Damarkus Lodge is a wide receiver recruit with good size, and he could be one of the top offensive prospects in the class of 2015.
Lodge, out of Cedar Hill (Texas) High School, stands 6'2.5, weighs in at 190 pounds and runs a reported 4.69-second 40-yard dash. As of February 2014, he's rated as a five-star prospect by Scout, and a four-star by 247 Sports, Rivals and ESPN. Lodge is the No. 39 high school player in the country, per the 247 Composite rankings, and he ranks No. 3 at his position. He's the seventh-best player from the state of Texas.
Lodge is drawing interest from around the country, and he holds scholarship offers from some of the nation's top programs. Among those are Baylor, Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas.
Fans can follow Lodge on Twitter at @DaMarkusLodge.
After playing sparingly as a sophomore because he was stuck behind a handful of FBS prospects at talent-laden Cedar Hill, Lodge saw his recruitment take off during the spring and summer following his sophomore season despite his limited film -- coaches were offering Lodge based on the belief that he would break out as a junior.
To say that Lodge did exactly that feels like an understatement, but the stats tell the tale, as he went from six receptions for 59 yards as a sophomore to 72 catches for 1,255 yards and 22 touchdowns, along with another 176 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries.
Though it's hard to find an accurate 40 time for Lodge, he did register a 32.7-inch vertical and a 4.34 shuttle time last spring at a Nike event. However, tests of athleticism don't accurately measure what Lodge can do in pads, as he's an elite deep threat with the rare ability to run by defensive backs deceived by his speed.
He eats up cushions quickly and even if defenders do manage to stay with him, his leaping ability and ball skills render the good coverage irrelevant in the end.
A good route runner overall, Lodge can steam and weave defenders and also does a good job with his shoulder fakes to help him create separation. Changing speeds is another tactic that Lodge uses to his advantage -- he can come off the line of scrimmage slowly at times to lull defenders to sleep before creating separation with his burst.
After the catch, he's not a dynamic prospect, but he can pick up extra yardage because of his size and above-average lateral quickness for his size. Strong hands and ball skills ensure that he comes down with the football when he has a chance
Having fulfilled his enormous potential as a junior, Lodge projects as a big-play receiver in college because of his ability to get open deep, as well as a red-zone threat because of his ability to attack the football at its highest point.