2018 RB Kelan Walker
The Good: Walker is a good size back who can run effectively through traffic inside, as well as on the outside. The rising junior is also athletic enough to be an effective receiver out of the backfield. He has good hands, and he runs with a low center of gravity, which allows him to bounce off of defenders a few times before being tackled. Walker also shows good patience, and does a good job of letting his blockers open up holes before hitting the line of scrimmage. At the same time, he can accelerate on a dime to hit the hole quickly when it does open.
Needs Work: Walker does not have many flaws in his game, but something many younger backs could improve on is protecting the ball when running through traffic. Not that he has a fumbling problem now, but defenses are taught to strip the ball, and that will become more apparent when he gets to the next level.
The X-Factor: Walker is a back that can do it all for an offense. He has the strength to muscle through defenders in between the tackles, but he also has the athleticism, agility and speed to bounce runs outside while still being effective.
Offers: SMU, Colorado, Iowa State, New Mexico, Louisiana-Monroe
2018 LB/DE Jarell Cherry
The Good: Now an upperclassman, Cherry has the makings for a breakout year. At the snap of the ball, the Dallas native uses his speed and athleticism to make plays in the backfield. He shows good strength when taking on linemen and tracking down runners quickly. Another thing that stands out about Cherry’s game is his motor. He doesn’t always put himself in good positions, but you won’t see him give up on plays, and his speed allows him to make a lot of plays from behind.
Needs Work: Headed into his junior year, Cherry has a high ceiling, but there is room for growth. He has the tendency to rise up out of his stance at the snap of the ball, but his athleticism helps him make up for that. There are also times when he takes on an offensive lineman and finds himself out of position once he sheds his block.
The X-Factor: In the end, Cherry needs to bulk up, but once he adds the necessary size, his combination of speed off the edge and athleticism will make him tough to deal with for any offensive line.
Offers: SMU and Texas Tech
2018 WR Maureese Wren
The Good: At 6-foot-3, Wren is an impressive end zone threat. He has good size, but his ability to leap and locate the ball make him that more dangerous. His long arms also allow him to easily create separation from his opponent. Wren’s size helps him get physical when he is called upon to block in the open field. Once the ball is in his hands, Wren shows good speed, agility and ability to pick up yards after the catch. For those lobs in the end zone, Wren also displays soft hands, which help him make the difficult over-the-shoulder catches.
Needs Work: It’s not something that he does often, but Wren should try to avoid dancing too much once he has the ball in his hands.
The X-Factor: Undoubtedly, Wren’s size is what separates him from other receivers. And at 210 pounds, he also brings an intimidating combination of size and speed. Because of his physical attributes, Wren is one of those players that should blow up as his recruitment heats up.