Week 12 in college football saw many of the top teams hold serve. Ohio State cruised by Minnesota and Michigan snuck past Maryland, setting up a matchup of unbeatens in “The Game” for the second straight year. Georgia rolled over Tennessee while Florida State struggled early against North Alabama, but won despite losing their starting QB, Jordan Travis, for the season. Washington did just enough to get by a tough Oregon State team, guaranteeing the Huskies will be in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Other teams in the top ten - Oregon, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, and Louisville - were all victorious.
The headlining game will be the aforementioned Ohio State versus Michigan where the top two scoring defenses will face off. Auburn and Alabama is typically a close game no matter what the rankings are. Washington will look to take home the Apple Cup and stay undefeated against Washington State. Oregon will try to win the Civil War and keep its playoff hopes alive against a wounded, but tough Oregon State squad. Florida State will be looking to ride their backup QB to a win over Florida.
Below are just a few players who had good weeks and might be able to help improve the Commanders’ roster. Let me know what you think of these prospects and feel free to post players that stood out to you.
Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
Tulane’s all-time leader in passing yards has helped guide them to only three losses in the past two seasons. Junior Michael Pratt will probably not wow you with any of his physical abilities, but he’s a heady player. You’ll see him manipulate defenses with pump fakes and look off safeties. His arm strength is sufficient, but his ball placement is excellent. Navigating the pocket, extending plays, and making plays with his legs is another strong suit. To beat Florida Atlantic, Pratt went 21 of 28 for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
Cody Schrader, RB, Missouri
Senior Cody Schrader has put up some amazing numbers, but is playing his best at the end of the season. He’s had four straight weeks of games over with over 100 yards rushing. His offensive line does a great job of opening lanes, but Schrader’s vision is what allows him to hit the right hole and use his speed in space. At 5’9” and 215 lbs, Schrader is built like a bowling ball but I’d like to see him survive first contact more. In a win over Florida, he had 148 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Cody Schrader for 41 yards and a touchdown! pic.twitter.com/Qd9mz5qQjI— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) November 19, 2023
Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky
An area I’d like to see the Commanders improve is their yards after the catch. Enter Malachi Corley. Western Kentucky almost exclusively uses the junior on quick screen, jet sweeps, and any quick plays that get the ball in his hands and let him run. The 5’11”, 210 lb wideout has drawn plenty of comparisons to Deebo Samuel for how he plays with the ball in his hands. I’d like to see more of what this clip shows: him winning down the field. Against Sam Houston State, Corley had 10 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.
David Martin-Robinson, TE, Temple
Temple has not had a great season, but senior David Martin-Robinson is a bright spot. He has good size for the position at 6’4”, 255 lbs. As a former receiver, he’s adept at running routes, finding open space, and making catches in traffic. What I haven’t seen is his ability to block. Against UAB, Martin-Robinson had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. He also chipped in a rushing TD.
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
It is no secret that junior Joe Alt may be the first offensive tackle whose name is called on draft night. It is also no secret that the Commanders desperately need improved offensive tackle play. Alt does everything well: moves his feet to mirror rushers, uses his length to prevent rushers from getting hands on him, and overpowers defenders in the run game. I’ve only seen a handful of plays where he loses to power or speed, but he immediately adjusts and continues his stellar play. After you watch Alt, play this again and check out #54, right tackle Blake Fisher. He’s pretty good, too.
Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State
Many have Chop Robinson as a surefire first-round pick in the upcoming draft and watching him play, its easy to see why. At 6’3”, 254 lbs, he has good size, and great length for the position. His burst off the line and his ability to flatten to the quarterback might be the best in the class. What will be a knock against the junior from Gaithersburg is production: he only has four sacks and none in big games against Ohio State and Michigan. In a win over Rutgers, Robinson had five tackles, including a tackle for loss, and a strip sack.
#PSU EDGE Chop Robinson has been a menace today against Rutgers. Has a couple of tackles in the backfield in the run game, and had this strip sack near the end of the 3rd quarter.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 18, 2023
Unreal speed to turn the corner, undeniable first rounder come April. pic.twitter.com/PlnaEwMztH
Jay Higgins, LB, Iowa
Iowa has put a lot of linebackers into the NFL recently and Jay Higgins may be next. While he will not be the highly-rated prospect his predecessor Jack Campbell was, the senior is incredibly productive. He is second in the country in total tackles on the third-best scoring defense in college football. His size is ideal at 6’2”, 233 lbs, but he looks a little tight which might be a concern in coverage especially. He did his part to ensure a win over Illinois with 12 total tackles and a PBU. Higgins is #34.
JAY HIGGINS HIT STICK IOWA BALL pic.twitter.com/RqOedZCIX5— SuperHawkeyeFan (@superhawkeyefan) October 1, 2023
Jabbar Muhammad, CB, Washington
Washington kept their winning record unblemished by surviving a close game against Oregon State. The Beavers had success on offense, but not against junior Jabbar Muhammed. The 5’10”, 183 lb corner was sticky in coverage all night long, trusting his instincts and his eyes to make plays on the ball. He had one tackle, four PBUs, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery.
Outstanding coverage by CB Jabbar Muhammad! pic.twitter.com/0wevHYWWpH— Full-Time Dame (@DP_NFL) November 19, 2023
Billy Bowman, S, Oklahoma
AT 5’10” and 192 lbs, junior Billy Bowman might be a little undersized to play safety. That didn’t stop him from having a huge impact in the Sooners win over BYU. On his 100-yard pick-six, Bowman used his awareness and instincts. He was supposed to blitz, but saw an uncovered WR and decide to cover him. He followed the QB’s eyes and the rest is history. To go along with his pick-six, he had nine total tackles including one for a loss.
Xavier Worthy, WR/PR, Texas
As a true freshman, Xavier Worthy was constantly beating teams deep, making huge plays for the Longhorns. Some thought he might be a first round WR - and he still might be - but I think he’s likely to be a Day 2 pick. One thing that will make him valuable to a team is his punt return ability. To help the Longhorns overcome a scrappy Iowa State team, Worthy had 74 yard punt return for a TD to go along with four catches for 77 yards.