This post wraps up our review of our recruiting class. Today we look at DBs.
Ahmad Christian, ATH. Christian played both DB and RB in high school; I'm not sure if we have any plans to use him offensively. He had a relatively nice offer list that included Auburn, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. I was most impressed by his tackling ability on his video. He could make a nice spur if he puts a few pounds on; he's currently at 5'10 / 190, which is in a good range for a DB but perhaps a little small for a spur. Versatility may be his best attribute in getting on the field quickly.
Kadetrix Marcus, S. Marcus came to Carolina despite an impressive offer list that included Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson, and West Virginia. I've heard a lot of very positive things about this kid and expect him to earn some playing time by his sophomore year. There was a lot of talk during recruitment about him being one of our more undervalued prospects. He has top-end speed, good coverage skills, and knows how to lay a hit after the catch. His videos (which may be biased) seemed to suggest that he's good at reading offenses.
Ronnie Martin, CB. Martin comes from Spartanburg and had offers LSU and Nebraska among others. His videos show good coverage skills, particularly while the ball is in the air. Even granting that he'll put on 10-20 pounds, he's a little smallish and did seem to get abused a little bit on slant routes off the line, and that makes me wonder how he'll stand up against the bigger receivers you see today. However, on these plays he showed good form and hip movement and he always laid nice hits and brought his guys down quickly. He is also an impressive kick returner.
Martay Mattox, ATH. Mattox played QB in high school and I expect he'll get a close look there when Stephen Garcia graduates. I think he could really thrive in our new offensive scheme. However, he's said to also be a candidate for S or spur. I haven't seen video on his defensive skills, but he definitely has the body to play the positions.
Sheldon Royster, S. Royster is the nation's 12th-ranked S and had offers from Miami, Michigan, Rutgers, and West Virginia, among others. Royster has top end speed and looks good tracking down guys that get loose in the second and third levels. He was also a very good kick returner and played some RB / WR. He might be someone we'll see sooner than later if depth becomes an issue at S.
Brison Williams, S. Williams is a holdover from last year's class and spent the fall at Fork Union. Out of all of the guys on this list, he's probably most likely to see the field often this year. He's already got the size to play S or spur.
Grade: B+. We got some very talented players in this class, particularly in Marcus, Royster, and Williams. What worries me, however, is whether or not any of these guys other than Martin have the man-to-man coverage skills to play cornerback well. We might be set at safety for years with this class, but considering that most of our CBs are either going to graduate or, perhaps, leave early in Stephon Gilmore's case, we're going to need some CBs after 2011. I'm worried that we didn't address that need with this class.