As the world tries to make sense of such a heinous and dastardly attack on France, we must be steadfast in our resolve to bring those people and nations who harbor such individuals to justice. This senseless attack on innocent lives shall go punished to the fullest extent of international law. The world must unite with the French in sharing it's grief. Not only was this an attack against the French, this was an assault on the very foundations of human society in general. We must show the globe that the actions of a extreme few cannot determine the standards in which people live by. Fear and oppression will be outshone by the light of justice, freedom, and courage. I truly believe that sport is the key element of providing a healing salve that binds us all as humans. Sports, no matter the different type, gives a nation stricken in times such as these, a momentary sense of normalcy and tranquility. We will rise above this as a global culture and bring harsh reprimands for those that wish to damage the beacon of freedom and hope.
Onto the weekly prospect previews
Pittsburgh at Duke NOON ESPNNEWS
- Pittsburgh needs a win to keep pace with North Carolina in the race for the ACC Coastal Division. Duke is coming off an embarrassing loss to those aforementioned Tar Heels last week to the tune of 66-31. Who will ultimately win the roller coaster Coastal for the right to face Clemson in the ACC title game?
NC State at #16 Florida State 12:30 PM ESPN3
- The Noles still have plenty to play for even after the loss to Clemson that essentially sealed the ACC Atlantic. They are very familiar with Wolfpack QB Jacoby Brissett as he's faced them as both a Gator and Wolfpack in recent years. NC State is coming off a win over a traditionally feisty Boston College team 24-8. Florida State has named Everett Golson as the starter at QB once more. Can the Noles rebound from a devastating loss in which they kept it close until late?
NC State prospect to watch
Jacoby Brissett 6'4 240 QB Senior
- Think Cam Newton but a much more refined passer with Big Ben's athleticism and you get Brissett. He transferred in from Florida a couple of years ago after losing the competition there.
Florida State prospects to watch
Everett Golson 6’0 200 QB RS Senior
- Golson is a graduate transfer from Notre Dame who elected to leave South Bend after allegedly falling out with HC Brian Kelly. He has a propensity to turn the ball over at alarming rates, which hasn’t shown itself thus far in Tallahassee. Golson is very scattershot but has enough arm strength to make all the big league throws. Pocket presence is not ideal. Mental toughness is unquestioned. He’s very position specific in that he doesn’t have the ideal measureables to change positions in the pros.
Jalen Ramsey 6’1 204 DB Junior
- Ramsey is arguably the Seminoles’ best player. Athletic ability, instincts, and ball skills are very good. Versatile defender as he’s played safety, corner, and some linebacker. Had a monster 2014 season as a sophomore, winning several games by himself (see Louisville and Miami games in particular). He will play 2015 as a boundary corner exclusively after the pro departure of several teammates at that position. Barring a dip in form and/or injury, Ramsey is likely a top ten pick next year should he take that route. Funny note: Ramsey is also one of kick returners but he has to change his jersey on the sideline before every kick due to the NCAA rule that no two players on the same unit can have the same number. WR Kermit Whitfield also wears #8 so Ramsey has to switch to #17. He asked permission from former Noles legend Charlie Ward to wear his retired #17.
Terrance Smith 6’4 224 OLB RS Senior
- Smith was the heir apparent to current Jaguar linebacker Telvin Smith. Speed is the name of his game and he brings not much else to the table. Smith is one of two linebackers on the roster currently healthy and active after multiple injuries and transfers. He needs a good 2015 campaign to get drafted late. Projected to return.
Chris Casher DE 6’4 250 RS Junior
- Casher is an above average athlete with very little that could translate to outside linebacker. It was an embarrassing sight when he was ordered to drop back into coverage by DC Charles Kelly (who’s proven to be in over his head but that’s another story for another time). A four star recruit from Alabama. Has some pass rush moves but needs further development.
Roberto Aguayo K RS Junior 6’1 203
- Aguayo is the best kicker in all of college football, no questions asked. Possesses a strong leg and is one of the most accurate kickers in history. He has made four of five kicks from 50 yards and beyond in his career. Hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (150+ tries) so far in his illustrious career. 2013 Lou Groza award winner and runner up for the 2014 award. He actually contemplated declaring for the 2015 draft before deciding to return to school. Could’ve been drafted within the first 3 or 4 rounds had he done so. He has the draft option again this year. Would be the second kicker in school history to declare early should he choose that. (Sebastian Janikowski is the first and only kicker in NCAA history to do so).
Miami at #23 North Carolina 3:30 PM ESPNU
- Miami has the potential to play spoiler to North Carolina's Coastal hopes for at least one week. UNC needs a win and a Pittsburgh loss to clinch the division. UNC is coming off a demolition job of rival Duke 66-31 in which they never trailed. Miami had a close 27-21 win over Virginia. Are the Heels Charlotte bound or can the Canes delay the inevitable for one more week?
Miami prospects to watch
Stacy Coley 6’1 187 WR Junior
- Phillip Dorsett who? Coley could end up being a better receiver than Dorsett in their Miami careers. He was a highly touted recruit that signed with the Canes despite their uncertain QB situation and NCAA allegations at the time. Needs to improve his consistency in route running and hands. Needs to quit looking for the home run play and takes what the defense gives him. Experienced at both punt and kick returns. Needs to add more muscle to his frame as currently built, he won’t hold up for the rigors of an NFL schedule.
Deon Bush 6’1 205 S Senior
- Bush is a Canes lifer in that he stuck around even with all the negativity surrounding the program. On the field, he could end up challenging for the best safety in the class when it’s all said and done. Miami’s best defender and it isn’t close. Been used in a variety of situations. Needs to hit the weight room along with Coley. Fundamentally sound tackler and is very consistent in pass defense.
