Football: Scouting 2015 – Kevin Toliver
For the past decade the state of Florida has been fertile grounds for the top skill players in high school football. For the next two years, any BCS coach searching for the next big name in the Sunshine State will be taking a trip down to Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian High School. That is where current LSU commit Kevin Toliver has been turning heads by making plays all over the field since his freshman year. Rated No. 5 in Student Sports HOT 100 as the top corner nationally, Toliver will be an instant impact performer for LSU, or wherever he ends up, in 2015.
Tale of the Tape
Physical Tools: Measuring in at 6-foot-2. 182 pounds with a long wingspan, he makes it difficult for receivers to get off the line of scrimmage in press coverage. After watching Toliver’s film you see why he ranks as one of the top underclassmen corners in the country. Toliver is all over the field playing offense, a little running back, some wide out, but where he really stands out is on the defensive side of the ball. He has huge physical upside, is able to break on the ball and has + closing speed. Some see Toliver as a safety on the next level, but I believe he’s a corner unless he completely grows out of the position.
Football IQ and Instincts: Technically sound, Toliver displays good feet, has excellent hips and a great feel for the corner back position in both man and zone schemes. Toliver is able to use his football knowledge to bait QB’s to throw his way, skills that enhance his ability to play early at the next level.
Ball and Cover Skills: Toliver is not your traditional corner, he’s a dynamic athlete on both sides of the ball, but when it comes to playing defense he’s a “BEAST.” He likes to mix it up at times, playing off and bump press and single high where he’s left with no help. He consistently shuts down one side of the field with ease. However, the problem Toliver faces is trying to get opponents to throw the ball to his side. So while his stats may not blow you away, the film tells you his impact is bigger than any statistic could measure.
Who He Reminds Us Of?
Toliver compares himself to former Wolverine great and current 15-year NFL veteran Charles Woodson. Even though those are big shoes to fill, Toliver has enough confidence that with his work ethic he’ll meet those goals and play at the level of the former NFL Defensive MVP.
The Bottom Line
Toliver is exactly what college recruiters are looking for in the next generation of corners. On top of his physical skills, Toliver brings a lot of intangibles to the position and has a great feel for the game. He’s big, aggressive and can play all over the field.
Eugene Jackson is lead Defensive Backs coach for the Nike Football SPARQ Combines, Nike Football Training Camps and The Opening. You can follow him on Twitter @E_Jackson9 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in learning more about The Opening, follow along on Twitter @TheOpening2014.