5 Things We Learned from Rivals Final Class of 2020 Rankings

Rivals released their final 2020 rankings recently and outside of discovering that this event will really make the tears flow on Twitter,  there are some other more important things that we can learn here.

Many will say that rankings don’t matter.  I am not one of them.  The recruiting media will protect,  defend and applaud their ranked players and the schools that land them like a mother hen.  Before you criticize that,  you should realize that anyone of you would do the same in their shoes.  In this age of social media,  we are in a constant daily battle to not only be right but proclaim it loudly.  This practice will catapult one college football player over another,  at times without merit,  simply because the wave has moved in that direction.

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College Football RECRUITING Law : Discipline is A Must

If you have ever heard me talk about recruiting or read an article by me about college football recruiting then you’ve likely heard me talk about how competitive it is.  When something is competitive the basic understanding is that only the strong will succeed and survive.

One of the hardest things for young college football prospects to understand is just how competitive the game of recruiting is is.  Many feel that since they are the best at their school or in their district or their city they are automatically a prime prospect.  Depending on where you are,  this is not necessarily the case.  College football recruiting, since the advent of the Internet and with the acceleration of social media,  has become a nationwide operation for every college football team.

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Recruiting 101: Develop A Competitive Spirit

We often hear the word compete in the world of sports.  We can make the argument that it’s overused but the truth of the matter is that once the game starts,  all that is going on on the field,  court or diamond is competition.  Where we don’t hear the word compete enough is in the world of recruiting.

On the high school gridiron you are competing against one team comprised of 11 people.  In the world of recruiting you are competing against 1,00’s upon 1,000’s of other prospects.  Sometimes,  that is very hard for a college football prospect to understand.  Most prospects can only think about what’s around them locally.  Many don’t consider that their competition for the scholarship from the schools that they want extends beyond their region and onto a national scale.  What also happens,  especially to kids in what are considered “hot beds” for talent,  is that those prospects in those areas become delusional about their level of worthiness.  It’s easy for kids from Florida, Texas, Georgia or California to think that if I am good locally,  then I am the better than mostly everyone else in the country.  That’s faulty thinking.

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COMMIT QUICK: Florida Gators – Issiah Walker Jr. 2020 OL – Norland HS, FL

The Florida Gators most recent commit comes from South Florida in the form of an offensive lineman.  Issiah Walker Jr. hails out of Norland High School in Miami.  He is the 158th ranked prospect in the country,  the 18th ranked lineman and 26th best prospect in the state of Florida.  He currently holds in the neighborhood of 17 offers with five of those teams currently being ranked in the AP Top 25.

The Gators secured Walker’s commitment on October 5th and it’s easy to see why he is highly pursued by college programs.  One of the first things that jump out about Walker on film is his movement.  Walker has feet and many coaches will tell you that for offensive linemen,  especially tackles,  feet are a premium.  Walker shows the athleticism for a big man that you like to see.  He’s quick off the snap to reach his intended target on the line of scrimmage on zone run plays and nimble enough to kick out and mirror a smaller and quicker defensive and trying to get to the quarterback on pass plays.

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Video of the Day: Branden Smith 2021 QB – Cimmaron HS, Nevada

We all love versatile prospects and Cimmaron High School in Las Vegas, Nevada certainly has one in Branden Smith.  Smith lists his position as quarterback and don’t get me wrong,  he is certainly a good one but he’s much more than that.

Smith’s first play on his highlight video features him at quarterback where he absolutely de-cleats a ball carrier in viral fashion.  From there we are treated to a variety of ways in which he can breakdown a defense from the quarterback position.  Smith has the speed to out run an entire defense with also the touch on his passes to throw over it.  He has the mobility to avoid a rush and find an open receiver while also making accurate throws on the run.  If you need him to stand in the pocket and allow a WR time to get into open space,  Smith can do that as well.

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COMMIT QUICK: Jaiden Francois 2020 CB Miami Commit

On February 3rd, the Miami Hurricanes received a commitment from what I believe to be one of the best cornerback / defensive back prospects in the country.  South Dade’s 2020 cornerback Jaiden Francois is ranked as the 24th cornerback in the class by 247 Sports and 25th by Rivals.  Both of those rankings are too low in my opinion.

Francois is a playmaker and that becomes obvious very early on his film.  The 6’1″ 184 lb. versatile DB finds the football and makes plays on it.  One thing he definitely added to his repertoire from his sophomore season to his junior season is his ability to be dangerous with the ball in his hands when he nabs the interception.  Throwing an interception to Francois is a death sentence for the opposing team because he’s likely going to take it back.  Francois also added more aggressive play to his arsenal as well.  The tackles seem to hit different on film than they did in the past.  Now,  Francois does not just bring a ball carrier down,  he runs through them in a most intimidating fashion.

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