Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
When a bigger animal in the college football food chain steals your lunch, you turn around and do the same to a smaller animal. Meet your last minute Nate Andrews replacement.
Word broke earlier this morning from the usual suspects (i.e. Zach Johnson and Ryan Burns of Gopher Illustrated) that a late addition to the last weekend's official visit, Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove defensive back Daletavius McGhee, gave a verbal pledge to Minnesota after picking up an offer on the trip. Putting two and two together...
Sounds like the Gophers found out about Nate Andrew's decommitment on Monday. Told there was always a primary backup plan in place.— Nate Sandell (@NSandell) January 25, 2013
... no need to say anything further. And now that I've said the words, "say anything..."
McGhee is rated a 3 star prospect on 247Sports' Industry Composite, switching his commitment from Louisiana Tech whom he visited only last week. Daletavius, which is easily in the top 2 for awesome first names in the Gophers' 2013 class, also listed offers from Memphis (another school he verbaled to, then immediately backed off from), Central Florida and UTEP. He's the 17th prospect committed to Minnesota for the current recruiting cycle, which will officially sign this Wednesday.
GopherHole with McGhee's head coach Ray Bonner:
"They are getting a steal because he should be playing in the SEC."
That certainly sets the tone.
"His football savvy. He is a smart football player, plus he has great speed and he is a hitter. ... He needs to continue to work hard like he is now. He needs to continue to work hard. If he does that, they’ll have them a Big Ten player. I have sent kids off to college to the Big Ten and he is better than those guys. I have kids in the SEC and he is better than those guys. He is one of those guys who slipped through the cracks and all of a sudden at the end, everybody wanted him. He is a big-time player."
ESPNU evaluation ($):
McGhee demonstrates the versatility to align at multiple positions on both sides of the ball as a two way player who flashes play maker ability. Aligns at corner, safety, wide receiver and as a return specialist. Plays with an aggressive, physical mind-set and good functional strength. May be best suited at safety in college. Displays good playing speed but is not elite. Demonstrates good instincts with above average awareness in run and pass situations.
For what it's worth, ESPNU lists "ball skills" and "run support" as McGhee's key traits.
YouTubes and/or other Highlights
(Likely Fraudulent) Measureables
Weight: 175-190 lbs.
For a late replacement, especially one whom the staff seemingly found at random searching through the Hudl database (his coach's words), Kill and Sawvel could have done a lot worse. In fact, I'd say the kid shows more plays on film than one would expect from given the situation.
Much like the ESPNU evaluation, it appears as though Daletavius is solid to good at just about everything, though not elite at any one aspect of playing defensive back. Additionally, he may be a bit of a CB/S tweener, though that combined with his solid overall game is OK. There's always a chance a kid could surprise once he gets on campus, as is the nature of recruiting at this level.
He's not a replacement for Andrews from a talent perspective, though no one should have expected as much.
The bigger question is where McGhee will play at the next level, or where the coaches see him fitting in. Prior to Andrews (and Nate Godwin) departing, the staff had 2 prep CBs and a safety lined up for this class; if McGhee is set for safety, that may give a hint about what's to become of Tedric Thompson.