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TFG: Big Ten/ACC Showdown Saturday

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How will these teams fare in the conference openers for many?

Jaylon Smith. Do. Want.
Jaylon Smith. Do. Want.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

(1) Ohio State at Indiana 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2

- The Buckeyes are a shaky 4-0 after close wins the past couple of games over heavily underdog opponents. It appears that they have finally settled on a QB after rotating between Cardale Jones and JT Barrett. Indiana has given some teams trouble the past few years and will be a tough out. The Hoosiers upset Maryland last year behind the running attack of current Atlanta Falcon RB Tevin Coleman. Can the Buckeyes finally put a game together in 2015?

Ohio State prospects to watch

1. Joey Bosa 6'5 275 DE Junior

- He could be the country's best defensive end prospect. A favorite to win all of the major lineman awards in 2015. Clowney 2.0?

2. Ezekiel Elliott 6'0 225 RB Junior

- Elliott was last seen trampling through both Alabama and Oregon during the playoffs, which he ran for over 200 yards in each contest. Maurice Clarett with better athleticism and less off field baggage. Has elite vision and instincts. Rarely ever takes a loss. Unfortunately we won't be able to see the throwback cutoff jersey as the NCAA has banned those.

3. Darron Lee 6'1 235 OLB RS Sophomore

- Lee is the steady defensive general for the Buckeyes. Has the potential to be a lighter and faster Aldon Smith/Luke Kuechly combo.

4. Adolphus Washington 6'4 290 DT Senior

- Washington has been a force in the middle for the Buckeyes. Really came on last year after two middling years prior. Could be Nick Fairley good if he maintains his junior form.

5. Taylor Decker 6'7 317 OT Senior

- Decker compares favorably to another Taylor in the Titans own Taylor Lewan (I know this is sacrilege in Ann Arbor). The best tackle prospect in the class without question.

6. Cardale Jones 6'5 250 QB RS Junior

- The darling of the Buckeyes' playoff title run came back to school after seriously considering declaring for the draft. Should he start in 2015, he's a much more athletic Byron Leftwich (who has had a pretty decent NFL career all things considered). Can he take the next step in read progression?

7. Vonn Bell 5'11 205 FS Junior

- The former 5 star recruit nearly picked the Volunteers to follow in Eric Berry's footsteps but chose the Buckeyes instead. He's an above average athlete with NFL quality instincts and vision. A hard hitter with good tackling form.

Indiana prospect to watch

1. Jordan Howard 6'1 230 RB Junior

- Howard transferred to Indiana after UAB (temporarily) shut the football program down for financial reasons. He's a big physical back that led C-USA in rushing last year. Howard is off to a good start this year, leading the Big Ten in rushing.

Arizona State at (7) UCLA 7:30 PM Fox

- The Sun Devils are trying to pick up the pieces after a blowout loss to USC last week. Can the Bruins make ASU go 0-2 against the city of Los Angeles? Will the Chosen Rosen stand out yet again in what is a promising freshman year? The Sun Devils desperately need a win to stay alive in the topsy turvy Pac-12 race.

Arizona State prospect to watch

D.J. Foster 5’10 195 WR Senior

- Foster has made the switch to receiver to better enhance his pro prospects after being a running back for his previous three years. He’s one of the best players in the country, regardless of offensive position. With former Sun Devils Jaelen Strong and Marion Grice in the NFL, Foster is the top returning weapon. A great athlete and receiver out of the backfield with underrated strength

UCLA prospects to watch

Paul Perkins 5'11 210 RB RS Junior

- Perkins is probably the nation's most underrated back in the country due to the hype of the backs above him. He's a explosive athlete with very capable hands out of the backfield. Character is excellent as well.

Jordan Payton 6'1 212 WR Senior

- Payton has been the old standby for the Bruins for the past four years. He has great body control and some of the best hands in the country. Needs an excellent 2015 season to move up into the third round range.

(6) Notre Dame at (12) Clemson 8 PM ABC

- The Irish travel to Death Valley to take on a Tigers team ready to make a statement against the perception that the ACC is weak. The Tigers will need to be on point offensively as the Irish D is very talented. Can QB Deshone Kizer lead the Irish into one of the most inhospitable road venues and come out with a win? Can Clemson QB Deshaun Watson make the jump into being one of the best nation's best by beating the Irish?

Notre Dame prospects to watch

Ronnie Stanley 6’5 315 OT RS Junior

- Stanley could’ve been the first tackle off the board in the 2015 draft had he declared for early entry. He’s the best tackle in the country by far.

Nick Martin 6’3 320 G/C Senior

- Martin is the younger brother of current Cowboys lineman Zack. Nick might end up being a better pro prospect. Can play both guard and center but will likely end up as a guard at the next level.

KeiVarae Russell 5’11 190 CB Senior

- Russell is doing the Everett Golson aka returning from a year long academic misconduct suspension. He has the potential to be the best corner in the country. Revis Island like potential.

Sheldon Day 6’2 285 DT Senior

- Day is this year’s Grady Jarrett in that he can play all of the line positions without losing a step. A still raw prospect that has yet to fully utilize all of his talents. He flashed particularly well against Florida State last year.

Jaylon Smith 6’2 235 OLB Junior

- A tackling machine that could be considered as the best outside linebacker in the nation. The defensive general for the Irish. A smaller Von Miller if you will.

Clemson prospects to watch

Mackensie Alexander 5’11 185 CB RS Sophomore

- Alexander is the second best corner in the conference. He boldly claimed that he was the best corner in the ACC and he just might have the skills to back it up. Fundamentally sound and is very coachable. Athleticism is above average as well. However, Alexander is old for a RS Sophomore at 22 years old.

Mike Williams 6’3 205 WR Junior

- The heir apparent to Sammy Watkins has a starting job to call his own after a standout sophomore campaign. Williams is essentially Martavis Bryant 2.0 as his route running skills haven’t fully developed yet and is known as a deep threat only. He could be the nation’s top receiver by the end of 2015. Has very good body control and ball skills. Had a major health scare (was carted off) in the first game due to a collision with the goalpost but should be ready to go tonight.

Jayron Kearse 6’4 205 S Junior

- Kearse is one of the top safeties in the ACC, if not the entire country. Athleticism is off the charts good but he needs to work on fundamentals. Very inexperienced with only 17 career starts. Needs an NFL strength and conditioning program desperately as frame cannot hold up for 16+ games as presently constituted. NFL bloodlines are impressive as any prospect in this year’s class. He’s a cousin of former Miami Hurricane DB Phillip Buchanon (who had a good career with the 49ers after his career with the storied early 2000s Canes teams). The last name should be very familiar to Titans fans as he’s the nephew of former Titans standout pass rusher Jevon Kearse.