Today, we report from Charleston, SC, scene of the second annual Medal of Honor Bowl. It’s the first game in the all-star slate for the 2015 draft cycle.
After attending weigh-ins, we discovered 37 unsigned players. That’s not altogether unusual for an early all-star game (some of these players were in bowl play as recently as Friday and Saturday), but it’s still a high number. Some of these players rate a long look for agents who swung and missed during recruiting. Last year, about 80 percent of the players who attended the game made it at least as far as an NFL camp.
Here are five players that we think deserve a look. As of this morning, none of them had agents.
Quinn Backus, SS, Coastal Carolina: Safeties that can move and cover as well as stop the run are an enticing commodity for NFL evaluators as ‘move’ tight ends have become such a weapon. Backus comes from a program that has gigantic momentum and is really on the rise, and he’s a two-time Walter Camp All-American, so the production is there. In fact, Backus is one of just four two-time Walter Camp honorees this year, and one is in the Senior Bowl and another in the Shrine Game. Backus played outside linebacker at Coastal, so if he proves he can play defensive back, he could be a true sleeper.
David Frazier, WO, Miami (OH): Normally, wide receivers are a dime a dozen, and it’s dicey to represent them because often it all comes down to their 40 time. However, there’s reason to believe Frazier is worth a gamble. First of all, he’s right at 6-feet tall (I don’t have his exact measurements today), so he’s no small-fry, and he averaged 16.1 yards per catch this year, so chances are he’s explosive and will run well.
Alfy Hill, DE, Winston-Salem St.: I haven’t gotten a chance to watch Alfy on the field, but he looks great coming off the bus. What’s more, he signed with Alabama coming out of high school, and if you’re good enough to play on scholarship for Nick Saban, well, that’s saying something. He seems to be very well-spoken and polished, too, based on the limited time I’ve been around him. His listed measurables are legit, too. He’s not a ‘6-4 in the program, 6-1 1/2 in real life’ kind of guy.
Gabe Middlebrook, OB, Charleston Southern: Middlebrook made a lot of plays for Charleston Southern this year and moves really well. He’s also a guy that a team is gonna fall in love with this week because he’s not only athletic but is instantly likeable. One of the big advantages to participation in all-star games is that players make personal connections with scouts, and that really pays off in the war room on draft day.
Mike Sellers, H-back, Winston-Salem St.: When you play H-back, very often you get stuck with the ‘tweener’ label. However, the American roster is down a tight end, and I’ve heard discussion of giving Mike some opportunities as a traditional tight end. If that happens and he flashes, he could really make an impression in a hurry.
Interested in any of these players? If you’re an ITL client, let us know and we’ll put you together with them to see if there’s a fit. And if you’re not part of the ITL family yet, we’d love to welcome you aboard. Even if these five players don’t seem like a natural fit, you can check out the rosters (National here, American here) to see if others might.