Texas sophomore CB Davante Davis "is a long, athletic and rangy cornerback who is a physical and reliable tackler," writes ESPN's Kevin Weidl.
"Most impressive, though, were the instincts and awareness he showed as a first-year player," Weidl wrote. The 6-foot-2 and 191-pound Davis was a member of Charlie Strong's first recruiting class.
Clemson HC Dabo Sweeney says sophomore DE Christian Wilkins "can do it all."
"He can play shade, 3-technique, he can play end. He’ll probably play a little end for us," Sweeney said. "Just a dynamic, dynamic player." You can say that again, coach. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound sophomore defensive lineman posted 33 tackles, 4.5 TFL and two sacks as a rotational DT last season as a true frosh. He was moved to DE in the spring to help replace the production lost when Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd moved on, a luxury Clemson could afford with starting DTs Carlos Watkins and Scott Pagano returning. At his new position, Wilkins is scary. Off the field, he's a sweetie. "Incredibly smart, just a huge personality, a big persona," Swinney said. "I see him as president of Clemson one day. He just brings this energy every single day. He's so comfortable in his own skin."
The first time Illinois HC Lovie Smith met senior DE Dawuane Smoot, Smith told him: "I want to make you a first-rounder."
It was Smoot -- and not former star teammate Jihad Ward -- who led the Illini with eight sacks, 15 TFL and three forced fumbles last year. "I want to try to be [an NFL] first-rounder and to be an All-American," Smoot said. "Double-digit sacks and then go to the league. Those are my expectations." Smoot was a track star in high school who added 40 pounds of bulk (now listed at 270) while making the transition to collegiate football star. "With Smoot leading the way," defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson said, "we've got a group of guys we feel can play, and play at a very high level."
Texas Tech redshirt junior WR Derrick Willies can complete a 60-inch box jump wearing a 10-pound vest.
A consensus top-10 JUCO transfer, Willies is the lanky athlete Pat Mahomes has been dreaming about. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder led the JUCO ranks with 23.6 yards per catch last season at Trinity Valley Community College.
Florida senior OLB Jarrad Davis "jumped off the screen to the point that he was a distraction trying to study the 2016 draft class," gushed ESPN's Kevin Weidl.
"He is an explosive athlete who has sideline-to-sideline range and an internal GPS for the football," Weidl wrote. The analyst added that Davis must "add bulk and improve his point-of-attack skills," but ultimately sees Davis as a perfect "space" linebacker in today's NFL. Last season, the senior logged a career-high 98 tackles with 11 TFL. Davis will be joined on a tremendous Gator defensive unit by cornerback Jalen Tabor, safety Marcus Maye and defensive end Bryan Cox.
2017 five-star WR Tee Higgins whittled his list of finalists to five.
Higgins tweeted out his top five in order on Monday. Unsurprisingly, the home state Tennessee Vols were listed No. 1 (Higgins was once committed to the school). In order, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State and Ole Miss round out the top-five. The 6-foot-4 1/2, 188-pounder is one of the biggest recruiting dominoes in the 2017 cycle.
Mississippi State redshirt sophomore S Brandon Bryant runs a 4.24 second 40-yard dash.
You may recognize 4.24 seconds as the NFL Combine forty record, famously set by Chris Johnson. Bryant, who picked off New England Patriots draftee Jacoby Brissett in the Belk Bowl, isn't just a burner. His bench press is 385 pounds and he deadlifts 600.
ESPN's Kevin Weidl says Arkansas senior edge rusher Deatrich Wise is a "long-levered and disruptive pass-rusher who has active hands, quality bend and the ability to convert speed to power."
"Wise should be on scouts' radar next year, as he has the measureables and skill set to potentially develop into a top-40 type of prospect," Weidl wrote. Mel Kiper and Josh Norris both see Wise as a possible first-rounder. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Wise had eight sacks over his final eight games last year.