Can someone tell me how Purdue does it? They always seem to find a way to beat highly-ranked teams. First it was Iowa when they were ranked second, and this past weekend, it was Michigan State after they climbed to third in the College Football Playoff rankings. Will Ohio State be next? They had a bit of a scare against Nebraska, but they weren’t alone. Alabama and Cincinnati barely got victories.
I want to focus on a few players who stood out to me, especially those who should be draft-eligible at the end of the season. Feel free to add players in the comments that stood out to you this week and you think can help the team.
Hendon Hooker, QB – Tennessee
Hendon Hooker is an interesting quarterback prospect. The Virginia Tech transfer is a dual-threat that has played well this year despite not much attention. He dominated Kentucky, completing 15 of 20 for 316 yards and four touchdowns. Hooker has plenty of arm and connects with receivers on deep passes. He has plenty of quickness and speed to take off and run. I’d like to see more of his short and intermediate passing, how he navigates a collapsing pocket, and how he passes under pressure.
Player of the Year from Last Saturday:@Vol_Football's Hendon Hooker 5️⃣@edsbs @RJ_Writes #TOL pic.twitter.com/svJzV8JnY6— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 9, 2021
Jahan Dotson, WR – Penn State
Last year against Ohio State, Jahan Dotson burst onto the scene and singlehandedly dismissed Shaun Wade from the first round cornerback conversation. Dotson continues to produce at a high level, grabbing 11 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland. Dotson can line up anywhere on the field, but I like him in the slot. His precision route running and speed should make him dangerous in the NFL.
Jahan Dotson just put him in a blender #CFB— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 6, 2021
Samori Toure, WR – Nebraska
Samori Toure had a career day against Ohio State. In a competitive loss, Toure pulled in four catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. He showcased a little bit of everything against the Buckeyes: speed, ability to break tackles, and sure hands. What shocked me was his ability to do this at 6’3”, 190 lbs.
FCS transfer Samori Toure is making a big impact for Nebraska. His 3.9/5.0 PAI coming out of high school was better than 84% of B1G WR. Ran 100m, 200m, 400m, all 3 relays, plus high and long jumped. pic.twitter.com/AoBM0bO5cJ— Brian Spilbeler (@CoachSpil) November 6, 2021
Trey McBride, TE – Colorado State
At the season’s end, Trey McBride may be the top tight end prospect. At 6’4”, 260 lbs, he has ideal size for the position. His blocking is good, he has super hands, and is hard to bring down after the catch. Against Wyoming, he pulled in nine catches for 98 yards. The only disappointing thing about McBride is for all his production, he only has one touchdown on the year.
Trey McBride is a reception machine as a TE. @TateSigworth’s guy could make a run for TE1 pic.twitter.com/RdNd5JVBXy— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) November 6, 2021
Marcus McKethan, OG – North Carolina
After watching Javonte Williams and Michael Carter run over the ACC last season, I never thought about the guys blocking for them. Marcus McKethan is one of the talented blockers that opened up holes for them. He continues to be a standout for the Tar Heels, earning ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after their win against Wake Forest.
RG Marcus McKethan uprooting the DE— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 25, 2021
Michael Carter and Javonte Williams got lots of love - but this UNC OL needs some buzz too!
RB Ty Chandler transferred to UNC from Tennessee - put me down his being a breakout star in 2021 pic.twitter.com/aNANFa3y3G
Will McDonald, IV, DE – Iowa State
After this past weekend, Will McDonald IV became Iowa State’s all-time sack leader. The redshirt junior had six total tackls, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in the Cyclones win over Texas. McDonald is a good speed rusher, but can also convert speed to power and bull rush a blocker. At 6’4”, 245lbs, he might be a little undersized for a 4-3 defensive end.
Will McDonald IV with great hand placement to gain leverage, stays low with good power in his lower half to walk the tackle back to the QB. pic.twitter.com/A77ZQhPYfC— Jake Schyvinck (@JakeNFLDraft) November 7, 2021
Noah Rainbow-Douglas, LB – North Carolina Central
HUwizardsfan suggested I check out quarterback Aqeel Glass of Alabama A&M. This led me to watching more MEAC and SWAC games. In the Norfolk State vs. North Carolina Central game, one guy just kept making plays. Noah Rainbow-Douglas could not be stopped, and he was a big reason why North Carolina Central pulled off the upset win. He had 15 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, a sack, and a pass breakup. Rainbow-Douglas is small for a linebacker at 6’0”, 215 lbs, but if the team would like players to play a role similar to Landon Collins, Rainbow-Douglas is someone who could provide depth there.
Shout out to our East-West @ShrineBowl MEAC Player of the Week for balling out this weekend— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) November 9, 2021
⭐️@NCCU_Football LB Noah Rainbow-Douglas#FrontOffice33 | #ShrineBowl | @MEACSports pic.twitter.com/8sbpBipGZs
Elijah Hicks, S – UC Berkeley
I don’t know if I like Elijah Hicks the player or the person more. He is a nominee for many awards because of his work creating a foundation to give students in need on his campus emergency grants. On the field, he’s a safety with good range and ball skills. Against Arizona, Hicks made four tackles, 1.5 for a loss, and had a interception.
Chance Nolan goes deep and gets picked off by Elijah Hicks #CAL pic.twitter.com/7hdZhvl8cq— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 31, 2021
Feel free to add players in the comments that stood out to you this week and you think can help the team.