12 Recruits Most Capable of Living Up to Their 2013 Hype
Today's recruits have an advantage over recruits from past recruiting cycles, as this age of social media makes a recruit more famous than ever. It's not just television and the Internet anymore—as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and of course Twitter all have exploded in the social media era.
With so many avenues for coverage, a recruit's hype only increases and builds and for some, the hype gets to a point where it's impossible for some recruits to live up to it. Some recruits, however, are simply too good to not perform well and live up to their high billing.
There are a lot of hyped recruits in this 2013 class and many of them will not live up to their championed hype. Here are 12 who look like they will.
12. Thomas Tyner, RB
The Oregon commit is hailed by many as the nation's fastest player. Some point to his injury-prone history and lack of willingness to run inside as concerns, but I think Tyner fits the Oregon offense too well to flame out.
Sure, Chip Kelly is gone, but I don't expect much to change under Mark Helfrich. Tyner has the size at 6'0", 218-pounds and speed to be a very dangerous back in Eugene.
The Ducks' offense accents Tyner's strengths too well for him to not live up to his hype.
11. Vonn Bell, S
I really expect Bell to play well in college, wherever he goes. He's got too much play speed, ball skills and athleticism to not live up to his hype.
Bell is also a versatile safety that can play FS or SS. Some feel he needs to react quicker to the run, but I think as his college reps increase, this will improve.
He has too much transition quickness, speed to jump passing lanes and hitting ability to not fulfill his hype.
10. Alvin Kamara, RB
Right now, it looks to me like Kamara is set to sign with Alabama, where he should become a great one. The 5'10", 192-pounder doesn't have many weaknesses in his game and I've helped with his hype by calling him the second coming of Brian Westbrook.
I just feel Kamara has too much speed, quickness, strength, receiving ability, blitz pick-up ability and instincts not to be a great running back in college.
He has bell-cow ability to me, yet Kamara can also serve as a change of pace guy too.
9. Mackensie Alexander, CB
I think if ask some people off the record, they'll tell you that Alexander is as good as Eli Apple and Vernon Hargreaves III. The main trait that makes Alexander so probable to live up to his hype is his confidence.
He doesn't back down from anybody and personally, I think Alexander views himself as a superstar already. The 5'11", 175-pounder has excellent cover ability, deceptive strength and good speed.
Whoever signs him should be getting a three-year starter and potential NFL cornerback.
8. Laquon Treadwell, WR
Teadwell has to be thinking that he can come in and contribute right off the bat in Oxford. Once he signs his letter of intent, he probably will become the most talented wide receiver on their roster.
Treadwell has often been compared to Larry Fitzgerald due to his 6'3", 195-pound frame, hands and speed. He also has solid run after catch skills and is a good blocker.
His overall skill set just screams "future complete WR" too loudly for him to not live up to his hype.
7. Eli Apple, CB
Apple is an early-enroll guy, so he is already at Ohio State. He just is too smart, instinctive, disciplined, aware and alert a player to not become a good football player for the Buckeyes in their secondary.
I forgot to mention that he's a 6'0", 185-pounder with great athleticism, length, strength and technique. I'd be shocked if Apple became a bust and even if he doesn't become a good CB, he still could be fine as a safety.
6. Kelvin Taylor, RB
A quirky school of thought I learned from working with the Browns and Giants was that if a RB has been highly productive in high school and college, he is likely to be productive in the NFL.
It's pretty much an understatement to call what Taylor did in high school "productive," as he is the state of Florida's all-time leading rusher. His instincts, elusiveness, strength, hands and vision are all just too good for him to not be productive in Gainesville.
Taylor should live it to his hype of being the No. 1 RB in the country.
5. Jaylon Smith, OLB
Smith is headed to Notre Dame and worst-case scenario, he becomes a nickel/coverage LB. That's still a pretty significant role, as Smith's cover skills are too well off for him to just be a useless defender for Bob Diaco.
The 6'3", 220-pounder also shows solid pass-rushing ability, hand use and speed. A heady and intense player, Smith has too many pluses to not live up to his great hype.
4. Reuben Foster, LB
The only thing that will keep Foster from becoming a complete 'backer is his pass-coverage ability, but he flashed the potential to be solid in this department at the Under Armour Game.
Even if he doesn't improve his pass-coverage skills by much, Foster still can be a great two-down thumper. Most two-down backers aren't "stars," but even if Foster is relegated to this role, he still will be a playmaker due to his quickness and range.
In the end, however, my money is on Foster improving his pass-coverage ability and becoming a great three-down linebacker, thus fully living up to his hype.
3. Su'a Cravens, S
Frankly, Cravens is too athletic and too instinctive a player to not live up to his hype.
If the 6'1", 205-pounder grows into an OLB, he still should be a dynamic second-level defender.
In fact, Cravens could easily be a good RB or WR too. This guy is just such a natural football player on the field that if he flames out at safety, then he should be able to find a home and be productive somewhere else on the field for USC.
Cravens is probably the most hyped recruit in the Trojans' class and he may be the closest thing to a sure bet in the Trojans' class too.
2. Robert Nkemdiche, DL
Nkemdiche is the top prospect in the country and has been a man amongst boys at the high school level.
When he came to the Under Armour game vs. college level talent and still looked like the best prospect there, that's when he proved that his hype is real.
At 6'5" and over 270 pounds, Nkemdiche has just too much power, intensity, competitiveness, snap quickness, point of attack strength and the willingness to learn to not live up to his hype.
He's an instant-impact guy and once he learns more pass rush moves and better hand use, he could be special.
1. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB
I'm not sure, right now, if Hargreaves has a true weakness. I think he's the best CB prospect, maybe of all-time in recruiting.
Florida has itself a sure thing if Hargreaves stays healthy. He's too smart, too instinctive, athletic, strong, quick, fast and just too good to not live up to his hype.
Hargreaves has great technique, can play all three coverage techniques profoundly and has too much FBI to be a bust. If he stays healthy, I'd be surprised if Hargreaves wasn't a team captain for the Gators and off to the NFL in three years.
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.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!