One of the top wide receiver targets for Notre Dame throughout the 2021 recruiting cycle has been Athens (Ga.) Academy standout Deion Colzie. Now the talented Top 100 receiver is a Notre Dame commit ... again.
The talented 6-4, 195-pound wide receiver committed to Notre Dame last October but started to rethink things in March. The Notre Dame staff and Colzie continued their relationship, and it paid off in the end.
Below is my film analysis of Colzie, which makes clear why the talented Georgia wideout was such a high priority for the Irish staff.
DEION COLZIE, 6-4, 195, ATHENS (GA.) ACADEMY
ESPN: 4-star - No. 71 overall - No. 9 wide receiver
Rivals: 4-star - No. 107 overall - No. 17 wide receiver
247Sports: 4-star - No. 110 overall - No. 13 wide receiver
Composite: 4-star - No. 84 overall - No. 14 wide receiver
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber player)
Upside Grade: 5.0
Offers: Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Virginia, West Virginia, Duke, Georgia Tech
SIZE-FRAME-STRENGTH — Colzie is an incredibly long athlete, and although still currently on the thin side, he has a tremendous frame that should allow him to grow to be at least 210 pounds. Most comps to former players are challenging, because players are so different in so many different ways, but it’s easy to look at Colzie’s frame and think former Notre Dame receiver “Miles Boykin.”
I would not be shocked to see Colzie fill out in similar fashion if he puts in the weight room work and allows his body to develop. Colzie is a willing blocker that can deliver some pop against smaller players, and as his weight room strength improves he could develop into an outstanding blocker at the next level.
SPEED — There are two ways to evaluate Colzie's speed. The first is his current speed and the second is his speed potential. Colzie is a smooth runner that takes a few steps to really get to full speed, but his long strides mask the speed he does possess. He already has above average speed, and it grades out even better when you take his size and length into account.
What really intrigues me about Colzie, and what gives him five-star upside for me is his speed potential. Colzie is relatively young for his class and he has a young body; in fact, he won't turn until 18 until he reports to college. He's not as physically advanced or developed as other top wideouts, which means there is more room for growth.
If Colzie puts in the weight room work in college and develops like I think he will, I see him making a jump in speed and explosiveness much like we saw from Boykin and Chase Claypool during their Notre Dame careers.
ATHLETIC SKILLS — What makes Colzie unique is his foot quickness, change of direction and loose hips for such a long athlete. Often you'll see 6-4, long-limbed athletes can be a bit stiff and tight, making them more vertically oriented wide receivers, but that is not Colzie.
Colzie has impressive foot quickness and loose hips, so much so that I've had at least one talent evaluator I respect tell me he believes Colzie could play defensive back in college if he wanted to do so. Colzie, of course, is a productive cornerback for Athens Academy.
His leaping ability also stands out, with Colzie getting off the ground quickly, which combines well with his 36+ inch vertical jump. Like his speed, with weight room work I fully expect his vertical and leaping ability to take off.
ROUTE RUNNING — The Athens Academy star is impressive body control and balance, traits that should allow him to develop into a strong route runner. Right now he mostly gets by on being far more talented than his opponents, but the tools are there for this to become a strength of his game.
What I like about Colzie is that although he needs a lot of refinement as a route runner, he shows a natural feel for what to do despite being a two-way player in high school.
I like how effective Colzie is off the line, using quickness to get free initially, and he knows how to use his hands effectively. That part of his game is advanced for his age, both at the line and when working free downfield.
His ability to cleanly and quickly get into and out of breaks is impressive, especially for someone his size. You can see an example here:
Where Colzie needs work is doing a better job attacking leverage and using his stem to manipulate the defensive back. He also needs to become sharper with his out cuts and vertical routes like posts and corners.
BALL SKILLS — As a pass catcher there's a lot to like about Colzie's game. He has strong hands, he has fast hands and he doesn't body catch. It's obviously he has a great deal of confidence in his pass catching ability. I don't see him do much with back shoulders in high school, but with his length I expect this to eventually become a huge part of his game.
Colzie also understands how to use his body to shield defenders from the football, and he's more than willing to work the middle of the field.
INTANGIBLES — Colzie is a versatile young athlete that can stretch the field, do damage after the catch, and he'll eventually be a top-notch blocker. He can play on both sides of the ball and he's a dynamic punt returner in high school, although I don't see that projecting to the college game as much.
Colzie goes to a high academic private school, and he comes from a family that puts a great deal of emphasis on academic success, which puts him in position to thrive on and off the field.
Colzie is a perfect fit for the Notre Dame boundary position. There was a time when it seemed like Notre Dame only recruited big receivers like Colzie, but with Chase Claypool gone to the NFL the only player left on the roster with this kind of size, frame and ball skills is Micah Jones, who will be a senior when Colzie arrives on campus.
Colzie gives the Irish another long, vertical boundary player that can work the middle of the field just as effectively as he can hammer outside routes and get over top of the defense.
Putting a player with this kind of size and ball skills into the boundary, and then having players like Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys III, Jordan Johnson, Xavier Watts and Lorenzo Styles Jr. to the field puts a lot of pressure on the defense.
Colzie really is just scratching the surface of reaching his full potential. For me his projection is all about the kind of work he's willing to put into developing his body and his game. If he gets to college and develops the kind of work ethic we saw from Claypool in his final two seasons there is little doubt that Colzie will tap into his five-star potential.
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