In this week’s edition of the Splendid Seven, I look at a few pass rushers who made waves. We also look at two running backs who lit up the scoreboard.
1 – David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Ojabo was added to our watchlist after his performance this week. He is still a raw player but he has a quick burst around the edge and finishes with power. Ojabo has great length. His forced fumble on MSU QB Payton Thorne led directly to a Michigan TD. Ojabo finished the game with four tackles (three solos) and two sacks.
2 – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Hutchinson didn’t wow on the stat sheet but he was disruptive in many ways. The Spartans double-teamed Hutchinson, chipped him with a tight end, and more. He drew a hold on one play. Hutchinson is an absurd athlete with great instincts. He finished with three tackles, one sack, and one PBU.
3 – Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Walker’s Heisman level season continued against Michigan. His great balance, change of direction, and acceleration were all on full display. Walker rushed for five touchdowns with 197 yards rushing. He is moving up to the top spot on my RB rankings this week.
4 – Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
Braxton Jones is a very wide man. He had multiple pancake blocks against the Montana Grizzlies. Jones handles stunts with ease and at no point was he ever challenged by a defender in this game. I will anxious to see him at an all-star game after this season.
5 – Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
It is official, Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross is human after all. Paschal beat Cross with quick hands on an inside move, forcing QB Will Rogers into a sack. He had a few other reps where he distressed Charles Cross as well. Paschal finished with six tackles and two TFLs.
6 – Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
The Oklahoma State transfer is a great inline blocker. Woods moves well in open space. He has soft hands and is a good athlete. Woods is a weapon in the red zone with his size and a weapon between the 20s with his overall skillset. He caught three balls in the loss to BYU for 68 yards and a score.
7 – Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU
Not to be outshined by Kenneth Walker, Tyler Allgeier rushed for 266 yards against Virginia with five TDs. He is a steady and patient runner. Allgeier has great vision and he explodes in the open field. He is also going up on my RB rankings this week.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
Southern Cal WR Drake London’s potential record-breaking season has come to a sad end. London fractured his right ankle in the win over Arizona on Saturday. He will have surgery, and depending on his rehab, London should be able to work out for teams before the draft (if he declares).
Because everyone loves good punter talk, I give you the story of Michigan State punter Bryce Baringer. He wears the number 99 in honor of fictional Cleveland Indians pitcher “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn from the classic movie “Major League”. He also wears his patented horn-rimmed glasses. When I heard this, I immediately knew I had to write it down as “Major League” is one of my favorite movies. Baringer is also not a shabby punter either. He averaged 55.8 yards per punt on five kicks against Michigan.
Utah LB Devin Lloyd missed the first half of the game against UCLA due to a targeting foul last week. He made his impact in the second half. Lloyd is a great coverage backer and attacks downhill quickly. He had three solo tackles, one sack, and broke up a pass in the second half against the Bruins.
Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong is the 2022 NFL Draft eligible QB no one seems to be talking about. Armstrong is a good athlete in and out of the pocket. He completed 22/34 passes for 337 yards and four TDs (with two INTs). Armstrong also had 94 yards on the ground with two TDs. Late in the game, he had to check out with a self-diagnosed broken rib.
While not draft-eligible this year, one has to talk about the performance of Kansas State edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah. He should have been able to say he held the FBS record with six sacks on Saturday. Unfortunately, two of his sacks were taken away because he forced fumbles that went forward beyond the line of scrimmage. Anudike-Uzomah now has ten acks on the season. A name to watch for 2023.
Georgia LB Nakobe Dean continues to make a case to be LB1
But I was told there are no good LB prospects pic.twitter.com/zFTTT743Ko
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) October 30, 2021
SMU LB Isaac Slade-Matautia won’t be a Top 100 prospect but this is still a great play.
#SMU linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia…what a play against #Houston. pic.twitter.com/Dn0cOrdtfB
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 31, 2021