RECRUITING EVALUATION: Keith Rivers

Right after the 2002 season ended, all eyes were focused on the northeastern portion of Orlando, where a Lake Mary star linebacker was setting himself up for his senior year.

FLORIDAKIDS.us CLASS OF 2004 RECRUITING EVALUATION:

While you can find out just so much about watching film on an athlete or talking to him on the phone, there is a major advantage to seeing the athlete live. I have been fortunate to see more high school football players in person in the state of Florida than any other source. What I will do is use my 30 plus years of evaluating talent on the football field to give you a complete opinion on the top football players in the Class of 2004.

I hope you enjoy this rare look into the football players in the state from a first-hand, LIVE vantage point:

PLAYER:Keith Rivers
SCHOOL:Lake Mary
POSITION:Linebacker
HEIGHT:6-3
WEIGHT:220

www.floridakids.us PRE-SUMMER RATING: 4

THE SCOOP ON THIS FLORIDA KID:
After flying beneath the radar screen early on last season, he exploded on the scene as major college prospect toward the end of his junior year for the Rams.

By the time Keith reached the Miami Nike Camp in April, he had already been viewed as one of the nation's elite linebackers.

EVALUATION:
The first thing to understand about Keith is the way he makes everyone around him better. His speed allows him to make plays from sideline to sideline, which lends itself to several aggressive college defenses, nationally. As a run-stopper, he may be as good as any I have watched. His vision is outstanding and has a unique sense of where the football is at all times.

To make the total transition to the next level, he will need to continue working on dropping back in pass coverage. While he has the speed and athletic ability to do it, experience is everything when playing the position.

THE INSIDE STORY:
While his heart still belongs to California and the west coast, Keith will have a lot of very impressive southern schools making it tough for him to leave.


Fightin Gators Top Stories