Gambling on high upside prospects is a vintage tactic in recruiting. Coaches are always looking for untapped potential, and it’s not uncommon that a player with elite athletic ability never emerges as an elite football prospect. Perhaps the athlete is new to the sport, or perhaps he plays for a program without resources to get him exposure. Perhaps he plays light competition and perhaps he just never really did the things he should to put himself in that position. There’s plenty of explanations and it’s typically these types of guys that turn into Khalil Mack or whatever other 2-star prospect you want to highlight. Missed evaluations happen and it’s not always due to negligence on the behalf of coaches.
Dantrieze Scott definitely falls into the “lightly regarded, major upside” bucket. What could he bring to LSU?
There are decisively few details about Scott’s back story available online. In the spring of 2016, Scott attended an Opening Event in New Orleans as a wide receiver and performed well enough to garner a mention in one article.
Things then went entirely quiet until April of the next year when he took an unofficial visit to LSU for the Spring Game. After that, things went quiet again, this time for two months, before news suddenly broke that he verbally committed to LSU. The most notable thing about his commitment? The commitment of his HS teammate, Dare Rosenthal, earlier that day.
Here’s what little else we knew of Scott.
He rolled up to HS practice on an ATV:
How #LSU commit Dantrieze Scott (@DantriezeS) arrives at practice pic.twitter.com/2DHHP2OWUL— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) July 24, 2017
He apparently made a big impression on DL coach Dennis Johnson at camp, dominating as an edge rusher.
He didn’t bother with visits, took his only official to LSU in December, and signed his papers a week later.
110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.
100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.
97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.
89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.
79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
247 Composite Rating: ***
247 Composite Ranking: .8611
Like I said, Scott wasn’t a widely heralded recruit. He’s a middle-ranked 3-star and the lowest rated recruit in LSU’s entire signing class... which includes a kicker (okay to be fair Cole Tracy didn’t count in the recruiting rankings).
What sticks out are his measureables. Listed at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds as a recruit, he’s listed officially at six-foot-five, 229 pounds. Based on pics, I’d say that looks a bit more accurate. That’s an excellent frame to work with for a player that’s expected to play OLB as a BUCK in Dave Aranda’s scheme. His LSU profile credits him with 101 tackles, 49 TFL, 10 sacks and 21 hurries. I do not know if those are senior season or career numbers, but pretty strong, I’d say.
I mean this in the most sincerely complimentary way possible: This kid has no idea what he is doing. This is legitimately one of the most raw, “just go out there and be an athlete” tapes I’ve ever seen. Scott is playing with such little technique and refinement that it’s impossible not to wonder what could possibly be if he actually learns the game. Scott shows no pass rush moves, no advanced techniques, basically nothing other than a basic understanding of physics and angles. That is horrifying in either the best or worst ways.
Physically, the kid can really run. Beyond that, his length absolutely stands up. That’s a big wing span, I’m guessing bigger than his 6-foot-5 frame. He shows nice strength, snagging ball carriers as they run by and dragging them down. He even shows some jump ball potential as a TE just in case things don’t work out on the defensive side of the ball.
Quite obviously, he needs the gamut of training on technique. This is a VERY raw developmental prospect.
Everything about Dantrieze (said Don-Trees) is the future. He’s not a contributor in 2018 and maybe not even in 2019. He needs a lot of work. I’m not overly keen on taking ALL UPSIDE prospects, generally speaking. But if you are gonna gamble, you gamble on ones that have freakish combinations of size & athleticism. Not to mention, it likely helped bring along his teammate, Dare Rosenthal, who has legitimate star potential.
But Scott has some potential all his own. The name of the game will be focus and patience. To maximize his future, Scott needs to dedicate himself in the weight room, in the class room, in the film room and on the practice field. He should be living in K’Lavon Chaisson’s hip pocket. That’s his goal. That’s who he should emulate. If he can put in that level, he could become a helluva player. The promise here is that he was personally worked out by Dennis Johnson, who gave his endorsement. That means the coaches see the potential.
High End: All-SEC pass rusher.
Low End: Depth casualty.
Realistic: I think the realistic thing is to bet against a player with this much to go to reach potential. I hope the best for him, but I think, at best, he may be a backup.