Recruit Notebook - Stacy Coley

Recruit Notebook - Stacy Coley

Cameron Underwood
Last year, I started a blog (miramarsports.blogspot.com), and took a special look at a special player before National Signing Day. The “Tracy Howard Extravaganza” was the most read article I’ve written so far. So now, I’m bringing that theme back while looking at players that Miami is recruiting.

Without further ado, welcome to the first installment of the Recruit Notebook.

Today we take a look at a player who has been the focus of much internet banter, rumor, and conjecture: Northeast WR Stacy Coley.

Part 1: Stacy Coley, the player
Stacy Coley is a dynamic player, who has the ability to impact games in a number of areas. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Measurables
Coley is an impressive looking athlete, measuring in at 6’2” and 178lbs. He would be aided with the addition of 10-15lbs of muscle to his frame, but he is pretty close to his fully mature body right now. He could add a lot more weight if he wanted (a la David Boston), but I don’t think that is the best thing for him.

Coley has very good quickness, and explosive straight line speed. In the past he has been timed at 4.57 in the 40, but I’ve seen him play for the last 3 years in person. Coley’s game speed is faster than his track speed. He routinely separates from elite caliber players, and is rarely, if ever, caught from behind once at full speed. In short, his speed IS his game.

Coley’s lack of bulk can leave him susceptible to getting jammed on the line. He will need to find ways to get off of press coverage at the next level.

Routes/Technique
Coley is a great athlete who is getting better as a technician on the field. He has done a great Randy Moss impersonation at the high school level (i.e. Running fly patterns and posts almost exclusively), but has added other things to his game.

Over the past 2 seasons, Coley has become a more well rounded receiver, adding slants, digs, and shallow crosses to his arsenal. He is an outside receiver (X or Z) most times, and only goes across the middle of there is an opportunity to go from sideline to sideline. He’s not going to stop in the middle of the field and take a pounding a la Michael Irvin or Hines Ward. His value is outside the hash marks or 15+ yards downfield.

Coley is a vertical threat whose athleticism makes him a threat to score every time he touches the ball. His technique, while advancing, is still behind his athleticism. Any improvement in this area would be a bonus for this elite player.

Hands
Coley demonstrates very good hands on the field. He is not the most polished natural receiver ever, but he shows good dedication to catching the ball with his hands in front of his body and not using his pads to control the ball.
Return game

Coley is a dynamic player in space, and this is exemplified in his abilities as a kick returner. He rarely dances, preferring to get up the field and use his blazing speed as his main weapon in the return game.

Again, Coley can score on every play, and he is arguably at his most dangerous as a returner. He can use the few moves he has to exploit the open space on the field, and, as stated, once in the open field, his speed will take over. I think his value is slightly higher as a punt returner over kick returner, but he is dangerous in both roles.

Part 2: Game Evaluation
Coley has rarely played complete games in High School. He competes very hard at times, but his effort, like most 16 and 17 year olds, is inconsistent. Coley does possess one attribute that I really like: the desire to bring his best effort in the biggest games.

Coley can get frustrated if he’s not getting the ball. In his Sophomore and Junior years, he would demonstrably yell at his teammates, and even coaches. I think this is where his reputation as a “head case” came from, and rightfully so. This year, he still demonstrated some frustration on the field, but it was more positively constructed (“Come on guys” vs. “WTF ARE YOU IDIOTS DOING?!”).

In games against top competition (Miramar, Ely, Boyd Anderson, and St. Thomas Aquinas), Coley invariably brought his A game. Against lesser competition, his athleticism allowed him to easily coast past overmatched defenders, and really doesn’t offer much in the way of analysis.

Coley displays good to great acceleration in and out of his breaks. He needs to be more consistent hitting his depths on his routes, and that will come with time. He fights for the ball in the air very well, and uses his body to shield defenders from the ball. I haven’t seen Coley have problems with ball security, but I believe every player should focus on this when moving up a level (optimist to HS, HS to College, and College to the NFL).

Coley routinely draws Pass Interference calls against the defense. He is a terror in one-on-one situations, and has routinely beaten top caliber defenders over the course of his career (Tracy Howard and Rashard Robinson being the most notable).

Coley has single handedly won games for his team in the past (2 times against Miramar, Royal Palm Beach, and Ely are the first games that come to mind). He seems to raise his level of play against top competition, and this bodes well for his future on the gridiron, where every game is a big game.

Coley’s new found maturity allowed him to be a leader for this year’s Northeast team both vocally and by example. In the Miramar game, Coley played Free Safety (something he did at times throughout the year), and was the captain of the defense. He called all the coverages and audibles, and seemed to know the entire playbook inside and out.

Northeast is not a great team, although they had a very good season this year. Coley was faced with the entire focus of the defensive gameplan each week, and found ways to remain effective and dynamic. His statistics do not match his level of talent due mainly to his lack of an elite QB to get him the ball. Do not let that fool you. Coley is a top talent, plain and simple.

