Whenever I see a commitment from a 6’5”, 280 pound offensive lineman I get excited. When I then see that said lineman hails from Northern California, I cannot help but be thankful that Justin Wilcox is keeping the recruiting local and tapping into the deep athletic pools of the Bay Area and Sac-Town. Following his commitment in June, it has come time to properly profile rising Granite Bay (CA) senior and future California Golden Bears offensive lineman Will Craig.
High School: Granite Bay (CA)
ESPN Ranking: 4 stars
Joining teammate Evan Tattersall (3-star linebacker), Craig is the second major commit coming out of Granite Bay in Cal’s class of 2018. With Will’s already undeniable D-1 body frame, he should be able to contribute as an effective lineman in his first game in Memorial Stadium without much trouble. That being said, as a teenager still, Craig is bound to grow (both physically and mentally) in his senior season, putting him in an even more advantageous spot moving to the collegiate level.
As a four-star recruit, Craig’s abilities were well-documented in his junior season. See his highlights below.
The mark of a talented offensive lineman is his footwork. In focusing on Craig’s OL highlights, he has explosive lateral movement, allowing him to quickly square up to pass rushers. Although his legs do sometimes appear to be moving a little slowly, his coordination compensates to give him an effective blocking position. Additionally, he drives his feet well, completing blocks until the defensive lineman is often flat on his back.
Will also has some experience on the other side of the ball, giving him that famous defensive end tenacity. His defensive tape is telling of his innate athleticism. In several plays, he is able to track down a laterally moving running back with efficient speed. As my wild and outlandish prediction of the day, I could potentially see Wilcox entrusting Craig as a tank-back (the mythical fusion of a fullback, running back, and offensive lineman) to punch it in for a TD in a late-game, must-score situation.
Cal fans, what are your thoughts? Can Will Craig provide the much-needed pressure protection for our 2018 QB? Will tank-back become part of the CFB lexicon? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!