The first College Football Playoff rankings are out and I am surprised. There wasn’t any doubt that Georgia would be at the top of the rankings, especially after disposing of rival Florida. Alabama ranked second after their loss to an unranked Texas A&M and being played close by Tennessee was something I didn’t see coming. Michigan State being ranked third was also a shock because, other than Michigan, they haven’t beaten a quality opponent. Finally, Oregon being ranked fourth after losing to unranked Stanford shows how much weight their win over Ohio State in Columbus carries. Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Oklahoma are just outside the top four and hoping to win their way in.
This weekend will bring a matchup for those who are interested in quarterbacks (which should be every fan of this team) as Matt Corral and Ole Miss will play Malik Willis and Liberty. Want more quarterbacks? Check out Sam Howell and UNC taking on Sam Hartman (more on him below) and Wake Forest. Other interesting matchups include Auburn at Texas A&M and Michigan State vs. Purdue.
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. Feel free to add players in the comments that stood out to you this week and you think can help the team.
Sam Hartman, QB – Wake Forest
Nine weeks into the college football season and Wake Forest stands undefeated atop the ACC. Much of this success is due to the play of Sam Hartman. A redshirt sophomore, Hartman has been getting done through the air and on the ground. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 402 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 61 yards for two touchdowns against Duke. Hartman has good arm strength and shows the ability to throw on the move with accuracy, but his footwork and throwing mechanics need work.
Sam Hartman keeps the perfect record for @WakeFB.— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) October 31, 2021
✔️ 463 total yards
✔️ 5 TDRs#GoDeacs @sam_hartman10 @ACCFootball pic.twitter.com/QEFzRsNTwm
Kenneth Walker III, RB – Michigan State
If there has been a Heisman moment this season, it was Kenneth Walker III’s performance against Michigan. Going down by 16 points, Walker III put Michigan State on his back and willed them to a win. Against one of the stoutest defenses in college football, Walker III had 197 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries. Walker has all the tools to be a great runner at the next level: vision, burst, speed, and power. The only weakness is he hasn’t been much of a receiver out of the backfield, but I think that is because he is such an effective runner, not because he can’t do it. Walker III is a junior, but after the season he’s had, there is no way he’s returning to school.
Kenneth Walker III Heisman odds:— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 3, 2021
Start of season: +10000
Drake London, WR – USC
Injuries are a part of the game, but it is still terrible to see them, especially to prospects making the transition from college to the pros. Drake London was arguably the best wide receiver in college football, but suffered a season-ending injury early in his game against Arizona. Despite getting hurt in the second quarter, London pulled in nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. A big receiver at 6’5”, 210 lbs, London easily makes contested catches, runs good routes, makes defenders miss, and fights through tackles for extra yardage. He reminds me a lot of Keenan Allen. The injury will hurt his draft stock, but if he recovers fully, he will be a serious asset for the team that drafts him.
Drake London vs Notre Dame Highlights pic.twitter.com/y3YPnyesZq— bigWRguy (@bigWRguy) October 24, 2021
Peyton Hendershot, TE – Indiana
I almost profiled Peyton Hendershot last week after a great touchdown catch against Ohio State. Good thing I waited. Hendershot had his best outing of the season in a loss to Maryland. The redshirt senior had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He is Indiana’s all-time leader in catches and yards at the tight end position. With reliable hands, strong route running, good speed, and prototypical size at 6’4”, 254 lbs, Hendershot should be one of the top tight end prospects.
Maryland 35, Indiana 28— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) October 30, 2021
The Hoosiers march down the field in six plays and score an 18-yard touchdown.
The two-point conversion is good and Indiana cuts Maryland's lead to seven points. pic.twitter.com/PEOWSHIV4Z
Nakobe Dean, LB – Georgia
I could’ve picked any linebacker from Georgia this week as it seemed like Nolan Smith, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall had good games. But, Nakobe Dean always stands out when I watch Georgia play. WDCNMN recommended I check him out earlier this season and Dean has never disappointed. He had a standout game against Florida with seven tackles, a pass breakup, a pick six, and a quarterback hurry that led to another interception. Dean is athletic, instinctive, and does whatever to help his team win. For example, he’s also one of Georgia’s best special teams players.
Nakobe is my fav player of all time. @NakobeDean pic.twitter.com/QUdVpUZF9a— OO (@_OOLLIE_) October 30, 2021
Coby Bryant, CB – Cincinnati
While a lot of attention has been on teammate Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Coby Bryant has been playing at a high-level in his own right. When teams have decided to throw to his side of the field to avoid Gardner, Bryant has made them pay. He recorded an interception and two tackles against Tulane. According to PFF, he also only allowed two catches for 17 yards in the game. Bryant offers ball skills at CB along with the ability to play man or zone. The big question for Bryant will be his speed as he doesn’t appear to have great speed on tape.
Teams actively avoiding Sauce Gardner would do well to remember that Coby Bryant is also a baller CB prospect in the ‘22 #NFLDraft!— PFN Draft (@PFNDraft) October 30, 2021
That’s his third INT in 4 games… pic.twitter.com/bGr8EbjewK
Daniel Isom, S – Washington State
Daniel Isom isn’t the biggest or fastest player, but he has a knack for being around the ball. He was able to force a fumble against Arizona State to go along with nine total tackles. While Washington State deploys Isom in man coverage, I think he’d be best in a defense that uses more zone coverage. One concern I have with Isom is he only has one interception his entire career.
The @WSUCougarFB defense came to PLAY— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 18, 2021
Daniel Isom comes up with the interception!
Sponsored by @Allstate #AllstateGoodHands pic.twitter.com/uRCujSMdey
Feel free to add players in the comments that stood out to you this week and you think can help the team.