Newark's Alkadair Ports is an explosive athlete, most likely to play safety at the next level. He also has extensive and impressive history as a ball carrier, whether as a receiver, running back or kick returner. His highlight tape shows he has another gear (or three), he is elusive with the ball in his hands, and he is patient when waiting for blocks to develop.
Most importantly, he is the newest member of RFamily. Ports committed on a visit to the Banks today.
No surprise but safety Al-Kadair Ports committed http://t.co/28foh8u59r— ScoutBrianDohn (@BrianDohnScout) April 15, 2014
New commit for RU, discuss it here: https://t.co/mEpAhwbZFL— Matt Hladik (@MattHladik919) April 15, 2014
Check the Tape
Seriously, watch the tape (I'll wait) - everyone else looks they are running underwater when Ports hits the gas. The tape shows one crazy punt return or running TD after another, and in most of them, by the time Ports hits the opponent's 30-yard line on his way to the end zone, there is nobody else even close to him in the frame. If he is not hit at the line of scrimmage, he is gone.
As a defensive back, Ports has plenty of speed to close on the ball, and looks like a nasty finisher with good field vision. He is a thumper, and if he gets a little bigger, he might end up as a linebacker like his teammate, Star Ledger Defensive player of the year and incoming Knight Sidney Gopre. It's hard to gauge the level of his competition from the tape, but Ports might be relying a bit on his overwhelming athleticism to make up for some gaps in technique and fundamentals as a DB, but that's coachable.
A season on special teams might be a good fit for Ports. That would get him plenty of opportunities to flash his play-making ability in the return game (maybe as Janarion Grant's successor) and as a gunner on kicks, while allowing him to learn the finer points of playing in a collegiate secondary.
By the Numbers
Star rating, according to Rivals: 2* but look for a bump as camp season gets underway
Weight: Reports vary. Listed as 170 by 247sports, 190 by hudl and 195 by Rivals. Call it 190.
Class year: 2015
40 time: N/A but looks blazing on tape.
Junior Year Production (Offense): 1,158 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, 2 Receiving TDs, 5 punt return TDs.
Junior Year Production (Defense): 32 tackles, 2 INTs
Mr. Ports is a really good get by Kyle Flood and Joe Rossi. Alkadair has undeniable athleticism and burst, he is versatile, and he really wants to be at RU. The only reason he did not commit sooner after receiving his Rutgers offer was because he wanted his mom to have a chance to get down to Piscataway to see the school and meet the staff. Mom made it to Rutgers Tuesday, and voila, Alkadair is a Knight. It seems like forever since Rutgers Football has had some exciting recruiting news. Enjoy this one, and stay tuned to OTB.
Congrats and Welcome Alkadair.