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2015 ESPN Recruiting Class: How’d They do?

1. Byron Cowart – Seffner, Florida; 6-4, 260 DE Auburn: Bust. He complained about lack of playing time as a freshman and then younger guys passed him on the depth chart. Cowart finally transferred supposedly closer to home.

2. Terry Beckner Jr – East St Louis, Illinois; 6-4, 300 DT Missouri: Beckner is the opposite of Cowart and even though he has been in some trouble off the field, he’s also been a really good player. This season, he’s playing really well and has 4 quarterback sacks already.

3. Trenton Thompson РAlbany, Georgia; 6-4, 310 DT Georgia: Thompson has been a long time starter for the Bulldogs. Last season he really came on strong at the end and in their bowl game against TCU he had 3 quarterback sacks. This season, Thompson dropped about 10 pounds and is a little quicker.

4. Iman Marshall – Long Beach Poly, California; 6-1, 195 CB USC: Three year starter for the Trojans and their best cornerback. ‘Biggie’ Marshall has the perfect size for an NFL cornerback and

probably goes really early in next year’s NFL draft. He’s also great against the run and has been a ball hawk the past 2 seasons with 3 picks in each season and lots of pass break ups.

5. Martez Ivey РApopka, Florida; 6-6, 270 OT Florida:  Ivey started at left tackle and left guard as a true freshman. The Gators have very little depth in the offensive line, but Ivey is now a quality left tackle and he probably declares for the NFL draft after this season.

6. Daylon Mack – Gladewater, Texas; 6-1, 330 DT Texas A%M: Playing nose guard, Mack’s job is mostly to clog up the middle. He has been tough to move to open up holes even if he hasn’t put up huge numbers.

7. George Campbell – Tarpon Springs, Florida; 6-4, 190 WR Florida State: It’s been a disappointing ride so far for Campbell. He only caught 3 passes as a true freshman and then he redshirted in 2016. This season, Campbell should be one of the top receivers, but he has only 6 receptions on the season, so far. Campbell still has 2 seasons to prove himself if he sticks around. The only way he really loses is if he quits.

8. Derwin James – Haines, Florida; 6-2, 200 DB Florida State: Super star that many think is the best player in the country. James started immediately as a freshman and was a team leader last season, but was lost for the year early. He’s one of the team’s top tacklers this season and is all over the field.

9. CeCe Jefferson – Glen Saint Mary, Florida; 6-3, 250 DE Florida: Jefferson is kind of undersized for a defensive lineman but he makes up for it with his quickness. He’s been a good

player, but maybe not the top terror he was envisioned to be.

10. Kevin Toliver II – Jacksonville, Florida; 6-2, 195 CB LSU: Toliver plays, but is listed as a backup behind a freshman at cornerback. He has almost the perfect size for a great NFL cornerback and if he tests well at the Combine, he could be selected fairly early.

11. Josh Sweat – Chesapeake, Virginia; 6-5, 240 DE Florida State: Sweat has lived up to the hype and started as a true freshman. He is much better now than when he came in and has improved every season, so far. He will more than likely declare for the NFL after this season

12. Kendall Sheffield – Missouri City, Texas; 6-0, 180 CB Alabama: Sheffield transferred to a Junior College and then to Ohio State. He starts at cornerback, but splits time with the talented Damon Arnette.

13. Kyler Murray – Allen, Texas; 5-11, 175 QB Texas A%M: The listings are very generous with his size, he is pretty small. Murray has a strong arm and he can run with the best of them. Things did not work out for him at A%M and he transferred to OU where he backs up Baker Mayfield. Murray is next in line of the quarterback job at Oklahoma. He is small, but dangerous and he should light defenses up next year.

14. Blake Barnett – Corona, California; 6-5, 200 QB Alabama: Barnett was beaten out by Jalen Hurt at Alabama and he transferred to a JC. From there, he transferred to Arizona State. Why? That’s beyond me and now he’s been beaten out by returning starter Manny Wilkins.

15. Canton Kaumatula – Honolulu, Hawaii; 6-6, 280 DE Oregon: Injury problems hampered

Kaumatula at Oregon and he was set to give up the sport until doctors cleared him. But, now he has transferred to Central Florida and will play for former Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost. He has 2 years of eligibility remaining and a chance to salvage his football career.

16. Torrance Gibson – Plantation, Florida; 6-5, 205 ATH Ohio State: Unlimited potential with this Gibson player that was a quarterback in high school. The Ohio State coaches moved him to wide receiver where he looked good, but then he up and transferred to Cincinnati where former Buckeye defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is the head coach. However, he is now at a Junior College because of grades.

17. Justin Hilliard – Cincinnati, Ohio; 6-1, 225 LB Ohio State: Listed as 3rd team outside backer, but he plays some. He was the highest rated linebacker in the country and he can’t seem to break into the starting position. But, at least he has stuck with the Buckeyes instead of transferring and has fought for playing time.

18. Mitch Hyatt – Suwanee, Georgia; 6-6, 275 OT Clemson: Immediate starter at left tackle for the Tigers. He has played against the best and more than held his own. Held is not a pun, by the way. Hyatt was Clemson all the way with his uncle having played on the 1981 national champion team.

19. Tim Settle – Manassas, Virginia; 6-3, 340 DT Virginia Tech: He should be nicknamed the Manassas Mauler. Starter at defensive tackle and is a good pass rusher as well as a run stopper. He is currently 8th on his team in total tackles and he has 3 quarterback sacks which is tied for the team lead.

20. Kerryon Johnson – Madison, Alabama; 6-0, 200 RB Auburn: Very good running back for the Tigers, but he’s yet to crack the 1,000 yard barrier. He should this season because he currently has 723 yards rushing after 6 games. He is up to 215 pounds and he looks faster, maybe.

