clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Titans Fan Guide: Simmering Saturday Edition

What will a Saturday full of intriguing yet underrated matchups bring out in prospects?

JuJu. Do Want.
JuJu. Do Want.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

#20 West Virginia at Texas Tech NOON FS1

- Two of Mike Leach's best Air Raid disciples match wits in this Big 12 showdown. West Virginia represents the Big 12's best hopes of reaching the playoffs as they are currently undefeated. Texas Tech lost a heartbreaker last week in a wild 44-38 affair against Kansas State. Both sides don't know what the concept of defense is so expect a shootout in Lubbock. Which Leach pupil will come out on top? Holgy or Kingsbury?

WVU prospect to watch

1. Rushel Shell 5'10 225 RB RS Senior

- Shell has been a good fit for the Dana Holgerson's high powered (mostly in theory) spread option attack for a couple of years now. He is a transfer from Pittsburgh. Above average speed and athleticism. An intriguing option out of the backfield. Inexperienced due to being utilized in a running back by committee for most of his career.

Texas Tech prospect to watch

1. Patrick Mahomes II 6'2 219 QB Junior

- Mahomes is the point guard of the pass happy Red Raiders offense and has been very effective in the system. Above average arm talent that can make most of the big league throws. Pretty good athleticism to escape the pocket when things break down. The system that he is in really hampers his stock. Projected as a poor man's Blaine Gabbert (coming out of college).

USC at Arizona 3:30 PM Fox

- The Trojans pay a visit to rustic Tucson to take on a struggling Wildcats team looking for consistency. USC is coming off a 21-17 win over America's darling upstart Colorado. Arizona is coming off a loss to Utah last week. Both programs are apparently in coach for their jobs mode. Can the Wildcats further sink Clay Helton's hopes of sticking around for more than a year? Will the Trojans end the Rich Rod regime? USC is starting redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold after sever inconsistent games from QB Max Browne. 'Zona doesn't really have an answer at QB, which is atypical of a Rich Rod coached offense.

USC prospects to watch

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster 6'2 220 WR Junior

- JuJu burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2014, taking much of the hype away from current Eagles WR Nelson Agholor and Jaguars WR Marqise Lee. Now he's a wise old veteran junior, ready to go pro like the Trojan receivers before him. He has a bigger frame than some wideouts of this generation, coming in at 6'2 220 yet has the athleticism of someone smaller. Considered to be the top receiver prospect in the country.

2. Adoree' Jackson 5'11 185 CB/WR Junior

- Jackson is probably the nation's most dynamic athlete, playing both receiver and corner in addition to return duties. He also runs track for the Trojans in the spring. Jackson is a speed merchant with a decent amount of cornerback skills to make it in the pros if the receiver thing doesn't work out. Special teams ace with several return touchdowns. He's lived up to his lofty billing as a top recruit and then some. Expect him to go pro after 2016.

3. Zach Banner 6'9 360 OT RS Senior

- Banner is a mammoth 6'9 360 and is a true road grader type of tackle. He is a little raw in terms of technique and fundamentals due to a lack of playing time but has a lot of potential. Could rise up the boards this year.

Arizona prospect to watch

1. Trey Griffey 6'2 209 WR RS Senior

- The son of legendary MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. He has chosen to strike out on his own path as a football player instead of playing baseball like his father and grandfather. Frame is above average and can add more weight if need be. While not as athletic as dad (who really was back in the day?), has a decent amount of agility.

North Carolina at #16 Miami 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2

- The Tar Heels and Canes get together in Miami to lick their wounds from devastating losses last week. The Heels lost to Hurricane Matthew, Bud Foster, and Virginia Tech (in which order, is a matter of debate). The elements were such that the game should have been moved. Miami narrowly avoided Matthew at home but could not avoid yet another loss to Dalvin Cook and the Noles. This year's loss could be a program defining mental drain as they lost on a blocked extra point (is it just me or are they getting blocked a lot more this year?). The loser in this one could have their ACC Coastal dreams shattered. Expect better weather and a pretty good contest between two of the country's best QBs.

UNC prospects to watch

1. Caleb Peterson 6'5 300 OG Senior

- Landon Turner who? Peterson has the potential to make Turner a thing of the past.

