2014 Recruits Who Could Play Both Ways Before They Graduate

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 10, 2014

2014 Recruits Who Could Play Both Ways Before They Graduate

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Playing both ways is a rare feat these days, as players are now specialized to focus on one position.

    Going both ways is a thing of the past, but it looks like some 2014 recruits have a chance to see action on both sides of the ball during their college careers.

    A pair of cornerbacks are so good with the ball in their hands that seeing additional time at running back and receiver is not out of the question for them. A running back could be able to help his team at linebacker or safety, plus a receiver may be destined to become a full-time cornerback.

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

Cameron Denson, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: Arizona

    At 6'1" and 170 pounds, 4-star defensive back Cameron Denson has the makings of a terrific "big" cornerback in the Pac-12. Denson has good quickness, great length and covers well in zone schemes.

    However, he's such a playmaker with the ball in his hands that playing receiver in the desert is possible. Denson has impressive hands and a large catch radius, plus he isn't the slowest of foot on the field.

Rahshead Johnson, WR

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: USC

    A 4-star prospect, Rahshead Johnson could play receiver, cornerback or both at USC. He's a 5'11", 165-pounder with great athleticism and quickness.

    Johnson is listed as a receiver, but he has the short-area explosiveness, loose hips and speed to become a solid cover man for the Trojans. USC needs help at both positions, so look for the California native to lend his hand on both sides of the perimeter in Troy. 

Budda Baker, ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: Washington

    Budda Baker likely will begin his career at Washington in the secondary. The 5'9", 174-pounder is an explosive athlete who has outstanding ball skills and range.

    That's why he'll make a great defensive back, but it's also part of the reason why he would be a great running back/slot receiver. Baker has exceptional agility, vision, quickness, speed and elusiveness with the ball in his hands.

    Look for Baker to become one of the best returners in the Pac-12.

    Scout.com said that "Baker, the top overall prospect in the NW, is one of the most versatile players in the West and could be ranked a top five prospect at corner as well as running back."

Bo Scarbrough, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: Alabama

    Bo Scarbrough is a 5-star athlete whose best position is running back. However, he's headed to Alabama, which is a program loaded with great runners.

    It would not be shocking to see Scarbrough try to crack the lineup for a few seasons in the offensive backfield, even getting some carries, only to move to defense after awhile.

    At 6'2" and 225 pounds, he's a straight-line athlete with good speed and strength. Seeing time at running back and linebacker or safety in Tuscaloosa is possible for Scarbrough.  

John Smith, ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: USC

    John Smith opted to sign with USC over Oregon in February, which will allow him to stay close to home. The 5-star athlete is a dynamic player who has a bright future as a receiver or safety.

    At 6'1" and 200 pounds, Smith's first option at USC will be at receiver. However, the Trojans will also need him at safety at certain times. Smith's speed, agility, physicality, athleticism and vision will help him make plays for the Trojans at both positions during his tenure in Los Angeles.

Jabrill Peppers, DB/ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: Michigan

    At 6'1" and 205 pounds, Jabrill Peppers possesses rare athleticism and instincts. That's why the 5-star athlete could have been considered an elite prospect at running back, safety, receiver or cornerback.

    Peppers, who is from New Jersey, will begin his career at Michigan in the secondary. However, he may be the best receiver on the roster, plus he has the vision and speed to dazzle observers as a running back.

    Don't be surprised to see Peppers play both ways—this season. 

Adoree' Jackson, ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    School: USC

    Perhaps USC's biggest coup on national signing day was winning the Adoree' Jackson sweepstakes. Jackson, who is originally from Illinois but played high school football in Los Angeles, kept his recruitment close to the vest all cycle.

    However, the Trojans have a right to be giddy about Jackson's prospects. The 5'9.5", 182-pounder plays like he's 6'2" due to his good strength and toughness, plus he's an exceptional all-around athlete.

    Jackson's speed, quickness, explosiveness, agility and balance will have the coaches fighting over him in Heritage Hall. The offensive staff will want him at receiver, while the defensive staff will try to convince head coach Steve Sarkisian that Jackson's best position is cornerback.

    Expect Jackson to start off his career with an emphasis at cornerback while having significant responsibilities as a receiver.

    Said Lindsey Thiry of Fox Sports on Feb. 5, "There's little to no doubt, Jackson will impact USC the minute he arrives on campus - no matter which side of the ball he ultimately chooses to play on."

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Many of the potential two-way threats in 2014 can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!

    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.