College Football Recruiting 2013: 10 Elite Recruits Who Don't Fear Sanctions
The NCAA is the governing body of college football as we know it, although the perception of the strength and integrity of their authority varies depending on who you talk to. Lately, it seems as if the NCAA wants to re-establish itself and flex its muscle, evidenced by lacing several big-name programs with hefty sanctions.
Postseason bans, fines, scholarship reductions and other avenues of punishment have been handed down to USC, Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina and others. Miami and Oregon are other programs that have been connected to investigations by the NCAA.
Recruits are sternly advised to research these sanctions, and they are advised to stay away from schools with sanctions coming or already handed to them.
For this read, I'm going to give you 10 elite prospects who obviously are not afraid of NCAA sanctions.
10. Jordan Fieulleteau, WR
Fieulleteau is a 6'3", 205-pound WR prospect from North Carolina who is sewn up to the Tar Heels. UNC hit some rough waters and is banned from postseason play this year, which won't affect Fieulleteau.
What will affect him is the reduction of nine scholarships and probation over the next three years, which will hinder Larry Fedora's program a bit.
Nevertheless, look for Fieulleteau to become a solid target in the UNC passing game when he arrives.
9. Mitch Trubisky, QB
Trubisky is a gunslinger from Ohio who will join Fieulleteau in Chapel Hill.
At 6'3" and 200 pounds, Trubisky is a dual-threat type of QB who can really do some damage in a spread offense. He shows a quick release and very solid arm strength to get the football to pass-catchers downfield. Rushers have fits with Trubisky because of his athleticism and mobility to elude them and get outside the pocket to make plays.
He's headed to UNC and doesn't care about any probation effects.
8. Richard Benjamin, WR
A Tampa native, Benjamin is a WR who has a stocky build, which leads you think he plays RB when seeing him on the hoof.
However, on tape, he splits out wide and displays awesome explosiveness.
Benjamin is a 5'11", 200-pounder who can work the short game with bubbles and quick screens, the intermediate level with digs and comebacks, or get boosting to the third level on deep go routes.
He's headed to UCF, who is currently banned from postseason play, on probation and facing other restrictions of recruiting.
7. Travis Johnson, WR/TE
Our second Tampa native on this list, Johnson is a 6'3", 230-pound pass-catcher who is committed to Miami. He is not overly explosive, but he has good strength and build-up speed.
Johnson shows the ability to be a bully with the ball after the catch and can break a tackle or two to gain extra yardage downfield. He should become a solid TE or H-back in Coral Gables.
We're all awaiting the NCAA to announce the sanctions on the Miami program, to which the infractions are so great and apparent that the NCAA is still sorting through them all.
6. Brian Walker, CB
Walker is from Charlotte and is another player on this list headed to North Carolina.
The 5'11", 180-pounder can excel both in zone and man coverage schemes, and will support the run from the defensive perimeter. Walker plays with good toughness and is not afraid to square up to press a big WR on the line. He shows loose hips to flip, turn and run, and a sharp drive to close on pass-catchers.
5. Artie Burns, CB
Burns is a Miami-area CB prospect who is staying home to play for The U. He is a big 6'0", 185-pounder who has excellent athleticism, foot quickness and long speed.
Burns shows great ball skills and has the ability to play instinctively, jumping pass lanes. He's very tough and will put a lick on a ball-carrier when has the chance.
Miami has a gem here in Burns, who obviously is not worried about the looming sanctions.
4. Kevin Olsen, QB
Olsen has looked good this offseason, including a solid outing at the Elite 11 QB finals. He's a 6'3", 190-pounder from New Jersey who will follow in his brother Greg's footsteps and head to Miami.
Al Golden, should he still be at Miami when Olsen arrives, will more than likely build the program around the QB recruit, as he's a solid leader and calming force on the field.
Olsen is not overly flashy, but he gets results and is a very steady QB.
3. Christian Hackenberg, QB
Hackenberg is the top QB in the ESPNU 150 and has everything you could want in a pocket passer. He has a quick release, good arm strength, accuracy, touch and sees the field very well.
Hackenberg committed to Penn State before the sanctions came down, re-visited the campus after the bad news and re-announced his firm pledge to toss the rock in Happy Valley. The sanctions are going to be tough, but Hackenberg is willing to face them head on and will not be scared off by them.
2. Adam Breneman, TE
Breneman is the top pure TE prospect in the country and is solid as oak to Penn State. He did not waver at all when the sanctions came down and has been leading the charge in salvaging the 2013 recruiting class.
With a torn ACL, Breneman won't be able to see action as a high school senior, but Penn State knows it is getting a 6'5", 230-pound pass-catching TE prospect who is even better off the field.
1. Greg Webb, DT
Webb is No. 1 on this list because he went from being committed to one program with sanctions upon it to another. Webb decommitted from Penn State and is now a North Carolina pledge, so that shows you that he doesn't care about sanctions.
A 6'2", 300-pounder from New Jersey, Webb can 2-gap, stack at the point of attack and anchor to combat the run all day. He isn't the best pass-rusher in the country, but he'll squeeze the pocket from the middle and use his strength to do what he can.
Penn State to North Carolina? Sanctions don't scare Mr. Webb.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS).
A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a college football and NFL draft magazine.