The Hogs Haven community had to be one of the most educated group of people on the prospects in last year's draft. We all learned together and I think it's fair to say that there was nowhere else on the internet with as many discussions (arguments) about late round draft picks and undrafted free agents. In an effort to continue to learn more about the NFL pipeline Steve Shoup and myself will highlight college games on every Thursday this fall. We will have a national game (this week two games), a local FBS game, and a FCS game.
FBS Game of the Week: #3 Oregon vs. #4 LSU, 8:00 PM, Arlington, Texas (neutral site game)
TV Listing: ABC
Point Spread: Oregon -4.5
Summary: This game has lost a bit of luster with the Ducks and Tigers both facing some NCAA issues, and has led to this being a battle of suspensions. The Tigers will be without starting QB Jordan Jefferson and WR Russell Shepard, while the Ducks will sit CB/PR Cliff Harris. Even without a couple starters, both teams are extremely dangerous and it should be a very good game to watch. Oregon's high powered offense will go up against one of the premier defenses in college football, and it should be a good test for each team. While it is a neutral site game, it will be a very pro LSU crowd, giving them a bit of an advantage. Prediction: 31-27, Ducks
Players To Watch: Patrick Peterson might have been the star of LSU's defensive backfield, but his fellow CB Morris Claiborne (6'0", 185) is no slouch. Claiborne led the team with 5 int's last year to go along with 11 passes defended. He was selected to the 2nd team All-SEC team, and looks to follow in Peterson's footsteps in his Junior year. Center/Guard T-Bob Hebert (6'3", 305) has started 18 games for the Tigers over the last two years, and looks to be a solid versatile late round pick next April. He plays with a nasty streak, and honestly who wouldn't want to have a T-Bob on their team (seriously just imagine the personalized jersey sales)? T-Bob is the son of former Saints QB Bobby Hebert.
TE David Paulson (6'4" 241) is an intriguing prospect to watch. He doesn't get a ton of receiving opportunities in Oregon's offense, but when he does he makes the most out of them. The real thing to watch this year will be his blocking, as he tries to separate himself from the rest of the field. Paulson is mid-round to late round pick, and could be an interesting option if the Redskins need a new TE next year. SS Eddie Pleasant (5'11", 215) is a converted linebacker, but took to his new position quite well last season. As expected he is a quality in the box safety, but he also showed well in pass coverage last year. If he continues to improve this season, he could be a solid mid-round safety prospect, that could interest the Skins given their uncertainty at the position (Landry, Horton and Moore are all free agents next season).
FBS Game of the Week: #5 Boise State vs. #19 Georgia, 8 PM, Atlanta, GA
TV Listing: ESPN
Point Spread: Boise State -3.5
Summary: For the second year in a row Boise State will kickoff against a program with a long, national reputation. Last year the Broncos took down Virginia Tech at FedEx Field, and this year they will travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the 19th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. This is a must win game for the Broncos if they want to have a shot at their first national title. Many think if the Broncos can get out of a hostile environment in Atlanta alive that they can cruise to an undefeated season, with the only "big" challenges on the horizon being matchups versus an underrated Toledo squad and then Texas Christian. Many feel that Georgia is overrated coming into the season and shouldn’t be in the Top 25, so they will be looking to silence the naysayers behind heralded sophomore QB Aaron Murray. Prediction: 27-17, Broncos
Players To Watch: Georgia’s offensive guard, Cordy Glenn is a prospect that could fit in nicely for the Redskins. Standing 6’6, 335 lbs he is among the nation’s top linemen, and has been a stalwart starting 34 games over the past three seasons for the Bulldogs. Glenn is a tough, nasty run blocker who loves to open up holes for the running back to plow through. He is likely to go in the first round of next April’s draft.
Many people know about Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and his pro aspirations, but the Broncos best prospect comes in defensive tackle Billy Winn. Winn stand at 6’3 and weighs 295 lbs. He would likely be considered as a defensive end for the Redskins during the scouting process. Winn is big and strong, but he is mostly praised for being a leader in the locker room and the heart and soul of the Broncos defense. He will likely go in the second round of the draft but could move up the boards to the first round with a good senior season.
Local Game of the Week: Miami @ Maryland, Monday Sept. 5th at 8:00 PM, College Park, MD
TV Listing: ESPN
Point Spread: Maryland -3
Summary: This game looked like an easy win for the Hurricanes up until the point they lost about half of their team due to suspensions. This is not the way new head coach Al Golden wanted to start off his Miami career, but it should bode well for new coach Randy Edsall's Maryland resume. I'd expect a bit of a sloppy game from the Hurricanes and for Maryland to capitalize. The Hurricanes still have the athletic advantage in this game so I don't see a blow out, but it will be tough for them to win with so many starters out. Prediction: 24-17, Terps
Players To Watch: LB Kenny Tate (6'4", 220) Tate is a former safety but converted to linebacker this year. He's a bit of a tweener going forward, but he could interest the Skins at either position. If he continues to bulk up he'd be a solid ILB prospect, or if he drops some weight he could go back to being a safety. Tate is an incredible athlete, with big time tackling ability. He seems to have a nose for the ball and is pretty decent in coverage. His lack of a true position makes him a bit more of a project, but he should have a lot of potential value in the NFL.
FCS Game of the Week: #2 Appalachian State @ #13 Virginia Tech, 12:30 PM, Blacksburg, VA
** Appy States Ranking is in Championship subdivision
TV Listing: ESPN3, NBC (Charlottesville/Roanoke/
Point Spread: Tech -25.5
Summary: Appalachian State will forever live in opening day lore in college football for their epic upset of Michigan in 2007. The Mountaineers have, arguably, their best team since that year when they won the FCS national title. Virginia Tech is used to playing juggernauts in their opening game, losing to both Alabama and Boise State the past two years. The Hokies are probably happy that they get to open the season with a significantly lesser opponent this year. The Mountaineers probably will hang tough for a half or so, but eventually the Hokies should pull away. Prediction: 30-17, Hokies
Players To Watch: Jayron Hosley (5’10, 175) is an absolute stud at cornerback for the Va Tech, and a guy that would fit nicely with the Redskins next to former Hokie DeAngelo Hall. Hosley has played in all 26 games since he stepped foot in Blacksburg two years ago. The junior is most well known for his ball skills and lead the nation in interceptions with nine a year ago.
Appalachian State’s primary pro prospect this year is six foot, four inch wide receiver Brian Quick. Quick only garnered a second team preseason all-conference selection, but his sheer size and ability to bring the ball down in the endzone will likely land him in the fourth to fifth round of next April’s draft.