2021 Virginia Tech Target Alton McCaskill is an SI All-American Candidate

Mike McDaniel

2021 3-star Texas running back Alton McCaskill is an SI All-American candidate. 

McCaskill, who is rated as 78th-best player in the state of Texas and the 32nd-best running back nationally by the 247Sports composite rankings, has received significant interest from Virginia Tech, Michigan, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State, among others.

The 6'1", 195 lbs. McCaskill is especially high on Virginia Tech's list, as the Hokies have him as one of their top prospects on the running back board for 2021. The recruitment of McCaskill allows Tech to continue to make in-roads in the state of Texas, where the Hokies are hoping to establish a secondary pipeline to the Mid-Atlantic region.

McCaskill has no timeline for his decision, but he was certainly happy to receive his official offer from the Hokies this past Saturday.

Over the coming weeks, SI will unveil its preseason top 10 for each of 14 position groups. SI will unveil its initial top 99 ranking, the SI99, on August 24. Thus far, the top 10 quarterbacks were unveiled by SI All-American, the top 10 offensive linemen, top 10 slot receivers, and top 10 outside wide receivers.

The evaluation process will continue throughout the season “until the list of 1,000 contenders coalesces around just 25 young men who can say proudly they are the best of the best -- they are Sports Illustrated All-Americans,” said SI Director of Football Recruiting John Garcia, Jr.

The candidates will be narrowed to 250 in October and 99 in November, and will culminate with 25 first-team Sports Illustrated All-Americans saluted at SI’s annual Sportsperson of the Year banquet in New York in December.

Prospect: Alton McCaskill 

Status: SI All-American candidate

Vitals: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Position: Running Back

School: Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge

Schools of Interest: Oklahoma State, Auburn, Florida State, Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Virginia and SMU, among others. 

Projected Position: Running Back

Frame: Tall and lean. Above-average shoulder and chest width. Relatively narrow, high waist. Long, tightly-wound legs, with developing trunk. Ample room for more mass, muscle.

Athleticism: Home-run speed. Clocked 10.95 100-meter dash in March. Light, active feet. Impressive short-area quickness; gets in and out of cuts with ease. Sudden, especially for bigger back. Good balance through contact. Flashes natural ball skills.

Instincts: Natural, decisive ball-carrier. Aggressively presses LOS with one cut when running lane presents itself. Capable of making multiple defenders miss in box and open field. Possesses highlight-reel spin move and multi-step jukes. Not especially physical. Tracks ball well in air receiver.

Polish: Clean footwork and technique at exchange. Stands a bit upright in backfield, and could improve base as between-tackles runner. Needs to be more comfortable lowering shoulder for extra yardage. Promising route-runner. Blocking ability largely unknown.

Bottom Line: McCaskill’s impressive offer list is indicative of his rare speed, agility, and frame at running back. Must get stronger and increase physicality, but possesses most every tool recruiters look for in featured back. Profiles as multi-year starter, with NFL upside depending on strength development.

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