Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the recruit: Kyrrel Latimer

Name: Kyrrel Latimer
Position: CB
School: DeMatha Catholic (MD)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 205

ESPN: 75
Rivals: NR
Scout: NR

Let's just get this part out of the way real quick here: Latimer is either not highly rated or not rated at all by the services, and didn't garner a whole lot of major-league interest from major-league schools. At the time of his commitment he had exactly one I-A offer: New Mexico. Tech showed some interest early but probably decided not to go in real hard; when one headline declares Tech the leader in no small part because that was his team growing up and then a month later the UVA offer spirals us to the top of the list, I think that means the interest from Tech was limited.

The ratings, when they do come, aren't going to be high. Scout probably will never bother, they're sloppy like that, and Rivals will probably toss a low three-star or high two-star his way. He plays at DeMatha - there's not much the services and the teams don't know about what comes out of that school.

That said, it's encouraging that the coaching staff is interested in Latimer as a cornerback, because that's a position that didn't get targeted basically at all last year. Latimer plays safety for DeMatha, but things are pointing to him making the switch at UVA. He's definitely cornerback-sized and cornerback-athletic: dude's been a very good track runner for a very long time. And we're gonna need corners something fierce pretty soon, especially if Dowling leaves early as is the concern at this point. By 2010 we might have Chase Minnifield and nothing. Whether Latimer gets an early shot there depends on who gets shuffled over to cornerback between now and the fall of 2010, because it seems pretty clear from here that that's going to happen much more likely than not.

Besides, if Rodney McLeod is any indication, football players come out of DeMatha ready to play. But that may not be the best comparison, really, because McLeod was decently rated and had offers from all those schools we like very much to beat at stuff plus a couple Big Ten ones too. Latimer has none of that. But suppose Jeremiah Mathis comes out like gangbusters this year the same way McLeod did last year? Mathis didn't get any offers until way late (and also got one from New Mexico - weird), and wasn't rated high, and yadda yadda. If Mathis also comes in and makes that kind of impression, it'd be right and proper to start seeing a pattern here, that pattern being: DeMatha = awesome, and we should commence construction of an HOV lane between there and Charlottesville.

Til then, Latimer's a little bit wait-and-see. With the coaches basically having indicated directly to the DeMatha coach that they like Latimer as a corner, it'd be nice to see him playing that position more during the upcoming season, though obviously DeMatha has championships and stuff to go win and can't necessarily be expected to do what Poindexter tells them to do. From here I guess my best prediction is that Latimer will redshirt his first season mainly because he'll need to learn the ins and outs of the position, then park it for a year or two behind some more senior folks who got moved themselves. Of the five verbals so far, though, he's the hardest to guess at, because Lord only knows if we'll even have Ras-I Dowling by then let alone who else there'll be.


Bird said...

I take the star ratings about as serious as I take the People for an Independent Florida Keys (Conk Republic?)...

That Miami story about recruiting by stars is an extreme case but I also think the fans take the rating services WAY too seriously. If a player is a freak, everyone knows it. Otherwise, I think the majority of properly framed high schoolers just need the right motivation/coaching to reach I-A CFB-caliber ability.

Brendan said...

Well....I don't really agree, and I think the coaches don't either because otherwise recruiting would consist of poring over high school rosters to find guys with exactly the right frame and the right position and offering them. Game tapes and workouts and the like wouldn't be part of the deal.

By and large, I think the recruiting services do a fair job of evaluating. Obviously there are any number of cautionary tales, but my standard response to folks who dismiss star ratings out of hand is to offer them a roster full of two-stars, and I'll take a roster full of four-stars, and see whose is better. I'll take the four-stars all day long. They're not the only tool, but they're a useful one.