With Scout.com having released its 2014 college football recruiting rankings for players, we’ll be going down the line to look at players in the Scout 300 in no particular order.
We begin our preliminary look by delving deeper into the scouting reports and game-tape of the highest committed prospect in the nation for 2014, outside linebacker Hoza Scott.
First, Scott is a five-star linebacker out of La Porte, TX. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he’s got a solid amount of size to him. Scott is committed to the Texas A&M Aggies.
Before we look at some highlight tapes, let’s get something clear: Highlight reels are in no way good methods of evaluating football players. Indeed, highlight reels cherry-pick certain plays made by the player and thus, should always be taken with a grain of salt. They’re great for understanding what the player doesn’t seem to do often — which indicates they may not do that particular action very well — but that’s about it.
So here’s a recent highlight reel of Scott:
If there’s one thing you can extract from this video, it’s that Scott is a pretty elite athlete. He pursues with conviction and has upper-tier speed for a linebacker, even for an outside linebacker in what looks like a base 3-4 defense. Clearly, he’s a terror in the backfield and incredible in run support, skillfully weaving between blockers to get to his man. What he does not do often in this tape, though, is drop back into coverage, specifically to cover the opposing team’s tight-end in the middle of the field, something that linebackers like Scott will be asked to do pretty consistently. He drops back a few times but in no greater capacity than a quarterback spy.
This suggests that this may be one of his few weaknesses, dropping into coverage.
Do the scouting reports agree with what we’ve extracted from the video? Not necessarily; there isn’t much out there yet on Scott (given his high profile though, we’re sure that he’ll be well-scouted from here on out). The scouting reports do rave on about his ability as a pass-rusher, though, and they absolutely love his ridiculous speed to make up lost ground while pursuing.
What’ll be interesting to see is if reports start to note his tendency to over-pursue, though. While he did a good job of getting to the ball-carrier and staying disciplined, it looked like he was on the verge of over-shooting a few times, at least based on the highlight tape.
Either way, he’s clearly a top prospect for a reason, and you really can’t argue that he’s a solid addition to the Aggies’ fast-improving defense.
The kid’s recruitment will be fun to watch over the next year.