The hype. It can make you or it can break you.
Not everyone can handle it, those who can go onto long careers in the NFL. Those who can’t usually wash out.
Naturally, in a sport as popular as football, the guys who are ranked as the top high school football players in the country have a ton of hype. They are guys who put up freak numbers regularly in games and perform extremely well in national camps. They are the guys who get phone calls at all hours of the day by coaches nationwide clamoring for their services. These are the kinds of guys that get their coaches contract extensions.
So let’s take a look at the top five guys from the 2010 College Football Recruiting class, and see if they have been living up to the hype. The top five list is according to Rivals.com.
1. Ronald Powell- Florida– Defensive End/Linebacker- Powell has had a solid career at Florida overall. As a true frosh he played in all 13 games and had one sack en route to the All SEC Freshman Team. As a sophomore last year, he had somewhat of a coming out party, finishing with 6 sacks and a forced fumble while starting every game.
Powell had very high expectations for the 2012 season until he suffered a torn ACL during the spring game. He apparently has made a lot of progress and hopes to suit up for the Gators at some point during this season. Overall- hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of number one overall, but still has the time and the work ethic to make it happen.
2. Seantrel Henderson- Miami– Tackle- Henderson was the biggest line prospect the country had seen in years when he came out of Cretin Derham High in St. Paul Minnesota. At 6’8’’ 340lbs Tom Lemming called him a “cross between Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace”. High praise for any 17 year old kid. Henderson originally signed with Southern Cal, but then the Trojans were hit with sanctions, and he changed his mind, opting for ‘The U’ instead.
As a true frosh he played in 12 games, starting 9 en route to the Freshman All American team. Since then, it’s gone downhill. Henderson has been faced with crippling back injuries, trying to keep his soaring weight down, and had problems off the field. Even as we speak he won’t be playing in the Hurricanes season opener because he is in the coaches dog house. If Henderson sheds some weight to improve his health and footwork, stays out of trouble and keeps his head on straight, he still could be a top 5 pick in the NFL draft.
3. Kyle Prater- Southern Cal- Wide Receiver- Prater has yet to make an impact. Prater signed with Southern Cal out of high school, redshirted, the decided to transfer closer to home (Maywood IL). Prater decided on Northwestern, and was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA. Prater is a reserve wide receiver going into opening weekend. Overall, definitely hasn’t lived up to the hype. It’s very puzzling how he couldn’t win a starting spot on the Wildcat offense.
4. Sharrif Floyd– Florida- Defensive Tackle- Floyd has enjoyed a solid but unspectacular career at Florida. He played a lot as a true frosh and had 23 tackles, garnering All SEC Freshman team honors. As a sophomore he had 46 tackles and a sack and a half while starting 11 games. Going into his junior season, Floyd is starting and looks to have a breakout season. Florida has a very talented defensive front seven, and Floyd is an integral part of that unit. Overall, hasn’t lived up to the hype, but his stock is going up fast.
5. Keenan Allen- Cal– Wide Receiver- Allen is an absolute beast. He has blown the expectations out of the water. This guy eats hype with some milk in the morning for breakfast. As a freshman, Allen had 136 yards rushing to go along with 46 receptions for 490 yards and 5 touchdowns. As a sophomore, Allen erupted for 98 receptions for 1343 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The best thing about Allen is that he has his best performances against the best competition, as evidenced by his 13 reception game against Southern Cal last year, his career high. Overall- Do I really need to tell you? Yes, he has absolutely lived up to the hype.