June 13, 2008

2008 Recruiting Breakdown: Backfield

Disclaimer: The players being analyzed are 17 and 18-year-old kids. Predicting how they will pan out in college is one part hard analysis and about ten parts blind luck. When reading the "Reminiscent of" sections of each player, do not take the name in the column literally. For example, when we say Paris Cotton is reminiscent of Warrick Dunn, this does not mean we think his going to be Warrick Dunn, just that we feel their styles of play are similar to one another.

Jahleel Addae
Rivals.com: 3 Star
Reminiscent of: Jerry Seymour

Originally committed to West Virginia, Jahleel Addae is truly a steal for the CMU recruiting class. At Riverview High School, Addae rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his last three seasons. These stats allowed Addae to be a Tampa Tribue First Team Selection. Addae's other accolades include 3rd Team Class 6A All-State selection as a senior, in addition to being named Second Team All-State as a sophomore.

Addae is as shifty as it gets and does not get tackled very easily. In high school, Addae was in a system where there was often a full house backfield and two tight ends. In Central's spread system, Addae should thrive because he will be given space to operate in and be able to put his moves on just one defender instead of as many as three of four. Addae also operates very well around the end-zone, using his explosiveness to out-jump defenders. Addae is already one of the most athletic and dangerous running backs in the MAC.

Addae has enrolled in summer classes. This should go a long way to help him get acclimated to life in Mt. Pleasant. He has been working out with the team already, and should be on the inside track to get some carries in the fall.

Paris Cotton
Rivals.com: 2 Star
Reminiscent of: Warrick Dunn

Paris Cotton came on the scene late in the CMU recruiting class. However, in spite of his small stature, Cotton is an impressive running back who is unafraid to go in between the tackles to pick up the tough yards.

At Hialeah High School in Miami, FL, Cotton was selected to play in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game in 2007. Cotton's other accolades include a Miami Herald All-Dade Third Team selection in 2006, and Miami Herald All-Dade Honorable Mention in 2007.

As witnessed in his highlight videos, Cotton has a unique ability to break through to the second level and then break a run off to the outside. Although he only weighs 170 pounds, Cotton is unafraid to drop the shoulder. Also making him tough is the fact that Cotton is very good at keeping his legs pumping after making initial contact.

Defenders often find it difficult to land a solid hit on Cotton because of his height (measured at 5'9"), and excellent pad level. In addition to his accomplishments in the backfield, Cotton is also a versatile athlete. At Hialeah, Cotton was frequently split out in the slot because of his excellent hands.

Bryan Schroeder
Rivals.com: 2 Star
Reminiscent of: Terrance Jackson

As a four year starter, Schroeder is one of the leading rushers in the history of the state of Indiana. Schroeder led the state of Indiana in rushing two of these seasons. These states earned him an All-State and All-Conference selection three times.

Schroeder is the power back of the class. He thrives on contact and rarely goes down on the first hit. Weighing in at 212 pounds and standing at 5'9", Schroeder has the size run right through defenders while still being agile enough to dance around them when the situation calls for it.
Hardcore Chippewa fans will be seeing a back that will bring back memories of Terrance Jackson's bullish running style. On fourth and goal at the one-yard line, Schroeder is the back in this class that is sure to answer the bell. However, do not be fooled by Schroeder's running style. Schroeder possesses the speed to be a very capable home-run threat at the next level.

Addae, Cotton, and Schroeder will all be very welcome additions to an already talented Chippewa backfield. Each back brings his own unique running style and skills set. These additions, coupled with the return of Justin Hoskins, Ontario Sneed, and Carl Volny, the running back position will be one of the deepest positions for the Chippewas in 2008.

Ryan Radcliff
Rivals.com: 2 Star
Reminiscent of: Colt Brennan

Ryan Radcliff was truly a great find for the CMU staff. His career passing stats for yards and touchdowns rank second all time in the state of Ohio. However, he was overlooked at times because he played at a smaller school. Playing for Coach Bob Olwin and Fairview High School in Hicksville, Ohio, Radcliff owns 14 school records.

A two-time 1st team All-Ohio selection, Radcliff can make all the throws and is able to put the ball on a frozen rope even on the run. It is clear that Radcliff has the utmost confidence in both the accuracy and power of his arm, yet he rarely forces his throws into coverage.

He runs a 4.8 second forty yard dash and is able to break off long runs. Radcliff prefers to pass over running but can definitely take off if need be. Radcliff defines the term functionally mobile.

After playing in a spread system in high school, Radcliff should be more than happy stepping into Coach Jones' high octane spread. Radcliff's experience in the shotgun should allow for a seamless transition to the next level.

Concerns about his size probably prevented bigger schools from recruiting him. Add this supposed lack of size to his extremely accurate and powerful arm, and the Colt Brennan comparison is very appropriate.

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