They are the best of the best. The players wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond. Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2015 class and is unveiling them this week. Ten prospects have been awarded five-stars but are not ranked at this time, and we will profile two each day. One of today's five-stars is Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Tarvarus McFadden.
Scouting Report: McFadden has the wingspan of an NBA shooting guard. His reach allows him to cover a ton of real estate and makes him an ideal defender in the red zone and in jump-ball scenarios. He has very good linear speed, and he is more of a glider when turning to run in man-to-man coverage. At his height, he does a good job of staying balanced in his backpedal and he flashes deceptive quickness. He can be responsible for a chunk of the field because of his tremendous range and instincts. Once he gets his hands on opposing receivers, he makes it tough for them to get a clean release. He does a great job bursting out of his breaks to close on the ball. Against the run, Mcfadden isn't afraid to fill and wrap up against bigger backs in space. His athleticism and size make him a lethal defensive back.
Analyst's Take: "When you see McFadden, you think, 'That is a good-looking safety.' Then you see him on the edge at corner and you see how he flips his hips and changes direction. McFadden is an example of the game's evolution of bigger defensive backs to match up against jumbo receivers. He is savvy and has very good instincts. He was outstanding at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour in Chicago, recording multiple interceptions during pool play. He is so long and angular that he disrupts flankers when he gets his hands on them downfield. His ability to make up ground when out of position allows him to recover quicker than most. He is very confident, but he is far from cocky. At times, he doesn't know how good he can be. If he used his reach and upper-body strength more often, rather than relying on his athletic ability, he could make the timing between quarterbacks and receivers so miserable you could envision them avoiding his direction altogether. Six-foot-3 corners who can cover with track speed are invaluable to BCS coaches across the land." -- Kynon Codrington, Southeast recruiting analyst, Rivals.com
Why He's a Five-Star: "What do you call a 6-foot-3 cornerback with long arms, fluid hips and good speed? These days, you call them millionaires. While we're far from that with McFadden and we know there is a chance he could grow out of the position into a safety, he's a rare commodity at this stage of his career. He's compact and fluid for a longer guy, and he's under control so he's already adjusted to being so tall and playing a tough position for a longer kid. That means good things down the line as he fills out. He is deceptive with his speed because he's a long strider, but he adds a tenth of a second to his 40 with those arms because he can make plays others can't. They allow him to redirect at the line of scrimmage and disrupt the vision of the receiver and make plays on the ball. He's raw, but his improvement over the next couple of years could be monumental and his ceiling is absurdly high. He's also being coached by some of the best." -- Mike Farrell, national recruiting analyst, Rivals.com
His Coach Says: "His attitude makes him a special player. He is one of those kids I've never had to reprimand him for any problems. He is always good with his schoolwork and teachers. That alone allows me to be the coach that I am because he takes my coaching in very well. His biggest attribute on the field and what jumps out to everybody is the kid is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds now. We got after it this summer, and he put on some muscle weight. Because of his long arms, it allows him to play man-to-man and be a good tackler, along with being one of the best strippers of the ball. I can honestly say when he went to Chicago (for the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge) it gave him a lot more confidence. He came back with his chest poked out, and he felt like he was one of the top corners around. With me being a corner too, I know that one of the biggest things is your confidence. The limits are endless for him. I know he is quiet, but he is vocal with his team because he is comfortable with them because they have been together for a couple of years now. He is one of those guys who, when someone gets out of line, he is one of the first ones to correct them and let them know that's not acceptable. A lot of people don't think he is the quickest person because he is tall, so to prove them wrong I made him engulf himself in track. It has really helped him. Plus, when you are that tall and have long arms, you can really harass those receivers. I'm humble, but I see a lot of myself in him." -- Mike Rumph, head football coach, American Heritage
Odds and Ends: McFadden is a dynamic punt and kick returner. ... He runs the 400 meters and the 800 meters, and he was on the 1,600-meter relay state-championship team. ... As a sophomore, McFadden had 20-plus tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery for a score and one blocked punt return for a touchdown. ...Rumph played for the Miami Hurricanes 2001 national champion and is a former first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers. … McFadden's defensive back coach at American Heritage is former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain. ...