10 2015 College Football Recruits Who Could Start This Season
Almost all recruits come into college thinking they're ready to start. However, only some do, and even fewer are really ready.
Within the 2015 class, several prospects appear physically prepared to start or contribute in a key role—if they were eligible this season. These recruits not only have the size or strength to help right now, but they're also smart enough to figure out the nuances of the college game.
A 5-star quarterback simply has "it," while a pair of 5-star defensive tackles are men among boys at the high school level. Also, a trio of defensive backs have what it takes to hold their own versus college receivers right now.
Daylon Mack, DT
Daylon Mack is a 5-star defensive tackle who is 6'2" and 310 pounds. He is a native of Texas who is set to stay inside his borders and play for Texas A&M.
Mack has the strength and power of a bull. He's rock solid at the point of attack, plus he can be awfully explosive in short areas. It's not like the Aggies' defense will rival the '85 Bears, so Mack could hypothetically help in College Station this fall.
Tyron Johnson, WR
At 6'1" and 191 pounds, 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson could catch 40-50 passes at the college level right now.
The Louisiana native has good speed to reach the third level, plus he isn't a shabby route-runner. Johnson possesses great hands to pluck passes on the move, and he also doesn't allow cornerbacks to outmuscle him for balls.
Look for him to sign with Texas Tech.
On June 10, Johnson told Mark Passwaters of AggieYell.com (subscription required),"I want to come in and I want to play as fast I can."
Kevin Toliver II, CB
From Florida, Kevin Toliver II is a terrific cornerback with ideal size at 6'2" and 185 pounds. Toliver's length and confidence make him effective in press-man coverage, plus he has the quickness and speed to recover.
Toliver is likely ready right now to either start on the perimeter or as a nickel cornerback in the slot. Look for the 5-star prospect to play right away at LSU.
Josh Sweat, DE
At 6'5" and 237 pounds, Josh Sweat is an explosive defensive end from Virginia. He is still developing as a player, but the 5-star recruit is ready to help as a designated pass-rusher at the college level.
It's not hard to envision Sweat getting on the field in passing situations this fall. He already has the size, length, burst and speed to warrant playing time in a college defense.
Derwin James, S
Derwin James is capable of making the same impact at Florida State as Su'a Cravens made at USC. James, rated as a 5-star player, is a smart defender on the back end who has great vision and instincts.
It also helps that he's an excellent athlete who is 6'2" and 201 pounds. He has the ability to play both safety positions, as well as make his presence felt on kick-coverage units.
It's tough cracking the lineup at Florida State early in one's career, but James is ready to help right now.
Daron Payne, DT
Already 6'2" and 330 pounds, Daron Payne looks like he is a senior in college right now. He possesses a thick and stout frame that is not easily moved off its mark by offensive linemen.
Payne also has terrific strength and power at the point of attack. The 5-star Alabama native is definitely ready for a role as a block-occupying defensive lineman in a college defense.
Malik Jefferson, LB
Malik Jefferson is too exceptional of an athlete to be left on the bench. Even if he's not ready to be a full-time starter, a niche for the 5-star prospect should be carved out.
At 6'2" and 225 pounds, the Texas native has impressive speed, agility, explosiveness and awareness. Jefferson is fully capable of starting right now as a run-and-hit 'backer on defense, as well as playing a key role on special teams.
Iman Marshall, CB
Should he ultimately choose USC, there's no reason why 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall should redshirt. He has the size of a safety at 6'1" and 190 pounds, plus he's among the most instinctive prospects at his position in the past five years.
Marshall, who is from California, is great at jamming receivers at the line. However, he is not just a press corner, evidenced by his loose hips and short-area quickness he displays in off-man and zone coverage.
Wherever he goes, look for him to contend for a starting role immediately.
Trent Thompson, DT
Starting as a true freshman in the trenches is hard enough, so thinking 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson could start this season is crazy.
Well, call the thought insane, because the Georgia native could. Thompson, who is 6'4" and 292 pounds, has outstanding explosiveness at the snap. He works with a big-time motor to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage, plus he has the strength to hold his own in the trenches.
Josh Rosen, QB
Many say it is not wise to start a true freshman at quarterback. However, Josh Rosen is ready.
The UCLA pledge is a California native who has an alpha-dog personality. Rosen is charismatic, smart and has natural leadership characteristics.
He's also 6'4", 205 pounds and has impressive arm talent. Rosen is head and shoulders above the rest of the quarterbacks in the 2015 class, and he's ready to start for the Bruins right now...that is, if incumbent superstar Brett Hundley were not in Westwood at the moment.
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