clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TFG: Pac-12 Power Edition

New, comments

Who are the key prospects to watch as the Pac-12 begins to sort itself out?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

#9 UCLA at #16 Arizona 8 PM ABC

- The Bruins travel to Tucson to take on Rich Rodriguez and the high flying Wildcats offense. UCLA has been hit hard by the injury bug, losing star LB Myles Jack and DL Eddie Vanderdoes to season ending injuries. Freshman QB Josh "Chosen" Rosen is making his Pac-12 road debut tonight. For the Wildcats, there's no mystery to solve here as standout LB Scooby Wright III has been cleared to play after offseason knee surgery. Rich Rod is 0-3 against the Bruins. Can the Wildcats pull off the upset against the reeling Bruins?

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.

Arizona prospects to watch

Scooby Wright III 6'1 246 LB Junior

- Wright is coming off a knee surgery done in the offseason. 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.

#18 Utah at #13 Oregon 8:30 PM Fox

- The Ducks play host to the Utes in what has been an interesting conference battle over the past couple of years. Utah has injury issues as QB Travis Wilson is dealing with a shoulder problem that might cause him to miss the game. Oregon has a QB injury to deal with as transfer Vernon Adams isn't completely healthy with a broken finger but should play. The Ducks won a tuneup game last week against hapless Georgia State after getting whipped (physically) by Michigan State two weeks ago. Oregon needs a win or they will be all but out of the playoff chase.

Utah prospect to watch

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.

Oregon prospects to watch

DeForest Buckner DE 6'7 290 Senior

- Arik Armstead who? Buckner was the Ducks' best lineman last year. Bucker is an imposing physical specimen, which is a departure from Oregon linemen of late. Has very good athleticism for a guy his size. Could be more of a 5 technique in the pros. Has some ability to drop back into coverage as a linebacker.

Tyler Johnstone OT 6'6 295 RS Senior

- Johnstone could be one of the best tackles in the game if he could stay healthy. He's had ACL tears in back to back years. Missed 2014 after reinjuring the knee in fall camp (original injury was in 2013 bowl game). Kyle Long who? Johnstone is very fundamentally sound as a blocker and light on his feet. Could be a franchise left tackle.

Bralon Addison WR 5'10 190 RS Junior

- The speed merchant is back from an ACL tear of his own. There were some rumblings that he could've been back in time for the playoffs last year but the coaches wisely held him back. Addison could be the fastest player in the country. On field attitude mirrors Steve Smith (the longtime Panthers/Ravens version). Above average hands.

#19 USC at Arizona State 10:30 PM ESPN

- The Trojans take on the unranked Sun Devils in a expected shootout in Tempe. USC is coming off a stunning upset loss to Stanford last week. ASU is coming off back to back wins after suffering a loss to Texas A&M in the season opener. USC HC Steve Sarkesian may need this win to keep his job after the leash got tighter after the loss last week. Last year's game was a duel to the bitter end in overtime with the Trojans prevailing. #PAC12AfterDark is in play. What is #Pac12AfterDark? It's a game where the craziest scenarios you can think of happening in football actually do happen.

USC prospects to watch

Cody Kessler 6’1 215 QB RS Senior

- Kessler is the presumptive favorite for the 2015 Heisman as of this writing. He’s limited athletically as a prospect but is more of a game manager type. Pocket awareness is above average as well as footwork. Arm strength is a concern as he lacks it to make the big league throws to the outside. In the running for best QB in the country.

Max Tuerk 6’6 285 OL Senior

- Tuerk makes observers harken back to the glory days of former Trojan linemen standouts. He’s been used at every lineman position but his best is at center and left tackle. Long arms and great hand usage. Base and footwork are very good. Intelligence is good as well.

Su’a Cravens 6’1 225 OLB Junior

- Cravens could be the best defender in the Pac-12. Position versatile as he originally started out at safety before converting to linebacker last year. Athleticism is very good as the hips are fluid and footwork is impressive. Instincts are great as well. Finds the hole in the offensive scheme and attacks it. Pass defense is underrated as he shows an uncanny ability to always find the ball.

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