Shaq Thompson was to 2012 what Su'a Cravens is to 2013. If you're looking for a player who could instantly upgrade a team's backline defense next season, Cravens is the guy to watch out for.
Like so many of the best football athletes, Cravens plays both offense and defense. Cravens could be a solid enough running back/slot receiver option if he wants to do that. He is pretty spectacular in the open field (as the opening run demonstrates) and makes quick cuts in the open field. Inside, he has a good one cut ability to hit the hole, but he seems to do better on sweep plays/end-arounds. Cravens is a load to bring down because of his size, although college linebackers should be able to defend him easier.
As for the defense....well...get out of his way if you best protect your neck.
0:27: Cravens holds his ground on a wide reciever block and plays contain perfectly, sticking the runner the moment he tries to hit outside.
0:43: Excellent backside pursuit.
0:50: Sits back in the zone and takes advantage of a poor throw.
0:59: READING THE WRONG GUY QUARTERBACK.
1:25: Impressive open field tackle even when he misses the angle.
1:49: Cravens does a good job keeping his receiver close by and recovering to make a play on the football.
2:20: Drops into his zone but comes up when he recognizes the throw is coming short.
2:34: Edge rush, gets his body outside the tackle to prevent from getting blocked to the inside.
3:13: Ball-carrier tries to fake him out in open field to try and get outside, manages to reach around from behind and strip the football by knocking him out of his carriage.
4:14: Deflects the throw aimed toward the back shoulder of the receiver with an incredible athletic leap toward the path of the football.
4:23: Might want to block this guy.
4:29: Bit on the initial handoff, recognized the QB still had the ball, then did a good job pursuing him and bringing him down for minimal gain.
4:44: STICK EM (On an open field tackle nonetheless!)
5:08: Takes on an offensive linemen, keeps his body perpendicular to the block so he can keep on driving and disrupting any cutback gaps for the running back. Succeeds.
5:16: Again keeps his body perpendicular to the lineman, forcing him to stop in his tracks and disrupting the running back's lane, forcing him to cut to the outside and right into the arms of Cravens.
This play is just too good. There's so more, but at this point you should get the idea. Extremely physical and athletic, the man is a disruptor.
Position projection: Safety, with some occasional outside linebacker forays depending on if he grows into his form. He can play both positions at the next level, but safety seems the safest bet.
Pac-12 favorite: USC. Of course. USC early offers almost immediately make you a Trojan favorite. What probably intrigues Cravens the most about the Trojans is that they want him for offense. Which I guess is fine if it's what Cravens wants, but a great future awaits him on the defensive side of the football. He doesn't quite fit offensively the further he goes up the ladder and could reach certain limits, whereas on defense he could be a straight wrecker.
Other schools: Other than USC, there's a top five that includes Arkansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, and about a billion offers from elsewhere (Michigan is rumored to be up there too). So there are no assurances he stays in the Pac-12. If he remains in the West, Trojans are the likeliest school, and someone would have to make a mighty run to dislodge them.