Deon Cain plays quarterback for Tampa Bay Tech, but his future will be as a wide receiver in college. From what you see from an athletic standpoint and how he has performed at camps as a wide receiver, the transition to another position could be as successful as former high school quarterbacks Anquan Boldin and Peter Warrick.
Cain is a big time athlete with great quickness and outstanding long speed. He has size that is ideal for the wide receiver position and I’m sure will add weight to his frame over the next few years.
Cain certainly is a good enough athlete to play the quarterback position, but it looks like he was put there because of the fact that he is the best athlete on his team. It reminds me of a kid who participates in the punt, pass, and kick competition. He may throw and kick it the farthest, but only because he is a better athlete than the other kids he is competing against and that doesn’t make him a better quarterback or kicker than them.
He makes a ton of athletic plays as a quarterback that will translate, at least partly, to playing wide receiver. Cain has great escapability in avoiding the rush to extend plays and is a dangerous player in the open field on designed runs. He can turn what should be a five yard gain into six points with his vision and speed.
Fortunately Cain did get take reps as a wide receiver at both the Rivals and Nike camps in Orlando. He ran routes against good defensive backs while looking explosive with his routes and flashing outstanding hands. He was a natural hands catcher and attacked the ball in the air.
Cain is going to be a receiver that lines up on the outside and should develop into a tough matchup one on one for cornerbacks.
Cain has about as much potential as a wide receiver as most of the top prospects in this class. The question is, can he make the transition? Doing well in a camp setting is one thing, but doing it in actual games is another. Despite being a great athlete, it should take him awhile to make an impact because of the learning curve of a new position. (Anquan Boldin didn’t find the transition that difficult for him though. I remember him catching a touchdown pass in his first game for Florida State.) Once he becomes comfortable though, he has the chance to develop into a big play wide receiver at the next level.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.