Commit Analysis; WR/TE Moral Stephens

Perry (Fla.) Taylor County High School wide receiver/tight end prospect Moral Stephens committed to the Florida Gators today. Scout.com takes a closer look at the 6-foot-3 and 215-pound athlete.

Offers: Arkansas, Clemson, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Penn State, South Florida

Committed to: Florida

What to Like

Moral Stephens is a big target at 6-foot-3 who created match-up problems from a size standpoint with smaller cornerbacks as a perimeter receiver at the high school level. Taylor County used Stephens as an outside receiver regardless of formation or personnel grouping so most of the time he did have a size advantage versus most high school opponents. He has continued to develop physically since last May and looks to have gotten bigger from a weight standpoint and stronger. He has tremendous hands both in-person and on tape. He makes all the catches, from the ordinary to the over-the-shoulder and even the one-handed you can't believe you just saw that circus grab. He also adjust well to the ball very well. Stephens does a great job of high pointing the ball and also does a very good job of coming back and getting to under-thrown passes. Simply put he is an outstanding pass catcher.

Questions and Areas of Improvement

Stephens will need to work on his speed if he wants a chance to play wide receiver at the major college level. On film and in-person he lacks the ideal speed you would like to have in an outside receiver in the SEC. His blocking will need to improve in both technique and effort at wide receiver. He should be a dominating blocker when lined up as an outside receiver with his size and power. Stephens could also sell his routes better when he is not the primary target. He must also learn to play with better effort and strain himself when he is either blocking or not the primary receiver. There are still some unknown questions that have to be answered. Can Stephens be effective and physical enough as a blocker at tight end or H-back if he ends up there? There are also questions about his ability to catch the ball in traffic across the middle or run inside routes. Both in-person and on film the closest thing he runs to an inside route is a deep or skinny post-pattern.

Thoughts

I believe that Stephens is an outstanding tight end prospect at the major college level more so than a perimeter receiver. I am not saying he can't play wide receiver in the SEC but he doesn't possess the speed to be a big-time deep threat against cornerbacks as fast and athletic as those he will face playing for Florida. He has the size and frame to easily get to 240-pounds or more once he gets in college strength and conditioning program. Stephens has a thick and strong lower body which would allow for an easier transition to tight end if that is indeed where he ends up. He does have above average speed and athleticism for the tight end/H-back position. He could certainly present match-up problems against linebackers coming off the line of scrimmage or against smaller safeties when lined up a flexed tight end. There are still some unknown questions that have to be answered. As to whether Stephens can be an effective and physical blocker at tight end or H-back? Unfortunately there is no way to know this until he starts taking snaps at that position. I believe that Stephens could be an effective possession wide receiver at the major college level but can be an outstanding tight end with his size and athleticism. Whether he ends up at receiver or tight end in college Stephens might have the best hands I have seen this high school football season.


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