Gerard Martinez | USCFootball.com

Irish A-to-Z: Jordan Genmark Heath

Special teams coordinator Brian Polian is always looking for young athletes to bolster the coverage units. Genmark Heath will be an immediate candidate when August camp opens.

Position: Safety

National Ranking: Genmark Heath's rankings were all over the board as some placed him among the athletes and other projected him at safety. Scout ranked him No. 41 among athletes while ESPN.com listed him No. 73. 247Sports.com projected Genmark Heath as the No. 39 safety while Rivals had him No. 69.

Irish Illustrated Rank: Genmark Heath was the consensus No. 17 pick in the 21-man Class of 2017. The highest ranking among on our staff was No. 11.

Likelihood of Freshman Red-shirt: Low

2017 PATH TO PLAYING TIME

On one hand, the uncertainty of the safety position heading into the fall leaves the door open for a young player to emerge. Yet there is a junior (Nick Coleman), two sophomores (Jalen Elliott and Devin Studstill) and an early-entry freshman Isaiah Robertson) to contend with, in addition to junior Nicco Fertitta. With the constant search for special teams talent, Genmark Heath is a prime candidate for Brian Polian's units.

LONG-TERM PROJECTION

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego has the dimensions of a strong safety, but also could project to the Rover position as he grows into his body. With the diversity offered by the Rover position, Genmark Heath will be a candidate in situations, particularly if he shows early physicality. Long-term, he likely ends up at safety.

PLAYER COMPARISON

In terms of body-type and ranking, Genmark Heath – a three-star on Scout – resembles 2012 recruit John Turner, who dabbled at safety and outside linebacker. (Genmark Heath is a better athlete than Turner.) Matthias Farley, a member of the Class of 2011, also had comparable versatility. If Genmark Heath were to end up closer to the line of scrimmage, James Onwualu (2013) and Drue Tranquill (2014) come to mind.

QUOTABLE

"We wanted to add some guys that would fit the scheme, and the one guy that jumps off the page for us is Jordan Genmark Heath. This is a product of Mike Elko and his ability to stick with a recruit that he had seen earlier (while at Wake Forest). Coach Elko and Clark Lea both knew about Jordan, and we were able to get him up here in a short period of time.

"Jordan is really athletic. He could play on either side of the ball. We were looking for that safety that had the skills that would fit nicely into the defense that we're going to employ." -- Brian Kelly


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