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Build The Team: CFB Standouts Week 9

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Barrett silences his critics, Sony Michel is good, looking at top CBs, Justin Lawler is a monster, and other standouts from week 9

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Southern Methodist Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Allen Lazard, WR
School: Iowa State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 222 lbs

If you missed the TCU Iowa State game this weekend you missed a good one. Allen Lazard stands out with his frame alone but he also happens to be a pretty good possession receiver as well as a red zone threat. Lazard hauled in several impressive catches on the day and is sure to draw the attention of teams looking for a big target with athleticism in the mid to late rounds. Lazard has 39 catches for 477 yards and 5 touchdowns through 8 games. If his production seems low to you keep in mind Iowa State’s starter at QB left for personal reasons just a few weeks ago and they have been rolling with the #2 guy ever since. Check him out Iowa State should get another game on a major network this year.

Sony Michel, RB
School: Georgia | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 215 lbs

It’s not crazy talk to say Georgia may have two backs that are selected in the top two rounds this year. I think we all know about Nick Chubb but the Dawgs have another talented back in Sony Michel. Michel is blazing fast and if you give him an inch he's going to get you 8 yards - or more. He’s more than a home run hitter though. He’s decent in pass protection and he also keeps his feet moving in a scrum generating more power than you might think. Georgia is a top 5 team this year in large part due to their dynamic RB play which Michel is a huge part of. Michel is averaging over 8 yards per carry and has 629 yard and 8 TD’s on the year.

J.T. Barrett, QB
School: Ohio State | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 220 lbs

People will find plenty of cliche and frankly lazy reasons why they don’t think J.T. Barrett will make it in the NFL but if you saw his performance when it counted this past game against PSU you’ll know why he has a good shot in the right environment. Barrett’s record tell’s us he’s a big-time player. On Saturday he broke a BIG 10 record for most all-time passing touchdowns and went on a tear against PSU in the 4th quarter. Furthermore, he has gone on a mega-tear the past month in terms of production and efficiency. Barrett is more than a mobile QB he can throw the ball. It’s time to reevaluate. Barrett has 2,100 yards 25 TDs and 1 INT on the year.

Keke Coutee, WR
School: Texas Tech | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 180 lbs

Coutee is probably the best slot receiver in the country right now. He can create separation with ease and destroy the middle of a defense. He’s a natural catcher and is most dangerous in space and when he can catch in stride. He clearly has another gear. I’m certain he benefits from Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense but I’ll think he’ll fit in fine at the slot in the NFL. Coutee has 837 yards on 57 receptions and 8 TDs.

Defense

Justin Lawler, DE
School: SMU | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 265 lbs

I’ve been wanting to write about Lawler for a few weeks now but couldn’t find much content on Twitter to show your guys. Finally I got some and hopefully, you can see what a force he is from the DE spot. He has athleticism power and a motor that can make up a bit for heavy footed steps. Lawler has been one of the most productive players in the country and has put up 51 tackles 11 TFLs 7.5 sacks 2 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles. He definitely fits in a 4-3 scheme as an end but I hope to see him in the Senior Bowl to see how he does in the interior of the line.

Denzel Ward, CB
School: Ohio State | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 191 lbs

Denzel Ward is a top corner and should that in this past weekend’s primetime matchup. Ward showed off his speed when he blocked a punt and though it wasn't ruled as an interception made a great play on a ball that was eventually ruled a touchdown. Ward is continuing the tradition of top CB prospects coming out of Ohio State and is highly praised by Urban Meyer. He’s a gambler so he makes big plays and gives them up as well. He needs to reign it in sometimes but you can't help but be excited about what there already in terms of his play. Ward has an interception and 9 passes defended on the year.

Josh Jackson, CB
School: Iowa | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 192 lbs

Jackson might be one of the best coverage CB’s no one is talking about. It was really hard to find content on him (there are apparently a lot of people named Josh/ua Jackson including a pro basketball player). If you’ve watched an Iowa game this year there is a good chance you’ve seen him make a play on the ball. We are almost 75% through the season and he already has totaled a whopping 15 passes defended and logged a couple interceptions. Jackson is great at shadowing his man and shows great instincts and timing ability to get out in front of a pass and make a play on it. He’s definitely a top CB in this class and was just named a Bednarik semi-finalist with his teammate Josey Jewell.

Deatrick Nichols, CB
School: South Florida | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 190 lbs

Nichols is listed at CB but I think he might make a heck of a box safety for a team. He’s a physical player that can hit and he has a nose for the football at the LOS. There is no issue with him dropping back either he is good in coverage and has good instincts and closing speed. Nichols has 9 passed defended and two interceptions on the year and should definitely be on the radar’s of teams looking for a slot CB with the potential to move to safety.