Expert Analysis: 2010 DB commits

The Bootleg welcomes on board Garry Cobb, a Stanford cornerback from 1998-2002. If anyone knows who could help Stanford's secondary, it's probably a Stanford corner. Here's what Cobb thinks of Stanford's 2010 DB commits…

I've been able to take a detailed look at Stanford's current commits and prospects who either will or may be a defensive back next year. Of the current commits, I see at least three ending up DBs on the Farm if they end up in Stanford's final 2010 haul.

Louis Young - 5'11" ½, 177 lbs.
Rivals: 4*/5.8, #17 CB, #7 Overall (MD), #240 (Nat)
ESPN: 3*/78, #26 CB
Scout: 4*, #19 CB

Young is an aggressive and physical cornerback with good size and very good speed. He doesn't look to be an outright burner on tape, but his technique in both zone and man coverage are good enough to keep people from running by him. Though he may take an occasional ill-fated gamble, his great plant-and-drive ability, along with a keen understanding of his responsibilities, allow Young to consistently be in position to make plays.

He has great natural body position, which gives him great acceleration out of his breaks. He'll need to work on his backpedal when playing off coverage since his school uses more of a shuffle technique. One thing I like about Young is that he is not the slightest bit afraid of coming up and making hits in run support. However, he does need to consistently bring his feet when tackling. Young is an aggressive corner who will be great in bump and run.

Hands are a question mark, but overall ball skills look pretty good. When the ball is in the air, Young times his jumps adequately, but does not show tremendous confidence in catching the ball away from his body. Thus, quite a few interception opportunities turn into pass breakups (PBUs). That tendency to catch with the body shows up in Young's offensive snaps as well.

Overall, given the combination of size, speed and aggressiveness, it is not a surprise as to why Stanford is so high on Young. I could see him being an asset on special teams as a freshman and a significant contributor on defense by year two. A physical, athletic player on the outside is an asset who is always welcome on the Farm.

Ranking Notes: Young's ratings look to be fair across the board and his solid offer list speaks to his high ratings.

Devon Carrington – 6'0", 183 lbs.
Rivals: 3*/5.6, #36 Safety, #4 Overall (AZ)
ESPN: 4*/80, #11 Safety, **ESPNU 150**
Scout: 4*, #28 Safety

When all is said and done, Carrington may be the crown jewel of this 2010 class. Carrington is an excellent and versatile athlete whose aggressiveness and tackling ability stand out on tape. His speed was officially timed in the 4.5's. He is a very good blitzer, as he shoots through gaps aggressively and shows the ability to re-direct when the ball carrier breaks in either direction. Carrington brings his feet when tackling, which leads to solid hits on ball carriers in the open field. Incidentally, the four-star prospect shows up several times in ASU RB commit Taylor Walstad's highlight film, taking good angles to the football and making solid tackles on Walstad down the field.

His great football instincts are evident on film, as he shows a good feel of when and how to engage blocks, as well as a solid grasp of leverage and pursuit angles. He looks to be a very smart player who has control over his secondary. Carrington displays decent press cover skills, but I think he'd be more suited to play off coverage when in man-to-man coverage.

Devon Carrington projects to be a player who can be counted on to fly around and make plays, or stay at home and carry out his assignment to perfection. Out of all of the current DB recruits, Carrington has the best chance of playing very early.

Ranking Notes: Rivals' ranking seems to be rather low, given Carrington's on-the-field performance and his strong performance at USC's Rising Stars camp.

Keanu Nelson – 5'11" 165 lbs.
Rivals: 3*/5.7, #51 ATH, #7 Overall (AZ)
ESPN: 3*/78, #44 ATH
Scout: 3*, #31 CB

Nelson projects as a cornerback or a slot receiver at the college level. He could be the best all-around athlete in the class. He shows great hands in both his offensive and defensive clips. Nelson's change of direction skills are excellent, whether he's darting left and right around would-be tacklers, or breaking on the ball on defense. His speed is very good on tape, as he does often pull away from opponents when he is given the chance to turn on the jets.

Nelson hits harder and plays a lot stronger than his size would indicate, both offensively and defensively. He brings his feet through tackles which tends to be a bonus at the corner position.

Nelson's quickness, hands and tackle-breaking ability make him a great candidate for offense. But, given this team's needs, his ball skills, toughness and athleticism will likely land him at cornerback. Early on, he'd be well suited for nickelback and will figure in the return game before his time is up.

Ranking Notes: Nelson seems to be rated fairly across the board.

Daunte Carr – 6'2", 195 lbs.
Rivals: 3*/5.6 , #44 Safety, #52 Overall (GA)
ESPN: 3*/78, #22 Safety
Scout: 3*, #77 Safety

Carr's rangy, long strides could hurt a bit in man coverage, but will allow him to cover a lot of ground when playing over the top. He shows good instincts as far as knowing when to take on the block as the run forcer and when to bypass the blocker and head straight for the ball carrier. He will need to bulk up more to take on blocks at the next level. At times, he shows the tendency to leave his feet and lunge to cut down ball carriers, which often prevents him from making solid hits.

He shows good body position in his back pedal and good feet when making breaks on the ball, but still can improve on the latter. Long arms are an asset that Carr can use to jam receivers or tight ends off the line. This safety prospect displays excellent ball skills and hands. He effortlessly snags high throws at their highest point, using his 38-inch vertical and long wingspan to outmatch opponents. He has also played some receiver on a very talented Gainesville, Ga. team, which is further evidence of his ability to catch the ball.

Daunte Carr is a very exciting prospect that will excel playing a "center field" type of role as a free safety. His ceiling is the highest of any in this defensive back class. He has the athletic ability to be even more well-rounded as a player. Two keys in reaching his potential will be learning to lower the hips to take on blocks and learning to run through his tackles.

Ranking Notes: Scout's ranking of Carr seems to be terribly low, especially given his great measurables. I wouldn't be surprised if his raking changes significantly when prospects are re-graded. Otherwise, his rankings look to be pretty accurate.

Kain Colter – 6'1", 185 lbs.
Rivals: 3*/5.7, #40 ATH, #7 Overall (CO)
ESPN: 3*/77, #69 ATH
Scout: 3*, #45 QB

Colter is great all-around athlete who shows great agility and footwork. His fight to stay on the field and excel in senior season is the epitome of toughness. I'm not yet sure if he will have the straight-ahead speed to play cornerback in the PAC-10, given that most of his highlights are passing plays. However, excellent technique can make up for lack of speed if there is any, and from the limited clips of Colter on defense, it seems that his flawless footwork at the quarterback position translates well to the defensive side. He is a tough kid who is not afraid of contact, despite being a star QB in high school.

Colter is a tough football player who can be used in a number of different ways. On defense, nickelback seems like it could be a great fit for him.

Ranking Notes: Given Colter's size, his rankings look to be pretty fair overall.

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