A lighter schedule on the decks for today but there are still some intriguing matchups that could present themselves.
#9 West Virginia at Oklahoma State 3:30 PM ABC
- The high octane Mountaineers travel to Stillwater to take on a heartbroken Cowboys squad that lost Bedlam on a 2 point try. The Eers are coming off a romp over moribund TCU last week. WVU needs a win to force a winner takes all showdown with Oklahoma next week. Oklahoma State can go bowling with a win today. Which defense can contain the offense?
West Virginia prospects to watch
1. Will Grier 6’1 214 QB RS Senior
- Grier is one of the best pocket passers in the class. He makes everything seem so effortless in terms of moving the pocket, making the right reads, and has enough arm talent to make the throws. Has enough athleticism to make things work when things are not on schedule. Footwork is a plus. The frame is a question that needs answering he’s listed at 6’1 214. He could be the best QB that Holgo has ever had run his system. Character and work ethic are major pluses. Mature as a college athlete as he’s married and has a family.
2. Gary Jennings, Jr 6’1 209 WR Senior
- The “other guy” in the potent Mountaineers’ passing attack. He’s an reliable weapon for them. The Air Raid offense has benefited him tremendously as he’s the third leading receiver on the team with 49 receptions and 600 yards to go with 10 touchdowns. A big play specialist.
3. David Long 5’11 225 LB RS Junior
- Long has been a playmaker for the Eers on defense. He’s seemingly everywhere on the field. He has dominated the stat sheet as he’s put up 84 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. A rangy athletic linebacker type that can cover sideline to sideline. The size is a question though as 225 is rather small for the next level. Maybe a transition to safety is in the cards?
4. Yodny Cajuste 6’5 315 OT RS Senior
- One of the more underrated offensive tackle prospects due to the system he plays in. Football IQ is a plus. Technician. Fundamentally sound. Experienced as a senior. Could be drafted in the middle rounds and be a steal.
Oklahoma State prospects to watch
1. Justice Hill 5’10 190 RB Junior
- Hill is the top guy on the Cowboys backfield and has continued his great production from his sophomore campaign. He’s one of the best backs in the nation. Lateral agility is a plus. Vision is up there with the best. Should be drafted relatively high if he declares.
2. Tylan Wallace 6’0 185 WR Sophomore
- Wallace is the heir apparent to James Washington. He bears watching as a top contender to WR1 in 2019. The main deep threat for the Pokes. He’s a burner that can catch very well. Improving as a route runner every week.
Wisconsin at Purdue 3:30 PM Big Ten Network
- A traditional Big Ten style brawl is in the cards with Bucky Badger traveling to West Lafayette where Ohio State saw their playoff chances dashed. Purdue could be distracted with the news of their head coach being heavily rumored to coach Louisville. Both teams are coming off losses. Wisky lost to Penn State while Purdue got blown out by Minnesota. The Trent Tyler story is amazing. Go check it out, folks.
Wisconsin prospects to watch
1. The entire offensive line
- Collectively, they are the best offensive line in college football. David Edwards (6’7 319) and Tyler Biadasz (6’3 322) lead the way. TB is the youngest of the bunch as a RS Sophomore while the others are RS Junior and RS Seniors. It can be argued that this could be the most talented OL prospect pool in history.
2. T.J. Edwards 6’1 248 LB RS Senior
- He profiles as a typical Badgers linebacker as he’s athletically limited but is very football savvy. Edwards likely won’t test well in the offseason but the film is so good. He’s constantly in position to make the play due to his football IQ. Talented linebacker that can make something of himself as a rotation piece and on special teams.
Purdue prospect to watch
1. Lorenzo Neal 6’2 315 DL Junior
- The son of former Titans fullback / legend Lorenzo Neal is a talented defensive line prospect. He projects more of a defensive tackle rather than at end. Played relatively well thus far in the 2018 season. Undecided if he will return for a senior season.
Miami at Virginia Tech 3:30 PM ESPN
- The Canes and Hokies renew their annual ACC rivalry once more with both programs on a downward trend. Miami has lost four straight to knock themselves out of the ACC Coastal race yet again. The Hokies have lost three straight and is best known for losing to Old Dominion.
