Scouting roundtable: New names to know in the Top247 (2023)

Monday's release of the updated 2024 Top247 featured 25 newcomers to the prestigious rankings. The 247Sports national scouting team took some time to showcase eight of those newcomers with some insight into what makes each a name to know in this 2024 recruiting cycle.


"Tabbed as the highest-ranked newcomerin the freshly-minted Top247, it’s hard not to fall quickly in love with Courtney Crutchfield’s athletic profile. both on and off the football field. A multi-sport athlete with three-phase ability on the gridiron, the Arkansas native’s combination of size and athleticism is readily apparent regardless of what sport he’s playing or what side of the ball he’s on. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 175-pounds, Crutchfield’s intrigue is often highlighted by his two-way playmaking ability, in addition to flashing outstanding ball skills and excellent run-after-catch ability on the offensive side of the ball.

"Only scratching the surface of what appears to be an increasingly high ceiling, Crutchfield’s background in track and field and basketball are plainly obvious when it comes to sifting through the Arkansas standout’s tape. A 6-foot-plus high jumper, Crutchfield's ability to play above the rim and make what should often be considered difficult look rather routine are calling cards to his game. Although he lacks verified metrics in speed, Crutchfield leaves little doubt or concern when projecting to the next level as he’s shown a consistency to make plays in the vertical passing game and has proven to be one of the best run-after-catch threats in the country." -- Cooper Petagna, 247Sports national scouting analyst


"ChrisCole is a new-age, three-down linebacker who caught our eye at the Under Armour All-America camp outside of Baltimore a few weeks ago. He's a former safety out of Salem (Va.) with plenty of range who has drifted closer and closer toward the line of scrimmage. Not only do we like Cole's track markers -- qualified for the Nike Indoor National meet in both the 55- and 60-meter hurdles -- but his junior tape pops as he's a face-up tacklerwhocan wrangle ball carriers to the ground in the open field.

"Cole's lanky frame and play style reminds us a little bit of former Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who played extensive high school safety snaps and was taken in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Cole -- who is related to reggae legend Bob Marley -- will take official visits in the coming weeks to Georgia, Notre Dame, and Miami."-- Andrew Ivins, 247Sports director of scouting


The more we watch "Nitro" Tuggle, the more we love his game. A stoutly built 6-foot-1, 190-pounder from Nappanee (Ind.) Northwood, Tuggle now attends IMG Academy in Florida and brings with him elite run-after-catch ability and a two-way on-field profile. Tuggle flashes some of the most unique RAC playmaking ability you will find. How so? He displays uncommon lateral explosion directly into sudden acceleration, a trait particularly unique for a taller, longer-levered athlete. He's a jackrabbit in the open field with enough top-end juice to hit the long ball, and that volcanic cutback athleticism aids his ability to get loose in space.

Tuggle's limited track profile featured an 11.51 100 in his only rep as a sophomore in Spring 2022, but his on-field athleticism -- coupled with some encouraging combine testing this offseason (including a verified 4.59 40) -- more than confirms his playmaking juice. Tuggle finished his 2022 junior season with 40 catches for 792 yards and 15 touchdowns on almost 20 yards per catch, plus 17 carries for 185 yards and two TDs, two TD passes, one interception on defense, and two kick return touchdowns. And the cherry on top: Tuggle represents one of the youngest prospect in the Top247 with a June 2006 birthdate. — Gabe Brooks, 247Sports national scouting analyst


Lightfoot is the type of prospect off the edge that every program is looking to add to its defensive arsenal. He has been on the radar for some time and with us having the opportunity to see him live at the Under Armour Camp in Kansas City he solidified himself as a top flight talent. He flashes the ability to come off the edge and play with speed and power as well as lining up in the 4I, 5, and true outside defensive end technique on his junior film. The motor he plays with an effort to chase and bend the corner to the ball on plays away, speaks to his motor and drive. With his overall athleticism and skill Lightfoot could end up as an ideal 3-4 outside backer. I liken his game and physical stature to that of Josh Sweat of the Philadelphia Eagles. Schools like Miami, USC, and Ohio State are all chasing his down for official visits." -- Chris Singletary, 247Sports national scouting analyst


When I watched Beasley, I immediately thought his game resembled Billy Bowman, the Oklahoma defensive back who was a three-phase standout for Denton (Texas) Ryan. Beasley, who stars for Cincinnati LaSalle, has tested very well in a combine setting and also ripped a few sub-11.00-second 100-meter dashes -- not to mention cracking the 22.00-second 200-meter threshold, including a 21.51 -- to further verify his top-end speed and overall athleticism.

Several 5-foot-10 defensive backs were taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Beasley possesses the type of varied on-field profile supported by excellent multi-sport context to represent the type of athlete with a long-term pro projection. His extensive offensive reps, ball skills, and instinctive playmaking ability point the arrow clearly upward as Beasley continues his development. Beasley has scheduled a late June commitment announcement and reportedly will officially visit Pitt, Purdue, and Wisconsin next month.— Gabe Brooks, 247Sports national scouting analyst


A verified athlete, Statesboro, Georgia native Kamron Mikell has all the makings of a prospect capable of climbing a board quickly. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 180-pounds, although he’s arguably closer to 6-feet, Mikell owns an elite track and field profile in both the 100 and 200 meter events in the vastly talented Peach State. Between the white lines, the newly minted Top247 standout has turned heads in a hurry with his combination of speed and two-way playmaking ability at Statesboro High School.

"A versatile talent, it’s yet to be determined what side of the ball Mikell will play at the next level as both sides of the ball can make a compelling development on which best features the unique athlete on Saturdays. Featured as a dynamic runner with the ball in hands on offense while possessing the type of height, weight, speed combination that college programs toil over, Mikell is primed to continue his surge in the recruiting rankings with a strong senior campaign. Whether it’s offensive or defense, it’s abundantly clear that whichever program lands Mikell’s services will be getting a bona fide playmaker with an arrow pointing up." -- Cooper Petagna, 247Sports national scouting analyst


“Grimsley is a prospect we desperately wanted to get some eyes on and that finally happened last week during his spring game. A two-way player as a junior at Valrico (Fla.) Bloomingdale,Grimsley is also expected to double-shift as a senior for Tampa (Fla.) Catholic. Not only does his length and reach stand out, but sodo his ball skills.

"After capturing a regional title in the 200-meter dash earlier this month and then running at states, Grimsley didn’t look like someone with tired legs this past Friday as he won a 50-50 ball and moved much differently than others on the field. Grimsley is set to take trips to Michigan, Alabama, and Penn State in the coming weeks.” -- Andrew Ivins, 247Sports director of scouting


"Jonathan Paylor is a speed burner who can take it the distance anywhere on the field. He boasts the ability to plant and change direction, while maintaining top speed allows for him to run away from defenders consistently. The ease in which he is able to accelerate to top speed quickly and trackthe ball with soft hands make him an instant playmaker on the field.

"By bringing the verified trackspeed of 10.4 in the 100 meters and 21.4 in the 200 to the field, Paylor is a threat as a kick or punt returner, receiver, and out of the backfield. This Swiss Army knife hasthe talent and skills that remind me of Skyy Moore of the Kansas City Chiefs. I think his future will be in the slot where he is either too fast or too quick for defenders and will be a dangerous mismatch to contain." -- Chris Singletary, 247Sports national scouting analyst

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