10 Early Enrollee Recruits Who Will Make the Most Immediate Impact
Aside from the early commitment, another growing trend in college football recruiting is early enrolling. Recruits are choosing to enroll in college in January to get used to the college life and participate in spring practices to compete for playing time right off the bat.
It's been said that a recruit who enrolls early and practices in the spring comes back to summer camp basically a redshirt freshman because the experience helps exponentially. This 2013 recruiting class has quite a few prospects who are going to enroll early.
Here are the top 10 of those early enrollees that will make the most immediate impact.
10. Beau Sandland, TE
Beau Sandland is the top TE in the JC ranks and the 6'5", 260-pounder is headed to Miami. He's an early enrollee for Al Golden and will make an immediate impact for Jed Fisch's offense.
Sandland is a big target with good hands, solid speed and the size to factor as a blocker. The last JC TE that Miami got that was similar to Sanldand was Jeremy Shockey.
9. Tray Matthews, S
Trey Matthews is enrolling at Georgia early and that is a good thing for Todd Grantham's defense. The Bulldogs will welcome the 6'2", 215-pounder's size, athleticism and speed.
He also will become an immediate recruiter of his good friend, 5-star LB Reuben Foster. Having Matthews on campus gives Georgia a future starter at safety along with an ally to a prime target of their recruiting.
8. Taco Charlton, DE
Michigan has Taco Charlton locked up and he's an early enroll guy. The 6'6" DE weighs close to 250 pounds and has a chance to make an impact at the DE spot for Big Blue.
Brady Hoke, a DL coach at heart, will definitely give Charlton some one on one instruction this spring to get him ready to help stop the run and rush the passe next fall.
7. Jake Butt, TE
Speaking of Michigan, they also have Jake Butt enrolling early too. Butt is from Ohio and already stands 6'6" and weighs more than 230-pounds.
With his length, hands and high ceiling, Michigan will benefit from having him on campus earlier than expected. Look for Butt to team up with 2012 signee Devin Funchess to give the Wolverines two good young TE's.
6. Kelvin Taylor, RB
Mack Brown will be back for Florida in 2013, as will Matt Jones. Yet Taylor is just too talented to not get some carries in 2013 and the three could form a solid 3-headed RB monster for Brent Pease's offense.
Taylor is getting to Gainesville early and should be available to tote the rock this spring. A productive and legend in Florida, Taylor will make an impact for UF immediately.
5. O.J. Howard, TE
Alabama showed a little bit this year that they will play a true freshman if they are comfortable with them.
Howard will have about seven months before the first game to make Doug Nussmeier and Nick Saban comfy and cozy with what he can do.
Enrolling early to play for the Tide, Howard is a 6'5" TE that although light at 225-pounds, has WR hands, athleticism and speed.
4. Max Browne, QB
Max Wittek looked pretty bad Monday in the Sun Bowl for USC and Cody Kessler is the only other scholarship QB on the roster right now to replace Matt Barkley.
Kiffin is more than likely going to open up the QB job in the spring and that leaves room for the 5-star QB prospect Max Browne, who's an early enrolling recruit.
If Browne proves to be a quick-study, then the 6'5", 215-pounder from Seattle has a legit shot to win the gig in the fall.
3. Eli Apple, CB
Eli Apple, formerly Woodard, is headed to Ohio State and will be counted as an early enrollee. He's one of the best CB prospects in recent memory and has all the tools to make an instant impact for Urban Meyer.
The 6'0", 185-pound cover man is from New Jersey and thanks to being in Columbus in the spring, should come into the fall knowing the full defense. Combine that with Apple's talent and you have a potential immediate impact guy.
2. Su'a Cravens, S
Cravens is coming to USC early and should make an immediate impact due to his natural football instincts, good play speed, blessed athleticism and size at 6'1" and close to 210-pounds.
He's a competitive guy and USC needs help at safety. Cravens also is the type of defender that can help stop spread offenses (USC's Achilles heel) due to his athletic ability and quickness.
Look for whoever Lane Kiffin hires as the new defensive coordinator to really dig Cravens by the time spring practice ends.
1. Marquel Combs, DT
Kansas was not very good this year, as they won just one game. The Jayhawks somehow landed the top DT in the JC ranks, Marquel Combs and he's coming to Lawrence early.
Combs is a 6'3", 305-pound beast in the middle that played at Pierce CC in Los Angeles the past two seasons. With his great strength, ability to stack blocks, anchor and shed with power, this is a guy that will be starting from day-1.
Kansas is lucky to have Combs and even luckier that he'll be enrolling early. He'll be a program changer for Charlie Weis immediately.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He 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 (formerly 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.