Miami prospects to watch
1. Jaquan Johnson 5’11 190 S Senior
- Johnson is one of the best safeties in the class that hardly anyone talks about. He’s been at Miami for a long time now. Was one of the best safeties last year in the entire ACC and three of them got drafted within the first two rounds in 2018. A guy who’s seemingly always around the ball. Tackling fundamentals are on point. Football IQ is a plus.
2. Michael Pinckney 6’1 220 LB Junior
- One of the best linebackers in the ACC. Undersized, yes but so are the times of the NFL in regards to the position. Can cover sideline to sideline with the best. Football IQ is a plus. The frame questions will cause some pause for teams as he gets lost in the wash quite frequently.
3. Gerald Willis III 6’2 280 DT RS Senior
- Willis has been a monster in the middle for the Canes this season. Athleticism is on point. Still refining the little things in terms of fundamentals. He’s vaulted himself into first round conversations with his play. Been unstoppable at times. He’s really good. There were some off field issues early on but he has matured a ton. He missed all of last season dealing with personal issues. I commend him for recognizing his issues and working to solve them. Has a Senior Bowl invite on the table.
Virginia Tech prospect to watch
1. Ricky Walker 6’2 304 DL Senior
- Walker has been having a standout 2018 amidst the downtrodden Hokies season. The anchor of the line. He’s very athletic for a guy his size. Fundamentals are sound as most of DC Bud Foster’s students are. Run defense is solid. He really blew up during the season opener against Florida State.
USC at UCLA 3:30 PM FOX
- The Trojans travel across Los Angeles to take on rival UCLA. The Bruins have lost three straight while USC was ineffective against Cal last week in a loss. Can either of these programs look forward to 2019 by beating their rival?
USC prospects to watch
1. Cameron Smith 6’1 250 LB Senior
- Smith is finally a senior after what seems like a lengthy career in LA. One of the best inside linebackers in the class. Football IQ is a plus. Athleticism is a plus as well. The medical history isn’t a good one to say the least. He missed a ton of time with a knee injury during his career. The heartbeat of the Trojans defense. The medical will be a key with him.
2. Iman Marshall 6’0 205 Senior USC
- Athleticism is a huge plus. Work ethic and character are pluses as well. Has the speed and agility to keep up with the fastest receivers. He’s been inconsistent thus far in his career. Maturity is an issue as he cost USC a game by committing a stupid personal foul penalty by arguing with opposing sideline.
3. Marvell Tell 6’2 195 S Senior
- Tell is one of the best safety prospects in the conference that has some pretty solid talent. His game is better suited at box safety than as a pass defender. Physical presence at the point of attack. Fundamentals are somewhat there but very inconsistent.
UCLA prospects to watch
1. Caleb Wilson 6’5 235 TE RS Junior
- The leading receiver for the Bruins. Not the most athletic at his position but is serviceable enough to scare opposing defenses. Solid route runner that knows how to get open. Uses guile to get open instead of relying on athleticism to do so. This will play in the NFL.
2. Theo Howard 6’0 180 WR Junior
- Howard is the second leading receiver in terms of yards. He’s like any vertical deep threat. When he’s given free reign off the line, it’s pretty much over. When defenses muscle up on him with press coverage, he struggles. Excellent arsenal of feints and counters to get him open.
Duke at #2 Clemson 7 PM ESPN
- The Dukies travel south to Clemson to take on the second ranked Tigers. Can Duke make it a competitive game against the high flying Tigers? Clemson is on track to meet the winner of the terrible ACC Coastal.
Duke prospects to watch
1. Daniel Jones 6’5 220 QB RS Junior
- The fast rising QB prospect is under the best possible situation as he has the coach who tutored the Mannings and is physically gifted. He has a rocket arm that can make all the throws. Athletic enough to move around in the pocket when things get messy. It can be argued that he is QB1 pending Justin Herbert’s decision.
2. Joe Giles-Harris 6’2 240 LB RS Junior
- JGH is one of the more unheralded linebacker prospects that no one talks about. He’s really good, making multiple PFF teams of the week this season. An athlete that has immense football IQ. Fundamentally sound and tackles well. Athleticism is very good and should test well should he declare. One of my favorite linebackers in the class.
Clemson prospects to watch
1. Dexter Lawrence 6’4 340 DT Junior
- Lawrence is a notch below Ed Oliver but is a talented prospect that has supreme athleticism and has been tutored by one of the best defensive coordinators in college football.
