Risers and Fallers (September)
20 September 2009
DE/OLB Jerry Hughes, 6' 2" 257 lbs. TCU (SR)
This sack master will almost certainly be a first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Last season as a junior he led the nation with 17 TFLs (tackles for loss) and 14 sacks. He is just so consistent, this year (2009) he is starting out just where he left off. After three games he is ranked 5th in the nation with 4.5 sacks, 5.5 TFLs and 16 tackles.
OLB Aaron Morgan, 6' 4" 237 lbs. La-Monroe (SR)
Tied for second in the nation with Lindsey Witten with 5 sacks. Morgan is very quick, strong and has legitimate NFL potential. Morgan also has recorded an impressive 7 TFLs and and 15 tackles.
DE/OLB Lindsey Witten, 6' 4" 258 lbs. Uconn (SR)
Uconn has been producing some serious NFL talent lately and Witten might just be the next budding star. Witten has been a menace to quarterbacks this season with 5 sacks, 5.5 TFLs and 14 tackles.
OLB Dakota Watson, 6' 2" 226 lbs. Florida State (SR)
Watson won't be big enough to play linebacker in the NFL in a 34 scheme, but in a conventional 43 defense he has the speed and strength to be a stand out player. He is a work out warrior and will probably rise after the NFL Scouting Combine. This year he has really started to reach his potential, after just three games he has recorded18 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.
QB Tony Pike, 6' 6" 229 lbs. Cincinnati (SR)
Gilyard and Pike compliment each other very nicely. Pike has been on fire this year and is currently ranked 6th in the nation with a 70.8 completion percentage. He has completed 75 passes for 923 yards and 8 TDs with only 2 interceptions.
WR Mardy Gilyard, 6' 1" 189 lbs. Cincinnati (SR)
Ranked 5th in the country with 4 touchdowns. For the season he also has 23 receptions for 265 yards. This speedster has drawn the eye of the NFL scouts. Last week he made a great 4th quarter TD catch to seal the 28-18 win against Oregon State.
RB Jahvid Best, 5' 10" 195 lbs. California (JR)
Probably the best back in the nation isn't getting a lot of press, but if he stays healthy you will hear his name called early in the 2010 NFL Draft. After just three games in 2009 he already has rushed for 412 yards and 8 TDs. He is the 3rd ranked rusher in the nation and has an impressive 7.77 yards per carry average.
QB Jake Locker, Washington (JR)
The Davey O'Brien Foundation named Locker the O'Brien Quarterback of the Week for week three.The Huskies stunned the (then) 2nd ranked Trojans 16-13. USC was also the highest ranked team beaten by Washington at home since Nov. 14, 1981. Junior quarterback Locker completed 21-of-35 for 237 yards and scored a TD on a four yard run, late in the first quarter.
"I can't really describe it," Jake Locker said, his voice hoarse following emotional tears. "It's an amazing feeling to go through what all of us have gone through and to experience what everyone wants to experience when they play college football."
The walking wounded.
TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona, 6' 6" 265 lbs. (JR)
Injured his back and will miss the 2009 season. If he fully recovers fully however, he will likely be the top rated tight end in the 2011 NFL Draft.
QB Matt Grothe, South Florida, 6' 0" 205 lbs. (SR)
Tore his ACL and will miss the rest of 2009. Grothe had started 41 straight games for the undefeated Bulls. Grothe became the Big East's career leader in total offense with 10,875 yards in Week 2 at Western Kentucky. He recorded 121 rushing yards and 512 passing yards this season. A fringe player anyway, Grothe will likely go undrafted.
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame, 6' 3" 210 lbs. (Soph)
He broke his collar bone against Michigan. Floyd, who entered the game second in the nation in receiving yards a game with 160 was having an excellent year, in three games he recorded 385 total receiving yards and 5 TDs.
QB Max Hall, BYU, 6' 1" 206 lbs. (SR)
From the penthouse to the outhouse, Hall struggled against a very quick Florida State team losing 54-28. Hall was 20 for 36 with 306 yards, but threw three interceptions.
7 September 2009
DT Phil Taylor, 6' 4" 355, Baylor (JR)
Transfred from Penn State and sat out (red shirt) last year. Taylor recorded an interception, four tackles and one TFL against Wake Forest (WF). Taylor helped Baylor limit WF to 126 yards rushing and just 3.7 yards per carry. He moves very well for a big man and has drawn the attention of NFL scouts.
