In 2007, Mario Cristobal took over a Florida International program that wasn't fully prepared for the move to major-college football. Despite all the obstacles, Cristobal has FIU playing in its first bowl game, against Toledo in Sunday's Little Caesars Bowl. The next step will be to get the massive...[details]
Notes: God-brother of teammate T.Y. Hilton. Won a state championship at Miami (Fla.) Northwestern. Wore jersey No. 26 as a freshman in 2007 when he played in all 12 games (started the final 11) and notched 56 tackles, three pass breakups and two interceptions with three tackles for loss and a sack. Started all 24 games the next two seasons - tallied 44-11-5 (two TDs) with three tackles for loss and added four punt returns for seven yards (1.8-yard average) and a 17-yard kickoff return in '08. Totaled 45-6-2 with 4½ tackles for loss in '09. In '10, recorded 52-5-2 with 8½ tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in 13 starts at "Star" position (roving LB-S).
Positives: Has big hands. Quick-footed with a low center of gravity and good balance. Efficient mover - plants and drives quickly and shows good short-area burst. Good eyes and instincts to sort out route combos. Has a feel for break points. Works to get off blocks and is a good, aggressive tackler for his size. Plays hard. Experienced, four-year starter.
Negatives: Is undersized and underpowered and can be outmuscled by bigger, stronger receivers. Does not possess elite top-end speed to run with burners and lacks recovery burst. Average production on the ball. Takes some questionable angles in pursuit. Struggled with Troy's Jerrel Jernigan in space. Does not have return experience.
Summary: Smallish, instinctive, more-quick-than-fast slot cornerback who looks natural playing inside and could contribute in sub-packages if he could bulk up.