Editor’s Note: This article is a Dynasty Scouts exclusive. Remember, our new Dynasty Scouts section focuses on the stars of tomorrow, with a laser focus on High School recruits and College players who look to have the talent to be future assets in dynasty leagues and have value today in devy leagues.
Have you ever gone to throw a pair of jeans in the wash only to find some crinkled up dollar bills in one of the pockets? Feels like Christmas morning, right? Or maybe you’ve misplaced the TV remote and frantically pulled the cushions off the couch revealing ten dollars in loose change and your favorite missing watch? Well, that can also happen every off-season in the world of college football. Last year’s redshirt freshmen are old news, replaced by the buzz and wave of hysteria associated with every new class of incoming phenoms. With that in mind, I thought we’d rummage through a heap of semi-forgotten players in an effort to shake loose a few potential impact receivers for your future dynasty squads or developmental rosters.
Robert Foster, WR Alabama
The Backstory – Robert Foster is a former five-star prospect who wasn’t initially cleared for his freshman season because one of his high school classes was not accepted by the NCAA. He re-took the class, but lost some very precious practice time due to that reason. The end result left Foster behind the learning curve and buried on the depth chart, a very difficult place for any true freshman to find himself.
Why You Should Pay Attention – Foster may have spent his freshman year as a redshirt wide receiver, but this 6’2″, 185 lb., five-star prospect ran a reported 4.49/40 (247Sports) and was ranked in the top three wide receivers in the 2013 class by more than one scouting publication. He has good length with a frame to handle additional muscle and he’s already what I like to call “skinny-strong,” which means Foster plays with more power than his lean appearance would indicate. He also leaps like a kangaroo and already has shown ample high pointing and positioning skills. Alabama has a group of talented wide receivers led by Amari Cooper, but Foster has the size/speed combination and the ability to make some real noise in Tuscaloosa with a full off season under his belt.
Torii Hunter Jr., WR Notre Dame
The Backstory – Torii Hunter Jr. (yes, the son of Major League Baseball player Torii Hunter) suffered a nasty injury during practice at the 2013 US Army All-American Bowl and missed his freshman season. He did, however, recover well enough to serve on Notre Dame’s scout team for the second half of the season and after a few highlight reel performances, Hunter earned the team’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year Award.
Why You Should Pay Attention – Torii Hunter Jr. is silky smooth in the open field and lightning quick in traffic. The unique aspect of Hunter’s quickness is that it’s apparent right from the snap – in that very first step from the line of scrimmage – and he appears to reach that elusive top gear almost effortlessly. Hunter also takes the most immediate, abrupt moves and makes them appear fluid and hypnotically seamless and he doesn’t lose much speed or acceleration through his breaks. Of course that doesn’t mean this elusive wide receiver comes without any concerns. His slight build (6’0″, 180 lbs.) is concerning, but honestly Hunter’s game will never be built around strength or power. His health and 100% return from that nasty leg injury (broken leg) also play a major role in the upcoming 2014 season. Bottom line: even if you’re like me and you prefer to scout the bigger, more powerful wide receivers, you’ll want to keep track of this nimble member of the Fighting Irish.
Eldrige Massington, WR UCLA
The Backstory – A four-star recruit, Eldrige Massington originally committed to USC, but suffered a serious knee injury (torn ACL) the summer before his high school senior year. That injury eventually led Massington to decommit from the Trojans and head to UCLA. The reason? According to reports, Massington’s decision to decomit revolved around his desire to enroll early at USC and continue rehabbing under professional supervision. USC wasn’t open to that option and the Trojans’ loss ultimately became UCLA’s gain. Much like Torii Hunter Jr., Massington started off slowly in Westwood focusing on getting healthy and regaining his confidence. By the end of his freshman season, however, he was making impressive plays and causing quite a stir on the UCLA scout team.
Why You Should Pay Attention – The short version? Size and upside. Massington has great size (6’3″, 205 lbs.), good hands and a natural ability to attack the ball at its highest point. He is a long strider who possesses deceptive speed and quickness. Unfortunately building to his top speed takes a while and his acceleration is a little disappointing off the line of scrimmage. Once in motion, however, Massington moves well for a big receiver and shows a knack for tracking the ball over either shoulder. The opportunity is there for Massington heading into 2014 and with quarterback Brett Hundley slinging the ball, impressive results could be on the horizon for this UCLA wideout.
While all of the players mentioned above certainly face multiple challenges heading into the 2014 season, there’s enough upside and talent surrounding these three wide receivers to captivate our attention this fall.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me here at DLF or on Twitter @FFHoudini.
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Ok! This all me right here! This is why I play dynasty,to find that diamond in the rough! Awesome just awesome!
The receiving hierarchy for all three schools represented here will be a topic to follow throughout fall camp.
I think Foster is the best talent of the group. Tall, rangy receivers with go up and get it ability make my knees weak. I see him as the Tide’s number three behind Amari Cooper and Chris Black.
Massington’s a forgotten man due to the road back from injury. Crowded depth chart ahead of him with Fuller/Lucien/Payton/Duarte. I see 2015 as his year of opportunity. Am intrigued by the long-term potential.
I see Hunter Jr. as a productive college player; need to see him bulk up before I invest devy resources in him.
Great stuff Leo!
This is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
Simple but very accurate information… Many thanks
for sharing this one. A must read article!