Part 3: College Projection
Wide Receiver is a position where young players can come in and have an immediate impact at the college level. Current and Former collegians who starred as freshman include Mike Williams (USC), Sammy Watkins (Clemson), Amari Cooper (Alabama), Michael Floyd (Notre Dame), A.J. Green (Georgia), Julio Jones (Alabama) and the list goes on and on.

Stacy Coley has the ability to have the elite game changing impact that those players had as soon as he steps on campus. More than anything, his speed will put pressure on opposing defenses, and they will have to account for him on every play.

I think the best comparison for Coley is Clemson Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins. Their games compare favorably, with Watkins being the faster player of the two. While I do not think that Coley will match Watkins’ Freshman Season statistics (National Freshman of the year, 1st team All-American, 82 catches, 1219 yards, 12 TDs, 231 yards rushing [reverses], and nearly 1,000 return yards and 2 return touchdowns), they are within the reach for a player of Coley’s caliber.

Final Grades
Athleticism – A+
Football IQ – B+
Fundamentals and Technique – B+
Leadership/Maturity – B- (but improving)
Physical development – B+
Potential – A+

Overall Recruit Grade – A
Coley is clearly one of the top players in the country for this recruiting cycle. He will impact games from day 1, and his talent is unquestionable. If his new-found maturity becomes the norm and not an anomaly, watch out!
 

Comments (32)

That post needs a sticky ..to the top
 
This is the first report I've seen that has made me think twice about no caring if he's in this class
Recruits like Coley, Collins and Thomas are the difference between us leaping into the top 10 solidly/consistently within the next year or 2, as compared to a more methodical process grinding this out with solid recruiting classes. These kids are potential superstars, obvious difference-makers. In my mind we need to close 2 of the 3 to continue with an upward trajectory.
 
This is the first report I've seen that has made me think twice about no caring if he's in this class
Recruits like Coley, Collins and Thomas are the difference between us leaping into the top 10 solidly/consistently within the next year or 2, as compared to a more methodical process grinding this out with solid recruiting classes. These kids are potential superstars, obvious difference-makers. In my mind we need to close 2 of the 3 to continue with an upward trajectory.
THIS!!!! ^^^^^^
 
This is the first report I've seen that has made me think twice about no caring if he's in this class
Recruits like Coley, Collins and Thomas are the difference between us leaping into the top 10 solidly/consistently within the next year or 2, as compared to a more methodical process grinding this out with solid recruiting classes. These kids are potential superstars, obvious difference-makers. In my mind we need to close 2 of the 3 to continue with an upward trajectory.
Agreed. Gotta get them or they will be playing somewhere like bama and scoring the game winning touchdowns to go to the MNC....




Starts crying
 
Man, Cam is too professional for this little site. Unbelievable write-up.

Didn't know Northeast had beaten Miramar twice or that Coley was that good of a punt returner.
 
Man, Cam is too professional for this little site. Unbelievable write-up.

Didn't know Northeast had beaten Miramar twice or that Coley was that good of a punt returner.
Thanks D$.

Yes, Northeast beat Miramar in the playoffs in 2010 (Regional Semi-Final), and then again in the regular season this year.
 
This is the first report I've seen that has made me think twice about no caring if he's in this class
Thanks, I think?
I meant that, that's the first report of his football skills that I've seen that have made it seem like he's a transcendent receiver who is a game breaker. Always thought of him as a very good receiver (Kenny Stills) as opposed to upper echelon (Sammy, M. Lee, and Blackmon)
Honestly, if you haven't SEEN him, you might categorize him as very good. And, I think that's where the other evaluations might have missed.

I've seen him in person 4 times in 3 years. He had an 85 yard pick-6 in the game against Miramar this year that was incredible, weaving through the offense and showcasing top end speed. He also had a 65 yard punt return. Kid is unreal.

Scary thing, Northeast hasn't really even coached him up that much. When I saw him as a sophomore, I thought he was going to be the #1 player IN THE COUNTRY as a senior. He has that kind of talent.
 
Killa Cam bringing that elite level post. MOAR MOAR MOARRRRRR

Overall Post Grade - A+
 
Killa Cam bringing that elite level post. MOAR MOAR MOARRRRRR

Overall Post Grade - A+
LOL Thanks Larry.

Speaking of more, I'll have another installment up tomorrow. Who will it be? You'll have to check back tomorrow evening to find out.
 
Goos stuff Cam. Thanks for your time spent on that, for sure. Hope dude gets his ish straight and fits in here somehow.
 
Great post. Fantastic write-up.

There are a few things in there I disagree with, but I'll address those when I get home and get some time.

In any case, thanks for that!
 
Great post. Fantastic write-up.

There are a few things in there I disagree with, but I'll address those when I get home and get some time.

In any case, thanks for that!
Thanks Lu.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and continuing the conversation.
 

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