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TFG: Playoffs? Playoffs? Playoffs Edition

Who are the key prospects to watch in Thursday's action featuring the playoff teams?

Reggie Ragland. Future Titan?
Reggie Ragland. Future Titan?
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl NOON ESPN

#18 Houston vs. #9 Florida State

Location: Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA

- The high powered upstart Cougars offense travels to the ATL to take on the Seminoles. Houston scored a major upset by retaining its coach Tom Herman after months of speculation about him leaving for another job. They were the highest ranked Group of Six team left after a wild finish to the AAC season. Herman was the OC for Ohio State's championship run last year. Florida State had a successful "reloading" year, only losing twice in 2015. Led by superstar sophomore RB Dalvin Cook, the offense kept on humming despite the QB changes. FSU was the only team in Division 1 this year to not allow a single opponent to score over 25 points. The Noles kept both HC Jimbo Fisher and DC Charles Kelly despite interest by other programs. Former QB Everrett Golson (the Notre Dame transfer) is not with the team after it was announced that he left for personal reasons. QB Sean Maguire will start in his stead as he has done in the past several games.

Florida State prospects to watch

1. Jalen Ramsey 6'1 202 CB 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. Converted to cornerback full time in 2015 after the departure of several talented teammates to the NFL. He possesses the size and athleticism that scouts crave. His confidence elevates the level of play around him. Had a great 2015 season despite a turnstile at safety beside him due to injury and lack of "talent". He is a talented corner but could be the next Eric Berry should he be converted to safety.

2. 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).

3. 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.

Capital One Orange Bowl 4 PM ESPN

#4 Oklahoma vs. #1 Clemson

Location: Sun Life Stadium Miami, FL

- The first semifinal of the playoff is in sunny South Florida. Clemson retained the #1 ranking after defeating North Carolina in the ACC title game. They featured one of the better defenses in the nation despite losing many top flight starters to the NFL and graduation. The Tigers are without three players due to suspension, most notably freshman receiver Deon Cain. Oklahoma comes in as the Big 12 champion with a horrendous loss to Texas on its resume. They won the conference by virtue of defeating Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks. They are led by star QB Baker Mayfield who transferred from Texas Tech. Clemson is led by Heisman finalist QB Deshaun Watson. The Tigers DC Brent Venables was a former Oklahoma assistant. Expect a wild shootout in Miami.

Oklahoma prospects to watch

1. Sterling Shepard WR 5'10 193 Senior

- The electric Shepard will draw a great matchup with Clemson's Mackensie Alexander.  Alexander will have to figure out how to deal with Shepard's suddenness and speed. There has been some momentum growing with Shepard among the draft community and he could very well end up being a day two pick this spring.

2. Zack Sanchez CB 5'11 179 RS Junior

- Sanchez is just a playmaker, plain and simple. He's an instinctual player and seems to always make the play when the Sooners need him. Scouts are concerned with his size (5'11, 175.)  He will likely need to add a bit of weight and strength for NFL teams to get comfortable with him.

3. Eric Striker LB 6'0 222 Senior

- Striker is another undersized player.  He's a high-energy, trash talking pass rusher, but don't expect that to be his role in the NFL.  I think he's probably a day three guy as an off ball linebacker.  Teams will ask him to add weight, but his playmaking skills and ability in space should find him a home

Clemson prospects to watch

1. Shaq Lawson 6'3 275 DE

- Vic Beasley who? Lawson has more than capably replaced Beasley as his replacement in 2015. Lawson possesses more of a brute strength game rather than a explosive athletic ability one. He has very solid fundamentals and is well schooled in tackling the right way. Has the strength to toss aside the blocker and a high motor. Footwork despite his athletic limitations is above average. Doesn't have that explosive first step like a Joey Bosa but will constantly outwork the blocker. Ball skills are good. Discipline and football IQ are very good. Doesn't abandon his gap assignment to go hunting for glory stats like sacks and tackles for losses. Has the talent to be a first round pick should he declare.

