I always enjoy playing the “What if?” game with football players and their position. There are many skilled athletes that are good at their position of choice, but it’s fun to wonder how they would perform if they played somewhere else.
Willie Hibbler is what I imagine Cam Newton would look like if he played wide receiver or tight end. The University of Mississippi commit is a massive coordinated athlete that is already similar in stature to Newton and has a bright future catching passes in the SEC.
Hibbler has great size and the frame to get even bigger. He has surprising agility for how big he is. He has solid speed and burst as well.
When he lines up at quarterback, he looks like Cam Newton because of his size. He may not be as fast as Newton, but he has a similar style as a runner where he flashes good lateral movement and ability to break tackles. Hibbler runs with power.
As a receiver he will go up and get the football. He’s a natural hands catcher that adjusts well to where the ball is thrown. He uses his body to shield defenders.
He is a great player after the catch that is tough to tackle when he gets in the open field. He does a nice job of catching the ball in traffic and has good balance after contact.
He has dynamic athletic skills for his size that really shine as a receiver.
Hibbler’s best position at Ole Miss is likely as a move tight end. I don’t see him every being an in-line player, but I can definitely see him as a match-up nightmare that moves all over the field similar to how Jimmy Graham is used with the New Orleans Saints.
Hibbler recently had some issues with his high school team where he was dismissed from the team for missing team commitments before being reinstated. I would be lying if I didn’t say that sounded a bit concerning in regards to his character, but it’s impossible for me to speculate if it’s going to be a recurring problem with him at Ole Miss or if it was a mistake by a young man that will never happen again.
What I do know is that Hibbler is a super talented athlete that has a bright future with the Rebels and has the chance to develop into a playmaker in the SEC. He could be a rare weapon that most offenses only dream of having at the college level.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.