25 Recruits with the Highest Ceilings in the 2015 Recruiting Class
Recruits with high ceilings are full of potential. Right now, they're raw in an area or two, but they have the natural talent to become good players after they get developed.
The 2015 class features a ton of prospects whose ceilings are sky-high. A few offensive tackles need to work on their technique, but they display exceptional athleticism to dominate. This list also features a few quarterbacks who just need to become more consistent with their mechanics in order to be great.
Also, even a few 5-star recruits will be discussed.
Noah Jefferson, DE
Hailing from Las Vegas, Noah Jefferson is a 3-star defensive end with a bright future ahead of him. Right now, he gets by on the edges by being stronger than many of the offensive linemen he faces.
However, Jefferson could develop into a penetrating defensive tackle or a 5-technique 3-4 defensive end at USC, depending on the alignment and scheme the 'SC chooses to stick with. At 6'5" and 271 pounds, he plays with solid athleticism and strength in the trenches.
After getting tutored on playing with better leverage and hand placement, Jefferson could be a steal for the Trojans.
Marcus Brown, DT/OG
Marcus Brown is a 6'3", 320-pound lineman from Florida who has good strength. He needs a lot of work and polish on his technique, but he could be a real player in a few seasons.
Brown, who is a 3-star prospect, could find a home as a space-eating nose tackle. However, he also has the potential to develop into a road-grading guard. If he responds well to college coaching, there's no reason why Brown will not be successful.
Jay Johnson, ATH
The first thing you notice about Jay Johnson on the hoof is his size and long frame at 6'4" and 210 pounds. His long arms are impressive, plus he has solid movement skills.
Johnson, who is a 3-star prospect, is from Mississippi. He has a sneaky burst, which helps him accelerate to balls when playing safety. Johnson's size and solid speed also make him a candidate to become a primary receiver in a college offense.
If he can lower his pad level more consistently on offense or defense, the Mississippi State commit should be a stud.
Jacob Breeland, TE
At 6'5" and 205 pounds, 3-star recruit Jacob Breeland has the size of a big receiver. However, he seems set to play tight end at Oregon.
Breeland will have to definitely add more bulk to his frame, but that shouldn't be his main objective. The California native's lack of bulk helps him get out of junctions quicker to separate from defenders.
If he can continue to get stronger at the point of attack to hold up as a blocker, Breeland has a high ceiling as an interesting pass-catcher in Eugene.
Louis Brown, ATH
At 6'6" and 208 pounds, Louis Brown is a 3-star athlete who probably should be a 4-star prospect. He has a ton of natural athleticism, and he moves well for such a long-limbed athlete.
Brown can play several different positions, but he is at his best when chasing ball-carriers. Should he get stronger and add more weight to his frame, he could develop into a terrific hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end at Baylor.
Plus, there's always a chance he becomes a receiver in Waco.
Sam Madden, OT
Sam Madden likely will not be a left tackle in college. He simply doesn't have the flexibility or quickness to match up with speedy pass-rushers in space.
However, if he can improve his foot quickness a bit, Madden could become a solid right tackle. He's 6'7" and 345 pounds, and he has a lot of grab strength when blocking. If the New Jersey native devotes himself to improving his agility, he could be a great starter on the right island of the offensive front in a few seasons.
Wisconsin is the favorite for him, per 247Sports.
Christian Bell, DE/OLB
Christian Bell is an athletic defensive prospect from Alabama who can play defensive end or outside linebacker. At 6'4" and 220 pounds, the 3-star recruit's movement skills on the edges are a sight to see.
However, he lacks impressive strength. If Bell can get more powerful and stronger, he should be able to make a big impact at Alabama as an outside 'backer/rush end in the Crimson Tide's 3-4 defense.
Alabama's class is full of studs, but Bell may prove to be one of the better players from the group in a few years.
J.W. Ketchum III, QB
If he wants to continue trying his hand at quarterback, more power to J.W. Ketchum III. However, based on his tape, the 3-star athlete's future appears brightest as a running back.
At 5'11.5" and 201 pounds, Ketchum already has the frame of a runner. It also helps that he possesses excellent quickness, agility and speed with the ball in his hands.
