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Build The Team: CFB Standouts Week 8

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More from an incredibly deep RB class an underrated DT and other standouts from week 8

Notre Dame v Texas Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Offense

Josh Adams, RB
School: Notre Dame | Conference: Independents
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 225 lbs

I don’t know about you but from where I’m sitting this year’s RB draft class has the potential to be the best we’ve seen in some time from a talent perspective. I think that's saying a lot considering the amount of talent that has come into the NFL at the position just in the last two years but if just half of these junior declare RB needy teams around the league should be handsomely rewarded up and down the draft. One back adding to the talent is Josh Adams. Adams is doing so well that some are calling for him to receive Heisman consideration. They have an argument. Adams is currently averaging 9.2 yards per carry. He has 967 rushing yards in just 7 games and 8 touchdowns on the year. He’s not used much in the passing game but he has some skills there as well. With suspect QB play its no surprise the Irish have relied heavily on their effective run game. Adams destroyed USC’s defense with 191 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Keep an eye on him, he’s a bit stiff but he’s fast and powerful.

Royce Freeman, RB
School: Oregon | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 238 lbs

Some team might get a steal when they select Royce Freeman in the upcoming draft. Freeman if healthy is one of the best running backs in the country. He combines speed, power, and elusiveness in his game and is so tough to bring down. The catch with Royce is that he hasn’t been 100% healthy in nearly two seasons. With little (and some not so little) nagging injuries here and there it’s been a while since he’s shown evaluators a complete game at his best. Nevertheless, he still flashes his talent running the ball and is Oregon’s best hope on offense. Freeman currently has 957 rushing yards in 8 games with 10 touchdowns. He’s also not too shabby catching the ball and displays great vision in space. This past week he ran for 160 yards against UCLA.

Derrius Guice, RB
School: LSU | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 218 lbs

Guice has gotten off to a slow start this season especially against SEC opponents but did wonders for his stat line this past weekend when he absolutely gashed Ole Miss to the tune of 276 rushing yards and a touchdown. Guice now has 711 rushing yards through 7 games with 6 touchdowns. He’s been a little banged up and the LSU offensive isn't made up of All-American but you still expect a bit more out of Guice who is slated to be a feature back in the NFL. This game was a good indicator of his health going forward and it showed you just how huge of a playmaker he can be. Let's see if he can establish a more consistent pace throughout the rest of the season.

Michael Gallup, WR
School: Colorado State | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 200 lbs

Michael Gallup is currently leading the nation in receiving yards. When you think of Colorado State football you don’t think top anything (no offense to any fans) but Gallup is certainly one of the top receivers in the nation. He was already coming off an impressive 2016 season where he put up 1,200+ yards and 14 touchdowns. This year through 8 games he already has 1,011 yards and 5 touchdowns. Gallup caught my attention a few weeks ago when Colorado State went up against Alabama. They lost, predictably, but Gallup still put up decent numbers against one of the top defenses/secondaries in the country. Gallup was a junior college product before arriving at Colorado State but has a refined skill set catching the ball. If Gallup can keep up this pace expect to hear his name more and more as the season goes on.

Defense

Poona Ford, DL
School: Texas | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 305 lbs

The Longhorns have a disruptive defensive tackle who always seems to be collapsing the middle of the pocket and makes his way into the backfield. Poona Ford is getting comparisons to current Steeler Javon Hargrave because of his stature and disruptive ability. This past week Poona Ford was nothing short of an annoyance for the Oklahoma State offensive line. Ford recorded 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Ford is a core player in Texas’ defensive line and through his play and efforts disrupts the flow of the intended play which allows his teammates to finish things off. I’m looking for Ford to put up more production than what he has thus far but he’s trending in the right direction.

Marcus Davenport, EDGE
School: UTSA | Conference: C-USA
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 255 lbs

Davenport is going to be one of the biggest risers in the draft due to his great play over his career at UTSA. Davenport set to have a career year statistically as he already has 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks through six games. He is a terror off the edge and has a bit of dog in him and is exceptional at finishing plays. Davenport is primarily used as a defensive end at UTSA but is asked to drop back into coverage on occasion and is not too shabby at it. Davenport is and will continue to crush the competition in the CUSA I really want to see him against P5 competition and (hopefully) can’t wait to see him at the Senior Bowl.

Garrett Davis, S
College: Houston | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 205 lbs

Houston has produced some talented defensive backs over the past couple of years with William Jackson in 2016 and Howard Wilson in 2017 Garrett Davis may be the next to hear his name called in 2018. Davis already has 4 interceptions on the season and has great range and instinct from the safety position. What’s most impressive to me is his vision and discipline spying the QB’s eyes while in zone coverage. His instincts allow him to get great jumps to break up passes or take them the other way. Davis is also a decent tackler and can stop guys in their tracks when he lines his body up and gets low. This past week Houston played Memphis and Davis recorded a pair of tackles and an interception returned for 58 yards. I’m excited to see what he can do in the second half of the season.

A throwback to a play featuring a current Redskin

Tremaine Edmunds, LB
School: Virginia Tech | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 250 lbs

It’s rumored that Edmunds could be in the 1st round conversation if he decides to declare this year. Edmunds is one of the most athletically gifted linebackers in the country and is a hard hitter to boot. He’s coming off an impressive sophomore season where he recorded 16.5 TFLs. He’s not likely to hit that number again with 5.5 heading into week 9 but he is still flashing the athletic and physical skills that make him so alluring to scouts. He’s a bit raw to me so I would like him to tighten up his technique especially getting off blocks but I can see why some are very excited about him especially at the inside linebacker position. I’ll be looking for him to finish more consistently when rushing the passer and hope to see him add a couple more forced fumbles on the year too.