Being the top player in California and one of the truly elite prospects in the 2013 class means you get a lot of attention from the media, and it also means that every opposing coach will spend countless hours trying to limit your impact on Friday nights.
Such has been the story for USC safety commit Su’a Cravens this season.
“Last week, I had a real quiet game,” Cravens admitted. “They were really running the ball away from my side and I was getting frustrated.”
While the lack of action coming his way in most games has caused some annoyance for the ultra-competitive defensive back, Cravens was able to make a big impact in a 42-7 win over Pacific Palisades on Friday.
“This week my coach put me in the box and let me do what I do best,” Cravens said. “I got to come off the edge and blitz a couple of times. I had fun tonight.”
The five-star safety was able to showcase his physical style of play against Palisade’s run-dominated offense, recording two quarterback sacks and two tackles-for-loss.
The fact that opposing teams have shied away from challenging the Vista Murrieta standout is a testament to his skills on the field, and a true sign of respect.
“My dad told me, if a team is planning on running away from you that’s the ultimate compliment,” Cravens said. “But at the same time I’m a football player and I like to get tackles like everyone else. You just have to roll with it.”
The 6-1, 215-pound recruit has never waivered since committing to USC back in June, and when asked about the Trojans season, Cravens once again showed his loyalty to the cardinal and gold.
“USC no matter what! I don’t think I’m even going to take trips anymore, that’s how serious I am about it and I’m not going to waste anybody else’s time,” he said. “I’m SC for life and that’s where my heart is and that’s where I’m going.
“That’s my hometown and it’s been rocking since I was a little kid and nothing’s changed about it but the players. I can’t wait to get there.”
Cravens is one of the headliners of USC’s star-studded class that includes: Max Browne, Justin Davis, Eddie Vanderdoes and several other highly regarded prospects.
Despite having just 18 commits, USC is currently the No.2 ranked class in the nation by FOX Sports NEXT with an average star rating of 4.33. With the high ranking comes high expectations, but Cravens isn’t fazed by the hype.
“It’s great to have that much pressure coming in because we have to come in right away and show them right away that we’re not busts,” he says. “I talked to Chris (Hawkins), Michael (Hutchings), both Max’s, I talked to everybody and we’re all close family already, and we’re all going to get to work.
So where does Cravens see himself fitting into Monte Kiffin’s scheme next year?
“Right now I see myself as safety but if I gain 20 more pounds, 15 more pounds I’ll be at linebacker. I like safety better but if I have to play outside, I have no problem with it.
“They have a great coaching staff up there and I feel like they are going to make me ten times better when I get up there.