2016 DE, Marcus HS (Flower Mound, Tex.)
The Good: While it took longer than expected for Fitzgerald’s recruitment to heat up, the offers continue to roll in from some of the top collegiate programs from around the nation. And at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Fitzgerald has the prototypical frame to be a disruptive defensive end. Thanks to his quick get-off and long arms, the rising senior immediately finds himself in the backfield with ease. Fitzgerald shows good balance and athleticism as an edge rusher, and while he doesn’t have blazing speed, he has a good motor and long stride to get after the quarterback. Thanks to his athleticism, whether it’s against the pass or run, Fitzgerald does a nice job of locating the ball and getting after it in an aggressive fashion.
The Bad: Fitzgerald is strong and quick, but he really doesn’t take advantage of that when he’s rushing the passer. The Flower Mound native has a good bull rush, but he’s going to need more of an arsenal of moves at the next level. The athleticism is there, Fitzgerald just needs to learn to use his hands more and change up his pass rush moves in order to keep his opponents guessing.
The X-Factor: Even at his height, Fitzgerald’s ability to maintain leverage is key for his success. There are plenty of 6-foot-4 edge rushers that fail to maintain a lower center of gravity, and that hurts them in the long run. Fitzgerald maintains a wide base, has good bend, and doesn’t rise up once the ball is snapped. Big guys can struggle with leverage, but if Fitzgerald can get underneath the pads of the offensive linemen, he’ll win most battles in the trenches.Offers: SMU, Baylor, UNC, Texas Tech, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, California, Virginia and Iowa, among others.
WT: 245 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.90 seconds (Scout Verified)
2016 DB, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Tex.)
The Good: Williams’ physical nature and ability to locate the ball are two important qualities for a defensive back. The rising senior has good size and matches up well even against the bigger receivers. Williams isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder on his opponents, and he applies solid press coverage. Williams also plays the run very well. He flies up quickly, wraps up nicely and can pack a punch even at just 170 pounds. Williams shows good athleticism
The Bad: Williams is an aggressive player, but at times, that comes back to hurt him. On his first Hudl play, he gets beat by the double move. He was saved thanks to an underthrow by the quarterback, but most college quarterbacks will turn that blown coverage into six points.
The X-Factor: Williams best quality is his ability to tackle. Whether it’s in the open field or up at the line of scrimmage, the rising senior is not afraid to get physical and put his shoulder into his opponent. Williams’ physical nature is important, but he also needs to learn to be patient so that he does not get burned deep. Williams’ aggression, used correctly, can ultimately make him a nice asset in the secondary.Offers: SMU, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Texas State, Toledo, Tulsa, Air Force, Army, Navy, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin
WT: 168 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.60 seconds (unofficial)
2016 DT, Amarillo HS (Amarillo, Tex.)
The Good: Jackson can be a lot to handle in the trenches at times. The rising senior has a quick get-off and uses his hands well once he’s engaged with the offensive lineman. At his size, Jackson only needs a few steps to get going and pack a mean hit on either a running back or quarterback. Jackson doesn’t have elite speed or athleticism, but he does a nice job of maintaining a solid base and reacting quickly to plays. Jackson also has a variety of moves, so he does more than just bull rush. He has a wide variety of pass rush moves, and thanks to his athleticism, he doesn’t have trouble maintaining his balance when he tries something.
The Bad: Jackson must learn that, even at his size, he cant stand up like he does. Jackson needs to work on being consistent when it comes to keeping a low center of gravity so that he doesn’t get pushed around on some plays. I’d also like to see Jackson work on creating separation so that it’s easier for him to shed a block to make a tackle.
The X-Factor: Jackson has a nice mean streak that helps him maintain his physicality and aggression. The Amarillo product doesn’t have one go-to move or one elite trait, but he does a lot of things well. And when Jackson adds that mean streak, he becomes a better player. If Jackson can learn to keep a low center of gravity, he could elevate his play.Offers: Texas Tech commit. Other offers from: SMU, Kansas, Kansas State, North Texas and Texas State.
WT: 275 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.10 seconds (unofficial)