By Rebecca Rennie

It’s an offense-heavy week in our small school scouting feature for Week 9. We begin with one of the most productive quarterbacks in the FCS over the pass few seasons. Also highlighted are two transfers from the FBS. One is among the best pass rushers at this level, the other a well-known running back prospect. The deep O-line group for 2022 gets another look with a technically impressive center to close out this week’s article.


Photo Credit: Sidney Jackson / Alabama A&M Athletics

Continuing our season-long navigation through a diverse group of FCS quarterbacks, Aqeel Glass is next up to profile. Watching several game films back in 2019, he has been on the radar here for some time. Those early looks featured some highly erratic performances with enough flashes to maintain a level of intrigue.

Viewing Glass and the Alabama A&M offense multiple times this season, this felt like a more suitable moment to discuss, relative to prior outings. A waterlogged downpour against Bethune-Cookman and an early blowout versus Jackson State weren’t ideal, even if they provided interesting situations to evaluate. Following a generally well-contested rivalry win over Alabama State, we’ll take the opportunity to feature the productive passer.

Reminiscent of much of his previous film, Glass had some excellent flashes in the 42-28 victory over Alabama State, but also with its share of inconsistency. Common throughout his film, some poor ball placement was a feature of a few early drives in the contest. The O-line protection factored in, but Glass also struggled to avoid pressure, to step up amid a closing pocket, or to speed up his process under duress.

To their credit, Glass and the Bulldogs offense truly came out firing after the halftime interval. One of the redshirt senior’s most impressive throws saw Glass fire a deep shot to Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim early in the third quarter. Set to hit his receiver in stride, the trailing defensive back instead dragged down Ibrahim for pass interference, preventing a potential 55-yard touchdown. Glass made up for it shortly after however, completing a 37-yard strike to Odieu Hilaire instead. The Bulldogs QB continued to move the ball impressively for a couple further second half scoring drives. Glass finished with 321 passing yards on 60.6% completions, 4 pass TDs and no interceptions.

A starter since his true freshman year, Glass offers significant experience and production at the FCS level. With good size, his frame stands out as a checked box in terms of his physical stature. There is plenty to like about how Glass executes from a clean pocket. He is measured, controlled and repeatable in his drops, footwork and stepping into his throws. There is an overall fluidity in the rhythm and timing of his passes. Glass generally plays calm and with poise. Though taking his share of hits and not an elusive scrambler, he typically maintains a level of control under pressure. A good situational example of coolly corralling an errant snap and finding an open receiver reflects that ability.

Though not a rocket arm, Glass generates more than enough velocity in his throws to be effective downfield. That said, his mechanics are not without critique. The release overall is not the quickest or most compact. Combined with an occasional tendency to stare down an intended target, there are opportunities for alert defensive backs to get a read and early jump on some throws. Though timing and touch can be good, Glass can raise questions over his recognition of coverage or missing more favorable opportunities and open receivers. He may be experienced but throwing a significant number of interceptions has been a consistent feature throughout his college career.

Overall, the combination of good physical traits, experience and production could result in enough checked boxes to warrant a look and potential long-term development. At the same time, there are concerns over consistency, reads, decision making and process that have remained present over the past few seasons. Should he receive good opportunities in the pre-draft process and perform well, he could become a more prominent name as we get closer to April and the 2022 NFL Draft.


Photo Credit: Leighton Chamblee

With only six schools competing in the Southland this season, teams are scheduled to play several conference foes twice this season. For the McNeese defense, that gave them the opportunity to take on one of the better offenses in the nation multiple times in 2021. After a narrow 38-35 defeat in early October to Southeastern Louisiana, they fell agonizingly short again last weekend. Thanks to creating some turnovers, the Cowboys kept the score down, yet still fell 23-20 to the Lions on Saturday evening. Despite the frustration, McNeese standout pass rusher Isaiah Chambers performed well in both outings against SELA.

Chambers compiled a solid stat line for his showing on Saturday. He finished with 5 tackles (3 solo) and a sack. Added to his first performance, Chambers totalled 12 tackles and two sacks against the Lions. The statistics were decent, but his impact went beyond the numbers. Though he didn’t get home early, Chambers proved difficult to handle during the first half. I the opening quarter, he was dragged down on a hold following a spin move that went unflagged. Several times during the opening two quarters, Chambers showcased his strength with impressive bullrushes on the left tackle.

His power was demonstrated again on his sack early in the fourth quarter. Trailing 16-7 and facing a key 3rd-&-4, Chambers came up big with the sack to force a punt. Rushing from right DE, Chambers drove the B-gap to split the double team quickly and landed a forceful hit on Lions QB Cole Kelley. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the resulting punt was mishandled by the returner and turned over. Set up in scoring position, Southeastern ended up adding to their lead. However, back to Chambers, the well-built pass rusher bullied his way through traffic for several run stops to round out his performance.

With a good frame, length, strength and well-rounded athleticism, it’s no surprise that was coveted out of high school. The former 4-star recruit originally redshirted at TCU before spending several years at Houston. Despite some limited playing time due to injuries, he managed 9.5 sacks over 15 games for the Cougars. Chambers’ athleticism translates to his pass rushes. The Cowboys edge features good initial explosion and upfield burst out of his stance. When added to his extension and punch on contact, he can often achieve wins early. Unbalancing the opposing lineman and controlling the opening phase at the point of attack often leads to quick pressure.

