After this week in college football, it’s not too hard to see that Alabama and Georgia appear to be on a collision course. They look like they are a notch above the rest of the SEC, but there are still a lot of games left to play. Cincinnati did all it could to make a case for being in the College Football Playoffs with its big win over Notre Dame. Penn State and Iowa remained undefeated ahead of their marquee matchup this weekend. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is hoping they’ll find their way into the playoffs. It’s been a fascinating first few weeks.
I want to focus on a few players from the past week who stood out to me, especially those who should be draft eligible at the end of the season.
Kenny Pickett, QB – Pittsburgh
There are a lot of QB prospects vying to be the top prospect at year’s end. Pickett probably won’t end up there, but he is making a case for best QB in college football. The QB has been putting up great numbers, going 23 of 36 for 389 yards and four touchdowns against Georgia Tech. The fifth-year senior has things to clean up when it comes to footwork and mechanics, but he’ll only be a better quarterback if he improves those aspects of his play.
Isaiah Likely, TE – Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina seemed to come out of nowhere last year, winning all of their regular season games and being ranked for the first time ever. They have started this season undefeated and it’s thanks to talents like Isaiah Likely. At 6’4”, 240 lbs, he fits the bill as a move TE that offers more in the passing game than as a blocker. He had a great game against University of Louisiana – Monroe, putting up 95 yards on five catches, two for touchdowns.
LaDarius Henderson, OG – Arizona State
Jayden Daniels, quarterback for the Sun Devils, won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. One reason why is because of players like LaDarius Henderson blocking for him. Henderson won PAC-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week. It’s not hard to see why. The junior is a strong man at 6’4”, 310 lbs, that moves well in short areas and is hard to move in the pass game. Against UCLA, he had two pancakes, a knockdown, and allowed no pressures.
Josh Paschal, DE – Kentucky
I don’t think it’s time to replace our defensive ends, but Josh Paschal is the type of player I want on my team. The only three-time captain in Kentucky history, the Maryland native is one of the reasons Kentucky has one of the best defenses in college football. What I love is his special teams ability. He’s blocked three kicks in his career, none bigger than the one this weekend in the Wildcats’ upset of Florida. Tack on seven tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and Paschal proved to be difference maker.
JJ Russell, LB – Memphis
There was a lot of good linebacker play this past week, but I chose to highlight JJ Russell. I probably could’ve chosen him every week this season because he’s been that productive. He followed up a career high 18 total tackles with 12 this past weekend against Temple. The 6’1”, 225 lbs, senior leads the country in total tackles.
Jaylan Foster, DB – South Carolina
Jaylan Foster is tied for most interceptions in college football, but he didn’t get any picks this week. Instead, he made 11 tackles and forced two fumbles including a strip sack. He is also South Carolina’s leading tackler. While he’s a little small for safety at 5’10”, 185 lbs, his physicality and penchant for turnovers is enough for me to give him a shot at the position.
Jaylan Foster explodes off the edge and gets the strip sack pic.twitter.com/zqKOSoau9B— Tyler Browning (@DiabeticTyler) October 3, 2021
Feel free to add players in the comments that stood out to you that you think can help the team.