It was the first day of hitting for UCF as the Knights came out and entertained a crowd of about 100…
UCF Commit Analysis: LB Cody Ralston
When Cody Ralston committed to UCF during the school's second Junior Day event, it came as a pleasant surprise. Ralston's verbal comes as the school's earliest commit ever and UCF could be finding a potential diamond in the rough.
UCF was the only FBS school to offer the Calhoun H.S. (GA) linebacker. That is not an indication though of how good Ralston is.
Strengths: The first thing you notice on Ralston is that he plays the game with a controlled passion. Some guys get too worked up and play with too much emotion, but Ralston channels it perfectly. He's a competitor who shows emotion throughout the course of a game…Ralston has incredible agility and acceleration, as he can explode into the backfield from anywhere on the field…He moves well laterally and displays great footwork…Ralston can cover slot defenders and tight ends with relative ease. He uses his speed while playing in control and comes off the edge with excellent burst…Perhaps the most important attribute of Ralston's is his technique. He drives through runners, has solid technique and doesn't fear contact at all…Ralston can play safety, linebacker or tight end…At the very least, he should be an excellent special teams player…UCF coaches liken him to Keith Brooking in high school and there's a shot they could be on to something.
Weaknesses: At 6'1", 181 lbs., it is evident that Ralston must bulk up. He committed to UCF as a linebacker and needs to probably add 25-30 pounds to be effective…Ralston can explode through fullbacks and tight ends, but he may have some trouble if he gets tied up by linemen; that's if he doesn't bulk up…It is questionable whether his frame could support more weight. Ralston is wiry and he uses that frame well in high school, but can he add more weight without losing his amazing agility? That remains to be seen…Scout has Ralston as a 4.7 player and Rivals has him as a 4.5. It's safe to assume that Ralston is somewhere in-between, which isn't a bad thing but you'd have to feel better if he ran a legit 4.5 40-yard dash.
Expert Analysis: Chad Simmons, Scout.com's Regional Manager for the Southeast, specializes in Georgia products. Here is his view on Ralston: "I think he will be a linebacker... He will get bigger and stronger... He has a nose for the ball and he is a smart player... His speed is not in the 4.5 range, but he is quick enough to make plays with the instincts he has."
How commit influences outlook of 2010 class: InsideKnights.com expected UCF to add around two outside linebackers to its class. The Knights will be losing some key seniors this year, and Lawrence Young and Derrick Hallman will graduate in two years. Because of that, UCF could be looking to add depth behind Troy Davis, who should be primed to be a starter by 2011. Ralston could evolve into a starter at the next level, but at the very least he will force whoever is in front of him because of his motor and he will also make a near immediate contribution on special teams.
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