In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a dynamic speedster who can change the scoreboard on any snap: Ft. Myers (FL) Bishop Verot ATH Malik Curtis.
When looking for players to add to the program, Miami’s coaches came across a player whose film caught their attention: Bishop Verot ATH Malik Curtis. A 5’11” 160lb speedster, Curtis displayed great talent in all 3 phases of the game: offense, defense, and on special teams.
That crazy thing about Curtis’s recruitment is that very few teams had offered him a scholarship, very unusual for a player with an elite trait, and that trait being speed, such as Curtis.
Curtis made a name for himself as a junior. He earned All-Area accolades on offense after posting a 34 catch, 680 yard, 8 touchdown season, along with 4 punt return touchdowns and a kickoff return touchdown, as well. With Bishop Verot going 9-3 and into the playoffs, Curtis used the season to raise his personal profile, and showcase his skills.
Miami was the first team to offer Curtis a scholarship back in January. After that, only 3 other teams — Boston College, Western Kentucky, and Georgia Southern — jumped in with offers. And, I mean....when presented with the list of offers that Curtis was, the decision was an easy one. Curtis committed to Miami on April 25th.
On the 247sports composite, Curtis is a 3-star prospect, the #65 ATH nationally in this class, #114 in the State of Florida, and #896 recruit overall. Given his performance on the field and his elite skill — speed — I firmly believe Curtis is underrated.
Curtis committed to Miami over Boston College from a list of 4 scholarship offers from around the country.
As A Player
Curtis has an elite skill — speed. He’s a track athlete, running the 100m and 200m dashes, and he shows that on the football field. Whether on offense, defense, or special teams, Curtis routinely proves himself to be the fastest player on the field, and that’s a major asset for any team to have.
Here’s where things get interesting/complicated. Miami recruited/accepted Curtis’s commitment as a developmental cornerback. It’s not secret that Miami isn’t the fastest team in the defensive secondary, so adding Curtis, who’s clocked an 11.13 in the 100m and would likely time faster than that now, addresses the lack of speed in the back end of Miami’s defense.
Curtis mainly plays offense in HS. He had 1150 yards and 12 TD over his sophomore and junior years of HS. Add in multiple return touchdowns (4 punts, 1 kickoff as a junior), and you have the perfect blueprint for an offensive weapon the likes of which every team should desire to have.
It’s been clear to me from the moment I first watched Curtis’s HUDL highlights that he needs to play offense. Miami finally has a spread offense, and putting a player like Curtis in space, with the speed he has, is a recipe for success. Could Curtis develop into a decent CB? Sure. But try to reinvent the wheel? Put him on offense and watch him run.
Though he’s not the biggest receiver, Curtis is tall enough at 5’11”, and his speed will play anywhere. Curtis could line up outside, or in the slot, or in the backfield and be one of many offensive weapons on the field for the Canes. Curtis could stand to improve his route running, but when you’re as fast as he is, some of the finer points of technique can be ignored because you have blazing speed.
- Speed. Speed. SPEEEEEED.
- Positional versatility (WR, Slot, KR, PR).
- CB potential.
- No seriously, speed.
- Slight build at 160lbs.
- Uncertain future position (but again, I believe it should be offense).
- Technique, especially if he plays CB in college, which he only does part-time in HS.
Note: changing this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player.
Curtis should be able to use his blazing speed in Miami’s new spread offense to create mismatches, and move the ball up and down the field. Add in dynamic return skills, and Curtis could see the field early and often in a Miami uniform.
To my eye, the outlook for Curtis depends entirely on which position he plays. If it’s offense, he’ll be able to find snaps early as an “offensive weapon” used for his dynamic speed in a limited package of plays. Then, that role would grow over time. Not the same, but something similar to De’Anthony Thomas at Oregon. Put him all over the field and let his speed dominate.
On the flip side, if Curtis were to be placed on defense at Miami, the path would be a bit longer. Curtis has not played defense full-time, so there is much more work to be done in terms of his technique and development. Curtis would likely be a year 2 or year 3 contributor if put on defense, but then again, that timeline might be accelerated by a year due to the incredibly low numbers of players that Miami has on the roster at the cornerback position.
The path towards All-ACC recognition is likely more possible on special teams than offense or defense. But, Curtis is the medium risk-high reward player that could really be a great addition for Miami down the line. We’ll just have to see which way things play out in the years to come.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.