With Week Zero in the rearview, the football world now turns its collective attention to Week One. However, we have to look back at what we learned during the week zero games and evaluate the prospects therein.
Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
WEEK ZERO PROSPECT REWIND
UTEP @ JACKSONVILLE STATE
Jacksonville State won their FBS debut in their 17-14 win over UTEP. My main focus on the Gamecocks’ offense was IOL Clay Webb. Listed at 6’3″ and 290 pounds, Webb is ox-strong. He is a people mover in the running game. Webb didn’t look overly comfortable in pass sets. This is expected because of the run-heavy focus of Rich Rodriguez’s offensive scheme.
JSU safety Kolbi Fuqua, a Shrine 1000 member, notched seven tackles and an interception.
The best prospect in this game was Miners’ edge rusher Praise Amaewhule. The 6th-year defender bullied the JSU left tackle on a rush. He bowled him over on his way to a sack. Amaewhule also had four tackles.
UTEP QB Gavin Hardison has NFL arm strength. He threw a beautiful deep ball for a would-be score. However, his WR couldn’t keep possession through the turf. Hardison is not a great athlete but can make some plays with his feet. He finished the game 17/29 for 208 yards. He had one TD pass but threw two interceptions.
OHIO @ SAN DIEGO STATE
The Ohio Bobcats were primed for the upset with the return of the 5th-year QB Kurtis Rourke. Unfortunately, Rourke got knocked out of the game with a reported concussion. Rourke was 8/10 for 75 yards before exiting the contest.
His go-to receiver was 6th-year prospect Sam Wigluz. The 6′ 183-pound pass catcher mostly operates out of the slot. Wigluz is a solid route runner and does a great job of getting himself open. He caught 10 passes for 103 yards against SDSU.
3rd-year Ohio RB Sieh Bangura showed explosiveness in the hole and was decisive in his cuts. He had 17 touches for 85 yards.
Aztecs’ TE Mark Redman had a great game against OU. He is a good inline blocker and makes a good target for his QB. However, he isn’t a wowing athlete. Redman caught five balls for 62 yards and two TDs in the win.
Mark Redman, TE, San Diego St
4* prospect, #12 in a 2019 class that featured Michael Mayer. Transfer from Washington.
2024 NFL Draft.
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) August 27, 2023
SMALL SCHOOL ROUNDUP
I also watched Mercer and North Alabama play in the FCS Kickoff Classic in Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
Mercer has a pair of wide receivers that made the Senior Bowl watchlist. Ty James is a transfer from Georgia. He is the bigger of the two. James caught four balls for 57 yards and tracked the ball really well on his TD catch.
The other Mercer WR, Devron Harper, is the more elusive of the two. Harper had a 43-yard kick return but also muffed a punt. He can be dangerous with the ball in his hands.
For North Alabama, I was focused on 3rd-year safety Edwin White-Schultz. EWS may be the only prospect in this draft class that I actually watched in high school. He was teammates with my nephew at UMS-Wright in Mobile, AL. White-Schultz originally signed with Kansas before transferring to UNA when his recruiter at KU, Brett Dearmon, became the HC in Florence. The 6’1″ 205-pound DB set an FCS Kickoff Classic record with 14 tackles (9 solos) and forced a fumble against Mercer.
That Caleb Williams is pretty good huh…
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 27, 2023
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