Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the recruit: Kyle Dockins

Name: Kyle Dockins
Position: TE
Hometown: Virginia Beach
School: Landstown
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 200

24/7: 78; two stars
ESPN: 75; three stars; #130 ATH; VA #33; Atlantic #162
Rivals: 5.4; two stars
Scout: two stars, #81 TE

Other offers: Norfolk State, .....???

Just how many offers did Kyle Dockins have?  The recruiting sites have him down for a big zero, outside of the one he committed to and the one from the closest school to his home.  Then again, various articles suggest otherwise.  It might have been as many as nine, possibly including Boston College, Pitt, Georgia, ECU, VT.....

This is the thing I hate about the NCAA's new rule about written offers, which can't be sent til August 1 before a prospect's senior year.  It'd be easier to tell if schools could've been sending written offers at any time before he actually committed.  Dockins is a very versatile athlete with the kind of frame that you can develop into almost any position you want him to play; I sort of suspect if every single one of those offers was truly committable, he'd have been rated much higher than the near-consensus two stars he's been given.

I would guess that probably the ECU offer was legit, maybe the VT offer....but who really knows?  So we'll have to move forward without offers as a benchmark.  Dockins has always been a productive player.  Last year he caught 40 passes for over 600 yards.  He also had six touchdowns; I count at least four this year, possibly more, and I've got no doubt he'll exceed those junior year stats eventually.  Landstown is a good team that plays the best competition - the Beach District is no picnic at all.

Even so, he's been largely passed over by the recruiting sites.  All have evaluated; all gave lukewarm reviews.  The dark side of the incredible versatility Dockins has is that he doesn't really flash top-end traits for any one of them.  You could picture him at wide receiver, tight end, safety, or linebacker, but he's missing something that would peg him to any one position.  For example, he's too tall for cornerback, and not really fast enough for wide receiver.

Ultimately the consensus seems to be that he'll be a tight end, and given his size - he would need to add seriously almost 40 or 50 pounds to be fully functional there - I think by "tight end" people mean something more like "H-back."  By "fully functional" I mean I don't see him being a sixth offensive lineman, run-blocking for off-tackle sprints.

I could also see Dockins playing safety or outside linebacker, and wouldn't have any beef a'tall if the coaches decided to throw him in the mix for playing time there.  If they did that, he might emerge, or he might not.  But I think he's being recruited to play H-back and receiving tight end, the way Zach Swanson is now being developed and I think Jake McGee is too.

This would make the most sense, because H-back doesn't demand a whole keg full of raw athleticism.  Nobody ever expects that position to break open a 70-yard touchdown.  No, you want 7 yards and to keep the defense honest and off your playmakers.  And there, I think Dockins can do well, because he's one of those honest-to-goodness football players who's too good to let go to waste, and not quite good enough to beat the best competition for traditional positions.  That's one reason teams use H-backs.  Could you ever have imagined Jason Snelling as a scatback or a full-time receiver?  No, but he was awfully productive in his own way. 

So is Max Milien.  That's the path I think Dockins will follow, in addition to being a potential force on kick and punt coverage.  You won't see Kyle Dockins make too many headlines as a freshman, but, like Milien, I think he'll eventually prove his worth.


Other itemy things:

- Hot damn.  I'm thinking that crappy, waste-of-time football practice on the floor of the JPJA was one of the best things that happened to this program in a while.  I bet it's no coincidence that Craig Littlepage started talking up this indoor facility not long after that practice; I further bet that London went to his boss after that practice and said GIMME BUILDING.

- Hot damn part 2: Gettin' votes!  UVA received three votes in the coaches poll (or one guy putting UVA 23rd) and also got one blog's vote in the Blogpoll.  Perhaps not surprisingly, it came from an Indiana blog.

- Don't forget to follow @MaizeNBlueWahoo on Twitter if you want my diarrhea of the keyboard during the NC State game.

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