– Chris Steele: Last week I spoke with 2019 CB, Chris Steele (Bellflower, CA). Steele has emerged as one of the most highly coveted DBs in the country holding early offers from Oklahoma, Texas, USC, Alabama, LSU, Stanford and many others.
Steele has football in his genes, “My dad played football. He’s originally from Ohio but he played D end at New Mexico State so I’ve learned a lot from him and his experiences. But my mom was also someone who pushed me to play football”.
Despite his obvious talent, Steele was never certain he’d be recruited…until he was, “I always knew I had it in me to be recruited but you can’t know. I wouldn’t say I was expecting anything. I knew it was a possibility but I guess I wasn’t expecting it”. Still, fairly early on his high school career Steele picked up his first offer from Washington State and as he puts it, “about a month after that Washington State offer, it blew up”.
However, earlier in the recruiting process, Steele was primarily a west coast recruit until Corey Raymond from LSU found out about him, “I started my sophomore year on varsity and that doesn’t usually happen at my school. When I got the LSU offer everything took off nationally. At first people saw me as a west coast guy but after that LSU offer, that changed”.
OU Enters the Picture…
So how did the relationship between Steele and the Sooners begin? Apparently, Oklahoma identified Steele while looking at one of his teammates, “OU came out to see Wyatt Davis (signed with Ohio State) to flip him and they saw me at practice and they offered”.
Steele says that the Sooners along with Texas and Alabama are the out of state schools recruiting him the hardest, “I talk to coach Riley almost everyday. I’m going to try to go to one of the [Rose Bowl] bowl practices over here”.
While, Steele has the big SEC offers he sees the Big 12 as a good fit for a cornerback, “The SEC is one of the best conferences. People say it’s the best. But you’re going to be tackling big running backs all the time. What will that do to your body? Big 12 football is a passing conference and that’ll showcase my cover ability.”
Steele is very high on Oklahoma. The Sooners will have to contend with the likes of USC, Texas, Alabama and others but they’re very much in the mix here. Both Steele and his father let me know that they plan on visiting OU this spring. Additionally, it does not sound like Steele will drag this recruitment out. Chris is an early enrollee and per his father, he’d like to be done with the process before he goes into his senior season. In fact, a narrowed down list could be coming soon though I suspect they already have a good sense of the schools they like and the Sooners are undoubtedly one of those schools.
Chris competes in one of the toughest leagues in California. He covers guys like Amon Ra St. Brown, a wide receiver viewed by many as the best in the 2018 class. So what you’re seeing on film is him competing against a lot of talented wide receivers. Chris has great feet in shuffle and backpedal. There’s also a play on the film below where he’s in off coverage and the WRs gives him a quick stab outside, just enough to get Chris to come out of his cocked position and then the WR goes inside. Chris effortlessly drives his hips back in the direction of the wide receiver and makes a play on the ball.
I’d like to see him take a more direct path out of his breaks and be a little more aggressive with his down hill step. Perhaps the thing that stands out the most about Chris is his technique. He looks more college ready to play in terms of technique than most high school DBs. Most cornerbacks at this age don’t mirror a receiver well…they can’t flatten them on a release. Cornerbacks at the high school simply open up and run with a receiver. Then they get to college and figure out…that doesn’t work as well. Chris, however, stays square forces the receiver to widen. That’s typically a sign of a) someone who knows how to play the position and b) someone who actually trusts their speed – when you know you have recovery speed you don’t worry as much about the prospect of getting stacked on the turn.
I also like the fact that Chris is a sharp guy. Transitioning to college is as much about your ability to learn the playbook as it is about your physical gifts. Chris is a good student (Stanford offer says, hello!) but he also has that edge you need when you play cornerback. I loved something he said on the phone…
— Super K (@SuperK_TFB) December 28, 2017
I’m planning to head out to California at some point this year so I’m hoping to see Steele live. On film, I like what I see. – (Super K)
– Spoke with the father of Sooners 2018 MLB target, Solomon Tuliaupupu (Santa Ana, CA). I’ll have a more complete write up on our conversation later but did want to pass on a couple notes from that conversation. Right now, the plan is to visit Oklahoma on the final weekend before signing day (January 26-28). The original plan was to come in on the first weekend after the dead period (12-14) but it sounds like Oklahoma wants to make sure the team is there and the kids are back on campus.
Also, Kish and Riley did do a in-home visit with Solomon and the family prior to the dead period. – (Super K)