The state of Texas in known for producing top talent, and cornerback Kendall Sheffield is no exception.
Sheffield, out of Fort Bend Marshall in Missouri City, Texas, stands 5'11 and weighs in at 180 pounds. He runs a reported 4.4-second 40-yard dash. As of February, Sheffield is rated as a five-star prospect by 247 Sports and Scout, and a four-star by Rivals and ESPN. The 247 Sports composite rankings list him as the ninth-best player in America, the second-best player at his position and the top high school prospect from the state of Texas.
Sheffield has scholarship offers from six schools around the country, including Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Michigan State.
Aside from the fact that Sheffield has good size for the position and the long arms that will help him battle taller wide receivers, what stands out most about him is his speed. A standout on the track, Sheffield posted a top-10 time in the country in the 110m hurdles during the 2013 Texas state championships with a 13.85-second performance. He also won the 300m hurdles and had posted a time in the district meet that ranked sixth in all of Texas.
As the punt and kick returner for Marshall High Sheffield puts that speed on display, as he only needs a small crease to exploit to blow past opposing defenders and find the end zone. in these situations, it's clear that he moves at a different speed than the other high school players on the field. Angles don't matter, because Sheffield destroys them in the open field.
In other words, the pure top-end speed and recovery speed for Sheffield are both elite, as even in transition there's little lost because of the overall fluidity in his hips and his ability to accelerate to top speed in several steps.
Another impressive element of Sheffield's game is his leaping ability. On one play as a sophomore, he gave the wide receiver a slight cushion and missed his jam, but was still able to turn and elevate to high point and intercept the football as the quarterback tried to throw it over his field. For a cornerback, his ball skills are impressive and aided by his leaping ability, but simply saying that he can jump doesn't take into account the fact that he finishes plays with interceptions.
The one area it would be nice to see more from Sheffield is as a tackler, as his already limited highlights show little of his work in that regard.
Overall, Sheffield has the tools to become an early contributor in college, with the upside of an All-Conference performer and future NFL Draft prospect.