2. Mackensie Alexander 5'10 195 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. Lockdown defender who rarely lets a receiver get by.

3. Jayron Kearse 6'4 220 S Junior

- Kearse is one of the top safeties in the ACC, if not the entire country. Athleticism is off the charts good and he has worked diligently on his fundamentals this year. Good athlete that can play both safety positions but strong safety is likely his calling card. NFL bloodlines are a plus as he is the nephew of former Titans great Jevon Kearse and former Miami Hurricanes DB Phillip Buchanon is a cousin.

Goodyear  Cotton Bowl 8 PM ESPN

#3 Michigan State vs. #2 Alabama

Location: AT&T Stadium, Dallas, TX

- The SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide and Big Ten champion Michigan State Spartans face each other in Jerry’s World. The Spartans defeated Iowa in a mind melting 22 play drive that spanned 9 minutes of game time to win the Big Ten title. Alabama put away Florida in its usual perfunctory manner in the SEC title game. Can the Tide use last year’s "failure" as fuel to key a run to the title? Can the Spartans repeat their fellow conference mate Buckeyes run as the 4 seed and win the title in 2015? Both teams feature top ranked defenses. There are several connections between these two coaching staffs. Tide HC Nick Saban coached at Michigan State before heading to the Bayou. Current Sparty HC Mark Dantonio served on Saban’s staff at the time. Unlike the semifinal in Miami, expect this one to be a defensive struggle.

Michigan State prospects to watch

1. Shilique Calhoun 6'5 252 DE RS Senior

-  A dominant force for the Spartans for two years now. He's improved his fundamentals in 2015. Projected to be a first rounder in 2015, 2016 shouldn't be any different. Pass rush arsenal has grown considerably. Very good usage of hands and arms to keep the blocker at bay. A sound tackler in the run game. Ball skills have progressed. Above average speed game. One of the best pure 4-3 end prospects in the country.

2. Connor Cook QB 6'4 220 RS Senior

- Cook isn't your average turn around and hand it off Spartans QB. Has an above average arm that can make most of the big league throws. Reads the field very well and take what is given to him in most cases. Cook has reined in his scattershot arm this year significantly. Profiles as this year's Zach Mettenberger.

Alabama prospects to watch

1. Jarran Reed 6'3 313 DL Senior

- Reed has actually overshadowed the highly touted A'Shawn Robinson this season.  He's rocketed up draft boards, causing disruption with his violent hands. Reed is an ideal fit for a 3-4 team in need of a five technique end.  A surprisingly agile and quick guy for his size when he's asked to unleash that part of his game. Willing to do the dirty work inside.

2. A'Shawn Robinson 6'3 312 DL Junior

- Alabama prospects are always tough, just because of the talent around them.  Robinson is no different.  Robinson's game is built off of power, but he's more agile than you would think.  He's a versatile piece, lining up at nose and five tech.  He and Reed form a potent combo up front.

3. Reggie Ragland 6'2 258 ILB Senior

- Instincts, instincts, instincts. Ragland is the leader of the Alabama front and usually finds his way to the football on every snap.  He isn't as athletic as Jaylon Smith or Myles Jack, but he's close.  Look for Ragland to patrol the second level today against a stout Michigan State rushing attack. He's very fundamentally sound in all aspects. Shows elite instincts and proper tackle form. Very physical hitter. Athleticism is good enough to cover sideline to sideline but he's better at going downhill, striking fear into the opposition. Doesn't miss tackles when given the opportunity.

4. Derrick Henry RB 6'3 242 Junior

- Henry is a polarizing prospect.  Some see his height (6-4) and totally write him off.  Others love his power and think he's a special, unique talent.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  I'm not sure he has enough change of direction ability to sift through and find the holes in the NFL.  I can't help but wonder what happens when his offensive line isn't dominant. My concern is that his workload has been insane, touching the ball 90 times in the past two games alone. It's a wonder that he's still healthy after 547 carries in his career. Another concern is that he's "too tall" for the position thus giving away a bigger profile for defenders to hit.