Future Hogs returns for a third year. This is a series where I highlight draft-eligible college football players who played well the previous week and could help the Commanders in the future. In the past, I tried to avoid highlighting players who I discussed in previous seasons that returned to school. I’ll try to do that again this year, but with some players seemingly playing college football forever - looking at you Michael Penix, Jr. and Bo Nix - I’ll consider mentioning them again if they play well.
Week 1 is a wrap and there were not many surprises. While Colorado upsetting TCU may have been a surprise to some, it was possible given the talent the Horned Frogs lost to the draft and the talent the Deion Sanders brought to Boulder. Clemson got thumped by a Duke team that has a talented signal caller and players that fly around in the back seven on defense. Florida State eked out a win against LSU to start last season; this year, they won resoundingly.
The matchup between Texas and Alabama will have all eyes on it as both teams have tons of talented players that Washington should be keeping their eyes on. Iowa and Iowa State will play in for the Cy-Hawk trophy in the always entertaining rivalry. Can Colorado keep the hype train rolling against Nebraska?
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.
Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado
I believe in Sam Howell. The team still needs to scout quarterbacks if things don’t work out like we all hope. In what is likely its last year, the Pac-12 is looks like the Quarterback-12. Of all the big name QBs in the conference, none shined as bright this week as Shedeur Sanders. In an upset over last year’s runner-up, TCU, the junior went 38 of 47 for 510 yards - a school record - and four touchdowns against the Horned Frogs. What was most impressive about Sanders is he never put the ball in harm’s way and made the right decisions with his passes.
Shedeur Sanders All-22 Film #Colorado vs. #TCU— Philip Hughes (@NFLFanzone) September 4, 2023
- 38 of 47 for 510 yards
- 4 TDs, No Interceptions
- 4 different players had over 100 yards receiving
Check out Mybookie for all your Sportsbook needs (Use the Promo Code PHILIPHUGHES for bonus): https://t.co/klPhxtCtuq… pic.twitter.com/nYdbxfZaya
Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy
At 5’8” and 215 lbs, Kimani Vidal is built like a bowling bowl. He has good burst through the line of scrimmage and just enough elusiveness to eke out a few more yards. The junior put up 248 rushing yards, a school record, and 54 receiving yards as the Trojans beat the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. With Antonio Gibson in a contract year, the Commanders would be wise to start looking for a running back in the draft, ideally one that could serve as a third-down or change of pace back.
Troy RB Kimani Vidal ran for a school record 248 yards last night vs Stephen F Austin. Had two catches for 54 yards for 302 total. Baller pic.twitter.com/KLxA4gtpLK— Colton Denning (@Dubsco) September 3, 2023
Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman had an outstanding debut for the Seminoles. He hauled in nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns against a talented LSU defense. The 6’4”, 215 lb wide receiver displayed strong hands and an ability to run after the catch. Even with Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson signed beyond this season, Curtis Samuel is entering a contract year and Washington should look to the draft for a replacement if no one on the roster assumes the role.
Benjamin Yurosek, TE, Stanford
Benjamin Yurosek appears to be the next tight end in a long line of talented players at the position from Stanford. The Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii had no answers for him as he pulled in nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. The route running, athleticism, hands, and body control was on full display by the senior.
Benjamin Yurosek was on my radar going into the season, and he’s on fire to start the season. Finished with 9 catches for 138 yards, and a touchdown vs Hawaii. He would absolutely be a franchise Tight End for Washington. #HTTC pic.twitter.com/i2KDd7PKTY— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorFB) September 2, 2023
Javon Foster, OT, Missouri
Charles Leno, Jr. isn’t getting any younger and Washington needs to make sure that Sam Howell is protected beyond this year. Javon Foster has ideal size and athleticism for a left tackle at 6’5” and 319 lbs. He is one of the best run-blocking tackles in the country and has experience at both tackle spots.
Missouri LT Javon Foster in Week 1:— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 1, 2023
90.9 PFF Grade
Zero Pressures Allowed
91.4 Run Block Grade pic.twitter.com/FLkwQvg9bh
Kaimon Rucker, DE, UNC
It looks like the Commanders will only try to re-sign either Montez Sweat or Chase Young this offseason, leaving a hole along the defensive line. UNC chased Spencer Rattler all over the field and both of their defensive ends, Amari Gainer and Kaimon Rucker, were superb. I’m giving the nod to Rucker this week because he was relentless on his way to two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, and eight total tackles. At just under 6’2”, Rucker is short, but gets under the pads of blockers and power rushes them into the lap of the QB.
Aaron Casey, LB, Indiana
Ohio State eventually pulled away from Indiana, but the Hoosiers kept things close for most of the game. Aaron Casey’s play was a big reason for that. He made plays all over the field, but was most effective shooting gaps into the backfield to stop runs. He ended his day with 11 total tackles, one for a loss. He may not be a starter at the next level, but he might be a quality backup that allows the team to move on from David Mayo.
Indiana’s Aaron Casey has been the best player on the field. He’s gotta be building NFL Draft buzz today. pic.twitter.com/R8F555NSeA— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) September 2, 2023
Jakob Robinson, CB, BYU
Kendall Fuller is entering the last year of his contract. The Commanders could move Benjamin St-Juste from the slot to the boundary, or they could leave him there and look for another starting outside corner. If Washington wants to go with another slim, but productive CB, consider Jakob Robinson. The junior, at only 5’11” and 170 lbs, had five tackles, two PBUs, and two interceptions in the Cougars win over Sam Houston State.
Big play from a big player — Jakob Robinson coming up HUGE for BYU! pic.twitter.com/N20sw7ONqh— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 3, 2023
Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
Kam Curl is entering a contract year. If the Commanders cannot re-sign him, they may start Percy Butler and Darrick Forrest and look for a third safety in the draft. Nubin is more of a true free safety, but his closing speed and instincts are some of the best in college football. The senior had two interceptions and three total tackles in a win over Nebraska. He may not fit the mold of the safeties Washington has drafted recently, but his skillset would be valuable to the defense.
Jordan Watkins, WR/PR, Ole Miss
Although he had six catches for 111 yards, Watkins made this list because he returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in a win over Mercer. Washington needs a punt returner that can do more than just secure the catch. Watkins may offer playmaking as a returner and as a wide receiver.
Jordan Watkins named SEC co-special teams player of the week. Also 6 catches for 111 yards.— ⚜️Alan Thomas⚜️ (@CardN_AL) September 5, 2023
What is the Commanders biggest position of need heading into the 2023 season?
This poll is closed
C’mon, dg, they haven’t even played a snap yet!