Week Eight of college football has come and gone. I watched four games during the slate of contests.
Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
WEEK EIGHT PROSPECT REWIND
NEW MEXICO STATE @ UTEP
I have heard a lot of chatter regarding New Mexico State QB Diego Pavia. So much so that I had to check him out. What I saw was an unorthodox player that brought about memories of Johnny Manziel. Pavia excels at throwing on the run. He isn’t the best in structure. Pavia is listed as 6’0″. Which means he is probably sub-six feet. Pavia doesn’t have a huge arm but he is excellent with his legs.
Against UTEP, Diego Pavia completed 15/25 throws for 186 yards and two scores. He also ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
How often has a starting quarterback been a high school state wrestling champion? It can’t be frequent. Pavia is tough and the 4th year passer may find himself in an NFL camp. But right now I don’t see a draftable prospect. However, he is fun to watch.
This was my second viewing of UTEP and another solid game for EDGE Praise Amaewhule. He finished with three tackles and a sack. I currently view Amaewhule as an early day-three prospect.
PENN STATE @ OHIO STATE
The superlatives that usually accompany Marvin Harrison Jr. can’t be understated. He is one of the best wide receiver prospects we have seen in some time. There isn’t a single thing that MHJ doesn’t excel at. Without Emeka Egbuka, he still dominated the Penn State defense, including top prospect at CB for Penn State Kalen King. MHJ caught 11 of his 16 targets for 162 yards and a score.
All Cade Stover does is make plays. The Buckeyes’ tight end always seems to come up with a catch when his team needs it the most. Stover had several chain-moving receptions against PSU, finishing with four catches for 70 yards.
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) October 21, 2023
Ohio State OT Josh Fryar locked up the Penn State pass rush today on the right side.
It wasn’t the loudest of days for Ohio State edge rusher JT Tuimoloau. However, he did finish with one sack and this “pass breakup” when he beat future Top-10 pick Olu Fashanu.
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) October 21, 2023
I mentioned him above, but Nittany Lions’ offensive tackle Olu Fashanu is my top OL prospect in this class. Outside of the one play shown above, Fashanu dominated the Ohio State defensive line. This performance cemented him near the top of my draft board.
I came in wanting to watch Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson. Unfortunately, Robinson was knocked out of action early in the second quarter.
I had heard a lot of buzz around PSU TE Theo Johnson. Johnson had a couple of solid plays (two receptions 39 yards) but nothing of substance. He also had an easy drop on the opening drive.
UCF @ OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma WR Drake Stoops is going to be drafted. It probably will not be until late on day three. But Stoops is going to get selected. He isn’t going to run the fastest but his shuttles will probably be tremendous. Stoops always gets open and seemingly never drops the ball. Oklahoma even had him in for pass pro against UCF on a play. He finished the game with seven catches for 60 yards and a score.
Sooners’ LB Danny Stutsman is always around the football. He does a great job reading and reacting to the play. What I don’t see from Stutsman is him taking on blockers or him in coverage. I will need to see both before thinking he is a top-100-level linebacker.
Stanford transfer Walter Rouse has solidified the Oklahoma offensive line. Pairing him with right tackle Tyler Guyton has been a catalyst for Oklahoma’s success. Both could be selected early in the 2024 NFL Draft.
CLEMSON @ MIAMI (FL)
The biggest news from this game for me was the absence of Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke. TVD fell off in 2022 and had been on a roller coaster ride in 2023. So, I really wanted to see him against a Clemson defense with potential Top-100 talents Barrett Carter, Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Nate Wiggins, and Sheridan Jones.
For Clemson, it was awesome seeing the emergence of another potential top tight-end prospect. Clemson’s Jake Briningstool (6’6″ 230) can carry a safety down the seam and make the tough catch. The third-tear TE isn’t asked to be in line much, operating mostly in the slot. Briningstool caught five of his ten targets for 126 yards and a TD.
When my new big board releases tomorrow, UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu will sit atop my edge rankings.
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) October 22, 2023
For those of you who like looking ahead to future drafts (and we know you do…we see the page views), here is 2025 WR Luther Burden…
— Travis May (@FF_TravisM) October 21, 2023
Texas WR (Georgia transfer) Adonai Mitchell is having a big season in Austin.
AD Mitchell will go far earlier in the NFL Draft than his production indicates:
– High-end explosiveness and speed
– Full route tree with rare flexibility
– Box-out ability and body control at 6’4”
– *Tenacious* blocker
— Ian Cummings (@IC_Draft) October 21, 2023
Stats like this about Southern Cal QB Caleb Williams:
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 22, 2023
And is why serious conversations are happening right now about whether North Carolina QB Drake Maye should go number one:
— Full-Time Dame ? (@DP_NFL) October 21, 2023
Read my other work here: