Notre Dame landed a commitment from talented California cornerback Jaden Mickey.
JADEN MICKEY PROFILE
Hometown: Corona, Calif.
High School: Centennial
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5
2019 Stats: 31 tackles, 6 interceptions, five break ups
Offers: Notre Dame, Georgia, Oregon, USC, Nebraska, Utah, California, Arkansas, Northwestern, Michigan State, Arizona State, Washington State, Arizona, Boise State, Oregon State
Recruited By: Mike Mickens, Brian Polian
247Sports: 4-star - No. 220 overall - No. 27 cornerback
ESPN: 4-star - No. 264 overall - No. 26 cornerback
Rivals: 4-star - No. 35 cornerback
Composite: 4-star - No. 261 overall - No. 30 cornerback
Mickey symbolizes how challenging it can be evaluating the 2022 class. Many players like Mickey did not get the opportunity to play their junior seasons, which is often when high school players make the biggest jump. We have yet to see Mickey's physical development on the field over the last year, or how his game has improved.
When grading a player like Mickey there needs to be a big asterisk beside him, because some of the important parts of evaluating a cornerback can't be known until he gets back on the field. That is why he is ranked as a Top 250 caliber prospect, but there are some traits that I see on film that I really, really like.
To begin, Mickey is a quick footed and fluid athlete, two of the most important traits I look for in a cornerback, especially one that will be tasked with playing man coverage. Mickey also shows impressive coverage instincts, showing the ability to read routes effectively and to mirror what wideouts are doing. Mickey gets his hands on a lot of throws, both on the man he is defending, but also when he is able to come out of his zone and drive on the ball.
That combination of smooth athletic skills and a high football IQ is impressive, but when you consider its based on sophomore film it makes it even more impressive.
Mickey is still quite skinny as a sophomore, and he didn't look to be the 5-11 to 6-0 he's listed at now. Recent photos show a player that has filled out and grown a bit, but we have yet to see that on the football field. It's one of the top things I'm looking to see once he finally gets back on the field. As an undersized sophomore Mickey showed a lot of fight, both as a tackler and playing the football. His ability to shut down 6-5, 215-pound USC commit Keyan Burnett in a 2019 matchup was incredibly impressive.
While Mickey is a smooth and fluid athlete, his speed at this point isn't elite. That's another area where I am looking forward to seeing his progress when he gets back on the field. Some athletes make big jumps from their sophomore to senior seasons, and if Mickey makes a normal sophomore to senior speed progression his grade and ranking will increase. If he shows a better than normal jump he has the overall skills to push his way into the Top 100 caliber ranking.
Mickey listing Notre Dame, Northwestern and California in his final three should tell us a little something about the kind of student he is.
5.0 - Elite player
4.5 - All-American caliber player
4.0 - Multi-year starter
3.5 - Key role player / Late career-starter
3.0 - Backup
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