Marcus Hutchins: 2011 Texas Recruiting Spotlight

Vitals

Name: Marcus Hutchins

Position: Offensive line

Height: 6-4

Weight: 260

Speed: N/A

High School: DeSoto

Rating (Rivals): Three out of five (5.6)

Overview/Recruitment

When the first 2011 LSR debuted in February of 2009, Hutchins was rated the fourth-best player in the state based on his size and athleticism. However, Hutchins failed to add weight over the next year and by the time the first Texas Junior Day came around the following February, Hutchins was a questionable take because his spring basketball season had kept him lean and his junior football season provided little opportunity to hit the weights hard.

Still, Hutchins received an invite to the first Junior Day and attended, though an offer was far from a certainty. Mack Brown did decide to offer and Hutchins became one of the 13 commitments on the day.

Quotes:

On how Texas focused on education ($) when recruiting him:

The coaches really put their stress on education. When I first sat down with Mack Brown, we talked my GPA and what I needed to do. Everything was education, education, education. What really sealed the deal, he said education comes first. If you do commit to us now, if you get hurt and your football career is over, you still have your scholarship to come here. You can help us coach, you can come to school and help us out. Football's important to him but he's more about education than he is about football.

On how he felt after committing to Texas:

It's a big relief. It's like a headache was just relieved. It's like I took a Tylenol and my headache's gone. My mom didn't know if she should cry. My aunt and grandmother can't believe I'm going to go to Texas. They were so happy for me. I get my emotional side from my mother and I can't believe it's coming true.

Offers

  • Texas (committed 2/13/2010)
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Baylor
  • Houston
  • Kansas
  • TCU
  • Texas A&M
  • USC

Scouting Report

The positives from Jeff Howe ($):

When you watch Hutchins it doesn’t take long to notice that he’s a very good technician at the point of attack. He’s got long arms and he does a great job of shooting his hands inside and attacking the breastplate of the defender and then extending while moving his feet. In other words he does exactly what offensive linemen are coached to do.

 

When he’s able to get his hands on folks he’s going to win just about every one of those battles at the high school level. I like his punch at the point of attack and despite being not very big in terms of weight his quickness and length allow him to control things at the line of scrimmage.

 

He’s got some of the best feet you’ll find in this year’s offensive line class in Texas. Especially in pass blocking not only are his steps textbook for what his coaches want him to do but he’s got quick feet and he maintains a good base on just about every snap.

 

Hutchins is a tremendous athlete for the position and that’s one of the main reasons why he’s such an attractive prospect. We are talking about a guy who can serve as a blocking tight end and in DeSoto’s offense he often shifts over when the Eagles decide to go heavy on one side of the line. His combination of quick feet and pure speed is very impressive for an offensive lineman.

 

He’s also developing more of a mean streak and he showed a willingness to really mix it up at the point of attack later in his junior year. In that respect, I think Hutchins learned a lot by playing with a guy like Evan Washington who despite not being experienced played with a nasty side during his time at DeSoto.

 

 He’s gradually becoming a better finisher and it seems like he’s making more of an effort to drive guys down into the turf. That’s going to be huge down the line, especially because he’s expected to kick down to guard in college.

 

I don’t think he’ll ever be a mauler, but the thing to like about Hutchins is that any time you have a guy that athletic who is a natural offensive lineman you take your chances in terms of developing him into whatever you want him to be.

ESPN evaluation ($):

Hutchins is a raw talent with good athleticism. Has the size we like to see for the offensive guard position at the major level of competition. Plays mostly in a two point stance, showing good lower body flexibility; must improve his initial first step and explosion; flashes the ability to get a good fit, but at times to high on initial contact. This doesn't allow him to roll his hips and affects his suddenness coming off the ball. More of a position / wall off guy rather than a knock 'em off the line of scrimmage type. Flashes 2nd level and pull / trap potential however must improve out of stance quickness when pulling. Off his feet occasionally but overall we like his agility and balance. Displays the necessary quick first step to reach front side and gain leverage on shaded defenders. This player has the athleticism to make all the necessary run blocks however his playing strength and explosion will need to improve. Flashes quick set skills but must become more consistent; can bend, slide and play flat footed; shows balance and nimble feet reacting to quick change of direction moves. We like his arm length and quick hands but overall upper body technique (punch, placement and extension) will need refinement. We see flashes of an aggressive, dominant finishing attitude however there is room for improvement; more consistency with a bit of a mean streak would be beneficial. Although Hutchins possesses good size and athletic skills we don't see him stepping in as an immediate starter at the major level of competition. Perhaps some time and/or a red shirt year will allow him to develop and polish his skills.

Marcus Hutchins Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)

Marcus Hutchins Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)

Strengths

  • Athleticism -- From a physical standpoint, Hutchins kind of looks like a tight end on the field, especially in his sophomore film when he played on the line with a tree-trunk of a guy like Evan Washington. The good news is that Hutchins moves like a tight end as well and gets to the second level with ease.
  • Feet -- Something that goes along with his athleticism -- Hutchins is strong in pass protection moving his feet to take away the edge rush and still recover to stop an inside move. 
  • Flexibility -- Hutchins has the ability to sink his hips and has good knee bend in pass protection; he's obviously not a stiff out there.

Weaknesses

  • Weight -- Hutchins finally started putting on some mass when he stopped playing basketball his junior season. However, at around 260 pounds, he has a long way to go physically until he reaches a mass at which he can compete in college.
  • Finishing run blocks -- There aren't many highlights of Hutchins planting opponents into the ground and that's a concern as it relates to his aggressiveness in the running game. Does he have the nastiness to help transform what has been a soft group of offensive linemen for some time?
  • Technique -- Hutchins has to work on both his hand placement and his leverage to help improve his run blocking. Worked a lot out of a two-point stance at DeSoto, which makes it difficult to for linemen to play with good leverage in the running game.

Target Weight -- 290-300 pounds. His ability to add mass has been a concern since he surfaced on the radar and that hasn't changed after his senior season. He has so far to go that 300+ pounds seems out of the question. If he can reach 290 or so, though, that should be adequate to keep him from being pushed around.

Verdict

If Josh Cochran's Rivals video was a maulfest, the video of Hutchins can best be described as stoning smaller, less agile players in pass protection. For most big-time high school offensive linemen, there's plenty of film of 6-0, 200-pound defensive linemen getting railroaded -- it's pretty much what highlight films end up encompassing for the most part. Strangely, with Hutchins there are few highlights on running plays and on most of those highlights Hutchins is simply walling off the defender rather than displacing them downfield. It's a concern.

Hutchins is almost certainly an inside guy at Texas because his height is questionable to play on the outside -- he may be closer to 6-3 than the 6-5 he's occasionally listed at -- though his feet are good enough for him to have a shot at tackle. He projects as a guy who will continue to play well in space and would work well as a pulling guard and in the zone scheme where he could combo block and get to the second level quickly.

After losing Christian Westerman, it would have been nice to have another guy in the class who could project at tackle besides Josh Cochran and Garrett Greenlea and the odds are against Hutchins in that respect, a disappointment for the class overall. The upside is there with his athleticism and he's worth taking a chance on, but did he cost Texas a chance at Aztec, NM OL Matt Hegarty, a much better prospect he can play tackle? It's possible and that's disappointing as well.

Impact ETA: 2014. The need for some significant development on the part of Hutchins and the depth chart in front of him inside mean that the DeSoto product probably won't get on the field much before his redshirt junior season, the first real chance he'll have to break into the rotation unless he passes some older players in front of him.

Read past Texas recruiting spotlights.

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