Identifying five-star prospects often is really easy. They are usually the ones who are much bigger and faster than they should be for their age. Often they have frames that indicate they can add even more good weight in a college strength program. And they do things that seem to exceed the bounds of the field.
Such was the case with Myles Garrett of Martin High School in Arlington, Texas in 2014. Garrett stood 6’4.5 and 240 pounds, yet he looked almost skinny, clearly having room to add a good 25-plus pounds to his frame. He was an excellent pass rusher, with good speed off the edge. Right away this looked special, because most high school speed rushers are typically lighter. That Garrett could rush off the edge with burst, play the run with power, and had the room to continue to grow was an elite combination. And since he was not overaged like many prospects are (Garrett did not turn 18 until after Christmas of his senior season), it suggested he had good potential for future growth.
Garrett also seemed smart for a high schooler. I could hold a conversation with him, as opposed to an awkward interview. And he was coachable, the staff at the Under Armour All-America Game told me.
He ended up ranked No. 2 nationally, behind Leonard Fournette. Garrett went to Texas A&M, where he was a star.
He showed up to the NFL Combine at 6’4.5 and 272 pounds, 32 pounds heavier than he was in high school. But his trademark explosiveness remained. He posted a vertical jump of 41 inches and a broad jump of 10’8. The only other defensive end to post those leaping numbers at 270-plus pounds was Mario Williams, the former No. 1 overall pick, per NFL Network.
SB Nation has a great post looking at his NFL comparisons. Jadeveon Clowney, Williams, Khalil Mack, and even Vic Beasley are among the names mentioned.
Garrett might not have the same burst as some of the NFL’s elite defensive ends, but his combination of speed, power, and agility is elite.
To be a great NFL player, one needs more than just freakish athletic talent. Motor is important, and Garrett’s might not be the best according to Stephen White, writing for SB Nation, in addition to football instincts and awareness.
But in a year without a can’t-miss No. 1 overall draft pick type, if Garrett can be a good player for a decade, with a very low bust factor, as White suggests, that seems pretty good to me. And based on how good he was as a recruit, it’s no surprise he’s being considered at the top of the draft.
Former four-star USC defensive line recruit Noah Jefferson is heading to Arizona.
While all sorts of offenses win the national title, nobody does it without dominant defensive linemen. FSU is on a run of great defensive line recruiting, having signed No. 1 defensive end Josh Sweat in 2015, Nos. 5 and 7 in 2016 with Brian Burns and Janarius Robinson, and No. 3 in 2017 with Josh Kaindoh. On the defensive tackle side, FSU just inked No. 1 DT Marvin Wilson, is in the running for 2018’s No. 1 in Taron Vincent, has a commitment from No. 8 Robert Cooper, and for the class of 2019, has added commitments from two top defensive tackles (ratings still to come) in Tru Thompson and Lloyd Murray Jr. 2019 is a long ways off, but FSU is doing a great job recruiting the defensive line thanks to coaches Brad Lawing and Odell Haggins.
Oklahoma beat out Texas and TCU for a star safety.
Notre Dame has not recruited poorly of late, but it has lacked five-stars compared to elite prospects. Josh Vowles looked at why. And here is a look at why Notre Dame has struggled to recruit Georgia and Louisiana, in which I was quoted.
Bill C. previewed Lane Kiffin’s FAU squad, which is heavy on junior college players.