheffield, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    It's almost impossible to be a good cornerback without being a great athlete. Luckily for 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield, he's an outstanding athlete.

    The 5'11", 180-pounder runs a 4.48 40-yard dash, per Student Sports. He also has been timed at 4.09 in the short-shuttle drill, plus his vertical jump is more than 41 inches. Sheffield's athletic times and measurements translate to the field well, as he is a speedy and explosive cover corner who is one of the nation's top overall prospects.

    Texas, Alabama and Texas A&M are just a few schools in the mix, according to 247Sports

Dexter Williams, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Dexter Williams is a 4-star running back who is commanding more attention. What has helped him this spring is his display of elite athleticism.

    Williams, who is 6'0" and 192 pounds, has a 131.37 SPARQ Rating, according to Student Sports. His quickness and lateral agility are evidenced by his 4.01 time in the short-shuttle drill, plus his 44.5-inch vertical jump is proof of how explosive the Florida native is.

    Williams is committed to Miami. 

Taj Griffin, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    From Georgia, it shouldn't surprise many people to see Taj Griffin on this list. He's one of the most explosive offensive recruits in the country, and he is always exhibiting impressive athleticism.

    Griffin, who is 5'10" and 175 pounds, has been timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, while jumping 46 inches in the vertical jump, according to Student Sports. The 4-star Oregon commit is only going to get faster and quicker, which doesn't bode well for Pac-12 defenses.

Kirk Merritt, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    With a SPARQ Rating of 138.84, Kirk Merritt is one of the nation's top overall athletes. The 4-star running back also can get the job on the perimeter as a receiver.

    Merritt, who is from Louisiana, is 5'11" and 206 pounds. He runs a 4.1 short-shuttle drill, and his vertical jump is nearly 46 inches, according to Student Sports. Merrit is a quicker-than-fast athlete who can accelerate on the field thanks to a fantastic burst.

    Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, TCU and Texas Tech are among his top schools, says 247Sports

Josh Sweat, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At 6'5" and 237 pounds, Josh Sweat has as much potential as any defensive end in the country. He isn't a powerful pass-rusher, but his athleticism and explosiveness make him a nightmare for offensive linemen.

    The Virginia native has great speed for size and position, evidenced by his 4.59 40-yard dash time, per Student Sports. He has also been timed at 4.09 in the short-shuttle drill, while jumping 35.5 inches in the vertical jump.

    Combining those marks with Sweat's size, it's easy to see he's an exceptional athlete. Florida State, Alabama and Ohio State are among his main suitors, according to 247Sports.

     

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

     

    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.

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