The Five Most Underrated SEC Recruits
By Matthew Osborne
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Each season, former high school recruits surprise analysts with their outstanding play on the gridiron.
Continuing on with our recruiting coverage heading up to National Signing Day, here is a look at the five most underrated recruits in the SEC for the 2013 class.
QB Connor Mitch (South Carolina)
There isn’t much not to like about Mitch’s game. Throwing for over 4,700 yards as a senior, Mitch is an extremely intelligent player who displays quick decision-making abilities and nice touch and accuracy on his passes. Despite not always stepping into his throws, Mitch also has a very strong arm capable of making any throw. He is also an underrated athlete who can make plays with his feet when the pocket breaks down. Mitch has been ranked relatively high by most scouting services, but he very well could end being much better than the experts think. He has already enrolled early in Columbia, but will redshirt as a true freshman as Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson are already solidified in the rotation under center.
ATH Marcus Davis (Auburn)
Almost unanimously considered a three-star prospect by the major recruiting services, Davis is a high school quarterback who will move to either cornerback or slot receiver at the next level. Although he stands just 5-10, 170 pounds, Davis possesses some of the best sudden burst in the 2013 class. He accelerates from a standstill to full speed in the blink of an eye and is capable of changing directions on the drop of a dime. With outstanding hip flexibility, Davis is a prime candidate to become a shutdown corner in college, although Gus Malzahn also likely wouldn’t mind putting the ball into his hands on offense. Regardless of where he ends up in college, Davis is a pure athlete who will make his presence felt at Auburn.
CB J.J. Green (Georgia)
If Green were another two or three inches taller, he would easily be considered one of the top 10 cornerback prospects in the 2013 class. As it stands, his lack of ideal size has hurt his recruiting ranking. Though his lack of size could occasionally play against him in college, Green’s athleticism and change of direction abilities make him one of the best pure cover corners in this class. He is also considered to be one of the top return specialists in the country, and he very well could see action on special teams early in his career. And don’t let his lack of height fool you either; Green plays the game with no fear and he will deliver a bone-crushing blow if given an opportunity. Quickness, hip flexibility and agility are the keys to any great cornerback, and Green excels in each of those areas.
DE Lewis Neal (LSU)
For a while, Neal was considered to be a “tweener” when looking ahead to college. With his athletic prowess, Neal was garnering consideration as a defensive end, linebacker and potentially as a tight end at the next level. Now an LSU commit, Neal’s future will rest as defensive end, where he will be trained by legendary assistant coach Brick Haley. His best attribute is his tremendous quickness which allows him to beat offensive linemen around the edge. Still a tad undersized, he is currently living in the weight room to prepare for the jump to the SEC. Neal has performed well whenever he has been placed in a camp or all-star setting, and he has consistently proven that he can be highly productive when lined up against the best players in the country.
Quincy Adeboyejo (Ole Miss)
Adeboyejo is not the best receiver in the country when it comes to quickness coming out of his break, but he is an exceptional route runner with an advanced concept of how to get open. Standing 6-3, Adeboyejo has very good straight-line speed and has a knack for making very difficult catches by contorting his body in midair. Once he adds a little more weight to his frame, he will be even better at using his muscle to out-maneuver defenders for the football. Analysts and recruiting experts frequently become enthralled by raw athleticism, which Adeboyejo certainly is not devoid of, but crisp route running can take a wide receiver a long way. If he continues to work on his foot quickness, Adeboyejo will be a dominant force in Oxford.