Looks Like University Of Illinois - Carmoni Green
I used to complain Ron Zook's recruiting and how he really didn't recruit to any positions - just athletes he would move around. I wanted his recruiting to be more intentional. Well, Lovie Smith is more or less doing the same thing: athletes, athletes, athletes. And I'm OK with it.
Lovie has begun his first recruiting class by stockpiling athletic raw material. He's focused heavily on track kids, seemingly prioritizing speed an agility over football polish, and has landed on several guys who might be wide receivers and might be defensive backs. I think Carmoni Green falls on the receiver side of the ledger, but I wouldn't put it past Lovie Smith to turn him into a defensive back.
Of the five ATH's who have verballed, I think I would rank them this way (from "most likely to be a wide receiver" to "most likely to be a defensive back"
1. Ricky Smalling
2. Carmoni Green
3. Tony Adams
4. Kendall Smith
5. Antwan Collier
If I had to guess, the first two are receivers and the last three are defensive backs. But in a way it doesn't matter. Lovie seems to be treating recruiting like the NFL combine: bigger, faster, and stronger is what matters - the players can be taught football later. He's trying to find speed and agility that he can place in the Lovie Smith Football Machine and produce All Big Ten players.
So while I think Carmoni Green is headed for wide receiver, it doesn't matter. The stockpile matters. Some will play above their ranking, some below, so stockpile a bunch of athletes and then go construct a football team.
My favorite thing about Carmoni Green's film are all the blocking clips. I love it when a wide receiver includes blocking in his film. As I said in the mailbag post just this week, the young receivers who can block, not the young receivers who can catch, are the ones who will play early. Blocking as a wide receiver is a lost art, and Green appears to be really good at it. It might be the first multiple-pancake high school wide receiver film I've watched. Check out all the blocking clips about halfway through:
With Green - who is a four-star on Rivals, by the way, and Smalling, plus a true either-or guy like Tony Adams, I think wide receiver is set in this class. We could possibly add one more, but with sophomores like Mays and Cain plus lots of freshmen (Holcombe, McGriff, Davis, Thieman), adding Smalling and Green balances things fairly well. You want to add about three receivers every year, so 2-4-2 means there's space for maybe one more (and it might be Adams or Smith).
Looking over that list, especially given my love for Cain and Thieman, it feels like we're set at wide receiver for 4-5 years. From that mix, the Illini quarterback of the future will have a full stable of talented athletes to throw to. Now on to the next position group.
Tom Cruises. I gave Smalling four Cruises, so there's my benchmark. And I do think Smalling is a little better receiver than Green (although both are great). So I think I'll go with 3.5 for Green. Two (probable) wide receivers in this class - one that rates 3.5 Cruises and one that rates as 4 Cruises. Exactly what we need to be doing.
Carmoni Green - 3.5 Tom Cruises