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Sun Belt Saturday: Week Nine Edition

Sun Belt

Throughout the season, each Saturday, I will look at the best prospects from the FCS (or lower level) prospects I watched the weekend before. Or, I will look at the 2023 NFL Draft prospects from the Sun Belt schools I watched the prior weekend. During week five I saw one game involving Sun Belt teams and a few others with FCS prospects.

SUN BELT SATURDAY

SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles have been playing great defense this year, getting timely turnovers, and doing just enough on offense. That offense was led by its two biggest playmakers last Thursday in USM’s win over Louisiana.

3rd-year running back Frank Gore Jr has had to do it all for the Eagles this year. This Sun Belt matchup was no exception. Gore ran the ball 23 times for 87 yards. He caught one pass and dropped a dime for a 52-yard TD pass. I know my friend, and Czar of the Playbook, Emory Hunt was impressed by the throw.

I don’t believe Gore will enter this draft class but I think he will eventually carve out a role in the NFL.

5th-year WR Jason Brownlee should be on a roster next year with a shot at hearing his name called on day three. Brownlee has the speed required to beat a defense. He showed those jets off by outrunning the entire Cajun defense on his TD reception.

Brownlee finished with three catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted 10 times but none of those were drops. Just a sign of inaccurate quarterbacking.

LOUISIANA RAGIN CAJUNS

I may regret leaving off Louisiana WR Michael Jefferson from my Senior Bowl projections. The Mobile, AL native is a big play threat. Against Southern Miss, he caught six balls for 179 yards (on 9 targets) with a score.

Undersized DL prospect Zi’Yon Hill-Green (6’ 274) wreaked havoc on the USM offensive line. He had nine tackles (five solos), one sack, and a forced fumble. Hill-Green is too small to set the edge and is probably too slight to hold up on the interior. Can he make an impact as a tweener? Sure, but history isn’t on his side.

I will be back with more Sun Belt Saturday next week.

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