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Minnesota Football Recruiting: Alonzo Craighton Commits

Tall, long corners are all the rage throughout the NFL and college football. Coach Sawvel knows all about that, landing a 6'2" prospect to patrol the boundary.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Awww yeah, all of the corners.

Craighton is precisely the type of long armed, tall, impressively framed corner that can turn and run with receivers and has the length to disrupt passes.

Geismar (LA) Dutchtown HS cornerback Alonzo Craighton verbally committed to Minnesota this afternoon, the second corner to pledge in the span of a week. Craighton is a 3 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, choosing Minnesota over listed offers from Memphis, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss, along with interest from Kansas State. Alonzo is the 15th member of the 2015 class and fourth defensive back commitment.


Gopher247 bolt on Alonzo's commitment:

"I really just liked the atmosphere of Minnesota when I was down there and realized it was the place for me. ... I had a great time on my visit. It was a good visit with coach (Sawvel). He just restated how much he wants me as a Gopher and how good of a fit Minnesota would be."

(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**

** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.

Height: 6'1"-6'2"
Weight: 177-180 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.60s electronic (4.29s shuttle)


Partial Senior Year:


Absurd Comparisons

Eric Murray. As if there was any question.

Beyond just length from a corner, what makes Murray so valuable as a CB is how competitive he is. He wants to be locked up with the opponent's best receiver, and even if he gets beat, he'll come back and be all the more determined to shut his man down the rest of the game. Craighton is being overshadowed a bit by his defense backfield mate Justin Reid, and by recruiting press analysis he's motivated to prove he's just as good of a DB. That edge will come in handy for Sawvel.

Scheme Fit

Minnesota recruits length and speed on defense, choosing to build bulk in throughout a multi-year strength and conditioning program designed specifically to address individual player development needs rather a one-size fits all approach. For a position like cornerback, specifically in the boundary, length and height are incredible luxuries. Tall CBs are en vogue with NFL scouts because of how the Seahawks use them: Andy Reid estimates that additional arm length at CB is worth an extra tenth of a second in the 40.

Craighton is precisely the type of long armed, tall, impressively framed corner that can turn and run with receivers and has the length to disrupt passes. Extra length comes in handy on deeper routes or quick throws that a corner of similar speed wouldn't be able to if he were 2-3 inches shorter. Additionally, Alonzo has the frame to easily pack on another 10-15 lbs. which is necessary to defend the run from the boundary; Claeys loves to send his corners on run blitzes from both sides of the field.

Impact on Other Prospects?

Not much change in status considering the last two commitments were corners:

Still a ways to go here. I'd expect at least 2 more pure CB prospects, and 3-4 defensive backs overall. Remember, the secondary will graduate nine players over the next two years with three - yes, three - underclassmen on the roster beyond 2015. Taking seven defense backs, including a junior college player, is necessary to replenish a core set of DBs that are really playing at a high level.

I'm expecting at least another prep corner, the possibility of a Brock Vereen like versatile defender and/or a JUCO.