In scouting, it's common to hear the term "flash player," a phrase that describes the type of player that makes one or two impressive plays a game but is otherwise invisible. On the other end of the spectrum, there are players that bring it on a consistent basis, from play to play and game to game.
I spent the summer studying college tape and I found several players that impressed me with their consistency. Here is my list of the five most consistent players in college football:
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mosley is an outstanding linebacker and he was consistent in every game I studied. He is always quick to fill against the run and he's a sure tackler. His timing as a blitzer is impeccable and he consistently sniffs out screens because of his instincts. He has the speed and athleticism to successfully match up with tight ends and running backs in coverage. He made game-changing plays in every game I graded and I didn't see him take any plays off.
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
It's impossible to lead the nation in rushing yards (Carey rushed for 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2012) without bringing your best effort on a weekly basis. Carey has excellent vision, balance and quickness. He consistently made the first defender miss in space and he also broke several tackles in each game I studied. He likes to use his body to corral the football in the passing game but he avoided any costly drops.
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Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews had a monster year in 2012, catching 94 balls for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns. He was very consistent from week to week, eclipsing 100 receiving yards in seven contests. He doesn't have big-time speed but has very reliable hands and is competitive after the catch. He also provided big plays for Vanderbilt on a consistent basis, producing a catch of 30-plus yards in seven different games.
Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi St.
Jackson has ideal quickness, power and instincts, but his most impressive quality is his consistency. He almost always takes the correct steps, shoots his hands quickly and sustains his block. He consistently takes the correct angles when working up to the second level and he is nimble enough to adjust in space if necessary. He effortlessly drops his weight and anchors down vs. power rushers. He is also a nasty finisher from snap to whistle in every single game.
Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
Murphy isn't a dynamic player on tape but he is incredibly reliable and consistent. He finished the 2012 season with 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He received plenty of attention for his sack production, but I was more impressed with his consistent dominance against the run. He destroys tight ends and offensive tackles at the point of attack. He has quick, powerful hands to violently stack and shed blocks. As a pass rusher, he creates consistent push with his bull rush. His effort is outstanding every single play.