Clay could you comment on "Untapped Potential", so far..............

…of these and any others you think might have potential to be really good SEC players? Some of these just haven’t had a chance to shine yet and others, so far, have not stepped up when given the chance.

  1. Will Gragg
  2. Jamario Bell
  3. Zach Rogers
  4. Briston Guidry
  5. Jonathan Marshall
  6. Cole Kelley
  7. T.J. Hammond
  8. Jordon Jones
  9. D’Vone McClure

please add Giovanni LaFrance to untapped potential.

Shameless Bump. :smiley:

And Dee Walker

I would appreciate a run-down on these guys as well from insiders.

Bowl practices will give a lot of redshirts a chance to get meaningful reps.

Tutt, Ramirez and Malone are 3 JC guys that never got on the field, but some have said they will make a difference next year.

That’s a good bunch. The ones I like the most are Briston Guidry, Cole Kelley (big arm) and Jordan Jones (true SEC speed). Britto Tutt flashed SEC speed at cornerback in August. That was the reference Paul Rhoads made to me the first time I asked about Tutt. Rhoads said, “SEC speed.” I’ve heard good things about Jonathan Marshall, too. Have not heard Jamario Bell mentioned of late and need to ask about him. I think all four of the freshman linebackers have shown good things, including LaFrance.

Sorry, I didn’t see the board for a few days after I went away for the weekend to a church retreat. Didn’t do much other than mentor some younger guys. Rested my back after getting a surgery and a follow-up procedure for an infected cyst (and that was not much fun).

Welcome back and thanks for the info. Any chance of Gragg reaching his potential at tight end?

I’d like to know what is Gragg’s potential? That’s a question that always puzzles me. You ask what is chance of reaching his potential. Is it to play? Be a star? I think he can play. I’m not sure he’s a star.

Well, (untapped potential example #1) he has a brother in the pros and we understood he had as much or more potential as a recruit as his brother did. (untapped potential example #2) #1 rated tight end recruiting class and of the three, Cantrell, O’Grady, & Gragg, he was probably the highest rated. At this point, he has not come close to playing in a game while Cantrell is becoming a major player as a tight end, O’Grady has played, and even Gunther the true freshman tight end is playing. Now we have the #1 rated JC tight end coming this spring to add to his competition. There were comments from coaches that seemed to imply that Gragg, O’Grady, and even Cantrell needed to eliminate mistakes and really focus to get on the field. His absence from the field without any reports of injuries implies he has topped out at 5th or 6th string.

While he was highly rated O’Grady was the highest rated.

A coach told me once that potential is a word used when someone has not gotten it done. That’s the issue with Gragg now. I don’t really know what his potential was, but it’s unfair to compare him to his brother. I think his brother is much more athletic than Will.

Such is the curse of these “star” recruiting rankings . . . Will was labeled a 4 star recruit, which leads to expectations (reasonable or otherwise) from many fans, especially the “star gazers” who maintain that if you don’t have X amount of 4 stars and Y number of 5 stars, you can’t possibly field a championship team.

The irony is that I agree with them; it’s just how you determine who a 4 or 5 star talent is that we disagree about. Too many recruitniks - IMO - take the word of Scout, Rivals, or whoever as gospel. I see those rankings as just a general indicator that a given kid appears to have a better chance to develop into a really good player than one not rated so highly, because I know it is a very, very inexact science. So, when we have a new class come in, I just wait to see who steps up. 2 star, 5 star . . . doesn’t matter at that point.

Will still has 3 more years to make his mark. In my decades of following the Hogs, there have been several players for which “the light did not come on” until their 4th or even 5th years on campus. So, it’s way too early to write young Mr. Gragg off. I still expect some really good things from him.

The similarities between Will Gragg and Marc Winston are eerie. Roughly the same size. Both were highly recruited young men who played their senior seasons of high school on bad teams. Both were from prominent football families. Winston eventually became a good player. At UCA. As we continue to add quality TE’s, I think the likelihood that Will takes a similar path increases.

My favorite of those is Tevin Mitchell. 4-star recruit who finally emerged as a shut down corner slot receiver covering specialist in his senior year. He had as much to do with Robb Smith’s defense suddenly being so good as Philon, Flowers, and Spaight did. I think he knocked down the first three passes that Texas Tech threw in the game in Lubbock where we kick their rear ends.

Totally agree with your assessment, the light has not come on yet and we have a reputation of making top tight ends. Everyone matures at different times and I’m confident in our coaches and you know his brother has his ear in this matter. Time will tell as always. WPS

How much of this potential is impacted by not improving his blocking and learning the playbook?