CFB Prospect watch:
Weeks 6 & 7
This week we’re going to combine our two weekly college pieces into one bumper edition. We’ll take a look at the top performers from this week’s game and those who struggled. As always we’ll have a play of the week and non-draft eligible player to track. Finally, you’ll get three prospect matchups to keep an eye on from the upcoming week’s slate.
Good week for...
Turnovers win football matches. That was certainly the case on Friday evening. UCF outstripped Cincinnati in nearly every aspect of the box score but it didn’t translate to the end result. Four turnovers for the Bearcats ensured a surprise victory. Part of that was a pick from Cam Jefferies. The graduate transfer cornerback also managed to get his hands on the ball to deflect a potential touchdown pass.
Shaun Wade was a name I highlighted at the start of the season in our roundtable piece. On what is becoming a dominant Buckeyes team Wade is shining. While Jeffrey Okudah holds down the outside Wade can move around the formation. He totalled five tackles and a sack against Michigan State from the nickel corner spot. Only a redshirt sophomore, he could decide to stay at school for at least one more year. If he can add to his buzz this year, the NFL may come calling early.
Colorado may have been on the receiving end of a loss against Arizona but we did get to see Buffs receiver Tony Brown excel. The Wildcats couldn’t contain Brown who caught 10 receptions for 141 yards. His stats included this 15 yard touchdown run.
Rough night for...
All eyes were on Jordan Love on Saturday as he got a chance to show out against a top team. Unfortunately for Love it didn’t go to plan. The Utah State offense never got off the ground despite a bright start. Love was picked off three times throwing towards well covered targets. Love isn’t working with much talent at the Aggies but this showing means he needs to excel against the likes of Fresno State and Boise State.
It was the Michigan defense that earned a hard fought victory vs Iowa at the weekend. In a low scoring affair the Wolverines offense stuttered once more. One negative impact their ineffectiveness is having is on the draft stock of their talented receiving trio. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Nico Collins have all underperformed with Shea Patterson at Quarterback. Only Collins got over 50 yards against the Hawkeyes and what should have been the chance to showcase their ability is rapidly turning into a lost season.
Play of the day
It’s been an impressive conveyor belt of wide receivers at Ohio State recently and despite losing substantial talent, the replacements keep coming. Senior Binjimen Victor is a big bodied, 6’4 target who flashed during spring ball. Despite not being a ‘wow’ play his TD grab highlights his big play ability. He gets left in space but then shows his speed and a nice feint to beat a tackler who appeared to have an angle. To top it off, a diving leap to finish the 60 yard grab and get the first TD of the game.
Non draft-eligible prospect to watch
Oregon has a history of behemoth defensive linemen. Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner have both gone on to be NFL players for the 49ers. Well you can add freshman Kayvon Thibodeaux to the list of talents at the position. Measuring in at 6’5 and 242lbs, the defensive end wreaked havoc against California. He had two tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. At 18 years old, the future is bright for the Ducks lineman.
Prospect Matchups in Week 7
Trey Sermon (RB, Oklahoma) vs Brandon Jones (S, Texas)
The Red River Rivalry is back this weekend and hard-hitting safety Brandon Jones will look to corral the Oklahoma running game. The free safety has 29 tackles, three for loss and is excellent in space while his partner Caden Sterns patrols the deep sections. Sermon is a physical back who is averaging 7.7 yards per carry. The Sooners are well stocked with talent at the position but in this big game they will likely revert back to their bell cow back.
Lamical Perine (RB, Florida) vs Jacob Phillips (LB, LSU)
Lamical Perine ended up being the match winner for Florida in a close game against Auburn. His 88 yard TD capped off what was a resilient performance led by the Gators defense. With the offense still being led by the inexperienced QB Kyle Trask you can expect a heavy dose of Perine to break down the Tigers.
The LSU defense has been a perennially strong unit but was left exposed in the early season ding dong against Texas. The heart of the defense has had to cope with losing leader Devin White to the NFL and then Michael Divinity Jr to injury. Junior middle linebacker Jacob Phillips has stepped up to the mark and will look to slow the Gators running game down.
Sean Pollard (C, Clemson) vs Marvin Wilson (DT, Florida State)
There hasn’t been much to shout about for the Seminoles this year. However, defensive tackle Marvin Wilson has flashed NFL potential. So much so that he has even been pegged as a potential first rounder. After 5 games, he’s already accounted for 3 sacks and will look to make a splash in the biggest game of his season.
The Clemson offensive line have had their fair share of struggles despite being an experienced group. If the Seminoles are going to cause an upset then they will have to unsettle Trevor Lawrence. Senior center Sean Pollard earned second team All-ACC honours last year but he will be tested to the max by Wilson.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.