Should Ketchum accept a position switch in college, along with developing his vision and a few other nuances of the running back position, he'll be a star.
Tyree St. Louis, OT
Right now, Tyree St. Louis is listed as an offensive tackle prospect. However, he has a higher ceiling at guard.
St. Louis is a 3-star blocker who has terrific strength at 6'6" and 300 pounds. His lack of range and limited athleticism would work better inside, where his power and size would help him maul defensive tackles.
St. Louis should accept a move to guard, where he could be an all-conference performer. Florida is his leader, says 247Sports.
Ty'Son Williams, RB
A 4-star runner from South Carolina, Ty'Son Williams will be successful in college because he has a great work ethic.
Oh, it also helps that he has an impressive combination of speed and power. The 5'11", 200-pounder can slash through alleys with force, plus he has the ability to break tackles. Williams' above-average acceleration allows him to skate upfield for big runs.
He needs to add a bit more wiggle to his running style, which will really make him dangerous. Schools such as South Carolina and Notre Dame are in the mix, according to 247Sports.
Fletcher Adams, DT
At 6'3" and 255 pounds, Fletcher Adams doesn't have excellent size for a defensive tackle. However, he is an exceptional athlete for his position who uses quickness to make plays. He also has been timed at 4.81 in the 40-yard dash.
What Adams needs to improve upon is his hand usage. He's yet to truly utilize his mitts as weapons on a consistent basis, but he could be a force inside once he does.
With his athleticism and an expanded arsenal of moves, the 4-star prospect will be a standout in college. It would be surprising if Adams did not sign with Ole Miss.
Zach Gentry, QB
Zach Gentry is a 4-star quarterback from New Mexico with a big arm. The 6'7", 230-pounder has terrific size, plus he can simply spin it.
Gentry has a high ceiling because he's just getting started in his development. He'll need to expand his vision to be able to make full-field reads, plus he has to continue to keep his weight down to help his mobility.
However, as long as his arm is attached to his body, the Texas commit has a chance to grow into a top-tier starter in the Big 12.
Miles Boykin, WR
Miles Boykin is a 4-star prospect from Illinois who has average to slightly above-average speed for a receiver. His smooth movement skills and 6'4", 212-pound frame would work fine on the perimeter, but he could be an even better tight end.
Boykin would be a terror as a tight end who can be flexed out. He'd be better suited working against safeties and linebackers rather than cornerbacks in college.
Again, he could be fine as a receiver, but Boykin's ceiling is higher as a pass-catching tight end.
Kyahva Tezino, OLB
At 6'0" and 192 pounds, Kyahva Tezino doesn't look like an imposing linebacker on the hoof. However, after watching him hit people, he's right where he belongs.
The California native doesn't challenge offensive linemen and lead blockers often at the point of attack. His speed allows him to beat them across the field in pursuit of ball-carriers. After Tezino really learns how to anticipate routes in coverage, he should be able to become a cornerstone defender.
Look for the 4-star 'backer to sign with Arizona.
Brandon Wimbush, QB
Brandon Wimbush is a physically talented 4-star dual-threat quarterback from New Jersey. He has fantastic athleticism and mobility, but he's more of a thrower than a passer right now.
The 6'2", 205-pounder has a big-time arm to push the football with authority to targets. However, he must improve the consistency of his mechanics plus get better at pitching with touch and accuracy.
From a physical standpoint, the sky is the limit for the Penn State pledge.
Jaason Lewis, ATH
At this point, it's anybody's guess as to what position 4-star athlete Jaason Lewis is going to play in college. At 6'3" and 233 pounds, he can realistically play running back, linebacker, defensive end, tight end, H-back or fullback.
Lewis' versatility is the reason why his ceiling is so high. After he settles into one home on the field, he should be able to flourish in college.
It's just that it's uncertain right now what position he'll have a chance to settle into. Lewis is wide open right now, per 247Sports.
Chris Clark, TE
Chris Clark is a big tight end who has big hands to haul in passes. However, the 4-star Connecticut native isn't the quickest or fastest player in the country.
At 6'6" and 247 pounds, Clark's big frame is best used to dominate defenders as a run-blocker. In fact, he's such a good blocker that he has the potential to become a very good offensive tackle.
