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So I have begun my part-time boring office job for the summer, and spent time this afternoon ranking our 2013 recruits. These are my top five, and I've tried to do it in a way that compares them to a recent college player (or prominent NFLer) who I think they resemble as players and in how their careers will go. This may seem homer-ific, but remember that these are the TOP FIVE. The comparisons would get far more modest after this.
1. Christian Hackenberg
Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers. This may seem a strange comparison at first, but Hack is a huge physical presence who may end up as big as 6-5 240. He also shows the wheels and toughness that so strongly characterize Roethlisberger’s game. He also shows the same penchant for risk taking and trying to make the tough throw. Both have electric arms and can make every throw. Hackenberg is the most gifted prospect PSU has recruited since I began following recruiting in 2004. If he has what it takes between the ears, he may go down as one of the best PSU has ever seen and a future HOFer like Big Ben.
2. Andrew Nelson
Comparison: Taylor Lewan. Both are massive, tightly built, and physical players. Nelson should take to Fitzgerald’s strength system and become the physical presence that Lewan has become. Nelson needs work in pass-protection, as Lewan did out of high school, but if he improves that aspect of his game he has a chance to become a special talent. Here is to guessing he puts it all together.
3. Parker Cothren
Comparison: John Simon, Ohio State. Like Simon, Cothren is a technically gifted lineman who may be a bit of a tweener. He shows an instinctive game that so characterized Simon’s time at OSU. He gets up to knock the ball down at the LOS, can make the correct read on a zone-read option, and shows a knack for reading a screen. He already uses his hands well, using them at a level that few HS lineman do. His instincts, athletic ability, and technical efficiency will make him a great college player even if his size doesn’t allow him to fully develop into a next level DT (that said, he may very well get up to 300 pounds, and if so, watch out).
4. Adam Breneman
Comparison: Michael Egnew, Missouri. Egnew and Breneman are comparable in terms of both their size and athleticism. Egnew is 6-5 255 as a first year NFL players for the Miami Dolphins. Egnew is an explosive receiver who frequently lined up in the slot, much in the same way Breneman will. Both are capable of getting downfield in a hurry and making moves in the open field to pick up yards after the catch. Egnew was a highly productive receiver for Missouri and was selected in the third round of the NFL draft.
5. DeSean Hamilton
Comparison: Marcus Sales, Syracuse. Like Sales, Hamilton has good but not great size (6-0, likely ends up around 185). He has good but not great speed (4.56 pro-day time, no combine times). Both are long striders with deceptive speed, allowing them to be adequate but not exceptional deep threats. Both are natural pass catchers and can be physical blockers. They are the definition of “solid”, in that their games possess no overt flaws, though they may lack the characteristics that make a receiver special. Sales was a borderline draft pick due to legal issues in his past, and without them would have been a late round pick. He was very productive at SU. I expect Hamilton’s career to follow a similar trajectory (minus the off-field issues, of course).
“We’re doing things we couldn’t imagine,” says safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. “But we’re doing them together.”
Parker Cothren is like the new Evan Schwan around here.
Cothren is way more developed than Schwann in about every way at the same stage of their careers. Parker actually has a pretty advanced skill set for his age, at least from what I can tell.
Not what I meant really. Just the late love from the fans.
Both had senior film which showed a lot of promise, though it was obvious that Schwann had a long, long way to go to contribute. Cothren is different in that he actually has a developed skillset and just needs some time in the weight room. I liked Schwann's film, but Cothren is a far superior prospect.
The other difference is Cothren started to get mid tier sec offers in the late stages. Schwan didn't have those type of offers (iowa was the next best).
I understand. Once again, from the fan love perspective.
I'd also add that I found it very difficult to compare Breneman to someone. I thought about Brent Celek, but that would be undervaluing AB IMO. Adam is comparable to Egnew as a receiver, but he is also going to be much stronger and a better blocker. Egnew doesn't have the strength in his lower body that AB has.
Good read. I'd be interested in the rest of the class & even 2014 if you have the chance.
Parker's film when i watched it really surprised me. I was pleasantly surprised. But then again I thought Ryan Nowicki's film looked good. And I think it was Sean who said but maybe someone else that he was the worst scholarship player on the team when Bill arrived. So that pretty much tells you what my opinion is worth.
Hack reminds me of Luck the most.
I wouldn't characterize Egnew as "explosive," more that he was a big MF who had good hands and transitioned in and out of his routes well. He wasn't afraid to go over the middle because he was as big as many of the LBs trying to take him down. IMO he was more of a receiver than a TE. Just a 6'6 250 lb slot receiver.
One hell of a receiver though, and I hope Breneman can give us that type of threat.
Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS
Also, where the hell is Sickels on this list?
He and Mahon would be next. These are just my top five. I like Sickels a lot.
Thanks for the write up. Interesting comparisons for Hack and Nelson. Honestly I haven't given a lot of thought to as who are new recruits resemble at this point.
'Respect All Fear None."
Good write-up & fun read. Hack commentary may have been a bit "wig-worthy" - but who knows.. I like the fact that Andrew gets a high rank but I actually thought Mahon was the stud of the class. Also, I loved Parker's film and can't dissagree with your assessment.
Hack is as good a QB prospect that you will find. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but he has a shot to be something special. Not a lot of kids you can say that about.
I agree with that - just had to give you some jazz. I am super excited to see what we can do with him. For that matter though I still think Tyler has the inside track. I might be a bit naive here..
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