Dream ’14: Wide Receivers/Running Backs

Speed, versatility, and play-making ability are all characteristics of the 2014 receiver and running back recruits. Meyer and staff went out again and brought in some of the fastest players in America. Not only are these guys fast, but they are very talented at their specific craft. The receiving core last year was abysmal so Meyer went out and recruited another true number 1 type wide-out. He also recruited another Dontre Wilson type player, and a future stud H-back. With all that said, lets take a look at the future play-makers who will don the scarlet and grey.

Noah Brown
4 star WR/H-back, Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ)
6-2, 215 pounds

While Brown was recruited as a receiver, it is my personal opinion that he would fit perfectly in an Aaron Hernandez type role, without the jail time. Brown is a physically dominant receiver on the outside, but he also ran the ball in high school, and split some time at the tight end spot. Since he did play multiple roles in high school he is somewhat of a raw product when it comes to one specific position. However, the potential is there for Brown to be a major contributor. If he were to add another 10-15 pounds to his frame he would become a match-up nightmare. If Brown is able to find a role in the offense and master his craft, expect to see him on the field somewhat as a sophomore, and even more as a junior.

Terry McLaurin
4 Star WR, Cathedral (Indianapolis, IN)
6’0, 190 pounds

McLaurin is the most athletic kid in the country that you probably have not heard about. 4.4 forty speed, 45″ vertical, you name it this kid has the athletic ability to do it. McLaurin was Mr. Football in the state of Indiana, where he led his team to a state title with a dominant 3 touchdown performance in the championship game. McLaurin is a winner in every sense of the word. He’s a fairly polished receiver, but I see him making an early impact in the return game. As fast as Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson are, do not sleep on McLaurin. I see him becoming a punt return specialist early on, and later in his career being a very dangerous slot receiver.

Parris Campbell
4 Star RB/WR, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, OH)
6’0, 184 pounds

Campbell ran the ball extremely effectively for St. V during his time there, but some scouts have him projected to play wide receiver. In my opinion I see him being more effective out of the backfield if he could add some size to his frame. Campbell shows that he has a great jump cut in the hole and he does not shy away from contact. His vision is pretty good, but it is his lack of natural hands and crisp route running that will most likely land him in the running back meetings to begin. Campbell will most likely need a red-shirt year to add some weight to his frame and adjust to the physicality of college football. After that I could see him earning a little playing time in his second year in the program, followed by a very busy junior and senior year.

Johnnie Dixon
4 Star WR, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
5-10, 197 pounds

While Curtis Samuel possesses all of the hype going in to spring ball, Johnnie Dixon will have the biggest freshman year of any player on this team. Dixon is a number one wide receiver through and through. His route running is phenomenal, he understands how to uncover in zone coverage, and do it in rhythm with the quarterback. He has a great natural feel for when to get his head around for the ball. His body control is very good, and he plays much bigger than his height and frame. He plucks the ball out of the air with great ease, and to top it all off Dixon is a player who can beat press, gain separation, and only gets faster throughout his route. He is a very mature freshman, and enrolling early will help him compete for a starting job this spring. Even though there are seasoned veterans ahead of Dixon, I believe he possesses more natural wide receiving skills than both Devin Smith and Evan Spencer right now. Dixon will be an All-American by the end of his second year, this guy has it all.

Curtis Samuel
4 Star RB/WR, Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, NY)
6-0, 185 pounds

The buzz this spring has been around Samuel, and so it should be. Samuel’s speed is electric. He has been clocked running 4.38 forty, and sometimes looks even faster than that. Samuel will play the hybrid role in the offense, but expect the majority of his contribution to come on kick returns and at the running back spot to begin his career. Samuel is a play now guy who can line up in the backfield, where Wilson lined up last year, as I expect Wilson to be shifted out more for receiving purposes. Samuel is a very decisive runner, who makes purposeful cuts and has very little wasted movement. That reason alone makes him at times look faster than what he is. I expect Samuel to get up to around 195-200 pounds and become a serious focal point of the offense in his freshman campaign. I expect his numbers to surpass Dontre Wilson’s freshman numbers, because Samuel is a better runner and decision maker with the ball than Wilson was coming in as a freshman. Enrolling early will be huge for Samuel, and the coaching staff, as he can go through the weight training, and also learn the playbook early on. Samuel is a very gifted player and in my opinion with some added size and playing experience, he could easily become one of the most electric play-makers in the Big Ten for years to come.

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