Prospect: J.C. Latham
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-6, 305 pounds
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Committed to: Alabama
Projected Position: Offensive Tackle
Frame: Prototype tackle body. Broad shoulders, big chest and long arms. Relatively narrow midsection. Sturdy yet lean legs and trunk. Will have no trouble adding mass and muscle.
Athleticism: Natural bend and flexibility. Sudden change-of-direction ability in phone booth and open space. Shows exceptional balance, almost always keeping base wide. Merely above-average strength will improve markedly with training.
Instincts: Motor runs, but doesn’t always finish with authority. Expertly mirrors feet of rushers in pass protection. Looks to help fellow lineman when left uncovered, sometimes providing devastating chips. Keeps eyes on target while working to second level.
Polish: Kick-slides like a multi-year starter. Never loses balance as pass protector. Frequently uses hands and reach to engage and re-direct while sliding. Squares up to defenders before thumping in run game. Could take better advantage of length while run blocking.
Bottom Line: Latham seems destined to be next in Alabama’s long line of stellar left tackles. He needs to get stronger and work on his punch, but already has the footwork needed to stymie SEC pass-rushers. If Latham even merely scrapes his ceiling, expect to eventually see him playing on Sundays.