(or, alternately, the best player in college football that no one has ever heard of.)
Every Saturday, when I watch the Scarlet Knights, I'm completely in awe of a certain player's raw physical ability. When you just look at him, he looks straight out of central casting. This is what an NFL player should look like. 6'4 and towering over opposing defenders; able to run past, over or through them. Week after week, we see the team's entire offense run through this player, and he provides a highlight reel of big plays.
Yet, this player has not achieved anywhere near the notoriety as Ray Rice did in 2006, on the heels of RU's big start that season. That is in spite of the fact that he's probably a far better pro prospect than Rice ever was. A 5'8 running back...that likes, no, loves contact? Rice was one hell of a college back, and he's going to be a very good pro, but it's understandably hard to sell people on him when you have to go back a few decades to draw a comparison to Joe Morris.
You-know-who, on the other hand, I'm finished trying to promote him. I've kept at it, plugging away, for long enough. The college football world still does not know who he is by large, and draft fansites on the internet (who knows how good of barometer those really are) think that he's more of a second or third round pick at this point. Right. It is a deep class at the receiver position; but when scouts start pouring over film of the past few years, when they consider the context of some of his "struggles", he's going to absolutely rocket up every team's board. I'd put him against anyone, even taking into account a few off-the-field concerns.
From this point, I'm going to try to not mention his name here. He does not need any more hype. He will probably be off to make millions in the NFL next year, but it's not going to happen on my watch. I'm going to do everything I can from this point onward to keep his profile as low as possible, doing my part to (selfishly) try and do whatever I can to not encourage him to declare early.
The next time someone asks you about that big playmaker from Rutgers, throw out the names Underwood and Brock. Play coy. Say that Teel was doing it this year with no help whatsoever. Talk up Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree. This year does legitimately has the best group of underclassmen receivers in recent memory.
I'm not alone in this opinion. The Ledger I believe had some articles about the possibility over the summer, and now comes this revelation from Paul Franklin:
NFL scouts from the Colts, Dolphins, Browns and Giants were watching from the press box, evaluating a kid who is strong but graceful, dependable and sure-handed.
Ugh. I tried.