2. Christian Wilkins 6’4 300 DT Senior
- The leader of the vaunted Tigers defensive line that could see the entire unit drafted in the first three rounds. A former five star recruit that developed nicely. An athletic force at the defensive tackle position. Has experience playing edge rusher at times.
3. Clelin Ferrell 6’5 260 EDGE Junior
- Ferrell could be the best of the bunch. He’s one of the best edge rushers in the entire class, let alone the ACC. Fundamentally sound. Knows what he’s doing with an impressive array of moves. Frame is a major plus.
4. Trayvon Mullen 6’2 190 CB Junior
- A corner that hardly anyone talks about due to the guys ahead of him. He’s an intriguing talent that likely has a a tough draft decision ahead of him. Has the size and athleticism to thrive as a pro.
#16 Iowa State at #15 Texas 8 PM Longhorn Network
- Iowa State needs a win and some help to reach the Big 12 title game. Can they hold serve during the first half without the services of star running back David Montgomery? DM was suspended for fighting a Baylor player last week after being a target for that same Baylor player. Texas is coming off a thrilling come from behind win over Texas Tech by recreating the Crabtree Catch 10 years after the fact. Can the Horns keep it going? They also need help to reach the title game.
Iowa State prospect to watch
1. David Montgomery 5’11 216 RB Junior
- Montgomery could be the best running back in the class. He has elite footwork in both the run and pass game. Can make defenders miss with regularity. Not afraid to mix it up and run through defenses to get those extra yards. One cut and go. Lateral agility is a major plus. Speed is a question as he doesn’t really run away from defenders. Decent route runner. He had an outstanding game against West Virginia. Has been hurt a bit this season. A workhorse.
2. Hakeem Butler 6’6 225 WR RS Junior
- He’s been a monster this season, living off of jump balls and yards after the catch. A physical freak that can make every catch in the book. Pretty solid run blocker. He’s in contention for WR3 honors.
Texas prospects to watch
1. Collin Johnson 6’6 215 WR Junior
- The Horns’ jump ball specialist. Route running is just average but he uses his size well to box out defenders to make a tough catch. The main target for the QB but QB issues have prevented him from being the true dominant threat he could become. A willing blocker most of the time. He has made the spectacular catch routine.
2. Brandon Jones 6’0 205 S Junior
- Jones is a safety prospect that no one talks about nationally. He’s an intriguing talent that had to grow up in a hurry due to various reasons. Had some growing pains due to being on the field so early into his career but has matured. A ball hawk.
3. Gary Johnson 6’0 225 LB Senior
- A player that is always around the ball it seems. He’s risen up the boards rapidly during his senior season. A bit undersized for the linebacker position. Football IQ is a plus and is very fundamentally sound. Outstanding as a junior but has elevated his play as a senior.
4. Lil’Jordan Humphrey 6’4 220 WR Junior
- A big receiver with a little wiggle to his game. He has been a go to weapon for the Horns when Collin Johnson is covered. Technically inefficient. A solid yards after catch guy who can make defenders miss his big body. Deep threat. Word has it that he will return for a senior season.
Arizona at #8 Washington State 10:30 PM ESPN
- The Wildcats travel to the Palouse to take on a Cougars squad bucking for a playoff spot if they win out. The Cougars will look to keep their momentum going against a game Arizona roster. Mike Leach is always good for a fun quote or two. Should be fun #Pac12AfterDark.
Arizona prospect to watch
1. J.J Taylor 5’6 180 RS Sophomore RB
- Taylor is having an interesting season as he is the second leading rusher in the Pac-12 with 1,221 yards and 6 touchdowns. His size will be a question throughout the process should he choose to declare. Could be a specialist at the next level. Similar build to long time NFL veteran RB / Special Teams ace Darren Sproles.
Washington State prospect to watch
1. Jalen Thompson 6’0 191 S Junior
- One of the more underrated safety prospects in the country. Rangy, ball hawking type of free safety. Instinctive as a pass defender. Fundamentally sound in coverage. He should be an interesting test case as to declare early or stay for a senior season.
Bonus games to watch
Texas Tech at Kansas State 3:30 PM ESPNU
- KSU OT Dalton Risner recently received his Senior Bowl invite.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt 7:30 PM SEC Network
- Keep an eye out for Vandy TE Jared Pinkney along with the Ole Miss cadre of offensive talent.