Top five Small School Seniors

image: © mhaithaca

image: © mhaithaca

1. Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – Eastern Illinois

Garoppolo was called one of the best Quarterbacks he’s ever seen by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. This was when Meyer was scouting San Diego State. who were playing Eastern Illinois. His coach Dino Babers said he has the fastest release he’s ever seen – even more impressive when you consider that Babers spent three years on the coaching staff with Robert Griffin III at Baylor. A level headed leader of Eastern Illinois offense, Garoppolo is an accurate passer who is not afraid to make tight window throws, whilst he’s also not afraid to make plays with his feet and has the ability to do so, but isn’t the type of player who will panic and look to take off before scanning the field. Garoppolo has improved each season as starter, but plays on an offense with play makers around him which some may say makes easier for him. With a good end to the season, Garoppolo could see his draft stock rise further with a Senior Bowl invite.

2. Jeff Mathews – QB – Cornell

Mathews became starter at Cornell at the start of second half of his first game in his Freshman year. Recruited by his now head coach and former recruiting coordinator David Archer, Mathews is a well built, strong armed quarterback. He has the ability to make the big downfield throws needed at next level, though has a tendency to float the ball. Shows good feet in the pocket whilst surveying field for secondary reads. Having a down season but due in part to entire coaching change from Head Coach to QB coach, whilst playing with sub par OL and one of worst defences in Ivy League, where he has to play from behind most weeks.

3. Caraun Reid –  DT – Princeton

Reid had offers from Marshall, Army and Navy heading out of high school, but played in every game as a Freshman for Princeton. Has been an effective inside pass rusher for Princeton, displaying good quickness off the snap and decent hand work. When needed, Reid also displays a decent bull rush. Regularly sees double teams on the field. In the run game he can get lost in backfield and over pursue. Nicknamed ‘Chops’ by team mates.

4. Larry Webster – DE – Bloomsburg

Whilst Webster is a former 4 year starter as a basketball player, his father – of the same name – played 11 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. Webster is only in his second year of college football, having not playing since high school. Webster is a tall, long armed pass rusher who uses his arms superbly at the line of scrimmage, both in swim move and to lock onto blockers and move them aside. Though an excellent wrap up tackler in open field, showing good pursuit, Webster will need to add bulk to be a success at the next level.

5. Pierre Desir – CB – Lindenwood

Desir is a Washburn University transfer having played for two seasons there, and is now in his second season at Lindenwood. He has decent size for corner at 6ft 2in, but may well have to move to safety at the next level. Plays physical at the line of scrimmage, making it hard for receivers to get free release. Shows nice ball skills, locating the ball at it highest point and making plays on the ball. Desir excels right now more in man coverage, but shows adaptability to move into zone. He has trouble gettting off blockers in run game though,  and his long speed may be questioned.

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