RB Noel Devine, West Virginia (JR)
If Devine is not the most exciting college football player in the nation this year I don't know who is. Every time he touches the ball I expect a touchdown or a large gain. Yes he is small, (5' 8" 178 lbs), but he is tough as nails. He doesn't have the thick legs of Darren Sproles or Barry Sanders, but he does have similar jitterbug moves. In a 33-20 win against Liberty, Devine rushed for 112 yards and 1 TD on just 17 carries.
WR Austin Pettis, Boise State (JR)
In last Thursdays Prime time game against Oregon, QB Max Hall got a lot of credit for that 19-8 victory, and rightfully so, but Pettis deserves a kudo or two. Pettis (6' 3" 201 lbs) caught 6 passes for 68 yards and 1 TD.
WR Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
Against Troy, Barnes (6' 0" 212 lbs) made multiple big plays catching 15 passes for 157 yards and 2 TDs.
WR Jordan Shipley, Texas
One of my favorite sleepers for the 2010 NFL Draft. He isn't the biggest (6' 190 lbs) or the fastest, he just knows how to get open. In Texas' opening game 59-20 destruction of Louisiana-Monroe he caught 8 passes for 118 yards and 1 TD.
RB Ralph Bolden, Purdue (Soph)
Bolden (5' 9" 194 lbs) almost single handedly destroyed Toledo rushing for 234 yards and scoring 2 TDs.
WR Stephen Williams, Toledo
Another jumbo receiver (6' 5" 202 lbs), Williams had a great game despite a 52-31 loss to Purdue. He caught 15 passes for 185 yards and 2 TDs.
TE Tony Moeaki, Iowa
Moeaki (6' 4" 252 lbs) was a highly prized, five star recruit when he came to Iowa, but has been unable to stay healthy. He Looks good entering his senior year and even though Iowa struggled against Northern Iowa, you can't blame Moeaki. He caught 10 passes for 83 yards and a game winning TD.
WR Blair White, Michigan State
White (6' 2" 205 lbs) is an unknown prospect with legitimate NFL talent. In a win against Montana State he caught 9 passes for 162 yards and 2 TDs.
WR Eric Decker, Minnesota
Despite constant double and even triple teams, Decker caught 9 passes for 183 yards in the Gophers' overtime win over Syracuse. Decker even has an outside chance of winning the Heisman Trophy.
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (Soph)
Remember this name for the 2011 or 2012 NFL Draft. Floyd has NFL size at 6' 3" 220 pounds and has very good speed and hands. In a win against Nevada he recorded 4 catches for 189 yards and 3 TDs.
TE Cody Slate, Marshal
Slate had a superlative game in a 31-24 victory against Southern Illinois. He recorded 9 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs.
S Rock Dennis, SMU
A small (5' 9" 180 lbs) safety with cornerback speed, Dennis had a career type game against Stephen F. Austin. He recorded 2 interceptions, 8 tackles and recovered a fumble.
WR Terrance Tolliver, LSU (JR)
Against Washington the jumbo sized receiver Tolliver was outstanding, catching 4 passes for 117 yards and 2 TDs. He finished the game with a 29.3 yards per catch average.
RB Legarrette Blount, Oregon
By now I think every college football fan in the nation has heard about his infamous sucker punch. Yes he was taunted, but there is a lot of trash talking going on before, during and after the game. You can't just punch someone on national TV and expect not to get suspended for the season. I would be surprised if Blount is selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.
LB Rolando McClain, Alabama (JR)
McClain is very talented and has NFL size (6' 4" 249 lbs), but he had better learn to get control of his emotions or he will end up with the same fate as Legarrette Blount. In the second half against Virginia Tech, McClain committed a personal foul and then got in the face of the referee, receiving another personal foul. That's 30 yards of penalties in under a minute.
OT Trinton Sturdivant, Georgia
You have to feel sorry for this kid. Sturdivant tore the ACL on his left knee and will miss the season. This is the same knee and injury that caused him to miss the entire 2008 season. Injuries might keep this once promising NFL Draft Prospect away from the NFL.
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford and TE Jermaine Gresham
The injuries of these two players really cost their team. Without Gresham in the lineup Bradford had trouble finding anyone to throw to.