It’s less than four months until the 2016 season begins and less than nine months until the recruiting class of 2017 can sign their National Letters of Intent. With fierce recruiting battles underway for the top recruits in the country, it’s a good time to get to know the players who appear poised to become college football stars in the near future. So far, we’ve analyzed Najee Harris, Dylan Moses, DeAngelo Gibbs, Devon Hunter and Foster Sarrell, the top-rated recruits in the class of 2017, according to Scout.com. This week, it’s Tedarrell Slaton, the No. 6 player in the class.
Name: Tedarrell Slaton
Rank: No. 6 overall, No. 1 offensive guard
Height/Weight: 6’4.5”/341 lbs
High School: American Heritage (Fla.)
Commitment status: Uncommitted
Scouting evaluation (from Scout.com)
Slaton looks like a grown man on the hoof. He is extremely strong in his lower body and upper body. He just overpowers his opponent much of the time. His punch is impressive and he really shoots his hands well. Plays tackle, and could be a right tackle, but projects as an elite guard on the next level. Really bends well for a young man his size and fires off the ball. Needs to improve his footwork in pass protection and his hand placement. Simply nasty OL.
Though Slaton has drawn more than a dozen reported scholarship offers, Scout.com reported late last month that Clemson is the frontrunner in his recruitment. “I love their offense,” Slaton said of the Tigers in an interview with analyst Corey Bender. He also indicated that Michigan, Florida State, Florida, Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama and Virginia Tech are among the other schools involved in his recruitment. In March, Slaton told ESPN that his top five comprised Tennessee, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan and Duke.
Slaton reportedly visited Michigan earlier this year, but he did not provide details about his plans for any trips to Scout.com. Expect Slaton’s recruitment to pick up this summer as he sees different schools and develops stronger relationships with certain coaching staffs. What’s clear is that Slaton—given his standing as the nation’s top offensive guard and No. 6 overall recruit in the country—will remain a high recruiting priority for multiple schools going forward.
Whether Michigan will be able to convince Slaton to leave the Southeast is an open question, but keep in mind that the Wolverines’ first full recruiting class under Jim Harbaugh, signed three months ago, includes six players hailing from Florida.
How he fits
It’s too early to predict where Slaton will be playing next fall, but he could be a good fit in any conference—and in any scheme. With his massive size and what Scout.com describes as an “extremely strong” frame, Slaton could be a force in the trenches who could help solidify a team’s passing and ground games with his blocking. Whether creating running room in Michigan’s power-coast offense or buying time for a mobile quarterback in Clemson’s spread scheme, Slaton should thrive because of his physical tools and, as Scout.com noted, the fact that he is “simply nasty.”