Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the recruit: Hipolito Corporan

Name: Hipolito Corporan
Position: CB
Hometown: Houston, TX
School: Houston Westside
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190

24/7: 83, three stars; #93 CB; TX #186
ESPN: 78, three stars; #40 CB; TX #79, Midlands #98
Rivals: 5.6, three stars
Scout: two stars; #135 CB

Other offers: Baylor, Tulsa, UTEP

Talk about your mystery recruits.  After committing in May - which itself was a surprise since it was only about two weeks after he was offered - it's been mainly radio silence out of Corporan.  He was barely on the recruiting radar before his commitment and hasn't been heard from much since, and, like Demeitre Brim, committed before ever visiting.  And still hasn't.  When you do a search for him, most of the articles are 1) articles from newspapers and blogs about his commitment, 2) articles from newspapers and blogs about other peoples' commitments that mention his name, and then 3) the results start coming up in Spanish.  So we've got precious little to go on.

Nevertheless, it's his turn in the hopper, so we soldier on.  The first thing that jumps out from the available info is Corporan's size; like Kelvin Rainey before him (last year's random Houston recruit) Corporan is a big guy for a cornerback.  Rainey is listed on the UVA roster at 6'1", 190, just like Corporan is now.**  That's as big as it gets at cornerback on the roster.  And last year around this time, Rainey was at 175, so if Corporan grows in a similar way, he could be pushing 200.  Without absolutely freakish athleticism, you wouldn't want him much bigger than that.

Still, the size is a welcome thing; we're kind of small at cornerback, and you can tell the staff is looking to change that.  Tim Harris is even bigger, and the general trend has been that unless you have incredible wheels (C.J. Moore) or incredible skills (Demetrious Nicholson) the staff wants some size in the defensive backfield.  Not quite to the extremes of recruiting DBs that are already 210, 215 pounds like Groh did, but still.

Like Rainey, Corporan didn't get a major sniff from the regional schools.  With Rainey, though, it was easier to chalk up to exposure; Rainey didn't play varsity until he was a junior.  The way Texas and A&M and OU and those guys recruit is closer to the Chinese Olympic method where they find the talent at age five and then raise them as gymnasts or swimmers or ping pong players, so Rainey was a little behind.  Not so with Corporan; however, his scouting evaluations are a little better than Rainey's.  Very consistent, too.

ESPN's report in that regard is interesting.  The relevant parts:
(D)oes a good job walking up and pressing receivers on the line .... Does a real nice job reading crossing and combo routes, making sure not to get caught up and beat deep. We see a defensive back with very good plant and break skills; is able to come up and defend against the quick, inside slant and crossing routes; also does a nice job coming off his receiver to break up throws to the inside...

They add that he "demonstrates the ability" to play the deep ball, which is scoutese for "but not all the time."  ESPN practically gushes over his abilities on the inside, and mentions in passing that they also like his run support.  If that sounds to you like "nickel corner," congratulations, you qualify to be my replacement so I can go retire to a nice lake up north and drink beer.

Truth is, it's hard to see Corporan breaking into the top two at cornerback any time soon.   What with all the DBs we've recruited over the past few seasons, the competition is very fierce.  He could play safety - his skills appear translatable - but the competition is fierce there too.  The consistency across the scouting services should make their rating fairly believable, and Corporan's lack of major offers (unlike Brim, he didn't get jumped on by a bunch of schools like Miami and Wisconsin expecting to pry him away from that provincial little Charlottesville backwater) backs that up.  However, if ESPN is to be believed, it's not hard to envision a future where Corporan is a very useful nickel corner, playing inside on slot receivers and using his size to break up those annoying third-and-four slants for six yards, or sniffing out surprise run plays.  With the size of the depth chart at DB, probably not for a couple years, but one to keep an eye on all the same.

**24/7 and this one other site list him at 160 pounds and 150, respectively, but....6'1", 150?  That's skin-and-bones stuff there.  Also, if that one site is correct and it's not a typo, Corporan will turn 19 in a couple weeks.  Meaning he'd be a 20-year-old freshman next season.  Might as well call him Pops.

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