21. Chuma Edoga – Powder Springs, Georgia; 6-4, 285 OT USC: Edoga is the starting right tackle for the Trojans. He had to wait his turn to take over because he sat behind the 6-9, 360 Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler on the left side.

22. Keisean Lucier-South – Orange, California; 6-5, 220 DE UCLA: Lucier-Smith is playing behind spectacular true freshman Jaelen Phillips. But, he still gets playing time and provides quality depth.

23. Calvin Ridley – Coconut Springs, Florida; 6-1, 170 WR Alabama: Awesome receiver that took over for Amari Cooper as soon as Cooper left for the NFL. Ridley is super fast with great hands. The only thing he lacks is great size, but he probably declares for the NFL and is taken pretty early.

24. Arden Key – Lithonia, Georgia; 6-5, 225 DE LSU: One of the best pass rushers in the country. He has been under weight for a while, but finally has added some muscle to his tall frame. There’s no doubt he leaves this year and is picked in the 1st or 2nd round.

25. Deon Cain – Tampa, Florida; 6-2, 190 WR Clemson: Cain is a super receiver that came in and made big plays as a true freshman. I think he will be one of the top receivers taken in the next draft. He’s got breakaway speed, good hands and is just a play maker for the Tigers.

Others in top 50:

27. Minkah Fitzpatrick – Jersey City, New Jersey; 6-1, 195 CB Alabama: He was a mean cornerback last year but he moved to safety this season and he’s one of Bama’s top tacklers now.

28. Soso Jamabo – Plano, Texas; 6-2, 205 RB UCLA: Jamabo wanted to go to UCLA because of the Asian women on campus. He has mostly underachieved in college after being one of the top running backs in the country.

29. Roquan Smith – Montezuma, Georgia 6-2, 205 LB Georgia: Smith had a very controversial signing day back in February 2015. He was going out west, but changed his mind and signed with home state Georgia. With the Bulldogs, he is their top tackler on a great defense.

31. Malik Jefferson – Mesquite, Texas 6-3, 220 LB Texas: Jefferson has underachieved and been out of position and fought injuries until this year. Now, he is having a sensational season and leading a much improved Longhorn defense in tackles. He is projected by most as a 1st round draft pick.

32. Christian Wilkins – Suffield, CT; 6-4, 300 DT Clemson: Wow, what a beast Wilkins has been. He started at tackle as a true freshman, but moved out to end as a sophomore because of injuries. He is back at defensive tackle and playing lights out as usual. Wilkins and his sidekick, Dexter Lawrence, are maybe the top tackle tandem in the nation.

34. Ronald Jones II – McKinney, Texas 6-0, 185 RB USC: Very fast and elusive running back that has been a difference maker since he arrived at USC. Jones has 672 yards rushing this season, so far.

35. Christian Kirk – Scottsdale, Arizona; 5-11, 195 WR Texas A%M: Sensational receiver and return man. He has changed games by his punt returns often. He doesn’t have ideal size, but he has everything else and will be drafted early. He’s a real difference maker.

36. Damien Harris – Borea, Kentucky; 5-10, 210 RB Alabama: The Crimson Tide has more than it’s fair share of running backs and Harris is about as good as the rest of the standouts. Harris is up over 220 pounds now and he leads the team in rushing over Scarbrough, Harris and Jacobs.

37. Jarrett Stidham – Stephenville, Texas 6-3, 185 QB Baylor: Committed to Texas Tech, then signed with Baylor. When Art Briles was fired, Stidham left. Transferred to Auburn where he is a star. He can leave after this season if he wants, but I feel he will stick with Auburn another year.

41. Rasheem Green – Gardena, California 6-5, 290 DT USC: Green is a top defensive tackle which is a highly coveted position by NFL franchises. He is super quick and a good pass rusher with 4 sacks so far this year.

42. Deondre Francois – Orlando, Florida 6-2, 195 QB Florida State: Francois redshirted as a freshman and then won the starting job in 2016. Francois got better as the season progressed and was prepared to have a huge season. Unfortunately, he was injured in the Seminoles’ first game against Alabama. Florida State’s season went down at that point.

43. Terry Godwin – Hogansville, Georgia 6-0, 170 ATH Georgia: An immediate star, Godwin is the leading receiver for the Bulldogs. They aren’t throwing the ball that much with freshman quarterback Jake Fromm taking over for the injured Jacob Eason.

45. Brandon Wimbush – Jersey City, New Jersey 6-2, 215 QB Notre Dame: After a disastrous 2016 season, Wimbush took over as the Fighting Irish quarterback. This season, the Irish are much better with a 6-1 record and their one loss coming to Georgia and by 1 point. Wimbush is more of a runner than a passer, but he’s good as a passer as well.

46. Jeffrey Holland – Jacksonville, Florida 6-2, 225 LB Auburn: Holland has bulked up to 250 pounds and plays outside linebacker for the War Eagles.

47. Tarvarus McFadden – Plantation, Florida 6-3, 200 CB Florida State: Currently, the best cornerback in the country. During the 2016 season, he had 8 interceptions to lead the country.

48. Da’Ron Payne – Birmingham, Alabama 6-3, 350 DT Alabama: Payne is a beast and has lost weight to about 300 pounds making him much quicker. He’s difficult to block.

49. Jacques Patrick – Orlando, Florida 6-3, 235 RB Florida State: Patrick was expected to be the top running back for the Seminoles this season, but along came Cam Akers and then Patrick was just lost for the season. He ran for 421 yards in 2017 before being injured against Louisville.

50. Josh Rosen – Bellflower, California 6-4, 205 QB UCLA: The Rosen One was impressive when he started his very first game. Rosen had a fantastic freshman season, but was injured for much of his sophomore season. He’s back and is expected to be a top draft pick next year.