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Week One Prospect Rewind

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Week One of college football saw mostly a bunch of non-competitive beatdowns. The top teams mostly played tune-ups. However, not all games were like that. i watched four games during the week one slate of contests. 

Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.

WEEK ONE PROSPECT REWIND

NC STATE @ UCONN

NC State lost their quarterback from a year ago, Devin Leary, in a transfer to Kentucky. So, they brought in a transfer of their own. Brennan Armstrong came in from Virginia and is paired once again with OC Robert Anae. Armstrong struggled for UVA a year ago but looked like the draftable passing prospect we saw a few years ago against UConn. He looked solid throwing the football, completing 17 of 26 passes for 155 yards. Where he excelled was making plays with his feet. Armstrong adding an athletic element will go a long way to elevating him in what looks like a stacked QB class. He finished with 19 carries for 96 yards with two rush TDs.

The 6th-year Wolfpack OT Anthony Belton shined against the Huskies. The 6’5″ 336-pound pass protector looked like a potential Top-100 blocker.

LB Payton Wilson continued to rack up big tackle numbers for NC State. He finished the UConn game with ten tackles (8 solos) and a pick.

UConn IOL Christian Haynes is an athletic man with a nasty demeanor. The 6th-year blocker looked quick getting out into space. Pairing with OT Chase Lundt (6’8″ 300) on the right side gives the Huskies a great foundation for their run game.

SOUTH CAROLINA V. NORTH CAROLINA

The anticipated QB battle in this game didn’t disappoint between South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler and UNC’s Drake Maye.

Rattler did the absolute best he could while running for his life. He was sacked a ridiculous nine times and pressured seemingly a dozen more. Where Rattler has shown growth over previous seasons is he didn’t try to force anything into places he shouldn’t. He finished 30/39 for 353 yards.

USC wide receiver Xavier Legette had a career game against the Heels. Legette had mostly been known for kick return abilities. He has started to grow as a pass catcher dating back to the Gator Bowl a year ago. Legette had a career-high in receptions (9) and yards (178) against UNC.

Tar Heels QB Drake Maye looked like a top-5 passing prospect should look. He was tremendous making throws off-script and runs with his legs. Maye did throw two picks in this one. He finished 24/32 for 269 yards with two touchdowns.

UNC RB British Brooks looks fully recovered from the injury that sidelined him all of 2022. He rushed 15 times for 103 yards against the Gamecocks.

The UNC defensive trio of LB Amari Gainer (2sacks), LB Cedric Gray (1.5 sacks), and EDGE Kaimon Rucker (2 sacks) all wreaked havoc upon the South Carolina offense. Rucker especially jumped out to me in this game as he also had 5.5 TFLs for loss. He was named the Walter Camp defensive player of the week.

COASTAL CAROLINA @ UCLA

Laiatu Latu tortured CCU QB Grayson McCall on Saturday night. Latu is a top-15 prospect for me in this class and he started 2023 looking every bit of that. He sacked McCall three times and forced a fumble.

Offensively for the Chip Kelly unit, a pair of transfers led the way. Former Ball State RB Carson Steele had 17 touches for 96 yards and a score. WR J. Michael Sturdivant had five catches for 136 yards and a TD.

Despite being sacked four times, Chanticleers QB Grayson McCall still had a solid outing. He did throw two picks but completed 27/42 passes for 271 yards and a score. That TD went to Sam Pinckney. The WR had nine catches for 139 yards and looks like he is finally primed for a breakout.

OLD DOMINION @ VIRGINIA TECH

Virginia Tech has some really good wide receiver prospects this season. Against his former team, WR Ali Jennings caught five passes for 72 yards and two scores. Jaylin Lane added four receptions for 69 yards and a TD.

It remains to be seen if QB Grant Wells has improved enough to take advantage of the skill players he has. But in week one he did okay for himself. Wells finished 17/29 for 251 yards and 3 TDs. He also added a rush TD.

Florida transfer at edge rusher, Antwuan Powell-Ryland showed an immediate impact for the Va Tech defense. APR finished with six tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.

Old Dominion LB Jason Henderson continues to pad his overall tackle numbers with 11. He continues to be more of a piler on of sorts though as only four of those were solos.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Don’t piss off Tennessee OT John Franklin Jr.!

Minnesota WR Daniel Jackson had one of the best catches of the weekend!

Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin is a likely Top-100 prospect in the ’24 class:

Read my other work here:

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