When putting together their recruiting board, there are several different things that the Alabama coaching staff takes into account before deciding who their top targets are in each recruiting class.
One trait often found in their criteria is versatility. When recruiting teenagers, there are no guarantees that the recruit will meet the expectations others have put on them. Many times the recruit gets onto campus and simply grows out of his original position.
As a result, Coach Nick Saban searches for recruits who can play multiple positions. Because if a player can play multiple positions, his likelihood of earning playtime is greater.
Bo Scarbrough fits that description perfectly. He is a versatile playmaker with the ability to be a solid prospect on both sides of the football. I currently have him listed as a 4 ½ star prospect. In an ironic twist, it is his versatility that is keeping me from giving him a fifth star at this time.
After evaluating several hours of game film, I am convinced he is a five-star prospect at linebacker and wide receiver and a four-star prospect as a running back.
He has a strong, powerful frame with above-average lateral agility and quickness. He displays great footwork for his size and can effectively stick and cut his way through traffic without taking a big hit, despite being 6’2″.
Scarbrough is a tough inside runner who rarely goes down on first contact. He has good vision and shows great patience waiting for his blockers. Once he sees daylight, he can change gears quickly and get downhill.
He will need to improve his initial burst through the holes, and he could do this by altering his upright running style. He does have the ability to become an All-SEC running back because of his impressive power and how he punishes would-be tacklers on contact, almost always falling forward. He has amazing leg strength to help him pull through lower-body wrap-ups and the upper-body strength to power through high and arm tackles.
Scarbrough has major potential as a wide receiver if he does not gain too much weight in Tuscaloosa, as he is already 222 pounds. His hands and receiving skills are currently college-ready now in his senior year. He knows how to read coverage, create separation and can get upfield in a hurry.
Simply put, he has the physicality to make defensive backs quit.
While I like him as a WR/RB, I love him as a linebacker in Alabama’s 3-4 scheme. He has the size and athletic skill set that could transition him into an All-American linebacker on the collegiate level. He has above average sideline-to-sideline speed despite being raw at the position. He has a great motor and is consistently making big plays on film.
He has the potential to become an elite pass-rusher with his quickness, length and closing speed. While linebacker is the position he needs the most work at, it is the position he also has the highest ceiling at as well. If he was at another school I would be tempted to put him on offense-but not at Alabama. Coach Nick Saban and Kirby Smart can help him reach his full potential.
What I like most about Scarbrough is that despite his superior talent and athletic ability, he plays with a big motor. There were very few plays in hours of film that it seemed he gave less than 100%.
At running back he reminds me of Derek Henry in a lot of ways. A player who I also think would be better served to be on the defensive side of the football. If Scarbrough and Henry was at another school I would be tempted to put him on offense-but not at Alabama. Coach Nick Saban and Kirby Smart can help them reach their full potential at linebacker.
With that said, Scarbrough is a can’t miss type player. The question is if he will be very good or great. The rich just got richer with the commitment of Scarbrough.
Dr. SEC has a weekly radio program, The Waiting Room with Dr. SEC, that broadcast on 14 stations across five states and also has a daily radio program that airs on Bama Sports Radio. His daily writings are syndicated to newspapers and magazines. Visit his website at www.drsec.org and follow him on twitter at twitter.com/thedrsec