The following players are under consideration for the College Football America Yearbook’s Class of 2016 All-America freshman team in next summer’s edition of the yearbook. Players selected for this honor will be tracked in future editions of the yearbook as part of our annual feature called The Program.
The Class of 2016 Watch List
Players are ranked in order of our current preference under each position. Their consensus rating (listed as 5 or 4 stars, etc.) is listed next followed by hometown and high school. Additionally, if a player has made a verbal commitment to a college, then that school is listed after his high school/hometown. Finally, we’ve provided a link to each player’s 247sports.com page by clicking on the player’s name.
We’re still high on Lake Stevens (WA) pro-style prospect Jacob Eason who has remained committed to Georgia despite the fact that Georgia has changed coaches. After that, Feleipe Franks of Wakulla (Crawfordville, FL) has climbed up the ranks this fall, and we now have him as our No. 2 guy ahead of fellow Florida prospect Shea Patterson of IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL), an Ole Miss commitment. Franks was committed to LSU which hasn’t done a great job at developing quarterbacks in recent years, but we really like the thought of him in a Florida uniform. He changed commitments in about a week’s time while the LSU administration held Les Miles out to dry. Missing from our list is pro-style prospect KJ Costello of Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), a Stanford commitment. With Keller Chryst already a member of The Program, we’ve decided against bringing a second Stanford quarterback onboard. We really like dual-threat prospect Jawon Pass of Carver (Columbus, GA), and we may consider a dual-threat quarterback under our one of our four specialist positions.
Jacob Eason (6-5, 205)
Lake Stevens (WA)/Georgia
Feleipe Franks (6-5, 220)
Wakulla (Crawfordville, FL)/Florida
Shea Patterson (6-2, 195)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)/Ole Miss
Jawon Pass (6-5, 220)
Carver (Columbus, GA)/Louisville
It’s not a banner year for running backs with only all-purpose back Tavien Feaster of Spartanburg (SC) ranking in the top 35 prospects of the Class of 2016. That leaves us scouring the 4-star ranks for our running backs and we’re still high on Woodward Academy (Atlanta, GA)’s Elijah Holyfield, son of the boxing great Evander Holyfield. B.J. Emmons remains on our list, but the Freedom (Morganton, NC) product would be our second Alabama running back meaning we will likely look elsewhere. Frankly, there’s not much else in the Top 100, so we’ll likely take Feaster as an all-purpose back in our four specialist spots alongside Holyfield in one of the traditional running back spots. Uncommitted Kareem Walker of De Paul Catholic (Wayne NJ) remains an option in the other slot, but we also might use the dearth of running backs to take a flyer on a kid like Matthew Falcon, a former Michigan commit that suffered a second knee injury and will instead play football at Western Michigan.
Elijah Holyfield (5-10, 204)
Woodward Academy (Atlanta, GA)/Georgia
B.J. Emmons (5-10, 232)
Freedom (Morganton, NC)/Alabama
Kareem Walker (6-1, 210)
De Paul Catholic (Wayne, NJ)/Uncommitted
Matthew Falcon (6-1, 215)
Southfield (MI)/Western Michigan
Tampa (FL) Catholic’s Nate Craig-Myers is the only 5-star wide receiver on our list at the moment so he’s a pretty good bet to make our cut for the Class of 2016. From there, we really like Kyle Davis of Archer (Lawrenceville, GA), Justin Layne of Benedictine (Cleveland, OH), DeKaylin Metcalf of Oxford (MS) and Stephen Sullivan of Donaldsonville (LA).
Nate Craig-Myers (6-2, 205)
Tampa (FL) Catholic/Uncommitted
Kyle Davis (6-1.5, 218)
Archer (Lawrenceville, GA)/Auburn
Justin Layne (6-3, 180)
Benedictine (Cleveland, OH)/Michigan State
DeKaylin Metcalf (6-3, 195)
Oxford (MS)/Ole Miss
Stephen Sullivan (6-5, 230)
Still wide open here – we could go with any of our top three at this point or we could still stumble on to another prospect that bumps any of these guys from the Class of 2016.
