Today is National Signing Day for football, and prospects all over the country are putting pen to paper for their college future. In the basketball world this means absolutely nothing, but here is a look at a few prospects who could be signing at top schools had they chosen the football route over hoops.
Not often do you associate a basketball player with a quarterback, but that is exactly the case with five-star point guard Lonzo Ball. Ball is the best passer any of us at Scout have evaluated, and also he has good size at around 6-foot-5. Ball’s outlet passing is precise, and he shows incredible instincts and vision.
With solid athleticism and the size mentioned, Ball has the look of a quarterback who would be in high regard. Who knows if Ball has ever thrown a football in his life, but odds are if he picked one up he would have a real nice future ahead of him.
More traditionally you associate the tight end position with basketball because of the success of players such as Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates, and once again three prospects really come to mind when discussing who could be good in this role.
Vital is the most athletic of the three and is strong and tough. If he wanted to get up to 240-250 pounds he could do it on his 6-foot-5 frame without much trouble, and would be a nightmare in jump ball situations.
Stevens is the tallest and strongest of the group at around 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 and already around 225 pounds, and he would be even bigger if he wanted to lift like a football player. Stevens is a top 75 prospect so his future is bright on the basketball court, but his mindset and body all scream football player as well.
Finally there is Jackson who is about 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds now with the frame to add a lot more weight. Also a tough kid who is a big time athlete, Jackson wouldn’t be an in-line blocker, but as a flex tight end he could cause a major matchup problem.
A big focus in football right now is on big and athletic corners who can turn and run. Two players in the class who would fit that mold are NC State enrollee Dennis Smith and North Carolina signee Seventh Woods.
Smith is an elite basketball player so it is clear why he didn’t go with football, but at about 6-foot-2 with long arms and freakish athleticism, Smith would be a lockdown corner on the outside.
There might not be a better athlete in the entire country than Woods. Woods is also about 6-foot-2 and can really, really run and then also is a freakish leaper. If Woods didn’t want to play corner, where likely his best future would be, wide receiver would also appear to be a major option.
Speaking of wide receivers, two prospects who have the look of elite playmakers on the outside are Quentin Goodin and Eli Wright. Both natives of Kentucky are freaky athletes with size. Goodin is in the 6-foot-3 range with elite athleticism and Wright is a long and angular 6-foot-4 wing who physically resembles a lot of the best pass catchers in the NFL.
Being able to get after the passer is key in the NFL, and though he would be scheme dependent and likely a best fit in a 3-4 defensive system, five-star Michigan State signee Miles Bridges could be a guy who racked up a lot of sacks as a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end.
Bridges checks in around 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds with the frame to add a lot more weight. Physically he looks like he would be a taller version of former NFL All-Pro Shawne Merriman who excelled in that role. Add in that Bridges is a freakish athlete who can really run, and he looks like he would have a bright future on the gridiron if he so desired.
Finally you need someone to protect the quarterback, and two prospects who appear they could do that are five-star Villanova bound center Omari Spellman and three-star Penn State bound prospect Joe Hampton.
Spellman is huge at around 6-foot-8 and 270 pounds, and is very nimble. He is the prototype for what a football coach would look for in a left tackle. He has athleticism, long arms, strength, and the frame to handle a lot of weight.
Hampton is about smaller at about 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, but he has the ability to add more weight and is light on his feet as well for someone with his build. Hampton has battled injuries, but on the football field one would think he would have an extremely bright future.