Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top150 - What if they chose football?

Rivals150: What if they'd chosen football?

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MORE: National Signing Day updates
Easily one of the most anticipated days for college sports fans, football's National Signing Day is always full of entertainment. Each year, we take a look at the Rivals150 and wonder: What if some of the best basketball players chose the football route? Is it a stretch to think that the nation's top point guard Emmanuel Mudiay could have been a highly ranked quarterback? Here's a look at Mudiay and some others from the class of 2014 we could see being successful on the gridiron.
(Note: In the interest of fairness, we will exclude Rivals150 members such as Reid Travis, Jae'Sean Tate, Wade Baldwin, Tadric Jackson and Michael Humphrey who were actually being recruited as football players at one point.)

Emmanuel Mudiay may have been a very good quarterback.
No. 2 Emmanuel Mudiay
School: Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep, SMU
The Buzz: One of the most gifted athletes in the class of 2014, the near 6-foot-5 point guard has all the tools to be a high-end quarterback. He is patient, elusive, has great vision, anticipates plays and likely has a strong arm. His athleticism would make him very dangerous outside of the pocket.
No. 3 Stanley Johnson
School: Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Arizona
The Buzz: Because of his size and ability to tussle with bigger players, Johnson would be a natural at tight end. He has pretty good top-end speed, great hands and he could easily add another 20-25 pounds to his already strong 220-pound frame.
No. 4 Cliff Alexander
School: Chicago (Ill.) Curie, Kansas
The Buzz: Probably the single most physical player in the class of 2014, Alexander is a little tall for a football player, but he has the tools and mindset. We would love to see him lined up as an edge rusher. Strong hands, explosive first step and a relentless motor would make him a great pass rusher.
No. 14 Isaiah Whitehead
School: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln, Seton Hall
The Buzz: A sleek 6-foot-4 athlete with toughness and burst, Whitehead would be a terrific wide receiver prospect. He has very good hands, changes directions well and would win a lot of hand fighting battles with defensive backs. Obviously, his size would be a plus.
No. 19 Theo Pinson
School: High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian, North Carolina
The Buzz: The future Tar Heel would be really intriguing as a wide receiver. At 6-foot-6 he is a long strider with great top end speed, plus hands, and he is a competitor despite his lean frame. He is athletic in traffic and has great body control while taking a hit.
No. 43 Jordan McLaughlin
School: Etiwanda (Calif.) High, USC
The Buzz: The tools to develop into a shutdown corner are all there for the future Trojan. He has great hips, good length, strong hands, stops and starts with ease and is a bouncy athlete. He's a little on the skinny side, but has a body that could easily bulk up to 190 pounds without losing any athleticism.
No. 50 Abdul-Malik Abu
School: Meriden (N.H.) Kimball Union, N.C. State
The Buzz: Abu is a chiseled power forward with long arms, strong hands and a motor that runs high. All of those attributes make him an ideal defensive end. Could see him terrorizing quarterbacks rushing off the edge or defending passes when he drops back during zone blitzes.

Lourawls Nairn would likely be the unquestioned No.1 hoops-to-football prospect
No. 61 Lourawls Nairn
School: Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian, Michigan State
The Buzz: If we had to rank these guys in order, Nairn would likely be the unquestioned No.1 hoops-to-football prospect. He is hands down the fastest player in the class of 2014, and the 5-foot-10 point guard is powerfully built. He could play tailback, return kicks and be spread out as a receiver.
No. 63 Jared Terrell
School: Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Prep, Oklahoma State
The Buzz: Terrell actually looks like he could play college football right now. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is a physically gifted 225-pounder who looks like he would be a fierce hitter as either a jumbo strong safety or a ball hawking outside linebacker.
No. 111 Larry Austin
School: Springfield (Ill.) Lanphier, Tennessee
The Buzz: One of the better perimeter defenders in the class of 2014, Austin moves his feet well and has great anticipation on the defensive end. We could see him covering a lot of ground and being a problem as a free safety or nickel cornerback. Tennessee's class is actually loaded with guys who could be very good football players. Both Phil Cofer (No. 117, DE/TE) and C.J. Turman (NR, O-line) have physical traits that make it easy to envision them as football players.

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