- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
With national signing day now beyond us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.
Vitals: Athlete Levonte Whitfield, Orlando Fla,/Jones, 5-foot-9, 175 pounds.
Committed: Aug. 13, 2012.
ESPN.com grade: 85, four-star prospect.
ESPN.com rankings: No. 7 athlete in the country, No. 40 in the Southeast region, No. 20 in the state and No. 73 in the ESPN 150.
Picked Florida State over: Ohio State and Florida.
State of the position: Whitfield joins a deep group of wide receivers led by junior Rashad Greene. Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Dent, Jarred Haggins, Christian Green and Marvin Bracy are all there, too. Coupled with the signing of Isaiah Jones and Jesus Wilson in the same class, Whitfield has plenty of guys around him. And Jimbo Fisher has a lot of options.
ESPN.com scouting report: Whitfield is an undersized receiver with excellent speed on the field to be a home run threat and make plays in space. But he is also a candidate to play cornerback on the next level. As a receiver, he beats defensive backs to the edge and consistently pulls away from defenders at the high school level. He does not show great strength on the field. He displays unique burst to get to top end speed and exhibits excellent change-of-direction ability. Not asked to do a great deal reading coverage as a receiver. Body catcher at times as a short route receiver, but displays the ability to jump and extend to win the jump ball. He also displays great separation on a consistent basis. Will need to develop as a route runner at the next level. He gets his touches primarily from swing passes, vertical routes and hand offs at the high school level. Playmaker with the ball in his hands, he can turn the short pass into a big play. Very good ability to cut at top speed and make defenders miss. Biggest negative is too much east/west running that he gets away with because he is faster than everyone he is matched up against. Needs to add strength to be a consistent blocker, but shows all the toughness needed. He shows ideal traits on film to be a slot receiver at the next level. Would also project as a high level corner at the next level. As a defensive back, he shows very good recognition skills and very good toughness. He puts all his body into hits and will need to add some mass to hold up at the next level. Shows very good ball skills and great quickness to play tight man-to-man coverage. He could also provide instant impact as a return man. Size is Whitfield's only real physical limitation, but he is very impressive physically.
Expected impact: It's going to be hard for Whitfield to get into the traditional three and four-wide receiver sets. Where he could play right away is on special teams and in designed packages. The only hold up there is that Bracy is a similar player, so a redshirt could be in the cards depending on how fall camp goes. But Fisher does but a premium on speed, so if he thinks he can get on the field and contribute, he will.
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