football

Cravens knows how to dominate

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ENCINO, Calif. - Whether it's at safety, linebacker, running back or wide receiver, Su'a Cravens makes a difference on the football field and that's why he's considered arguably the top 2013 prospect in California.
Cravens' skills are so wide-ranging and multi-dimensional - he caught a touchdown pass, rushed for a score, had an interception and a sack in Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta's win over Encino Crespi Friday night - that it's difficult to pigeonhole him into one position.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound prospect prefers defense so that's probably where he'll play in college but he's so talented on both sides of the ball that Vista Murrieta coach Coley Candaele utilizes Cravens all over the field.
"I think I'm best at defense so whether it's safety or linebacker I think defense is my spot," Cravens said.
"With different formations I'm at safety or linebacker and then sometimes they put me at corner so I'm going to figure out where I'm at in the off-season and into my senior year."
Recruiting has already exploded for Cravens, who lists offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Colorado, Hawaii, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, Utah State and Washington.
Cal is Cravens' latest offer and that came in the last few days after Golden Bears assistant coach Ashley Ambrose watched Cravens and other prospects play Friday night. Texas has also started to recruit the 2013 standout who said Florida and Alabama are sending letters as well.
With all the recruiting attention, Cravens said he just needs to stay focused on his team and picking a college will come in his senior season. Every day, Cravens comes home to a stack of mail and he's sure to read every letter but is nowhere near prepared to make a decision yet.
"My dad tells me every day to stay humble, these colleges are going to come after you but it's about your coaches and your team," Cravens said.
"I'm not going to make my commitment until my senior year. I'm not going to be the guy who de-commits. I'm a man of my word so wherever I commit that's where I'm going and it's going to wait until my senior year. It's exciting that I get a pile of letters on my bed every day and I read them. It's exciting to see who's recruiting you."
Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas are three early favorites for Cravens, who said he's looking to play at a national program that's always on television. With so many programs getting involved all the time, Cravens said he doesn't have a top team but if forced to name some favorites those three schools would be right there.
Getting big-headed about recruiting and high rankings seems improbable for Cravens because he has so many people on his side telling him to just keep working.
Candaele is definitely one of them.
"I told him when he was a freshman I said, 'This is how it's going to work, either you're going to be a good high school football player who's going to play in college or I am going to be - I can't say it in the paper - basically I'm going to be in your grill every day you don't give 100 percent effort,'" Candaele said.
"'You want to be good, you're already good, you don't have to do one thing. If you want to be great you have to have the work ethic to be the best around.' We're slowly getting there."
That's the funny thing about Cravens - those closest to him don't think he's reached his full potential yet. There is so much more there, they say, and as he unlocks those skills he's going to be an even more-dominant player.
That's a scary thought for the competition.
"He still has a ways to go," Candaele said. "There is so much more he could do as he lets go.
"With those special kids they play through Pop Warner, they play through middle school and they run around and make plays. We don't want him to run around and make plays. We want him to play team defense and make plays. That's been an adjustment especially for a kid who's done it for 16 years and been successful."
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