Monday, August 16, 2010

the recruit: Kameron Mack

Name: Kameron Mack
Position: S/OLB
Hometown: Portsmouth, VA
School: I.C. Norcom
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 200

ESPN: 75; three stars; #78 safety
Rivals: 5.5; three stars; VA #19
Scout: two stars; #107 OLB

Other offers: Virginia Tech

Mike London went to bed after his Blue Chip junior day having secured two commitments, but the aftereffects of the recruiting extravanganza were yet to come. Four days after the event, Kameron Mack signed on.

Mack's ratings from the scouting services are consistent and unremarkable. ESPN and Rivals have him as a medium-low three star; Scout has him lower, likely because they're rating him at a position he hasn't played. It's not the ratings that make Mack interesting to UVA fans, it's the Virginia Tech offer that he gathered in. In a year where Tech is rather publicly low on scholarships to offer and telling a lot of kids they want them to grayshirt (wait a year before enrolling), that's worth a raised eyebrow at least.

For Norcom, Mack plays safety, and a lot of basketball. Up til now he's been a fall-only football player, spending the rest of the year on the court. Wide receiver will be added to his repertoire this fall at Norcom; being 6'5" makes you a natural there. It's not out of the question he'll end up there at UVA if he looks really good, but it's unlikely. Mack is here for defense. What nobody's quite sure of is whether that'll be as a safety or linebacker. He's listed at 200 pounds, but various, more recent articles call him 205, 207, or even 210, depending on the time of year and, I guess the position of Jupiter as it aligns to Mars, I dunno. It makes a difference, because he's already at about the upper weight limit for a safety.

So Mack's size points at linebacker, and in a vacuum, what I'd do if I were London is slap a redshirt on him and spend a year bulking him up to the 220 level and teaching him the finer points of linebacking. But the numbers might not allow it. It's not out of the question that we go into 2011 with just three scholarship safeties, all seniors, which would be a depth disaster of epic proportions. A really unfortunate and not at all farfetched - seriously - scenario would see Mack forced onto the field as a true freshman at a position he's outgrown. This is exacerbated by the possibility that we could have as many as five linebackers in the recruiting class.

Unfortunately, I don't think it'd be legal or ethical to tell Mack's family to stop feeding him, so it's likely he grows into a linebacker. Outside variety, and one of the more difficult players to project. In the secondary, he'd probably have to jump onto the field right away; as a linebacker, he wouldn't even sniff the field until his third year (2013), except as a special teamer. He's plenty athletic, especially for his size, and could excel on coverage teams, maybe as a punt coverage gunner, but there's a big glot of six scholarship linebackers that are currently sophomores. They graduate after the 2012 season, so Mack's redshirt sophomore season is when he'd be most likely to jump into the rotation as an LB. First year, or third or later - no in-between. The team is better off if it's the latter, mainly because it means competent safeties have been unearthed somewhere.

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