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August 25, 2013
They are the best of the best. The players wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond. Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2015 class and is unveiling them this week. Ten prospects have been awarded five-stars but are not ranked at this time, and we will profile two each day. One of today's five-stars is Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian cornerback Kevin Toliver II.
Kevin Toliver II, CB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Attributes: 6-foot-2, 183 pounds, 4.50 40
Top School: Committed to LSU
Scouting Report: Toliver is a smooth cover corner with excellent hips and above-average speed. His ball skills and instincts are superb. He changes direction effortlessly, and he is a natural on an island. He lets the game come to him and never panics. He is excellent in man-to-man coverage and takes good angles while bursting downhill to break on the ball. The rising junior has a knack for getting his hands on the ball even if it appears the receiver may make the play. He is rarely in trail technique or trying to recover because he plays with great leverage and technique. Toliver can deliver a big hit and support the run with his aggressive tackling ability. Although he is quiet on the field, he plays with extreme confidence and never backs down from a challenge.
Analyst's Take: "After seeing Toliver at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour in Orlando, we knew he had the tools to be a five-star prospect. In fact, an argument can be made that he was the best defensive back in attendance, regardless of class. His ability to stay in the hip pocket and mirror wideouts downfield is impressive, and his ball skills set him apart from the pack. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour, he was at his best against the nation's premier pass catchers. In one-on-ones, he locked up guys like Ermon Lane, Malachi Dupre and Allen Lazard. He doesn't take false steps or waste motion, which allows him to always be in proper position. The LSU commit has the size to fight off bigger receivers in jump-ball situations, and he attacks the ball at the highest point to get interceptions and deflections. His field awareness and route recognition make him the ideal cover man in any defensive scheme." -- Kynon Codrington, Southeast recruiting analyst, Rivals.com
Why He's A Five-Star: "Toliver has that 'it' factor you want in a cornerback, a combination of quiet cockiness and confidence that sends an unspoken message to opponents that they are in for a long day. He's a long and physical kid, he's very sudden when he changes direction, and he can close well. His ball skills are out of this world, and he looks effortless out there. He never panics and is always under control, and I like the fact that he could be a true press corner and loves run support. A lot of kids want to be or claim to be press corners but can't handle it. Toliver can. He's an island guy; you can put him out there and let him handle his business on his side." -- Mike Farrell, national recruiting analyst, Rivals.com
His Coach Says: "He played a lot for us as a ninth grader; in fact, he started as a freshman. We knew immediately he had what it takes to play at the next level. Gerard "Pop" Ross is my defensive coordinator, and Gus Scott is my offensive coordinator. Both guys played for me. Pop played at Florida State, and Gus played at Florida. Of course, both went to the league and played for a little while. They would say to me this kid's got it. He understands it, and he really listens. He understands technique, pays attention, and he works hard at it. I think we knew early on that he was going to be special and a special athlete. He takes what he hears and applies it. We've been so amazed at how quickly he has picked things up and makes them work. He reminds me a lot of Pop and Gus. A lot of times, you find kids at corner who aren't real physical, but Kevin is a physical kid. If he is up in press man, there are a lot of times kids don't get off the ball because he is taking them to the water cooler. He is a kid you enjoy coaching. Kevin isn't a rah-rah, loud guy. He is quiet, but he comes to work every day and our kids see that." -- Verlon Dorminey, head football coach, Trinity Christian
Odds And Ends: Toliver is lining up at quarterback heading into the season because the regular starter is out with an injury. ... As a freshman, Toliver recorded 40 tackles and two interceptions. ... During his sophomore year, he had 44 solo tackles, seven pass break-ups, one interception and three forced fumbles. ... He was born in Chicago, and both of his parents are from New Orleans. ... His father played baseball and ran track at Grambling State. ... Two of his cousins, Terance and Chris Toliver, played at LSU.
NFL Player Comparison: Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals