Posted On: 07/29/20 3:00 PM
Today, we finish up our series highlighting five players at each position who deserve more recruiting attention and are set to breakout during the 2020 season and receive more of that attention. Our final position group is the defensive back group. This will be made up of both safeties and cornerbacks. With each prospect we will look at their current offers based off their personal twitter pages, and then we will look into their film and see what traits and skills they have to offer teams at the next level. Let’s get it started!
Connor ShefchikConnorShefchik5'10" | DBGreen Bay Preble | 2021StateWI– Green Bay Preble, 5’10″ 175
Connor is an interesting case study. He isn’t an elite size for the position, but he clearly can play at a D2 level and he has a ton of interest graphics and Junior Day invites from schools at that level. The part of Shefchik’s recruitment thus far is that he doesn’t have any reported offers on his twitter page. I predict that to start to change. If not preseason, I believe as he plays through another strong season he will start to receive those offers. It is just a matter of time because he has the talent to make it.
When you pop the tape on, the show begins. The traits jump out at you. He has the required play speed, plays with a toughness that you don’t see in a lot of cornerbacks, and I think he could even play some free safety thanks to the traits we are going to talk about throughout the rest of this film recap. Connor’s best trait is his combination of vision and awareness. It looks like the defense played a ton of cover 3 giving Connor the ability to cover a deep third of the field. This also allows him to develop those vision and awareness skills because of how much he is able to get deep, and then read and react to what is happening in front of him. Connor’s vision is next level. He can see receivers enter his zone quickly and he has nice range to be able to close on the ball when it is in the air. At the catch point, Connor is a sound tackler and he is able to make plays on the ball. Connor has shown that he also has reliable hands. He has recorded picks both off clean passes and tipped balls.
Elliot TurrentineElliotTurrentine5'10" | DBWhitnall | 2021StateWI– Whitnall, 5’10″ 160
Elliott is another prospect that seems to be slipping under the radar so far in his recruitment. Based off the film Elliott definitely could play D3 and he most likely hold his own at the D2 level. While he is a bit undersized, Turrentine plays bigger. You can tell he has that cornerback confidence on the field. There are several clips in his film when he faces bigger receivers and he goes toe to toe, man to man and wins the reps. That is why I am surprised that so far Elliott doesn’t have any offers posted on his twitter page. He is receiving interest from a few schools. It is getting to the time where he needs to start getting the offers that his play proves he deserves.
Elliott is an experienced man to man cornerback. He doesn’t have elite length, but he has learned to play without it by having good play speed and sound technique. Elliott’s technique in man is sound for an athlete of his age. He possesses smooth hips, transitions from backpedal to running with ease, does a great job of staying in the receiver’s hip pocket throughout the route, and he does a great job of getting his hands inside the receiver’s hands to disrupt the ball at the catch point. Another impressive part of Elliott’s film is that he can press and line up off the line. Usually when a corner of his age is still developing they will stick to one technique. Elliott is a versatile player. He also isn’t afraid to come up and play the run. He is a smart tackler. He will lay the wood when he gets the chance, but he will also take larger players down at the ankles to secure the tackle. Elliott might be under the radar right now, but it is his time to have him breakout in 2020.
Jalen ReedJalenReed6'0" | DBMilwaukee Rufus King | 2021StateWI– Milwaukee Rufus King, 6’0″ 170
Jalen might be the best pure athlete on this list. His natural athleticism shines on every play of his film. That is one of the major reasons why he currently holds a couple of offers. However, the balance between his offers and his ability still isn’t level. Reed’s film suggests that he is a Division 2 player and I believe that is where he could end up if he continues playing how he as been. Right now, Jalen holds offers from Concordia- St. Paul and Southwest Minnesota State. That is a great list, and the best part is he may just be getting started.
Jalen’s athleticism is the key to his game. He has really good play speed and he has pretty good length to pair with it to make him a nice cornerback prospect. Jalen’s footwork is strong. He doesn’t take wasted steps resulting in getting himself to the ball even quicker. He plays with nice reactive athleticism. When he sees a play develop he has the ability to attack quickly and make a play. Including on a few passes you don’t expect to get to in time. Reed also has reliable hands and knows what to do when he gets it in his hands. He basically turns into a punt returner and is able to translate big plays into a bigger play with a nice return on his interceptions. At this point, Jalen is still raw, but I love to see that. He has traits to offer a team that could be sculpted into a really nice player at the next level.
Trace GrundahlTraceGrundahl6'1" | DBDeForest | 2021StateWI– DeForest, 6’1″ 180
Up next we have the our first safety recruit on the list. Trace probably has the most interesting offers of the group. Currently, he holds offers from Mankato and Upper Iowa. I haven’t found many players that have this few of offers while also having the Division 2 National Runner Ups as one of them. Maybe they don’t want the secret of Grundahl getting out, but I want to make sure that he is as exposed as possible because his play deserves that. Grundahl has the film that tells me he can play at the D2 level. Let’s get into it!
Trace is what you look for out of a safety prospect. He can do everything. He will fly up and fill against the run, play a deep zone and have the range to cover his half of the field, play a receiver man to man, and has the awareness to pick up receivers that enter his zone during the play from angles that would make most safeties at his age miss. Trace’s best safety trait is his three level ability. One play he will line up in the box or off the edge and the next he is playing a deep half in a cover 2 and breaking up a pass. His blend of speed and toughness are perfect for the position and it is what makes him so successful at any level of the field. If he balls out this year it will be impossible to keep him a secret any longer.
Grover BortolottiGroverBortolotti5'10" | DBWhitefish Bay | 2021StateWI– Whitefish Bay, 5’10″ 180
Grover is a wildly under recruited safety prospect. He plays like a man among boys and is all over the field. It is basically a game of Where’s Waldo every presnap when I’m watching his film. I can only imagine what it is like for his opponents that are trying to avoid or block him. After I watched his film I went to his twitter to check out his offers expecting to find a handful of offers making him a player that didn’t fit the requirements of this article. I then found out that he currently holds an offer from Southwest Minnesota State, but that is where the list ends. I can’t figure out how that happens, but it is time for that to stop and for teams to become much more aware of him.
This is a fun safety to watch. He plays much bigger than what he is listed at. Against the run he is a heat seeking missile that is a reliable tackler and against the pass he does a good job reading and reacting and also has shown the ability to bait QBs into bad throws. It is hard to find kids at this level who can play at every level of the field. Grover is one of them. I don’t want to say that he looks more comfortable against the run because it takes away from his coverage skills, but Grover is great at picking through the trash in front of him and making tackles and big plays. He can attack the run from every level too. Against the pass, Grover can play a deep half thanks to his range and ball skills. Grover is under the radar and it is time to shine the spotlight on him.