The recruiting landscape has changed a great deal in the 15 years since I was a prep prospect. Some changes have been for the good, some for the bad, and it remains exciting to see young men and women having a chance to fulfill their dreams.
Of all the changes to the recruiting process, perhaps the one I dislike the most is how every year it seems to get younger and younger. Some schools nearly have their recruiting classes locked up two years in advance. In the chase to find, lasso and keep tomorrow’s stars, diamonds in the rough are overlooked because it takes them a little longer to be found, processed or develop.
One such diamond is Jordan Young, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver from Heritage High School in Conyers, GA.
I was tagged on a Twitter post to highlights of him and saw he only had one FBS offer. He did, however, go from no stars to four stars overnight, showing a major problem in the ranking system in addition to other flaws in the recruiting process.
One, a high school senior going from no stars to four stars three weeks before National Signing Day shouldn’t happen if you’re a talent evaluator. If that’s your profession, you should be constantly developing and evaluating talent. This young man is from suburban Atlanta, one of the most well-covered recruiting hotbeds in America by media and college coaches. How does he slip through the cracks?
Two, it’s a disservice to all the prospects previously ranked as well. What do your rankings – of any player – mean when a situation like this is allowed to happen?
I don’t really know or care about star-rankings, but I do know talent working to develop college prospects in multiple sports, including football, on a daily basis at Boost Sports Performance in Jacksonville, FL.
I tell parents, kids and coaches alike that skill players must possess this major trait: the ability to catch it and stretch it. Separation is key. If you can create space you can make plays. If you can make plays, you can see the field.
The difference I saw between Jordan Young’s play his junior year and his senior year shows me that someone spent time in the off-season working on his speed, body control, routes and how to use his innate natural ability to win jump balls. One of the knocks on him was his slower forty-yard dash time registered at the Nike combine. He was raw, but from looking at this film he is somewhere around the 4.5 second range and with his size that is more than adequate.
What stands out most to me, from his film, is that he consistently running that speed. He’s not a 4.9 second player one play and a 4.5 second player on other plays.
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