Avien Peah (6-3, 230)
La Salle Academy (Providence, RI)/UMass
Jake Hausmann (6-5, 235)
Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, OH)/Ohio State
Isaac Nauta (6-4, 237)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)/Georgia
Gregory Little (6-5.5, 305)
Allen (TX)/Ole Miss
Matt Farniok (6-5, 316)
Washington (Sioux Falls, SD)/Uncommitted
Patrick Hudson (6-5.5, 325)
Ben Cleveland (6-7, 322)
Stephens County (Toccoa, GA)/Georgia
Willie Allen (6-7.5, 300)
Curtis (New Orleans, LA)/Uncommitted
E.J. Price (6-6, 311)
Archer (Lawrenceville, GA)/Uncommitted
While it’s a solid year for offensive tackles, it’s a little bit thin at guard. John Raridon of Valley (West Des Moines, IA) is a little small at 6-4, 260, but he should bulk up nice at Nebraska where he’s currently committed. He’ll probably make the cut, and we might balance out his size with the 6-3, 365-pound Michael Onwenu of Cass Tech (Detroit, MI) who will also head to the Big Ten to play for Michigan.
John Raridon (6-4, 260)
Valley (West Des Moines, IA)/Nebraska
Richard Merritt (6-5, 345)
Archbishop Carroll (Washington, DC)/Maryland
Michael Onwenu (6-3, 365)
Cass Tech (Detroit, MI)/Michigan
It’s a banner year for defensive tackles, the strongest and deepest position in the Class of 2016. Rashan Gary has long been the nation’s top-ranked player and will probably stay there until Signing Day. He’s a lock at this point, and we also really love big Julian Rochester (6-5.5, 315) of McEachern (Powder Springs, GA).
Rashan Gary (6-4, 311)
Paramus (NJ) Catholic/Uncommitted
Julian Rochester (6-5.5, 315)
McEachern (Powder Springs, GA)/Georgia
Shavar Manuel (6-4, 290)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)/Florida
Raekwon Davis (6-7, 315)
Meridian (MS)/Mississippi State
Dexter Lawrence (6-5, 330)
Wake Forest (NC)/Clemson
There are some interesting choices here as Nick Bosa of St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL) will follow his brother Joey to Ohio State. He’ll probably make the cut at one end with McTelvin Agim of Hope (AR) and Breland Brandt of Windward (Los Angeles, CA) the top two remaining candidates fighting it out for the other position.
Nick Bosa (6-4, 265)
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL)/Ohio State
McTelvin Agim (6-2.5, 268)
Breland Brandt (6-4, 220)
Windward (Los Angeles, CA)/UCLA
Oluwole Betiku (6-3.5, 240)
Junipero Serra (Gardena, CA)/USC
Lyndell Wilson of Carver (Montgomery, AL) is a virtual lock here, and we also like another Alabama prospect named Jeremiah Moon of the powerhouse Hoover (AL). Moon is intriguing with his athleticism at 6-4, 205 pounds, playing outside linebacker, and he could end up playing a hybrid linebacker/defensive back role at Florida that opens up some unique possibilities.
Lyndell Wilson (6-2, 220)
Carver (Montgomery, AL)/Uncommitted
Jeremiah Moon (6-4, 205)
Ben Davis (6-3, 240)
Michael Divinity (6-2, 218)
Ehret (Marrero, LA)/LSU
Mique Juarez (6-2, 222)
North (Torrance, CA)/Uncommitted
Chris Agyemang (6-3, 228)
Proctor Academy (Andover, NH)/Uncommitted
Saivion Smith of IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) is a lock at this point, and we could end up with two 5-stars if we take Levonta Taylor of Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA).
Saivion Smith (6-1, 175)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)/LSU
Levonta Taylor (5-11, 182)
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA)/Florida State
Chauncey Gardner (6-0, 194)
Safety is a dead heat between the top two listed here – Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, GA)’s Nigel Warrior and Brandon Jones of Nacogdoches (TX). We aren’t through evaluating safeties, though, and could end up with a few more options on our list.
Nigel Warrior (5-11, 188)
Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, GA)/Uncommitted
Brandon Jones (5-11.5, 193)
Deontay Anderson (6-1, 192)
We’ll have to take a kicker and a punter among our four specialists, but we could opt for one of the following athletes in one of our other specialist spots.
Noah Fant (6-6, 210)
Omaha (NE) South/Iowa
Devin Asiasi (6-5, 260)
De La Salle (Concord, CA)/Uncommitted
Jacob Morgenstern (6-4, 210)
St. Luke’s School (New Canaan, CT)/Duke
A.J. Taylor (5-11, 190)
Rockhurst (Kansas City, MO)/Wisconsin
Devin White (6-0.5, 258)
North Webster (Springhill, LA)/LSU
Tavien Feaster of Spartanburg (SC) is headed to Clemson and remains in contention for one of our four specialist slots.
Tavien Feaster (6-0, 204)
Junior College Prospects
OT Garett Bolles (6-5, 290)
Westlake (Lehi, UT), Snow College/Utah
DT Handsome Tanielu (6-3, 310)
Waianae (HI), Snow College/BYU