Sunday, June 23, 2024

East Coast Spotlight: Comparing Top Prospects To NFL Stars

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Prospect comparisons always generate a lot of conversation and – with rankings meetings for the 2025 and 2026 classes set to begin this week – now is a great time to take a step back and compare some of the current standout prospects to some college or NFL stars.

Up first are five comparisons for some of the best recruits in the East region.

PIERRE DEAN – BRODERICK JONES

Broderick Jones (© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Jones was a fantastic offensive line prospect coming out of high school. He carried very little bad weight as a high school prospect and, from a distance, it was hard to tell just how big he was. As you walked closer to him, he got bigger and bigger, and that’s exactly how it is with Dean.

The North Carolina native is a very lean 269 pounds, but a couple inches shorter than Jones. The two offensive linemen have very long arms and the ability to overwhelm defensive linemen with their upper body strength.

Another similarity: Dean may end up signing with Georgia, just like Jones did.

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KENDRE’ HARRISON – JIMMY GRAHAM

Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham (© Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

If Harrison were to play defensive end the easy comparison to make would have been Julius Peppers because both are from North Carolina and starred as basketball players and on the football field. Instead, Harrison is more similar to Jimmy Graham, another North Carolina native who played basketball at Miami for four years before turning to football.

Both Harrison and Graham are listed at 6-foot-7 and primarily flex to the outside of the offensive formation. Like Graham, Harrison wants to play basketball in college but he’ll primarily focus on football.

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IMMANUEL IHEANACHO – ORLANDO BROWN JR.

Orlando Brown Jr.

Orlando Brown Jr. (© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Prospects as big as Iheanacho are very rare so the pool of players to compare him with is fairly small. Orlando Brown Jr. came to mind after seeing Iheanacho this past weekend. Both measured in around 6-foot-7 and close to 340 pounds. The mammoth offensive linemen could play on the left or right side of the line, using their immense size to cut off outside rushers and their overwhelming strength to keep defensive linemen from beating them to the inside.

Brown wasn’t as technically developed as he needed to be when he reached college and Iheanacho, similarly, has parts of his game that will need to be refined before he sees the field at the next level.

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SHAMARIUS PETERKIN – TEE HIGGINS

Tee Higgins

Tee Higgins (© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Peterkin may not be as well known a prospect as Higgins was but the North Carolina native has a lot of the same traits as the former Clemson standout. Peterkin, just like Higgins, has a strong basketball background and you can see that when you turn on the film.

At 6-foot-4, Peterkin is a long-strider who excels at routes down the field, just like Higgins did during his high school career. Higgins was slightly taller and more physically developed when he graduated high school than Peterkin is at this point in his career, but there is still time for him to add mass before heading off to college.

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DAVID SANDERS JR. – PARIS JOHNSON

Paris Johnson

Paris Johnson (© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

This was an easy comparison to make because Sanders has already talked about how he likes to watch Johnson and model his game after the former Ohio State star. The two offensive tackles had similar frames at this stage of their careers and even have a similar playing style – using their length and quickness to their advantages.

As Johnson got older he added mass to his frame and Sanders is doing the same thing as he nears his senior season.

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