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Looks Can Deceive
Some prospects wow you the moment they step off the bus.
Other talented players don't exactly ace the eyeball test.
Maybe they aren't very tall. Or all that muscular. Or perhaps they've still got some baby fat to shed.
With that in mind, today 247Sports offers up our "Don't judge a book by its cover" team -- a list of players in the 2013 class that may not be physical specimens but will get your attention with their excellent play.
Without further ado, here's the squad ...
DL- Lewis Neal, Wilson (N.C.) Hunt -- The LSU-bound Neal is generously listed at 6-feet-1, 235 pounds. But the defensive end is a ball of muscle and plays with an exceptionally high motor every snap.
----Two other guys that wanted LSU
ATH- Will Likely, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central -- A Maryland commit, the 5-feet-7 Likely could play on either side of the ball but might end up at corner and as a return man. He's not tall, but has terrific football instincts. Basically, he just makes plays.
DL- Rod Crayton, Dadeville (Ala.) -- Crayton is only about 6-feet tall, so he definitely doesn't stand out physically. Yet his arm length isn't bad, and he is extremely strong, making him a nice nose tackle prospect.
247Sports offers up our team -- players that may not be physical specimens but will get your attention with their play
Niebuhr didnt like my twitter message to him when I called it a feel good puff piece about how 247 is basically saying how good Neal is now but wont change his ranking ...
It was just a criticism Keith didnt mean for you to get all mad at me earlier I just think this is 247 trying to justify a bogus ranking with a size doesnt matter article .... all journalists should learn to take opinions from customers with a grain off salt but that was just mine .... Merry Xmas
ThePurpleHaze is a message board "Jackal"
- Mike Scarborough TB.com
Of course your opinion is valued ...
But you have to understand what a ranking is, and what it is based upon. It's is NOT just about one's current ability. It's about their ceiling.
On just every HS team, a 5-10, 250-pounder is the best OL. But what is his ceiling?
Neal is listed at 6-1, 235. Have you seen him up close? I have. I honestly think he's more like 5-11. I'm 5-11 and we're eye to eye.
Yet, he's a straight-ahead pass rusher.
People just assume, well, he can play LB and drop into coverage. Totally different skill set. Can he do it? Sure. Has anybody seen him do it? No.
A ranking is based largely on long-term physical potential as someone projects beyond college to the NFL.
I honestly believe one could make a stronger argument for a lower rating than a higher rating based on his longterm physical potential. He is rated where he is because, in spite of his frame, he's still pretty good.
But there is somewhat of a leap of faith there.
To be honest, I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up playing some fullback.
Excellent HS player.
But he simply does not project out better than a mid three-star. It's really that simple.
On Twitter: @Niebuhr247
I thought about that when we first started to recruit him... then I saw some video of his pass rushing skills, and quickly changed my mind. But FB could definitely be a possible fall back option if he struggles at DE or OLB. He's a GREAT kid off the field, and I'm proud to have him as a Tger!
Proud to support everything Louisiana
Then list him at 5'11". Don't list him at 6'1" and then give a size-based justification as to why he's ranked 25 spots behind 6'1" Deon Hollins, 21 spots behind 6'1" David Johnson, and 10 spots behind 6'1" Stacy Thomas at the same position. Come on, he's ranked behind some kid from Dallas-Skyline who has no offers and isn't even listed on their roster on MaxPreps.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Gravitiger 19 months ago
That's why we wander and follow La Vie Dansante...
Agree. Why do sites continue to list kids at sizes that they know for a fact are not that size and then have to continue to answer questions about the kid's size.
I have no questions as to why Neal is rated what he is. My issue with rankings and the reasons given is that they're inconsitent. Jarvis Landry is the perfect example of this hypocrisy. He was what he was all year but it took all star practices and an all star game for him to finally get the ranking he deserved. He didn't get bigger, faster, more talented or all of a sudden get better hands in a week. He was always that good and everyone that had seen him knew it. John Diarse is an example of this as well. There aren't 100 better football players than him but probably a couple of hundred more talented. Sometimes how good a kid is now is just better than some of those ranked based on potential will ever be. Neal is an example of that. An inexact science for sure and that's understood by all but leave the hypocrisy out
I agree. Sometimes the time the justification is longterm potential, and sometimes it's the ability to contribute early. Sometimes it's measurables and projectability, and sometimes it's production.
I realize it's a very difficult task to consider all these factors and come up with an objective ranking for each and every player, but a little more consistency (and transparency) is not too much to ask for.
I am going to have to trust John Chavis and Brick Haley's opinion of Neal over yours. Its really that simple.
Its the "everybody has to get a trophy" mentality....
Plain and simple.
If hes 5'11" then this is the craziest photo Ive ever seen, even with the angle, of him next to a 6'4" Gilmore and a 6'3" Robinson ... just saying
Paul Mainieri = 358-147 ovr (70.9%), 136-100 SEC (57.6%), 21-10 NCAA (67.7%), 3 CWS App., 2 SEC Titles, 1 National Title
You make a valid point but it's kind of like a double-edged sword. If you list Neal at what you think he actually is after putting an eye on him but list others that you're going off their high school coach and/or roster then you're doing an injustice to one and get flooded with calls from kids, parents, coaches, etc....it can even hurt the kid with some college coaches and I've had that happen before.
I always go back to the old rule that I learned many moons ago with recruiting and evaluating kids.....For 95% of the kids, take off an inch at the least, and add two tenths to their reported 40-time and you're more times than not going to be closer to their actual measurables.
This post was edited by Sonny Shipp 19 months ago
Its more like add .2 to their 40 times....I think thats what you meant..
Clearly if Neal is going to succeed Chief and Haley are going to have to find him a niche in special packages. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't see a 6-0 240ish DE being an every down guy in the SEC. But a designated/package pass rusher could work. Or he could become a mix of Elvis Drumervill and Dwight Freeney! Of course there is a reason those guys are extremely rare.
A good ranking would be a combination of all relevant factors
What a lame post.
The people on the boards ask for my opinion and I give it.
And then you come back with this?
Do Chavis and Haley hit 100% of the time?
Ask any reporter in my business that has stood next to him.
He's not 6-1.
Let me see if I follow ...
On the one hand, people complain that we ONLY rate guys high BECAUSE of their offers. And I've known a lot of LSU fans that think a Bama commit only has a high rating because he has a Bama offer. Archrivals of LSU say we only have a kid as a 4 because he's going to LSU.
Now ... you say offers SHOULD matter in a ranking????
So, basically, you're telling me fans want to have it both ways? I'm shocked!!!
Here's why offers, IMO, should not matter:
-These evaluations are ours. If you think Les Miles know more, that's great. We don't care. They are our rankings and we must have ownership. For better or worse.
-Kids offer lists are not always 100% accurate. Some kids listed with 0 offers have some, they just haven't told anyone. Others -- and I won't name names -- claim 30 offers and have maybe 1. Or even none that are committable.
If you do rankings, they should be based on what you see. No outside influences. You're going to get criticized for them either way, so you might as well go with your gut -- not somebody else's.
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