Thursday, December 19, 2013
Top five OT comparisons
By Craig Haubert
As each new evaluation period begins, our staff tries to use today’s college football stars when comparing traits and describing the next generation of prospects. All prospects are different, but many share similar characteristics that stand out in relation to their styles. In this edition of the series we take a look at the top five offensive tackles in this class and who they remind us of in college football at this time.
Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) -- Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio: You might be able to find another comparison for Robinson. But since he is poised to take Kouandjio’s spot, and potentially sooner than later, this seems like the natural fit. Both top-rated offensive tackles and top-three overall five-stars in their respective class, these two are among the most talented to come out of the high school ranks in recent years at their position. Like the current Alabama left tackle, Robinson possesses prototypical measureables with room to continue to develop/improve his frame much like Kouandjio has done while in Tuscaloosa. These two are both capable of protecting the edge with their ability to set quickly and have nimble feet for their size. They can also be strong, tenacious run blockers with the ability to quickly get into defenders with pad level and deliver a pop and generate push. They are very good athletes for their size, possess great range as run blockers and can be effective blocking downfield. Another area in which these two bare a resemblance is their demeanor, as both are fairly reserved off the field, but when the whistle blows they can play with nastiness. Injury cut Kouandjio’s freshman year short, but he contributed right away and so could Robinson who looks to possess the ability to give the Crimson Tide an outstanding replacement for their All-American LT.
David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) -- Florida State’s Cameron Erving: Sharpe is a promising big man who reminds us some of the current Seminoles OT. The two-year starter came into college as a defensive tackle before making the transition to offense in 2012. Light on his feet and flexible, with some nastiness, Erving has used that natural ability to quickly succeed at OT. Sharpe, a prospect with a basketball background, possesses similar tools that can allow him to be an excellent college tackle. With his length, nimble feet, ability to deliver a good punch, lock on and control opponents, Sharpe, like Erving, is capable of taking away the edge. Also like Erving, Sharpe can move well for his size displaying the agility to effectively block at the second level. Once he made the move to offense, Erving developed into one of the top O-lineman in the country, and while Sharpe is already at OT, with focus on football and the OT position he can have similar success.
Kc McDermott's versatility could have him on the field early with the Hurricanes.
Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara) -- Virginia’s Morgan Moses: These are two big tackles who utilize good technique are capable of being very good when they keep their weight in check. Prince showed promising flashes in initial evaluations, but carried too much bad weight on his frame and had lapses in his effort and technique. Leading into his senior year, the ESPN 300 OT dropped weight and displayed better consistency. The same can be said for Moses who entered college over 350 pounds, but has shed weight to improve his play. These two big men need to watch their weight because when they stay in good playing shape they are still big bodies who are light on their feet and capable of protecting the edge. They can also quickly get into and smother defenders in the run game. Moses has developed into an NFL prospect and so could Prince down the road, if he can maximize his ability with good playing weight and consistent and sound technique.
Kc McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach) -- LSU’s Ethan Pocic: One reason for this comparison is the versatility these two can offer to an offensive line. While Pocic was one of the top tackle prospects in the 2013 class, he arrived at LSU and contributed as a true freshman at center. McDermott, while listed at OT, is a player who has seen action at guard and center and could be a candidate to slide inside in college as well. Both are good, tough football players with the ability to line-up where needed and get the job done. While Pocic quickly made the move to center, McDermott could remain at tackle. His ability to play other positions along the O-Line could mean he could contribute as a true freshman.
Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) -- Michigan’s Taylor Lewan: Quite simply, what links these two is their nasty disposition. Both Lewan and Tucker look to enjoy and even thrive on the physical aspect of the game and play with a mean streak. They’re both good football players as well, capable of protecting the quarterback and opening running lanes, but there is no denying the edge with which they can play the game. Tucker is a physical and aggressive player who works to stay with blocks and finish defenders much like the senior Michigan OT. That aggressiveness has gotten Lewan in trouble at times and Tucker will need to work as well to keep his emotions in check. These two come to play and they not only work to get the job done, but also make life miserable for opponents.