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2018 Recruiting Breakdown: Air Force

Which of the Falcons many commits have the highest upside moving forward?

NCAA Football: Utah State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For the purposes of this article, only some of the countless players signed in the Falcon’s 2018 class will be looked at. As this site has covered before, Air Force is very unique when it comes to recruiting and it allows them to bring in more players than other teams. It also makes them extremely difficult to rank when compared to the rest of the conference’s recruiting classes. That being said, here are 15 players who appear to have promising futures for Air Force football across different positions.

The Skinny:

  • 15 recruits will be looked at, although closer to 100 have committed
  • 6 offensive, 9 defensive (out of the 15)
  • 6 players in this class were listed at 3-stars by either Rivals or 247.
  • Breakdown by state: 5 California, 5 Texas, 2 Idaho, 1 Arizona, 1 Oklahoma, 1 Alabama

QB Max Massingale

  • highlights
  • Coming out of powerhouse high school football program Saguaro, Massingale is a massive get for the Falcons. He will be a great fit at a dual-threat type of QB who will be able to maintain a passing threat in the offense despite the run-heavy scheme they employ. In addition to a big arm, Massingale is a natural runner and will have the confidence to command an offense.

RB Carter Kuehl

  • highlights
  • While he may have gone unnoticed a bit playing in Idaho, Kuehl has some real talent at the running back position. Playing in a run-heavy scheme, he should translate seamlessly into the triple-option. He’s small and shifty and hits his top speed quickly. He’s able to do a lot of damage outside the tackles but finds holes on inside runs as well. Kuehl is a big play threat, displaying nice break away speed and is built well with a low center of gravity that makes him hard to tackle.

FB Zach Burrola

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  • After playing linebacker throughout his high school career, Burrola will be asked to make the switch to fullback for the Falcons, which is an important position in their triple option offense. He is far from the first LB to move over to the offense as a FB. As shown from his film, the skills that will help with his transition are: his ability to be physical and lay a hit on someone, and his mobility for his size.

WR Malik Rodgers

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  • Rodgers has the potential to be a big play threat as a wide receiver going forward. Although the Falcons don’t throw often, when they do, it is usually unexpected and often is a deep throw. That will fit Rodgers perfectly, as he displays great speed and the ability to track the ball in the air and position himself well to make the catch, as well as rack up yards after hauling it in.

TE Chris Kane

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  • Kane is a versatile athlete, playing all over the offense in high school. He spend a majority of his time as a quarterback, but figures to be more of a tight end at the next level. His knowledge of the offense from his time at QB will bode well for him at any position, as he will be able to read defenders well and see the big picture of what’s going on. Kane also moves well and will be a big target in the offense.

OL Noah Gunn

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  • Gunn will be a big presence on the offensive line for the Falcons going forward, which will go against the norm for them at the position. He is an imposing figure and lined up at left tackle for his high school team. He starts a bit tall pre-snap but does a great job getting himself low when it comes time to block, which allows him to tap into his strength and over power opponents.

DT Kamakani Crosby

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  • Crosby is a two-way lineman who will be concentrating on the defensive tackle position moving forward. He will bring advanced technique to the Falcons D-line, which will enable him to succeed even when going up against bigger blockers. He looks lighter than he is, which may allow him to add some weight going forward. Crosby causes disruption in the middle well and figures to have a bright future.

LB Tim McClendon

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  • McClendon is in the mold of the new look middle linebackers, who are athletic, mobile, and slender. However, he is still able to handle running backs without a problem and will defend the middle of the defense well going forward. McCendon is aggressive in his pursuit of runners and closes the gap on tackles quickly.

LB Jace Bobo

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  • Bobo displays a nice combination of mobility and sure tacking skills as a linebacker. He gets into the backfield quickly and often and is also able to contain well on the outside, keeping the play in front of him and allowing the rest of the defense to recover. Bobo looks like a good fit in a WILL linebacker spot and should be a solid contributor going forward.

LB Jace Waters

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  • Waters displays good athleticism at the outside linebacker position and could be a nice playmaker for them going forward. He shows a great ability to get into the backfield and cause havoc, disrupting both pass and run plays. He also does well in coverage, able to match some receivers and tight ends well. Waters has a high-ceiling and is a good get for the Falcons.

LB Karlos Dillard

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  • Dillard is a versatile linebacker, able to play multiple spots and capable of flying around all over the field making plays. He has a high motor and doesn’t give up on plays, running until the whistle is blown. Dillard is at his best as a run-stopper who can also jump through the gaps to get in the backfield and make a play.

CB Anthony Diaz

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  • Diaz plays nice in coverage and does a great job both playing the ball and high-pointing a pass to be able to make a play. He uses his speed well to match receivers in stride and it also allows him to play off his man and close in on them to jump a route or make a play on the ball. Diaz isn’t afraid to be physical and should have a nice future for the Falcons.

CB Auston Deason

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  • Deason is a solid cover corner who is capable to playing either man or zone coverage. He also isn’t afraid to mix it up in the run game and come in to make a tackle. He wraps up nicely for a CB. Deason doesn’t allow much room between himself and the receiver in tight coverage and plays the ball nicely.

S Gary Mossup Jr

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  • Mossup is an incredibly hard worker who will get the most out of his talent going forward. He appears to be at his best as a run-stopping safety, lining up in the box and quickly plugging up gaps and getting into the backfield to make a play. Mossup can drop back into coverage as well and shows the ability to get his hands on the ball to make a play.

ATH Warren Bryan

  • highlights
  • Listed as an athlete, that’s exactly what Bryan is. He played quarterback and defensive back in high school, and it is unknown where he will land once he’s in college. His play at QB would make a him a good fit in the Falcons offense, as he is a more than capable runner and also possess a big arm that he can use when necessary. As a DB, his size and speed allow him to neutralize many wide receivers and he has a good knack for jumping in front of passes and making plays on the ball.

Headliner(s): Massingale, Rodgers, Crosby

Talented enough to play right away: Massingale, Rodgers, Waters

Sleeper Recruit(s): Diaz, Mossup

Best unit: Linebackers

Summary:

The Falcons brought in tons of players this year, and just going off of numbers, a few of them should develop into impact players. Of those highlighted in this article, they fit the triple-option scheme extremely well. It is plain to see the potential they are bringing in at quarterback, running-back, full-back and wide receiver as far as fitting in the system and succeeding. On defense, they brought in a number of athletes who should be able to develop nicely down the line.

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Up tomorrow: New Mexico