by Chris Johnson (@ChrisDJohnsonn)
Name: Kyle Queiro
School: Bergen Catholic (Oradell, New Jersey)
Star Rating: 3-star
Other offers: Boston College, Illinois, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, others.
The Scouting Report
From ESPN Recruiting Nation:
“Queiro is a guy that could develop on both sides of the ball, but his upside is clearly on offense with more fine tuning. Possesses a long wiry frame that already has good strength with room to grow. Shows good arm length. Possesses very good change-of-direction skills-- can jump cut, stop and start in a hurry and explode out of his cuts for a bigger receiver. Can hit the corner and go. Limited play at receiver early on in career. Will continue to develop in this area as he plays more and more. Delivers a blow to defense and runs through tackles.”
What he’s saying
“I’m extremely excited about the program as a whole,” Queiro said. “There’s the academic part, obviously, but football is on the rise; not only getting their first bowl win, but the players feel the same way I do—they’re talking about Big Ten championships, and in a few years, a national championship. I can see why they’re thinking so positively.”
What’s the hype?
There remains some indecision on behalf of classmate Godwin Igwebuike’s position choice; I’ve been told coaches are “arguing” over his services. When a decision is reached, it will come down to running back or safety. Queiro, too, is two-way player, but unlike Igwebuike, his intended field of operation – safety – is pretty much sewn up.
If you saw or heard about Cameron Dickerson’s touchdown catch in last year’s spring game – in which a well-covered Dickerson adjusted to a slightly off-target rainbow heave down the right sideline from Trevor Siemian, contorted his body mid-flight to snatch the ball out of cornerback Nick VanHoose’s clutches, then pranced into the end zone on a 40-yard touchdown strike – know that Queiro hails from the same New Jersey high school (Bergen Catholic), was named an all-county triple jumper and high jumper and also lettered twice as a varsity basketball player.
Does that mean Queiro offers the same breathtaking athleticism and ball skills as his high school teammate? Well, no. It does mean Queiro is an explosive and dynamic player, and that his transition should go over more smoothly with Dickerson there to offer guidance along the way – which is an awful lot to like about a recruit from the outset. Getting acclimated and just fitting in with a new team is like half the battle. Something like that. The point is, Queiro received first-hand advice from a local source, and Dickerson should help make him feel as comfortable as possible.
What about next year?
Short of a sudden drastic injury to one of the Wildcats’ starting safeties, I can’t imagine Pat Fitzgerald or coordinator Mike Hankwitz would elect to burn Queiro’s redshirt this season. The talent is there, and I have no doubt he will carve out a niche in the middle of the secondary as he grows and matures under Ibraheim Campbell and Traveon Henry, but this season? Queiro’s time would be better spent watching, learning and focusing on strength and conditioning workouts, before joining the first team down the road.
What about the future?
I haven’t held back my optimism about the Wildcats’ future at secondary, but the idea bears repeating: Northwestern, over the course of the last few recruiting classes, has assembled an excellent group of prospects at both cornerback and safety. We’ll stick to safety in this space, since Queiro will eventually vie for time at that position. Once Ibraheim Campbell graduates, there is a possibility Queiro could step into a starting spot.
There are a number of developments that will help determine why this may or may not happen – among them Igwebuike’s position choice, the possibility Jimmy Hall could eventually switch to a full-time safety role, and so on. But unless the Wildcats pull in another safety recruit that just plain blows the roof off all competition, I project Queiro will have as good a chance as anyone to compete for a starting job (or at least become a major contributor) by his (RS) sophomore season.