2013 College Football Early Watch List Part 1 (Anything to take my mind off Aaron Hernandez Edition)

Ra’shede Hageman DT – Minnesota

Build: 6’6″ 310 #
2013 Year: Senior
2012 Stats: 7.5 TFL 6 Sacks

When you’re a 300+ lb defensive tackle who claims he can do a 360 dunk you get to headline a list like this. Hageman was a 3 star 250 lb tight end coming out of high school in Minneapolis. He moved to DE in college, and as he filled up to 300 lbs moved to the interior. Bruce Feldman had him as #2 on his college football Freak List. Little known fact: HOF DT Warren Sapp was a high school TE. The similarities show in Hageman’s explosive first step. He’s got the tools of a first round draft pick and the stats (6 sacks last year). If he keeps it up and improves his technique he’ll be a highly discussed prospect that could play 3 or 5 technique easily. He’ll get downgraded for playing at Minnesota. It’ll be a really stupid criticism as the Big Ten features some of the strongest offensive lines in the country, but it will be said out loud nonetheless. Here he is against one of the best offensive lines in the nation.


KEY MATCHUPS:
Sat 10/5 @ MichiganTaylor Lewan and one of the best offensive lines in the country
Sat 9/21 v San Jose State – Spartan’s QB David Fales got away with over 4,000 yards last year, can Hageman get to him first?

Donte Moncrief WR – Ole Miss

Build: 6-3 228#
2013 Year: Junior
2012 Stats: 979 Yards 10 TDs

This former 4 star recruit turned a good sophomore year into a standout year when he went nuts for over 300 yards and 5 TDs in the final 2 weeks of the season against LSU and Mississippi State. Those aren’t exactly teams that youngsters usually come in and walk all over. Moncrief’s season ended with 979 yards and 10 TDs. He’ll be a junior this year and a question mark to declare for the draft with Marquise Lee and possibly Sammy Watkins presumably already cemented as the top two wideouts. Still, if he tops 1,000 yards and double digit touchdowns again a 2nd round grade wouldn’t be out of the question. Undoubtedly his game still has holes in it, but his upside is both obvious and ominous just from looking at him. There aren’t a ton of players as big as him that can run in the 4.4’s or have that kind of explosiveness of the line. I see everything in him that scouts saw in Aaron Dobson and possibly more.

KEY MATCHUPS:
Sat 9/14 @ Texas – Matchup v Quandre Diggs (4 INT last year)
Sat 10/12 v Texas A&M – Matchup v top ranked corner Deshavor Everett

Craig Loston Safety  Safety – LSU

Build: 6-2 205#
2013 Year Senior
2012 Stats 3 INT, 3 TFL, 55 Tackles

If it were up to me I’d put the card in now for a first round pick on LSU’s Craig Loston. It’s not up to me. It’s never been up to me. And that’s a really stupid idea on my part but you get the point. I’ve been eyeballing Loston for a while now. The LSU secondary (Patric Peterson obviously withstanding) is something I’m occasionally suspect of. The Tigers put a bunch of thugs up on their front 7 and their DB’s reap the benefits. A lot of times when you look at them up close though they turn out to be a bunch of drag-down tacklers who don’t cover well. Fortunately, while I was looking at all these guys I kept noticing #6: a big-bodied seek and destroy type safety with actual center field cover skills. It was no surprise when I found out he was a 5 star recruit and named the 2009 best high school safety in the country. I really don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but, seriously, his play reminds me of Bob Sanders from the Pats/Colts Clash of the Titans days. I’m not without my criticisms: BP gets a little too high, hitting area could stand to be lower, he’s a “general studies” major, etc. But 3 INTs in his junior year look promising on a resume. He’ll be the senior man at the DB position with Eric Reid having gone to the NFL. We’ll see if he can emerge as a leader and live up to his potential. You can be sure #6 will be the reason I’ll be watching LSU football come this fall.

KEY MATCHUPS:
Sat 11/23 v Texas A&M – LSU was one of only 3 teams to keep Jonny Manziel from scoring a TD, and picked him off 3 times. Who wins this round?
Sat 11/09 @ Alabama – If you’re not watching LSU/Alabama by now you’re not watching college football

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