A lot of recruits love the idea of possibly scoring touchdowns, and Clark probably is no different. However, his ceiling as a player could be higher as an offensive lineman.
Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are his top suitors, says 247Sports.
Travis Waller, QB
Hailing from California, Travis Waller is another 4-star dual-threat quarterback on this list. He has good physical tools, but he must clean up his footwork.
After he does that, Waller's timing with receivers should be better, plus his accuracy will improve. As those things get better, the 6'3", 190-pounder will see his game elevate to new levels.
Keep an eye on Notre Dame with him.
Isaiah Prince, OT
Isaiah Prince is a raw offensive tackle from Maryland who is essentially a blank canvas as a prospect.
At 6'6" and 275 pounds, Prince has a frame that has a ton of growth potential. He needs to improve his footwork and hand placement in both run-blocking and pass-blocking.
However, he bends naturally at the knees, and he is a wonderful athlete for his size and position. If things go right, Prince has a chance to develop into a good left tackle.
Florida, Maryland, Ohio State and Penn State are his favorites, according to 247Sports.
Blake Barnett, QB
Standing nearly 6'4", Blake Barnett is a 4-star quarterback who could be a dynamic talent in college. The California native has great arm strength to rifle throws from the pocket, plus he also has the ability to get the ball to targets when on the run.
Barnett, who weighs 195 pounds, even shows solid speed when running with the ball. As he continues getting coached in college and developing little things in his game, Barnett could emerge as the best quarterback from the 2015 class in a few seasons.
Barnett told the following to Justin Hopkins of 247Sports on June 4: "I'm no longer committed to Notre Dame and I have opened up my recruitment. I'm not committed to Oregon or anywhere and I've decided to explore my options."
Terry Godwin, ATH
Cornerback is certainly a position 5-star athlete Terry Godwin can excel at. He has excellent short-area quickness and agility, plus he plays with a lot of confidence.
However, the Georgia pledge has a higher ceiling as a receiver. At 6'0" and 168 pounds, Godwin gets off the line well, and he doesn't fight the football when catching it with his hands.
Godwin will be a star in Athens after he refines his route running and learns how to settle into voids better.
Drew Richmond, OT
Sharpening his footwork and polishing his technique are the main things Drew Richmond must do to elevate his game.
The 4-star offensive tackle has a ton of raw ability at 6'5" and 320 pounds. Richmond has the strength to maul defenders in the running game, and he has enough athletic ability to shadow pass-rushers as a pass-protector.
Schools such as Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee and LSU are in the mix, says 247Sports.
Martez Ivey, OT
Martez Ivey is another uber-athletic offensive tackle who has a world of potential. From Florida, Ivey has rare movement skills for a blocker.
The 6'6", 270-pounder is really just now starting to approach his development as a player. Ivey needs to get stronger and more powerful at the point of attack, but his athleticism and ability to bend at the knees are ideal for a high school offensive lineman.
Once he gets bigger and more seasoned, it would be shocking if the 5-star recruit did not become an all-conference left tackle. Keep an eye on Auburn and Florida with him.
Josh Sweat, DE
At 6'5" and 237 pounds, Josh Sweat is a 5-star defensive end from Virginia who has the traits of a dominant player.
Sweat is an exceptional athlete who can launch himself past blockers at the snap. He runs like a deer in pursuit of ball-carriers, and he also has deceptive strength.
When Sweat adds more moves to his pass-rushing plan plus gets bigger and stronger, he could become a similar player to what Jadeveon Clowney was at South Carolina.
Sweat has schools such Florida State, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Tennessee on his trail, according to 247Sports.
Rasheem Green, DT
Rasheem Green has played a lot of snaps on the edge at defensive end. He has the athleticism to stay there in college, but his ceiling is through the roof at defensive tackle.
The 6'5", 275-pound California native is a 5-star prospect who has the potential to be a nightmare for offenses in college. Green is raw with his technique and leverage, but a college coach should be able to correct that and add more to his game.
He can slip gaps with explosiveness, but he also has the strength and power to anchor. Green also shoots to ball-carriers with a nice surge in pursuit. After he improves his hand placement and starts to recognize the formations and tendencies of offensive linemen, Green is too talented to not be a terror.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see this race come down to USC versus UCLA.