2. Ryan Switzer 5'10 185 WR Senior

- 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" or a "Kendall Wright" as he lacks ideal measurables for the NFL. He has several return touchdowns in his career. Has played both inside and outside receiver positions.

3. Mitch Trubisky 6'3 209 QB RS Junior

- He has taken the college football world by storm (well, relatively speaking, compared to Lamar Jackson). Served as Marquise Williams' understudy last year, playing in spot duty. Football IQ is above average. Rarely panics when pocket gets messy and delivers the ball with a consistent motion. Average arm talent but gets the ball where it needs to go in most cases. His NFL comp could be the Raiders' Derek Carr with a weaker arm. Carr throws it down the field with more consistency but Trubisky has the short and medium range pass game to make a decent go of it in the NFL.

Miami prospects to watch

1. Brad Kaaya 6'4 210 QB Junior

- Kaaya could make an argument for the title of the nation's best quarterback prospect after a month's worth of games. He has all the intangibles that one look for in a quarterback such as work ethic and leadership. He was consistently one of the underclassmen last year that I harped on a lot. While not having the strongest arm in the class, he always seems to find a way to get it to his playmakers. Football IQ and instincts are very good. He knows when and how to utilize the fastball and the touch passes at the right moment in most cases. If I had to make a comp for him right now, I'd go with a slightly less athletic Marcus Mariota or a bigger arm Colt McCoy (who's carved out a pretty decent living as a backup QB).

2. Stacy Coley 6'1 195 WR Senior

- Coley could end up being a better receiver than Phillip Dorsett in their Miami careers. 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.

3. Chad Thomas 6'6 265 DE Junior

- Thomas has more than lived up to his five star billing from high school during his Canes career. He has been Miami's best defensive lineman the past couple of years. Remember Anthony Chickillo? Thomas is miles better than he is right 3now in terms of their college careers. A speed rush specialist that will likely need to add or lose weight depending on what his NFL team asks him to do.

#2 Ohio State at #8 Wisconsin 8 PM ABC

- The second ranked Buckeyes travel to rowdy Camp Randall (seriously it might be one of the best home field advantages in college) to take on a rolling Badgers squad intent on the upset. Ohio State is coming off a perfunctory 38-17 win over Indiana in what was a revenge match. Wisconsin is coming off a 14-7 loss to fourth ranked Michigan. Buckeyes QB JT Barrett has a chance to add to his Heisman portfolio as presumptive favorite Lamar Jackson "struggled" against Duke last night. As usual with the Badgers, they feature a great running game with a little QB play mixed in. Wisky needs a win and some help to stay alive in the Big Ten West race. OSU is careening towards a likely showdown of undefeated programs with Michigan in November. Another prospect for the Buckeyes is freshman standout RB Mike Weber. College GameDay location.

Ohio State prospects to watch

1. Raekwon McMillan 6'2 240 LB Junior

- The Buckeyes defensive field general. He has more than lived up to his five star billing. Instincts and athleticism are very good. He's a good enough athlete to play anywhere on the front seven. Could be a great outside linebacker in the NFL. I've been keeping an eye on this guy since his freshman year.

2.Sam Hubbard 6'4 265 DE/OLB RS Sophomore

- Joey Bosa who? Hubbard burst onto the scene with some great performances as Bosa's backup during the past couple of years.

3. J.T Barrett 6'1 225 6'1 225 QB RS Junior

- Barrett is finally the unquestioned standalone starter in Columbus after seeing Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller off to the pros. The Texas native is a bit on the smaller side frame wise but has enough physicality to make it work. Only injury concern is the terrible leg injury during the Buckeyes' title run that gave way to #CrashforCardale mania. I compare his game to that of a bigger and more refined Tyrod Taylor.

Wisconsin prospects to watch

1. Corey Clement 5'10 227 RB Senior

- Clement was the heir to Melvin Gordon's throne as the next great Badgers RB in 2015. It wasn't a banner year for him as he dealt with injuries that cost most of the year and ended with a fight in November. 2016 looks to be much brighter for him as he's healthy and let go of the selfish ego issues. A typical Wisconsin style big back with a decent amount of athleticism.