Long, Long, Long response. Don’t read if you’re not crazy about talent evaluation.
Feb 5, 2022, 7:38 PM
I tend to agree with you RTDanny. I stated something similar to you on signing day and got flogged. It is really hard to say who will be better, but I think most are looking at Paul like he’s a speed back because he is very fluid and he took it to the house often. He IS NOT a fast back. His competition made him look fast. Both will have to be power backs to be successful at UGA and CU. With the digital “production” of highlight tapes these days it is my theory it is near impossible to tell about speed. My thought is if they can do deepfakes its not conspiracy level stuff to tweak speeds a tiny amount to make recruits appear faster. I’m in no way saying that happened here or in any particular case, but I do wonder sometimes. Here are my impressions:
Physical stature/Eye Test:
There’s no doubt Paul edges in for D1 body power back RB look. He passes the eye test. I’d call it the Gurley man child look. He’s a specimen at 5’11” 220. He looked ripped in that CU photo with his dad. I’m guessing this is why so many Tiger fans suddenly went gaga over a 3 star RB? KA Jr is built too 5’10” 205 but a tad shorter and reportedly 10-15 lbs lighter. KA Jr runs with a lower, stout center of gravity which I see as a plus. Paul wins the eye test here but not by much.
Speed kills but not for either of these recruits. On film, I came saying Paul hands down looked a step faster than KA Jr. His highlights make you think he has the unique blend of speed and power. It seemed clear. However, my research found that Paul’s best time in the 100 in track was clocked at 11.73, as reported per 247. I could not find a reported 40 time for him. These nfl combine stat gurus have a super tight linear conversion between 40 and 100 (with a ridiculously tight R^2 of like .998 if I remember correctly). If you took Hoke Hill or Billy Bridges stat class at Clemson, you should know this means we can very precisely, with amazingly high confidence, say Paul runs somewhere very close to a 4.8 40 yard dash. In fact one NFL combine statistical conversion for 11.73 100 is EXACTLY 4.8 in the 40. That is his track speed, NOT football! Paul’s idol is Todd Gurley. Gurley was a speed and power guy. He was an inch taller and same weight. Gurley ran a 4.5 40 for comparison. Paul is no Gurley. He is no speed back. For comparison, ETN ran a 10.5 100 and a 4.4 40. The combine chart perfectly predicts ETN at 4.35 40 based on his HS track 100 time. ETN ran a 4.3 on pro day. These NFL guys have this stuff down to a science. The recruiting report for Andrew Paul does not say indoor or outdoor track for his 100, but bottom line, Andrew Paul is anything but a speed demon, unless his speed has increased drastically since track. His only way to be successful in D1 with a 4.8 40 is to be a power back...period. This makes me question the quality of his private school competition in HS? He was caught from behind, but ran away from most.
I also read where KA Jr ran just under a 4.6 40 while he was playing football in Georgia at Cherokee. That was a clocked 40 time from football, likely on grass in GA, so you’d expect his time to be slower than a track time, but uncertain about quality control on the timing.
If anything KA Jr is as fast, but likely notably faster than Paul based on those times, but suffice to say neither are speed demons. I was very surprised to find this in my research. I gave the nod on speed to KA Jr. In a program like Clemson though, KA could end up a 4.5-4.6 back. That’s not bad.
Vision and tackle breaking: Not eyesight. Lol. Both RB’s seemed to hit the hole well and have good “vision.” Paul is a very fluid back. He has the swivel hips that put tacklers in bad angles and he made tacklers miss a lot. Balm called it shedding tackles. This is very different that powering through or breaking tackles. It looked to me like many of the shed “tackles” were often 140-160 pound slight, not so athletic athletes - being kind and PC here. Coaches joke about “hello-lookout” blocks. Those were “hello-bye” tackle attempts. KA’s tape seemed to have some opponents of larger stature who were serious about tackling. He had many more sure enough tackle breaks and power runs against kids who know how to tackle. KA was very good against very high GA competition while at Cherokee. He has impressive power, center of gravity, balance, desire and ability to break and power through tackles. His highlights are full of that skill.
I think this category is a wash personally. However, I’ll take KA’s ability to power through tackles for extra yards. Neither back is fast. They’ll have to grind out tough yards to be successful at this level. Paul’s fluid 4.8 won’t leave LB’s and DB’s whiffing at this level. And we have no clue if he can break a real tackle bc we haven’t seen it.
Pass blocking- hard to say but give an edge to KA. His film shows him stonewalling blitzing LB’s on several occasions. I don’t recall Paul having any blocking highlights. He may be good at it but didn’t show it.
Intangibles- It’s tough to coach tough, mean, nasty and relentless. To some extent you can but it’s a mindset. KA Sr played like a possessed demon with his hair on fire every play. When your nickname is termite you better have a chip! That stuff is genetic. I’ll bet KA Jr. brings all that to Tiger Town. He’s got a legendary Tiger Dad player and NFL pro bowler footsteps to fill. Apparently he’s not afraid to try to do just that. I personally think we are better with KA Jr mostly for the better speed and intangibles.
Time will tell. I see him potentially being a solid Adam Choice style dependable contributor in time.
The Dawgs one day after signing Paul are already going after Bama’s 5 star back in the transfer portal. Paul will be processed out of UGA’s system and into the transfer portal in 2 years. At least had he signed with us Dabo would’ve make sure he graduated and not run him off if he didn’t pan out. But oh well. Best of luck to him because he’s gonna need it.
Agreed ... A.Paul had a better chance of getting actual PT with us than he will with UGA.
This is simply because of the high quality RB numbers at UGA (5):
Branson Robinson (just signed - truly a high potential RB), Kendall Milton (rising JR - 4*), Kenny McIntosh (rising SR - 4*), Daijun Edwards (rising JR - 4*)
Savaughn Clark (rising JR) isn't anything special.
A.Paul is not likely to get meaningful PT ahead of the first four; he'll probably get more PT than the Clark guy.
Anyways, good luck to A.Paul. For every game, he'll have a dogs eye view of a very fine college FB team from the sidelines. And there will probably be enough garbage time minutes for him to rotate with S.Clark.
Come on man. Just because we didn’t get him don’t be petty. Fact is Adam’s should have been a preferred walkon option for us. It was Paul or bust for us and we busted. Need a massive haul for 2023 to get back on track.
Paul is a 4.8 40 back on a track, not on grass. I was considered slow at 4.8 as a tight end in NAIA ball over 35 years ago, at 3 inches taller and heavier. Paul is not all that. He was playing against private school competition and those 150 pounders were scared to tackle him. With a 4.8 40 he better learn to be a power back fast! Keith Adams ran a 4.6 40 and has played (very successfully) against real competition at the highest level of Georgia HS football. There is no way to predict which will be better, but I’ll flip my coin on our faster back with pro bowl bloodline.
Watch the end of his (HUDL) Cherokee highlights while in GA. Where he played outside LB/DE. Kid has great quickness and pass rush skills and athleticism. It would not surprise me if he is converted to a linebacker. I would expect it if we weren’t so thin at RB.