UNC at University of South Carolina 6 PM EDT ESPN
Location: Bank of America Stadium (home of the Carolina Panthers and ACC Championship)
The scandalized Tar Heels take on the Gamecocks in a border war that doubles as the curtain raiser of the 2015 season. Both teams struggled mightily in 2014 with the Heels going 6-7 and the Gamecocks sporting a 7-6 record. UNC was also shut out of the 2015 NFL Draft after the last vestiges of Butch Davis recruiting efforts left the program. The Ol Ball Coach had some interesting comments during the offseason indicating that he could be winding down his career soon. Would he make 2015 his last season if South Carolina doesn’t rebound to respectability?
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.
South Carolina Prospects to watch
Pharoh Cooper WR 5’11 208 Junior
Cooper was literally South Carolina’s entire offense at times last year. He’s a versatile athlete that played wildcat QB and running back in addition to his receiver duties. Cooper is similar to Kendall Wright in that both feature stocky body types and the lack of advanced route running ability coming out of college. Route running could be compared to Sammy Watkins in college i.e. the screen game.
Skai Moore LB 6’2 218 Junior
The 2015 version of a less athletic Shaq Thompson in that he’s too light for linebacker but too slow for safety. Tackling is a plus as he’s well versed in the fundamentals. Has 149 tackles and seven interceptions in only 13 starts out of a possible 25 games played.
Michigan at Utah 8:30 PM EDT Fox Sports 1
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium SLC, Utah
The most anticipated coaching debut in recent memory is finally here. Jim Harbaugh takes his Wolverines out west to a sneaky good home field advantage in Rice-Eccles Stadium. A non-traditional Big Ten v. Pac-12 game. Will the Utes spoil Harbaugh’s debut coaching performance? As of this writing, Michigan has not determined a starting QB. Graduate transfer (from Iowa) Jake Rudock and a hopefully unconcussed Shane Morris have dueled for the job all offseason with very little separation.
Michigan prospect to watch
Wayne Lyons CB 6’1 196 Redshirt Senior
Lyons has been in school for so long that he was actually recruited to Stanford by Harbaugh. He’s a graduate transfer so the transfer rule doesn’t apply to him. A tall physical corner in the mold of a Brandon Browner. One of the best corners in the nation. Lyons is pretty much set for life even if the NFL isn’t in his future (it is) with degrees from two of the most prestigious schools in the country.
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.
Bonus Games to Watch
(2) TCU at Minnesota 9 PM EDT ESPN
Colorado at Hawaii 1 AM CBS Sports Network