Josh Harvey,

13 of the Nation's Best Niche Players

We describe the 'Niche Player' as a return specialist, a prospect under 5-foot-9, or a prospect who could play fullback, h-back, slot receiver or nose guard on the next level. Who are some of the nation's best?

DT Damion Daniels, Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne

Nose Guard

Daniels is a force in the middle of the defense with excellent explosion for a prospect well over 300 pounds. He is listed at 6'3, 301 pounds, but we expect he is playing at a heavier weight as a senior and projecting to the next level he is the prototype guy to play over the center and wreak havoc shutting down the opposition's run game. He is considering schools like Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and UCLA among others.

ATH KD Nixon, DeSoto (Texas) High

Under 5'9 - Return Specialist

Nixon, who checks in at 5-foot-7, 175 pounds could qualify for best slot, best under 5'9 and best return man. He plays all of those position for No. 4 rated DeSoto High and he does them all well. He is one of the fastest and most explosive players in the nation and in one game using GPS tracking this season the DeSoto coaches clocked him at 25.3 MPH. The four-star is uncommitted and considering schools like Colorado and Houston.

KD Nixon (© Greg Powers)

ATH Tevin Bush, New Orleans (La.) Landry Walker

Under 5'9

Bush is a West Virginia commit and the Mountaineer coaching staff wants to use him they way Tavon Austin was used when he was there.  Bush is a small, but quick and shifty athlete that is stronger than most think when they first lay eyes on him.  He can be lined up in the backfield, at slot and as a returner on special teams.  He is going to make some big plays in their offense.

ATH Lynn Bowden, Warren (Ohio) Harding

Slot Receiver

Bowden is an ideal slot. He has great elusiveness and open field ability, which he has shown as a quarterback, but in college, he is a kid you can throw short passes to and he will break some, you can hand it to him on jet sweeps, and he can play some wildcat if needed. The question always was, what kind of hands did he have and can he stretch the field more, and he showed this summer that the answer to that was a resounding yes. He reminds me of another former Ohio quarterback turned slot, Jalin Marshall, who is now with the Jets. Bowden is looking at Michigan State, Indiana, Kentucky and others, but his recruitment is somewhat quiet right now until his senior season is done. 

TE Hunter Bryant, Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic


Bryant is rated with the tight ends, but he's really an h-back type of prospect who will be moved all over the field. The Washington Huskies commit is easily among the most versatile players in the region and could not only play but excel at multiple positions in college including receiver, tight end, fullback safety, outside linebacker or even grow in to a pass rushing defense end. Bryant will be a match-up nightmare for any defense to handle as he can line up in the slot, out of the backfield or even wide and has a great combination of size, speed, athleticism and body control.

WR Arex Flemings, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral

Under 5'9

Flemings teams with fellow slot receiver Jamire Calvin to give Cathedral an explosive duo at receiver.  While Calvin isn’t the biggest, he still is bigger than Flemings, who makes up for his lack of size (5-7, 155) with great hands and speed.  Flemings will continue at a school that has used smaller players better than most, Oregon State.

WR Cade Green, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis

Slot Receiver

Green is exactly what you are looking for in a slot wide receiver. He has quickness off the snap and can get open in a tight area. He also has good size and a muscular build that helps shield defenders from the football and allows his quarterback to work the ball into tight spaces. He has hauled in six touchdowns passes and rushed for thee more so far in 2016. The three-star is committed to Wisconsin

WR Tyjon Lindsey, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman

Slot Receiver

The No. 6 receiver in the country, Lindsey is the best slot receiver nationally and is well ahead of everyone else in the region.  He’s a dynamic game-breaker with the ball in his hands and is a polished receiver who runs precise routes and constantly gets separation.  He’s been playing with his Gorman teammate Tate Martell for years and their chemistry in the pass-catch game is unrivaled.  The two will keep playing together in college when they go to Ohio State.

ATH Sione Lund, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton


Lund is rated a four-star athlete and could end up at fullback or linebacker in college. The Stanford Cardinal commit was recruited by the Cardinal to play fullback and that's where we like his upside highest as well. He's a tough, physical kid who runs hard between the tackles and should develop in to a devastating blocker. Michigan, UCLA and USC continue to recruit Lund as well and the athlete said he plans to take official visits to those programs. 

RB Anthony McFarland, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha

Return Specialist

McFarland is out for the season with a broken bone in his leg, but he is dynamic when healthy. He can play running back, slot receiver, return kicks and punts and do about anything else with the ball in his hands. He is powerful and explosive. He is coming off his first official visit, which was to Miami this past weekend. He also has Maryland and Alabama on his list.

WR Sean Savoy, Washington (D.C.) Wilson

Slot Receiver

Savoy, who is committed to Virginia Tech, brings explosion and big-play ability. He has escapability in tight spaces, and he accelerates well. He is quick out of is breaks, and his ability to change direction is good. He can impact a game as a receiver or in the return game.

ATH Jamyest Williams, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Under 5'9

Pound for pound, Williams is one of the top football players in the 2017 class. He is a jack of all trades who could shine on either side of the ball on the next level. He is only 5-foot-9, so there may be concerns about him covering bigger receivers at cornerback. Williams is likely to play nickel where he will line up against guys that are similar size to him. He is a dynamic football player with instincts and explosiveness. He is committed to South Carolina.

TE Bryce Wolma, Saline (Mich.) High


Is one of those guys who does all of the little things well and will fit in well in that H-Back role in college. Stocky, well built kid, but maybe not quite as tall or long as other top tight ends. Above average, but not super measureables, but he has excellent intangibles and that is what makes him special. The three-star will be leaving the Midwest to play for the Arizona Wildcats.

BuffStampede Top Stories