After a week hiatus due to life going on, we are back. No worries though, there will be updates from the last two weeks as well as an outlook for the slate of games this weekend and an updated ranking at the wide receiver position. We are approaching the heart of the in-conference games, meaning we get more rivalry games. When this part of the season comes around, you start to get a better idea of most of the prospects that are eligible for the upcoming draft. Just like the NFL, the rust has definitely worn off by now and should be getting 100% from every player on the field from here on out, it’s just a matter of who can do it consistently. I’m here to do just that for you, enjoy!
Week 4 Top PerformersOffense: HB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – 23 carries for 203 yards and 2 TDs
Defense: IDL Marvin Wilson, Florida State – 10 tackles, 2 sacks, 3.5 TFL, 1 FR
Week 5 Top PerformersOffense: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama – 11 catches for 274 yards and 5 TDs
Nobody will mistake Alabama’s schedule for one of the tougher ones in the country, but it does not matter. In the grand scheme of things, they do what they are supposed to do, dominate. Against Ole Miss, Smith showed he’s not any typical number three receiver. He is not as talked about because of the top two there in Jeudy and Ruggs, but with a statement game like this, he definitely deserves to be in the conversation. Before this game, there were whispers that Smith would return for his senior season, now you have to wonder if this did enough in the minds of his and scouts to possibly make him an early day two pick in April.
Honorable Mention: HB Chubba Hubbard, Oklahoma State – 25 carries for 296 yards and 1 TD
Defense: CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State – 2 tackles, 2 interceptionsComing into this season, there was a lot of congestion atop the cornerback rankings with four of them in particular fighting for the number one spot. CJ Henderson had it first but fell due to tackling and injury concerns. Then Paulson Adebo barely took it over only to get blown away by UCFs receivers on a consistent basis. Finally Jeffrey Okudah took over and he is building himself some room to breathe. The big knock on him was the lack of ball production, getting no interceptions in his first 25 games of action. But now he has three in the last two weeks combined, including one laying on his backside. Adding this to his coverage skills, slick feet, tackling ability, he could be running away with the title of best cornerback. Not to mention that Ohio State could officially be dubbed DBU.
Honorable Mention: EDGE Jonathan Greenard, Florida – 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 QB Hurries
Week 6 Players to Watch
OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia (vs. Tennessee, 7:00pm, ABC)
This may not be a great game to watch, but this is not always about what games to watch, we need to see matchups and this game provides a good one. Andrew Thomas is a consensus top two tackle in this class and he will be facing off against Tennessee’s best edge rusher in Darrell Taylor. The fifth year senior hasn’t done much this season only posting up one sack in the 2019 campaign but he will have a chance to prove himself against legitimate NFL talent. As for Thomas, he can continue to show that he deserves to be a top ten pick in April after he showed to be worthy in a great performance against Notre Dame a couple weeks ago.
EDGE AJ Epenesa, Iowa (vs. Michigan, 12:00pm, FOX)
Speaking of edge rushers not starting off the 2019 campaign strong. Some people out there actually said that Chase Young was behind this guy in terms of talent at the position. Chase Young could actually be a Heisman candidate if not for the dominance at the QB position this year, meanwhile Epenesa has only recorded one sack on the season against some pretty lackluster competition. Michigan is not known for their great protection by any means this season, but they will be the best competition up to date for the junior edge rusher. On the national spotlight, this will be a good time to turn it around.
Week 6 Games to Watch
#10 Florida vs. #7 Auburn (3:30pm, CBS)
Finally get to talk about my Florida Gators! They may be the tenth ranked team but they are not getting the respect that a team ranked this highly deserves. Don’t get me wrong, they are not playoff contenders at the moment, but since Kyle Trask has taken over for Feleipe Franks, the team has performed better but the running game has been putrid in comparison to last season. The top three running backs, including Lamical Perine, are combining to average 4.1 yards per carry and if you take out the Towson game last week, it’s under four. So going against the likes of Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and others who just kept the leading rusher in the SEC, Kylin Hill, to under three yards per carry will be a tall task. Brown came in as arguably the best interior defender in the country right now and has continued to show why.
On the other side, Florida’s Jonathan Greenard came in as a relatively unknown after transferring from Louisville. He has only dominated in every game this season and has maybe become the best defender on this Florida defense. The other two competing for that title should be returning from injuries after each missed the last three games in CJ Henderson and Jabari Zuniga. This trio must be at their best for the defense to get past the Prince, Prince Tega Wanogho and get to true freshman quarterback Bo Nix if they want to stop the Tigers from winning in The Swamp.
#4 Ohio State vs. #25 Michigan State (7:30pm, ABC)
The Buckeyes have been a dominant force in a weaker Big Ten than most years. They have not had the hardest schedules but they are obliterating the spread every single game. Keeping Justin Fields out of it, the offense has one of the best running backs in the country in JK Dobbins, who is getting back to what he was as a true freshman. They also have a fantastic set of receivers even though they lost three starters last year. On the defensive side, they just happen to have the top player on my board in Chase Young and the aforementioned top cornerback in the class, Jeffrey Okudah. Then they also have guys like Robert Landers, Tuf Borland, Shaun Wade, Jordan Fuller and others on every level.
With all of this talent, Michigan State is undoubtedly going to have their hands full, especially considering the game is in Columbus. Quarterback Brian Lewerke has improved a tremendous amount from his 2018 season but still has a ways to go. In the college game, you never like to see the completion percentage to be below 60%, but that’s where it is for him at the moment and has been every year of his career. But he has limited turnovers and has taken some more shots this year than in the past. If it doesn’t continue this game, there is no chance for an upset. Even if Kenny Willekes keeps dominating like he has in his last season as a Spartan, it does not look good. Spartans better hope to any higher power to at least give them a fighting chance in the end.
Top 5 WRs
- WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
- WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
- WR Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma
- WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
- WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
On the Bubble: Laviska Shenault (Colorado), Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)
Sleeper: Michael Pittman Jr. (USC)