Jake Steinberg, TheJetsBlog.comWith Jets football a few weeks away, we thought it would be a cool idea to take a look at some under-the-radar- 2014 draft prospects for you all to keep an eye on. First up: Senior Southern Mississippi WR Francisco Llanos.
At 5’8 180 pounds, the Tampa, FL product was extremely underused his first three years in college, as he only logged 173 yards and 1 touchdown last year as a junior. A majority of those came in his only start vs. Marshall, where he destroyed the Thundering Herd with 132 yards, including a 90 yard touchdown reception.
Those fresh legs proved to be a blessing in disguise, as Llanos is going into this season as the starting KR, PR, and WR. However, that does not tell the true story of Francisco Llanos.
What makes Francisco Llanos so compelling is his use of social media. For starters, Llanos has posted 118 videos to YouTube, These videos include sand workouts, game footage, cone workouts and every other drill one can imagine. On his Twitter account, Llanos sends out the videos to NFL superstars. He asks them to take a look and give him feedback. Many have, including Hall of Famer Cris Carter, who offered this support. “I’ve seen ur videos on YouTube before u sent this tweet. 1)technique is very good 2)well coached, (stance,start,burst) 3)good hands(catching FB away from ur body) 4)great attention to details in route running 5)keep head up when making cuts. U hav enough TALENT to make a #NFL roster… “
Llanos identifies NFL scouts with Twitter accounts and send them videos. Agents as well. When he asked former NFL WR Mark Clayton for feedback, Clayton told Llanos: “Ain’t gone lie I was about to stop watchin 3 minutes in but I couldn’t.. You got Bigtyme game bro!”
After sending one of his videos to Victor Cruz, the Giants star WR told him to give him a call and the two talked for a long time. Victor now serves as a mentor to Francisco.
Llanos skillset is undeniable. He has the speed, athletic ability, concentration and heart to be a stud in the NFL.
So, how did a kid who just finished the season with 173 yards and 1 touchdown become such a well known name in the football community? Through hard work and determination. Llanos is a trendsetter. By using social media he has now paved the way and opened the door for so many football player to follow in his footsteps. As Cris Carter pointed out he has the talent to succeed at the next level. It is a shame he did not get an opportunity earlier in his career, but through his use of social media and his relentlessness to be the best, Llanos is now the center of attention, and rightfully so. Be sure to keep an eye on him this fall.