UNC Prospects to watch:
Ryan Switzer WR 5’10 185 Junior
- The last name may sound familiar as Ryan is the grandson of legendary Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry. Switzer is purely a slot receiver and return man in the mold of a Wes Welker as he lacks ideal measurables for the NFL. He has several return touchdowns in his career. Has played both inside and outside receiver positions. It’s highly probable that he stays for his senior season.
Landon Turner OG 6’3 325 RS Senior
- A massive road grader type of guard who needs to refine the technical aspects of his game. Has a good base and lower body strength. Turner’s hand usage is subpar in that he relies too much on his strength. He could be the top senior guard off the board in 2016.
Oregon at #7 Stanford 7:30 PM Fox
- Can the undermanned Ducks travel to Palo Alto and upset the rolling Stanford Cardinal? Stanford hasn't lost since the season opener to Northwestern, The Cardinal dispatched the hapless Colorado Buffaloes 42-10 while Oregon held off Jared Goff and Cal 44-28. This game has become a Pac-12 North title decider as of late. Oregon needs a similar performance from its defense this week to keep it within closing distance of Stanford. While the Ducks are out of it, they can throw a lot of chaos into the Pac-12 should they pull off the upset. Look for Stanford sophomore athlete Christian McCaffery to blow up even further against a poorly coached Ducks defense.
Oregon prospects to watch
DeForest Buckner 6’7 290 DE Senior
- Arik Armstead who? Buckner is just as good if not better than the 49ers first round pick in the 2015 Draft. He’s a physical marvel and has very little bad weight. More of a brute strength type of defensive end instead of the speed type we’ve seen from Oregon in years past. Has some ability to drop back into coverage but it’s not the best aspect of his game.
Bralon Addison 5’10 190 WR RS Junior
- Addison is making his way back to full fitness after tearing his knee up in fall camp last year. It’s been a slow but steady recovery for him and with Oregon’s offense struggling somewhat, hasn’t shown his true talents. He’s normally a speed merchant with above average hands and great return ability. Frame at the next level will certainly be a question as he’s limited to the slot given his current body type. Frequently spotted as the WildDuck (puts $20 into the ATQ tip jar) QB.
Tyler Johnstone 6’6 295 OT Redshirt Senior
- Johnstone has been a stalwart tackle for the Ducks when he’s healthy. The medical at the Combine will be scrutinized very closely by the doctors there as he’s torn his ACL twice in back to back years. 2015 has been a bounce back year for him however. Fits more of a right tackle role than a left one but he is capable at both spots.
Stanford prospect to watch
Kevin Hogan 6'4 225 QB RS Senior
- Hogan possesses an above average arm that will get him places in the NFL but needs to work on becoming more consistently accurate. He has some ability to land those critical "touch" passes and has really improved in that area so far this year outside of the opener where he was horrendous all around. A better athlete than most will give him credit for. Pocket awareness isn't as ideal since he hasn't had to deal with a "busy" pocket since the Stanford OL has been good so far. At this point in the year, Hogan is my third best quarterback on the board in a very weak class. Needs to show out during the offseason draft circuit to sneak into the early rounds.
#10 Utah at Arizona 10 PM Fox Sports 1
- Utah has bounced back nicely after suffering a shock defeat to USC from a month ago, sweeping through the Pacific Northwest (both Oregon schools and Washington). Arizona has dropped three straight contests heading into this one. The Wildcats QB play in summation, not very good. Rich Rod is a candidate for a coaching vacancy back east (Virginia Tech for the most part because of his local ties there). The Utes are the heavy favorites to win the Pac-12 South with a two game lead over USC. Can the Utes keep it going or will the Wildcats get away with one in the desert?
Utah prospects to watch
Travis Wilson 6’7 233 Senior QB
- Wilson is pretty much Mike Glennon 2.0 with the injury history. He’s missed a lot of the past two years with various injuries like a broken finger, concussion, and is currently dealing with a shoulder issue. Very inconsistent game and could be a one year hit like Mark Sanchez. Doesn’t have a lot of arm strength and has happy feet in the pocket trying to compensate for the lack of arm talent. Athleticism isn’t the greatest either.
Devontae Booker RB 5’11 212 Redshirt Senior
- Booker was one of the best backs in the country last year and will look for a repeat performance. He’s a bigger back in today’s world and knows how to use his strength to get up field in a hurry. Instincts are very good. Knows what he is as a back and doesn’t dance around looking for a hole. A good receiver out of the backfield.
Arizona prospects to watch
Scooby Wright III 6'1 246 LB Junior
- Wright is coming off a knee surgery done in the early beginnings of the season. Wright had a monster 2014 season, posting 164 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles. He's not the field general type of inside linebacker but is a loose cannon that features an uncanny ability to get in the backfield. Athleticism is less than ideal but he makes up for it with generally good instincts.
Bonus games to watch
Maryland at #13 Michigan State NOON ESPN2
- This game has trap game written all over it as the Terrapins might catch the Spartans unawares with the big showdown with the Buckeyes next week. Michigan State is coming off a controversial last second loss to Nebraska last week while Maryland lost to Wisconsin. Can Sparty rebound after a heartbreaking loss and defeat a moribund Terrapins program before playing spoiler to the Buckeyes?
#21 Memphis at #24 Houston & PM ESPN2
- Can the Tigers bounce back after a tough loss to Navy last week? A battle between two of the hottest coaching candidates in this AAC showdown. Memphis needs a win to hang onto any hope of securing that New Year's Day bowl bid for the Group of Six (non power 5 conferences).