We all love Kirk Herbstreit…. Well, maybe love is a strong word. Every year he puts out a list called the “Herbie Awards.” He gives these awards out before the season every year, but lets take a look and critique his preseason Herbie Awards.
The “Enforcer” as Kirk Herbstreit calls the award goes to a hard hitting defensive player who for lack of better words is the “Enforcer” on the defensive side of the ball.
The nominees picked by Herbie are Jamal Adams, LSU: Nate Andrews, Florida State: Su’a Cravens, USC: Darron Lee, Ohio State: Ryan Simmons, Oklahoma State.
Lets take a look at the video and break each of these players down.
Jamal Adams, LSU:
Adams is a sure tackler who isn’t afraid to play close to and behind the line of scrimmage. He has the ability to make a game changing tackle, but is iffy in coverage. Last year he had 11 tackles for loss and 66 total including assisted tackles. He didn’t come down with any interceptions, but had 5 pass breakups. He has the ball skills to make some interceptions, but his job is to set the physical tone for the Tigers. He is a meticulous taskmaster and emotional leader.
Nate Andrews, Florida State:
Another sure tackler, Andrews will play along the line of scrimmage and behind it. He has more ball skills than Adams, but unlike Adams doesn’t go for the big impact. Instead he form tackles and wraps up the offensive player. According to Florida State Andrews made 93 tackles, 66 solo. He came down with three interceptions last season to lead all Seminoles. He was one of the few players to show up in the Rose Bowl. Andrews intercepted a pass against Oregon at the end of the first half.
Su’a Cravens, USC:
Cravens doesn’t have the hair of Troy Polamalu, but you cant deny the similarities. Cravens is always around the ball and has the uncanny ability to make a ridiculously athletic play on the football at the biggest moments of the game. He can time the snap and make plays in the backfield as well as cover. CFB stats has Cravens down for 68 tackles and 49 solo. He also came down with three interceptions. His interceptions always seem to come in a critical moment of a game. Cravens doesn’t shy away from the spotlight on a third and long, red zone or fourth quarter.
Darron Lee, Ohio State:
Darron Lee is a hard hitting, playmaking linebacker. Lee showed what he could do all of last season, but when the lights shined the brightest so did he. In the Sugar Bowl, he was all over the field. Lee made plays, collected sacks and QB hits. He is the physical presence, but also the best player on the field for Ohio State. There is little doubt why he is in the conversation for the enforcer. If there is a better playmaker on Saturdays, I don’t know who it is.
Ryan Simmons, Oklahoma State:
We had to dig down deep and find some high school Youtube highlights. Apparently Oklahoma State doesn’t want to showcase their players on Youtube. What you can see on the tape is evident. He is a linebacker that has great instincts. He diagnoses and reacts to plays instantly. According to Oklahoma State he had 96 tackles good for second on the team. 12 tackles were for a loss, two were sacks. He also had four pass breakups. He makes plays all over the field, but is not at the level of Darron Lee. He is a team leader for an Oklahoma State defense that is underrated.
The Herbie award was given to Darron Lee, and I have to agree with Herbstreit.
Darron Lee is an absolute monster. He is all over the field and shows up in the biggest spots of the biggest games. Lee is one of the best defensive players in the college football and he is worthy of the enforcer award.