(Note: I’ve changed the name of this feature from “RATE THAT KID” to “POLL DON’T LIE” because 1) Rasheed Wallace is a bad-ass, and 2) “RATE THAT KID” is super lame. So is “POLL DON’T LIE” but whatever.)
Smell that, you guys? It’s that funky-ass smell you smell when things get … smelly.
That’s right — it’s a new (and our first) feature here at the Sons of Westwood. What’s a feature, you ask? It’s a series of blog posts with an overarching theme. Like Ball Don’t Lie’s Days of NBA Lives or Shutdown Corner’s Smarter Stats.
This feature is inspired by the recruiting euphoria we’re experiencing in Jim L. Mora’s first few weeks on the job.
Every once in a while, I’ll present a player, give reasons why he should be rated high and reasons he shouldn’t be rated high. The point is to look at the context of the signing. Did we pick up a 5-star wide-out when our class already includes two of them? Did we nab a 3-star linebacker when we’re stacked with 4-star LBs?
And that’s what my job is. Your job is to give an honest assessment of the player, from a scale of 1 star to 5 stars, by voting in the poll at the bottom. (Note: If you bleed True Blue and Gold, all recruits will be 5-star recruits, but let’s assess them considering UCLA’s current depth at the position and the current strengths and weaknesses.) If you disagree with whatever reasoning I have, back your shit up in the comments.
Today’s kid: Devin Fuller, QB, Old Tappan, NJ. Height: 6’0” … Weight: 185 pounds … 3rd-ranked QB in the nation … GPA 2.9 … SAT 1100
Why should you give him 5 stars?
Devin Fuller is compared to Pat White according to Rivals. That’s a pretty lofty comparison considering White had a wildly successful college career, but it’s also very accurate. The scouting report — and the video at the beginning of this post — suggests that this dude is a freaking speed demon. He’s got great pocket awareness and knows how to extend plays with his feet.
That’s not all, though. The kid can toss a serious deep ball with the flick of his wrist, off his back foot. (Check the 2:05 mark in the video above.) With a gun like that, the offense can get seriously vertical and the defense will have to be spread incredibly thin because his deep ball and his ability to gain major yardage (he ran for 3600 yards combined in the past two seasons) forces a defense on its heels.
The dude’s a playmaker and, based on the scouting report at ESPN, he’s a confident QB who is comfortable taking command in the huddle.
Why should you give him 1 star?
I don’t know how you’d justify giving him a 1-star rating, but there are definitely concerns.
The most glaring? He’ll be a dual-threat, short, fast QB in Noel Mazzone’s offense — the one that’s been run by guys like 6’8” Brock Osweiler at ASU and 6’5” Philip Rivers at NC State. (Apparently, Mazzone loves QBs who throw all weird.) In case you didn’t know, neither of those guys are a threat to run, instead keeping more of a pocket presence. It’ll be interesting to see if Mazzone will tweak his offense to accommodate both Fuller and redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley (another QB who’s a threat to run) or if both of those guys progress enough to compete with T.J. Millweard, the prototypical Mazzone QB. (If UCLA is run with serious discipline, it’ll be the former.)
I don’t know if Fuller is going to stay all that patient in the pocket, or if he should be pedestrian in the back-field.
Another concern is that GPA — 2.9 is pretty low, and while that won’t affect his play on the field, is it possible that he won’t even get on the field if his grades are stinky?
And then you must consider the competition: We have Brett Hundley, the apparent “savior” of UCLA football and T.J. Millweard, a QB that Mazzone was undoubtedly looking forward to coaching.
That’s enough from me, though. What do you think? How many stars do you give Fuller?