Three College Football Players To Watch
Unless you enjoy SEC football, this weekend doesn’t provide a ton of excitement on paper. There’s three top-25 matchups, and all of them are in the SEC, with one of them being a top-10 game in Tuscaloosa. But with how this college football season has gone, who knows what could happen later today.
Eagles fans should keep an eye out on these three players during today’s slate of games.
1. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
This week’s opponent: @ Iowa — Noon (ESPN)
After two rough games against Michigan State and Michigan, the senior from Glassboro, New Jersey earned his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season against Ohio State. Clement ran for 164 yards on 25 carries, including a 68-yard run. Last year was supposed to be his breakout season, but a sports hernia injury limited him to just four games. He has great awareness and vision to find open lanes downfield, and also has speed and acceleration to run through those holes and go on big runs. But when those holes aren’t open, he tends to run to the outside to try to gain yardage, but ends up going the other direction. He also isn’t reliable in big games, which is why last week’s performance against the Buckeyes was huge for his stock. He’s a mid-round pick as of now.
2. Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
This week’s opponent: @ Texas Tech — 8 p.m. (FOX)
It’s been a tale of two season for the senior pass catcher. His first three games of the season were abysmal, catching a total of 17 passes for 154 yards as he was struggling with a muscle strain. But in his last three games, he’s turned it on. He’s caught 26 passes for 574 yards and eight touchdowns, including three touchdowns in each of his last two games. He’s done over 150 yards receiving in three wins against TCU, Texas, and Kansas State, and also set a school record with 232 receiving yards against the Longhorns. Westbrook has the speed and the ability to get away from defensive backs with shakes and dekes. His draft stock has skyrocketed in the past few weeks.
3. Marquis Haynes, OLB/DE, Ole Miss
This week’s opponent: @ No. 25 LSU — 9 p.m. (ESPN)
The junior was one of the best pass rushers last season in the SEC, and led the Rebels with 10.0 sacks, which is also his jersey number and a reminder of his goal to break last year’s total. He also plays a good amount of defensive end for the “land sharks,” but his body structure makes him look like a linebacker, which is what he may play in the pros. Haynes has a excellent initial thrust to work off contact, get past his defender, and finish off with getting to the quarterback. At 6-3 and 222 pounds, the defensive weapon can convert speed to power and push blockers back. He could be a Day 2 pick, but could go to the first round next year if he decides to stay for a senior season.
Game Of The Week: No. 6 Texas A&M @ No. 1 Alabama — 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
This is pretty much the only game you need to watch on Saturday. The Crimson Tide barrelled through then-No. 9 Tennessee, 49-10, last week in Knoxville. Alabama showed once again why they’re the top-ranked team in the nation, and can do that again later this afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium. But can Myles Garrett and Trevor Knight keep the Aggies in the game and even pull off an improbable upset? It happened in 2012 with Johnny Manziel leading the Aggies to the Crimson Tide’s lone loss of the season.
Honorable Mentions: No. 10 Wisconsin @ Iowa (Noon, ESPN); Memphis @ No. 24 Navy (3:30 p.m., CBSSN); No. 17 Arkansas @ No. 21 Auburn (6 p.m., ESPN); No. 23 Ole Miss @ No. 25 LSU (9 p.m., ESPN)
Here are the players we’ve previously highlighted:
Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss
John Ross, WR, Washington
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee