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Deon Cain recruit scouting report: HS QB could blossom into excellent receiver

Scouting Tampa receiver Deon Cain, who is more developed as a receiver than most athletes who are stuck playing quarterback in high school.

Deon Cain -- Student Sports
Deon Cain -- Student Sports

Deon Cain is a versatile prospect in the Class of 2015.

Cain, out of Tampa Bay Tech in Tampa, Fla., stands 6'1 and weighs in at 190 pounds. As of April, he's rated as a four-star recruit by 247sports, Rivals and Scout, and a three-star on ESPN. Rivals and ESPN list him as an athlete, No. 14 and 23 at his position, respectively. On the other hand, 247 and Scout respectively say he's the second-best and 17th-best wide receiver in the class. The 247sports composite ratings, a compilation of data from the four major recruiting services, lists him as the 140th-best player in the country, 15th-best wide receiver and No. 21 in the state of Florida.

Cain is receiving interest from top programs around the country. He holds scholarship offers from the likes of Florida State, Florida, Miami, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Tennessee.

So what makes Cain, a prospect who plays quarterback for his high school, so coveted by the major college football teams across the country?

It starts with his size. Cain's measurements are verified, and he has adequate size for the position. That separates him from the seemingly never-ending supply of shorter receivers from the state of Florida.

Then, it's his ability he shows as a receiver in camps despite being his high school team's quarterback. Cain runs much better routes than one would expect given that it is not his high school position. The change-of-direction ability he shows as a running quarterback also shows up on the field in his route running, as he can plant and drive in different directions, quickly re-accelerating into the route.

Cain also has a good feel for catching the football, and based on the camps and pass skeleton work I have seen, he does not profile as an athlete who needs a lot of work on catching the ball.

Cain's speed and acceleration are good, but perhaps not elite. He does have a smooth gait, however, that seems to perhaps make it seem that he is not moving as fast as he truly is.

Of course, all of this receiver talk is based on events taken place outside the real game of football. I cannot say for certain how Cain will do when the contact and collision elements of the game as incorporated once he reaches the college level as a receiver. But he does have a promising skillset that should help make the transition easier than some other high school quarterbacks who have made the switch. I believe Cain is one of the 10 best receivers I have seen so far in the 2015 class.