Week Thirteen saw me watch four games full of 2023 NFL Draft prospects.
Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
WEEK THIRTEEN PROSPECT REWIND
SOUTH CAROLINA AT CLEMSON
Spencer Rattler continued his renaissance that started a week ago. Although not without a few hiccups along the way. Rattler completed 25/39 passes for 360 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. He also threw two incomprehensible interceptions. One was a pick six and another was in the endzone. Rattler continues to make throws that only a few passers can make. But then you see him try things he has no business attempting. Rattler now has a decision to make. Does he return to Columbia and try to continue rehabbing his draft stock? Or does he enter the draft this year and maybe get drafted on day three?
Meanwhile, Spencer Rattler has six completions of 20+ on Clemson today. ESPN says it’s the most vs. Clemson defense since at least 2011.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 26, 2022
Antwane Wells goes by the name “Juice.” A transfer from James Madison, Wells has established himself as Rattler’s favorite target. Wells can win a 50/50 or beat people with his speed. He had a 72-yard catch and run against Clemson and he sealed the game by picking up three yards and a first down to run out the clock. Juice caught 9 passes for 131 and two scores against the Tigers. Wells also faces a draft decision.
5th-year tight end Nate Adkins has emerged as the season has gone on. The East Tennessee State transfer has mostly been a blocker. However, against Clemson, he showed his versatility as a downfield target. Adkins caught four balls for 62 yards in the 31-30 win.
Against Tennessee, it was Cam Smith and Darius Rush that got the coverage accolades in the Gamecocks’ secondary. This week it was Marcellus Dial show. The 4th-year CB broke up three passes and intercepted another from Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei.
And last, but certainly not least, we must talk about the performance of South Carolina punter Kai Kroeger. The Ray Guy Award finalist snub was a key cog in the first Gamecocks win over Clemson since 2013. Kroeger punted seven times, averaging 53.7 yards-per-punt. Kroeger dropped five punts inside the 20, including two inside the five.
GEORGIA STATE AT MARSHALL
Read more about the prospects in this game on Saturday.
KANSAS AT KANSAS STATE
I don’t know how much success Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn will have in the NFL but I am not betting against him. The 3rd-year back is only listed at 5’6” and 176 pounds. The immediate comp is to another former Wildcat great, Darren Sproles. Vaughn has that burst and is a threat out of the backfield. Against Kansas, he had 27 touches for 229 yards and a score.
Recent Senior Bowl addition, CB Julius Brents, is another long-armed prospect with good ball skills. Brents broke up two passes and made four tackles.
The star for the K-State is 3rd-year edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah. FAU bends the edge quickly and then finishes his business. He has been a productive player for the last two years. Anudike-Uzomah could be selected in round one.
It wasn’t all terrible for the Jayhawks. 4th-year LB Craig Young flashed for KU. Young recorded seven solo tackles, one sack, and forced a fumble.
WASHINGTON AT WASHINGTON STATE
Michael Penix, Jr. has firmly planted himself into the day two conversation at the QB position. Penix can make throws off-script and can drive the ball down the field. Against Wazzu, Penix was 25/43 for 485 yards with three TDs and one pick. He also ran for 34 yards and two scores. I will have to overcome my bias against left-handed passers before I fully embrace him as a prospect.
It helps when you have two young pass catchers like Rome Odunze (5-157-1 TD) and Jalen McMillan (6-150-1 TD). Both win in different ways. Rumor has it that they will both return to school next year.
Check back on Saturday for another edition of Sun Belt/Small School Scouting.