With Season 14 Recruiting drawing to a close, the CFSL welcomed a new group of extremely talented athletes into the ranks of its 24 teams. Competition in the CFSL is higher than it has ever been, so landing one big recruit could make all the difference for a team down the stretch. With the graduation of CFSL Legends such as Doug Day and Lyle Fletcher, there are some big shoes to fill for the Season 14 class. In this article, we will be looking at the highest ranked recruit at each position, where they have committed, and what impact they could have on their new team. The rankings used in this article are based on the High School Scouting Report put together by the one and only Voodoo. Thanks for your hard work, Voodoo!
Quarterback- Ryan Ravenhill
The highest ranked Quarterback in the class was none other than Ryan Ravenhill, a Memphis born QB with a big arm and solid athletic ability. There seemed to be significant interest for the 6’3, 215-pound athlete, but the young man chose the Alabama Crimson Tide as his college of choice. On one hand, this choice makes sense. Alabama has historically been exciting on offense, which I’m sure was appealing to the young QB. However, no one will have more pressure on their shoulders than the man trying to replace the legendary Doug Day. With a few other extremely talented Quarterbacks in this class, such as Moses King, could Ravenhill get lost in the legacy of his predecessor?
Running Back- Bentley Rollins
Running Back Bentley Rollins out of Roanoke, Alabama was a problem for his high school opponents. At 6 feet tall and all of 210 pounds, Bentley ran both around and through most everyone he met on the field in high school. From his original top 5 schools, Bentley ended up signing with the Wisconsin Badgers. Richard Fountain is currently HB1 for the Badgers, but adding Rollins gives the Badgers a scary One-Two Punch in the backfield next season. Expect the Badgers to run often with these two studs on the field.
Fullback- McKenzie Thorson
Its hard to be as scary of an athlete as North Carolina’s McKenzie Thorson. This kid is a monster, built to clear gaps in the run and hold the edge in the pass. Thorson would be an asset to any roster in the CFSL, but he ended up choosing the Alabama Crimson Tide. As the Tide’s second recruit on this list, the Crimson Tide are obviously looking to reload their offense back into a powerhouse. Adding Thorson will go a long way towards getting them there.
Wide Receiver- James Freeman
This years Wide Receiver class is stacked full of potential CFSL greats. The headliner of this years group is James Freeman out of Sevierville, Tennessee. Freeman is a former hockey star, turning down a professional hockey career for a chance at the CFSL. Freeman’s hockey prowess shows on the gridiron. No one in the class is as strong in the air and through the catch as James Freeman. Freeman chose to take his talents to Rocky Top to play for his hometown Tennessee Volunteers. This was a massive signing for first year AD Logan, and should be a sign to the league that the Vols aren’t just here to participate. Look for Freeman to be the star of this offense right away.
Tight End- Conner Stephens
There wasn’t a huge group of Tight End recruits this offseason, but there was a clear number one prospect at the position in Conner Stephens. If I could build my own CFSL Tight End from scratch, it would look a lot like this young man. There really was never a question on where Stephens would end up playing. He is an Illinois native, but Clemson was always home to this young man. Clemson has a chance to highlight one of the best athletes in the class, and I’m sure they’ll look to do just that.
Defensive Line- Hamish McAndrews
If you’ve been around the league for any amount of time, you know how important the defensive line is to a teams success. Hamish McAndrews, the highest ranked D-Line prospect for season 14 might be the most intriguing prospect in the entire class to me personally. Hamish will play the Defensive tackle position in college, and all 325 pounds will be clogging things up front for opposing offenses. McAndrews garnered a lot of interest from SEC and Big Ten teams, but the monster defensive tackle chose to sign with the Florida Gators. The SEC has a crop of new Quarterbacks this season that Hamish will love getting to line up against. I personally predict Hamish McAndrews to have a monster freshman season with the Gators.
Linebacker- Justin Vieira
There were a few very talented linebackers in the Season 14 class, but none more talented than Justin Vieira. The Rhode Island prospect is one of those freaky athletes that seem like they could play anywhere on the field. Justin is a quiet, humble young man, and his recruitment was the same way. Not a lot of flash or show, but Vieira quietly chose the reigning back-to-back champions as his school of choice. The last thing that the CFSL wants is for Notre Dame to get a prospect like this. Vieira will have to work on his technique and skill at Outside Linebacker, but athletically, he is ready to go. Look for Justin to be a pivotal piece of an always scary Irish defense.
Cornerback- Shabazz Holmes Harris
Cornerback is a pivotal position on every roster. Having lockdown Cornerbacks on the opponents best receivers is a priority for any team. Shabazz Holmes Harris is that lockdown corner. This young man might be the most talented and highly sought after recruit in this entire class. At 6’3, 195 pounds, Holmes Harris is built long and strong, exactly how a boundary defender should be. His speed and ball skills are elite enough to play on either side of the ball, but the Cornerback position should be where he calls home. Holmes Harris also chose the Alabama Crimson Tide, proving that the Bama coaching staff worked hard on this fantastic recruiting class. Shabazz Holmes Harris will be a star, mark my words.
Safety- JJ Smoke
The state of Alabama always produces great prospects, but JJ Smoke is the best Alabama product of this recruiting season. I think its safe to say that just about every team wanted JJ Smoke on their roster. A talent like this at the safety position can be hard to come by, so when JJ Smoke announced his commitment to the LSU Tigers, the whole league was watching. Smoke is ready to make a huge impact from day 1. His coverage skills are outstanding for an incoming freshman. This is quite possibly the season’s biggest signing for the LSU Tigers as they look to build a defense that can compete with the best of the best in the CFSL.