South: Early '16 offensive stars
Nate Craig
Nate Craig
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Oct 16, 2013
Chad Simmons


Scout released a Watch List for the 2016 class earlier this fall and we went one step further Wednesday when we placed stars on quite a few profiles. Three out of southeast were named five-star prospects...

The recruiting process has really accelerated in recent years and we have freshmen receiving scholarship offers and even committing to schools now.

We are not rankings freshmen yet, but we are evaluating them and we now are placing stars on prospects in the 2016 class (Click Here).

In the southeast, three prospects added five stars beside their name on their profiles and one is wide receiver Nate Craig.

We take a look at the offensive prospects here:

Craig is a 6-foot-3, 200 pound athlete out of Dade City (Fla.) Pasco and he has offers from schools all over the country including Florida, Ohio State, and West Virginia. All schools have to like his size, speed, athleticism, and upside. He makes things look easy at times.

After naming Craig as a five-star prospect, Bryan Edwards is next on the list at this position.

Edwards is a 6-3, 180 pound wideout from Conway (S.C.) and like Craig, he is one of the top play-makers in the region right now. He does so many things well and he started getting offers as a freshman. He has a chance to be a five-star prospect down the road as we expand these rankings.

Drake Davis is an athlete that is a two-sport star in Baton Rouge (La.) The Dunham School, but football is his ticket to college. The 6-4, 210 pound sophomore has great hands, he can go up and get the ball, and he is a real weapon inside the red zone. Akron is the only offer today, but that will change.

Drake and Edwards have the size, but Sam Bruce can make plays too. Bruce is a 5-8, 165 pound slot receiver out of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University and he is so quick of his cuts, he is extremely difficult to stay with, and he is a big play waiting to happen when in space. Over 20 schools have offered Bruce.

A total of 11 prospects at this position now have stars.

Quarterback

It looks like 2016 will be a strong year at this position and six at this position added four stars on Wednesday.

Three came out of the state of Florida and they are Ervin Barrett (Orlando Evans), Feleipe Franks (Wakulla), and Xavier Gaines (Frostproof). All have good mobility, all can make plays with their arm and legs, and all have offers. At this stage, Franks would be the leader of the group here. He has great poise in the pocket, he has matured a lot over the past six months, and he has a bright future.

Avery McCall is a signal caller Scout really likes out of Dillon (S.C.). He is a dual-threat quarterback and he has one of the strongest arms in the southeast.

The final two are Keon Howard of Laurel (Miss.) and Jawon Pass out of Columbus (Ga.) Carver. Howard is another run-pass quarterback with a strong arm and when a play breaks down, he is at his best. Pass is a stand tall (5-4, 200 pounds) in the pocket kind of guy with a smooth delivery and excellent field vision.

Running Back

The favorite here early on is Tavien Feaster, a 5-11, 187 pound sophomore out of Spartanburg (S.C.). He has captured a lot of attention over the past month and picked up offers from Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He has great acceleration, he is quick through the hole, and he has excellent hands out of the backfield.

Miami picked up an early commitment from Mark Walton, an explosive back out of Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington. He has great quickness, his vision is strong, and he has that burst that you look for in a homerun type back.

Like Walton, Antonio Williams made an early decision when he committed to North Carolina not too long ago. Williams does not have that second gear right now, but the 5-11, 200 pound back runs with great balance, good power, and he has very good feet.

The other running backs that made this list are Devin White (Louisiana), Justin Conner (Mississippi), Robert Washington (North Carolina), Shakur Chisolm (South Carolina), Tre Harbison (North Carolina), and Jalin Buie (Florida).

Tight End

A couple of 2016 tight ends could become national prospects before all is said and done.

Buford (Ga.) star Isaac Nauta is a 6-4, 240 pound tight end who receives the ball well, who can block, and who can be an every down tight end lining up off tackle. He has over a dozen scholarship offers.

Octavious Cooley plays a lot of wide receiver for Laurel (Miss.), but the 6-4, 230 pound athlete will be a tight end or hybrid on the next level. He is very athletic, still raw, but a lot of upside. All three in-state schools (Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Southern Miss) have offered.

A third tight end needs to be recognized early on too and he is Gabe Angel. The 6-2, 215 pound sophomore out of Lebanon (Tenn.) Wilson Central may play more of an H-Back role on the next level because of his size and versatility. He is a hard-nosed football player that can do a lot.

Offensive Line

One of, if not the toughest position to evaluate is offensive line. Three prospects have made the early list and they are Willie Allen of River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian, Chris Barnes of Leesville (Ga.) Lee County, and Ben Cleveland of Toccoa (Ga.) Stephens County.

Out of this group, Cleveland is drawing the most interest at this time. Schools like Clemson, Florida, and Georgia among others have offered the 6-5, 320 pound tackle. He is very strong at the point of attack and has a great frame.

When talking frames, both Allen (6-7, 270 pounds) and Barnes (6-4, 265 pounds) have that. Allen is very long and lean and he has very good bend and feet to go with the long arms. Barnes is three inches shorter, but has very long arms making him a legit tackle prospect. He is athletic, he is one who can get to the second level, and he has that nasty streak.

Look for a report on the defensive prospects on this list later in the week.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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