When the opening exchanges don’t get the job done, the FBS transfer doesn’t slow down. His quick and strong hands are factors during counters. Chambers can work off contact and hustle his way into late pressure and tackles. There are areas to work on technically and in execution. He tends to play quite narrow and upright at the point of attack. He has the agility and power to turn the corner and to soften angles by attacking the outside shoulder. However, he could more consistently apply leverage and bend in his rushes.

Helping his value is his versatility across the front seven. Chambers frequently move to different alignments, attacking from 2- and 3-point stances, both left and right sides of the line, and can stunt or line up inside in certain situations. Chambers had a strong spring season, with 7.5 sacks in 7 games early in 2021. He has added another 7.5 sacks through the first 8 games in his final season with the Cowboys. His totals so far also include 45 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 8 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble and 2 pass breakups.


Photo Credit: Kevin L. Dorsey

There are some potentially outstanding FCS-level running back prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft class. Led by South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong Jr., others such as Furman’s Devin Wynn have also been featured in our scouting series. Entering the season, Martin was also under consideration among the top small school RBs. His draft stock has likely taken a hit however, with a lingering ankle injury not helping with disappointing production numbers. His massive 2019 season included 1,446 rush yards at 7.7 per carry and 23 touchdowns. Prior to last weekend, he was only averaging around 3.5 yards per carry with 17 yards as his longest gain.

Martin put together an improved performance against Monmouth in his latest opportunity. On 16 carries, he totalled 96 yards at 6.06 per rush and a touchdown. He added 4 yards on 1 reception. In truth, there were still concerns when watching his runs. Martin remains limited in terms of his short-area movements and jump cuts. There’s a lack of suddenness and shift to make defenders miss followed by the burst to exploit holes.

That said, there was also enough positive moments on film to discuss. Martin broke away for his biggest run of the season in the opening quarter. Taking a backward pitch to the short boundary side of the field, the defense broke on the play immediately. Martin succeeded in reversing back to his left and taking advantage of the open space with enough straight-line speed.

Most impressive was the consistently tough running throughout, despite the 35-16 loss to the Hawks. Multiple examples saw Martin take on contact, lower his shoulder and drive for those extra yards each carry. Late in the second quarter, the Aggies runner looked back to his old self on back-to-back runs. The first saw Martin bowl over a defender on a powerful run north. That was followed by an effective spin move to evade early backfield pressure before gaining solid yardage. During the early stages, he had a number of off-ball blocking assignments that he committed to aggressively.

At his previous best, Martin was an outstanding playmaker capable of hitting home runs at any moment. He frequently displayed agility and cuts combined with great instincts to evade contact. The quick feet and timing to his lateral shifts and his creativity would lead to big gains and energizing moments. Whether he can return to that form is key to his projection. He also hasn’t been able to answer the lingering question over his lack of production as a pass catcher. Finally, he’ll need to interview well, following some concerning details over the police incident that led to his suspension from Coastal Carolina in 2017.


Photo Credit: Illinois State Athletics

It’s becoming a repetitive statement during this series but there is fantastic offensive line depth again this upcoming draft class. It would be easy to feature multiple linemen each article. This week, the focus is on Illinois State center Drew Bones, who appeared on the preseason Senior Bowl watch list this Summer. Bones and the Redbirds were involved in one of the more dramatic contests of the week. The redshirt senior OL played well but ended up on the wrong side of a 38-31 loss to Western Illinois.

A couple notes particularly stood out when evaluating Bones’ game. The experienced center exemplifies consistency throughout his play. That begins with his form and overall technique that is maintained from snap-to-whistle. Bones sets a solid base with good knee bend and pad level. The resulting leverage and balance aids him with holding his ground with a stout anchor. With a heavy build and sufficient core strength, Bones backs that up with his upper body technique. Getting consistent extension and hand placement completes the reliable execution as a pass protector. It is notable that he rarely ends up on the turf unnecessarily.

The second appealing note is the indicators of a player with high football IQ. Watching his communication pre-snap, demeanor and pressure pickups during reps give the strong impression of someone who knows his assignments. He is directing his fellow linemen correctly and recognizes impending blitzes and pressure in the moment. As a run blocker, Bones works well as an effective directional blocker to turn defenders and seal off angles.

The positional IQ, excellent technique and smart execution will hopefully compensate for some possible limitations elsewhere. Bones’ stockier build wouldn’t be described as that well-toned, nor as a standout athlete. There is decent foot quickness and adjustments, but overall movement and burst are not among his better traits. The Redbirds center is at his best over short areas, with reduced impact with increased distance from the trenches and in space. An official measurement for his arm length will be useful to see. He could have enough reach and certainly maximizes his extension but may not have standout length.

With later-round to undrafted linemen, offering depth at multiple spots is a significant benefit to making a roster. Bones might not offer much versatility in this respect. As referenced above, he has plenty of positives that could outweigh other concerns. He was certainly diverse at the high school level during three seasons. Bones played on both the offensive and defensive lines, as well as playing basketball and baseball. While primarily playing center, he did feature at guard briefly in Spring 2021 following a hand injury.

Feature Image Credit: Leighton Chamblee.

Rebecca Rennie

rebecca rennie


Rebecca is an NFL Draft analyst focusing primarily on the FCS and Group of Five conferences, and a fan of both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Stanford Cardinal. You can find her other articles here and follow on Twitter @bex_r86.