Minkah Fitzpatrick, a product of St. Peters Prep in Jersey City, N.J., is one of the better defensive back recruits available in the 2015 class.
Fitzpatrick is ranked by 247Sports' composite as the 29th best player in the country. He is also listed as the fourth-best cornerback, as well as the best player from New Jersey. Rivals thinks the highest of the talented cornerback, ranking him as the ninth-best player in the 2015 class. ESPN lists Fitzpatrick as the 29th best player in their top-300 rankings.
At 6'0, 185 pounds, Fitzpatrick features a solid frame that should allow him to continue getting bigger and stronger once he hits a college weight program. He has already received scholarship offers from many of the nation's top programs, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and South Carolina. He also attended Georgia's junior day, as well as the Crimson Tide's.
You can follow Minkah on Twitter: @minkfitz_21.
Why are teams so high on Fitzpatrick? Let's go to the tape.
It all starts with size. Cornerbacks are getting bigger and bigger, but they can't keep up with the demand for size at the position from the best programs in the country. And the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl with giants at corner hasn't exactly slowed down the trend, either.
Fitzpatrick offers the size colleges want at the position. He can probably eventually play at 210 or so pounds after a while in a college strength program.
But even the biggest of corners must meet certain minimum speed and athleticism requirements to play the position at the college level. He does that and more.
Fitzpatrick has acceptable speed for a corner. I would not confuse him with a track star, and he is a bit of a long-strider, but I don't view his speed as a concern because it's relative to his size. And for a long-strider, his acceleration and closing speed is surprisingly good. He recovers nicely, can play trail technique and close on deep routes.
Fitzpatrick's highlights do not show him jamming much, but a player with his length, strength, balance, body control and aggressiveness should be able to do so pretty well at the college level.
Fitzpatrick also uses his length quite well to deflect passes and swat at the arms of receivers, causing breakups.
I really like Fitzpatrick's ability to control and contort his body in the air and come down with interceptions. His experience playing receiver helps him in this area. He is also an excellent leaper, capable of simply out-jumping much of his high school competition. Playing zone coverage, he seems to read the field well and find the football, making a number of interceptions by positioning himself smartly and knowing where to be.
When he's not going for a strip, he is a solid tackler, which is the expectation for a big corner.
Fitzpatrick is certainly capable of being a multi-year starter for a big school and an eventual NFL player. He reminds me some of Dee Milliner.