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Week Seven Prospect Rewind

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Week Seven 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 SEVEN PROSPECT REWIND

WEST VIRGINIA @ HOUSTON

HOUSTON

It is rare for me to go into a game and looking forward to talking about offensive linemen. Houston OT Patrick Paul was the prospect prize in this game and he did not disappoint. Paul is athletic and is built like it. His 6’7″ 315-pound frame glides in pass sets and he can generate power in the run game. The 2024 offensive tackle class is deep and Patrick Paul will add to that depth.

Cougars DL Chidozie Nwankwo is a load for offensive linemen to deal with. Nwankwo measures a shade under six feet tall. But he uses that leverage and his strength to wreck double teams and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Nwankwo recorded nine tackles (three solos) with two TFLs.

One of my guilty pleasures over the last two years has been Houston QB Donovan Smith. Smith still has plenty of warts. He needs to do a better job in the pocket and needs to give his receivers more of a chance on sideline deep balls. What you can’t teach is Smith’s ability outside of structure. He can be special outside of the pocket. As evidenced by his throw on the run to his left to win the game. Smith finished 21/27 for 253 yards and four TD passes. He also ran for 34 yards and a score.

WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia has three draftable offensive linemen. Doug Nester (6’7″ 323) plays right tackle for WVU but likely projects inside in the NFL. Nester could be the highest draft Mountaineer. IOL Zach Frazier (6’3″ 308) plays center and should be selected on day three. IOL Ja’Quay Hubbard (6’5″ 322) has a chance to back up both tackle and guard positions at the next level.

West Virginia TE Kole Taylor opened my eyes with his athleticism in the open field. The 4th-year player has great size (6’7″ 243). Taylor is a good blocker and has alignment versatility. He caught five of his eight targets for 62 yards.

FRESNO STATE @ UTAH STATE

Another game and another tight end that stood out to me. This time it is Fresno State’s Tre Watson. The third-year player likely will not be in this draft class. Watson is a tremendous target for his quarterback. He has athleticism in the open field and soft hands. Watson caught five passes for 76 yards and two scores.

The stance the NFL has on smaller receivers is softening. That will benefit Utah State WR Terrell Vaughn. Vaughn is a solid route runner. He can separate from defenders and catches the ball well. Against Fresno, Vaughn was targeted 14 times, catching seven, for 119 yards and a touchdown.

Utah State LB MJ Tafisi is a very active player. He was credited with 17 tackles. Tafisi is a bit of a pile jumper, however. Only four of those were solo tackles, With that being said, it is hard not to respect a linebacker who wears a cowboy collar.

OREGON @ WASHINGTON

OREGON

Ducks QB Bo Nix played his ass off against Washington. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do quite enough to pull off the win. Nix continues to show he isn’t the passer he was at Auburn. I believe he does end up in round one when it is all said and done. Nix completed 33/44 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns.

His main target is WR Troy Franklin. Franklin is an athletic pass catcher, capable of winning with his routes or his hops. He was targeted 13 times, catching 8 balls for 154 yards and a score.

This is the second time I have watched Oregon and their RB Bucky Irving has stood out in both. Irving never goes down on first contact and is an asset catching the football. His lack of weight shows up in pass protection. Against UW, Irving totaled 161 yards on 28 touches with a TD.

WASHINGTON

What a game from Washington WR Rome Odunze. The 4th year pass catcher is becoming an elite-level prospect. Odunze can stretch the defense, catch a 50/50 ball, or take a short pass and go the distance. His ball tracking is outstanding. Against Oregon, Odunze caught eight of 11 targets for 128 yards and two touchdowns. 

Michael Penix makes the game look easy. Is he a possibility for round one? Penix is forcing the issue. Save for one pick, he looked tremendous against Oregon. Penix completed 22/37 for 302 yards and 4 TDs. As Cory Kinnan notes below, look at his eye discipline.

WR Jalen McMillan gave it a go in pregame but had to sit out. Luckily for the Huskies, Giles Jackson returned. The 5th-year WR (5’9″ 175) is more of a slot/possession type receiver. Against Oregon, Jackson had six receptions for 58 yards and a TD.

Could Washington have three wide receivers selected before the conclusion of the third round? Odunze is a lock. McMillan should be. Ja’Lynn Polk could be the third. Polk has great size (6’2″ 204) and speed. He complimented Odunze so well in this game. Polk caught six passes for 118 yards and a score.

UAB @ UTSA

UTSA QB Frank Harris is in his seventh collegiate season. Harris has been a great college passer. However, I don’t think he will see early success in the NFL. Harris strikes me as the type of player who will need some seasoning in XFL/USFL (whatever it will be called) before getting the call-up. Harris completed 19/30 passes for 171 yards and 2 scores against UAB.

His top target, WR Joshua Cephus had a solid day against the Blazers. Cephus gets out of his breaks quickly and can make a tough catch. He caught seven of his nine targets for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

Keep an eye on third-year edge rusher Trey Moore for UTSA. Moore is a great bender and quick around the block. Moore (6’3″ 235) had a dominant performance against UAB. He had five tackles (four solos), 3.5 sacks, and forced a fumble.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Keon Coleman not only cementing himself as a Round One wide receiver…

Coleman is also a great punt returner as well.

Throws like this is why I can’t quit Miami (FL) QB Tyler Van Dyke.

Read my other work here:

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