College Football Recruiting 2013: 10 Recruits Who Will Prove Critics Wrong
Every recruit has a weakness, a knock and/or something he gets routinely criticized for. Drew Brees was knocked for being too short, Marques Colston's speed was criticized and Tom Brady was just pretty much written off.
I think it's safe to say that those three players have proved their critics wrong. For this 2013 recruiting class, many prospects have their own fair share of criticisms. For this read, I'm going to give you 10 prospects who will prove their haters wrong.
So, as T.I. said: "You can hate if you want you, but you're wasting your time."
10. Johnny Stanton, QB
Stanton has drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow, and that has led to people dinging him for his passing skills. Yet, the 6'2", 221-pound QB is a better passer than people think and probably has a higher upside than Taylor Martinez.
Stanton is headed to Nebraska, and I expect him to develop his passing skills and give Big Red a true dual-threat QB that can run while also delivering the ball consistently from the pocket.
9. Peter Kalambayi, LB
Kalambayi is a little stiff to me, has some tightness in his hips and his range is limited. Yet, when he gets to Stanford, it's not going to matter because the 6'3", 238-pounder's limits will be masked by the Cardinal's 3-4 scheme.
Nobody will even notice his limited range because his strengths fit the defense perfectly.
8. Torrodney Prevot, DE
There's a lot of critics on Prevot's case because he plays DE at barely 200 pounds. Look, let's not forget the guy is in high school and will fill out as he gets older.
The 6'3" DE is headed for USC and don't be shocked if he gets up to 230 pounds or more. He's too quick and athletic to not become a solid nickel pass-rusher at the very least.
7. Brendan Mahon, OG
Mahon is really underrated, and I think Penn State is getting themselves a multi-year starter in this guy. He's 6'5", 300 pounds and hails from New Jersey.
Mahon is strong and plays big-boy football at the point of attack. He's coachable and brings his lunch pail to work every game. He'll fight in a phone booth to protect his passer, and anyone who doubts him will be proven wrong, just watch.
6. Hayden Rettig, QB
Rettig missed almost his whole junior year, and that hurt him as far as getting on the radar. Many schools didn't know he was over more known QB prospects and neither did many evaluators.
However, the 6'3" signal-caller weighs 205 pounds and had a solid senior season. He is committed to LSU, and the Tigers may be getting themselves a better player than they realize.
5. Jake Raulerson, OT
The knock on Raulerson is that the 6'5" OT prospect is too light in the pants at 262 pounds. While he needs to add more bulk, Raulerson is strong and tough in the trenches.
Criticize him if you want, he's one of the top OL prospects in the country and could wind up playing all five positions effectively before he leaves Texas.
Think about a young Barrett Jones when looking at Raulerson.
4. Jordan Cunningham, WR
A weakness in Cunningham's game is lack of true deep speed. I notice it when I watch film on him, but he has enough athleticism, short-area quickness and ball skills to be effective in the intermediate areas.
Cunningham has his critics, but if you think it's fair to measure a WR based on deep speed alone, then you yourself should be criticized. The 6'1", 175-pounder from Florida should be a pretty productive player.
3. Derrick Henry, RB
Henry has seen himself be listed as an ATH by several sites, but he's a RB to me. Some say he will fail because he is simply too big and doesn't run behind his pads well enough.
Yet, the 6'3" RB showed off a 240-pound frame that not only has the quickness and elusiveness we knew about, but he also ran tough at the Army game. He's been too productive and his speed and instincts are too good to be removed from the RB position.
2. Zach Greenlee, QB
Greenlee has the tools to be a very good starter at Fresno State. He will prove many doubters wrong with the Bulldogs and should ascend up the depth chart quickly.
A slick ball-handler, Greenlee has good play smarts, throws an accurate ball and gets synced up with his targets well for great timing in the passing game.
He's prospect that I think will definitely make several BCS coaches wish they offered him.
1. Thomas Tyner, RB
Tyner's critics point to his injury-prone background and even his lack of willingness to press interior holes. Well, he ran with a chip on shoulder as a senior this fall, and I expect more of that at Oregon.
Tyner knows he's fast, but I think he's starting realize that he is actually 6'0" and 220 pounds so he can press holes and work inside. He should be superstar early in career in Eugene since his skills are a primetime fit in Chip Kelly's offense.
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.