Video: The Top 10 Impact Freshmen in College Football for 2010
You've probably heard the names of a few of 2010's top recruits. (If you haven't, um, check my archives.)
But have you seen them play? Have you watched them dominate their competition and show flashes of their future greatness? Or are you just trusting the experts?
The NFL Draft is a reminder that a significantly higher percentage of the top players in the game were backed up by recruiting hype out of high school. It's not a guarantee, but it's a gentle shove in the right direction.
Let's check out video of 10 future top ten picks before they hit the college field.
Seantrel Henderson, OT
Can any tackle live up to the hype Seantrel Henderson was generating among recruitniks?
Of course not. But give it a close look, and you'll see Henderson does all those things the talent evaluators say they like.
He keeps his feet moving, comes out of his break fast, and makes first contact with the defender rather than waiting to absorb the blow.
In run support especially he looks like he could wash any defender down the line with a mixture of size and technique. Great feet.
Sharrif Floyd, DT
No, not yet. But think of a defensive tackle that can split double teams, create havoc in the backfield and chase down quarterbacks from behind against elite Pennsylvania at the high school level, and then give him three years to hone his skills against the best of the best in the SEC.
That's a little closer to PA DT Sharrif Floyd's ceiling.
Kyle Prater, WR
The clip may overdo it a bit, but one gets a sense of how serious Kyle Prater is about being a record-breaking wide receiver at USC.
Every player works hard to get to the level they're at, but few seem quite as austere as Prater.
Combining that mental toughness with obvious physical superiority and the drive to compete and win early (he's an early enrollee at USC) will make him impossible to defend.
Ronald Powell, DE
"Catching a pass?" you ask. "But isn't Ronald Powell a defensive end?"
Brother, it's about time you watched Ronald Powell at work. One of the best athletes in the class, a beastly defensive end with speed and ideal size. He'll put Florida on his back for another national championship run.
Check him out:
Keenan Allen, S
The word on Allen is that he will be switching to wide receiver from safety, so these clips of him making plays in the Army All-American bowl as a safety are somewhat N/A.
But the usual signs of athleticism and ball skills are there; it's not like we're talking about switching from quarterback to defensive end here.
And for a bonus, you get to see Chris Martin, a defensive end hovering just outside the top 10 who flipped to Cal from Notre Dame after Charlie Weis was fired.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DT/DE
Why put up a video of a shirtless interview with, and few highlights of, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa?
To illustrate why Odighizuwa chose UCLA over Nebraska.
Yes, Nebraska is a much better choice for defensive linemen. But Owa is a student of more than the game. He took issue with Big Red's academics, and liked what he could learn at UCLA outside of the film room.
Will it cost him down the road? Possibly, but a recruit's gotta do what a recruit's gotta do.
Da'Rick Rogers, WR
Rogers may not be the next Michael Crabtree. But what you'll notice in this video that he makes a lot of great plays in traffic and has outstanding hands.
If he can swallow the fear of taking a big hit in the SEC, Tennessee has a premier playmaker at wideout. Without fear, anything is possible.
Marcus Lattimore, RB
Choice: South Carolina
Your eyes aren't fooling you—he really does like look an NFL running back...as a junior...in high school.
So how high is the ceiling for Marcus Lattimore? Landing on the SEC's All-Freshman team. Winning the Heisman for the Gamecocks for the first time since George Rogers. Making South Carolina an SEC contender for the first time in...ever.
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE
Jeffcoat, the son of a defensive line coach, plays intelligently at the end position, tracking quarterbacks while keeping contain and always getting his hand up before the pass.
Scary to think what Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp can do with him.
Jordan Hicks, OLB
Only a program as loaded as Texas could seriously discuss redshirting Jordan Hicks, one of the most ferocious outside linebackers in the class.
Yes, his size isn't elite yet. But last time I checked, it's the size of the fight in the dog. And fight is one thing Hicks isn't lacking.