From SB Nation's NFL Draft site Mocking the Draft comes a report that the Sporting News preseason magazine has picked our Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick (check out the link for the rest of the Top Five) as the best player in college football. Apparently it also lists Crick as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Is Crick really that good? The *best* player in college football? That's a pretty bold statement. Setting aside the rose-colored glasses, you'd have to wonder if it's somewhat of a marketing gimmick. It will certainly generate discussion, most of that centered around Crick benefitting from playing next to Ndamukong Suh last season, although Crick proved he could wreak his own havoc in the Baylor game:
Say for the sake of argument I propose to you that Crick isn't even the best player on his team? My personal choice for that would go to Prince Amukamara. Or what about Alex Henery (a kicker? surely I blaspheme!)?
What about the Big 12? What if I proposed that the best Big 12 player is Texas A&M's defensive end Von Miller, who played on a wretched defense (105th nationally), but finished first in the nation in sacks with 17?
Either of those picks should generate as much discussion as picking Crick as the nation's best while at the same time being just as valid. That's what makes this such a wonderful time of the year.... unless, of course, you're one of those people who wants proof for everything, for whom sheer speculation just for the fun of it as is as useful as teaching pigs to sing. While proof is interesting in itself, it's certainly not the point of the offseason, so speculate away.
Right now, it's been declared that Jared Crick is the best player in the nation, so damn you Blaine Gabbert or whomever Missouri might offer. Take that Keenan Robinson, Aaron Williams, or whomever Texas might have in waiting. Ha ha to you, Jake Locker!
There's more to the Crick story, though. A commenter at Mocking the Draft takes the long term view and makes a succinct point that's hard to argue with, that upon its proof sets speculation on it's head, and is sure to draw huzzahs from every Husker fan around:
If Crick really does become as good as Suh
why would any top High School DT in the country want to go anywhere else but to play for Pelini?
Oh, yeah, baby. Why would they?