Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the recruit: Darious Latimore

Name: Darious Latimore
Position: CB
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
School: Central Gwinnett
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 170

24/7: 86, three stars; #67 CB, GA #72
ESPN: 75, three stars; #54 CB, GA #90, SE #448
Rivals: 5.5, three stars
Scout: three stars; #117 CB

Other offers: Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Georgia State

By this time in the recruiting cycle, things have started to go south - fast.  No, that's not a bad joke on pulling a recruit out of Georgia, nor a negative commentary on Darious Latimore.  Latimore, however, committed on October 21 following an official visit for the Duke game.  The previous commitment: Jeffery Farrar, in August when all was sunny.  By the time Latimore committed, the team was 2-5, the eventual nine-game losing streak was four games in, and it was really starting to dawn on us that this season was going to suck.

Latimore claimed, however, that seeing the team's locker room response to the loss was part of the reason he decided it was something he wanted to be part of.  Whatever it was, it fired up the commitment train again; UVA has not since gone that long between verbal commitments.

The man himself is a consensus mid-three-star, bordering on the low side of the range, with an interesting slate of offers that raises that assessment somewhat in my book.  A player with his ratings, you'd expect to have maybe a smattering of CUSA-type offers with maybe a Mississippi State or Kentucky thrown in.  Aside from the very local Georgia State, none of those schools bothered - but he did land one from Tennessee and as far away as Kansas State.

Part of the reason for the oddly low number yet high status of the offers is that he's newish to the position.  I'd guess he hasn't grown much since his freshman year, because he started at defensive end, moved to linebacker after one year and to cornerback the next.  Jon Tenuta likes big cornerbacks who can play on an island; Latimore fits the size bill and ESPN uses "aggressive" twice in their writeup.  (It's a very favorable writeup, in fact, and doesn't give any indication of why he's "only" a mid-three star, though ESPN does have him ranked the highest at his position of any of the services.)

You've probably seen me say it before and you'll see me harangue on it again, that much I promise, but there are now too many cornerbacks on the depth chart.  Barring attrition, I count ten, which is crazy because 85 scholarships for 22 starting spots lets you go about 3.5 deep, on average - ten CBs means we go five deep at that position, and London is still recruiting players who could be slotted there.  Latimore is not moving to offense - this remains a possibility for a guy like Farrar or recruiting target Daniel Ezeagwu, but not Latimore.  This makes it at least a little easier to predict his future.  For starters, if Latimore doesn't get a redshirt this year it'll be infuriating; we have three perfectly good starting corners (you always want three, not just two) and two freshman backups who got a load of playing time this year (Tim Harris and Divante Walker) not to mention a freshman in Kirk Garner who has a load of potential too.  Harris, Garner, possibly Walker, possibly Wil Wahee unless he's a safety, comprise the next wave of cornerbacks after Nicholson, Hoskey, and Canady graduate, two of which will do so after this coming season.

That puts Latimore hopefully two years behind that group.  He has good potential - not great, as there's very probably a reason beyond just inexperience that everyone refused to rate him higher than middle of the road.  But he's also a guy that the coaching staff zeroed in on very quickly and pushed hard to land.  Other things being equal, I tend to personally be higher on players with a set position than a nebulous athlete of the "we'll figure that out when he gets here" sort; maybe that's me subconsciously preferring order to chaos, but a Rivals 5.5 player with a clear and obvious position, to me is far preferable to a 5.5 maybe-DE-maybe-LB-maybe-TE sort.  The problem with that is you have to waste a lot of development time figuring out the right slot.  Latimore won't have that problem, and I'd like to think he can redshirt with the notion of learning the tricks of the trade rather than learning the trade.


pezhoo said...

You know, I remember reading that when O'Brien got to UVa he found out there were no set targets for roster positions. I was somewhat surprised by that, because even playing EA Sports college football game you have to think about that. Perhaps I foolishly assumed that when O'Brien helped set the targets for the roster his distribution looked like mine (and yours.) Maybe it's really to have 20 DBs on the roster. Ah, the life of a Virginia fan.

BostonHoo said...

With so many CBs why don't we just trade a few for some future draft picks.