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I didn't get a chance to watch as much college football this past weekend as I normally do. I basically caught the LSU vs. Mississippi State game on Thursday, Nebraska vs. Washington, Notre Dame vs. Michigan State, and of course Oklahoma vs. Florida State games.
There were obviously some very intriguing plays and from those plays interesting players that have now captured my attention moving forward.
It seems as though each and every year, a few players wake up to smell the proverbial coffee. They surface and begin to start making names for themselves. When that happens, particularly on a large scale, in a big game, the national media and talking heads will start dropping their names around here and there. When that happens, typically pro scouts ears perk up like a dogs and they start listening and watching.
Follow after the jump to have a look-see as to who some of these players were this past weekend.
JOHNTHAN BANKS | CORNERBACK | JUNIOR | MISSISSIPPI STATE:
Banks had one interception on the day but the buck didn't stop there. Mississippi State got every cents worth out of the young corner as he helped lock down one of the better receivers in the nation in Rueben Randle for the LSU Tigers. Randle is not a very easy receiver to cover as he stands 6'4" and weighs close to 210 LBS. On the interception, Banks was able to track the ball very quickly. His technique is of the raw variety but after this game, and of course the one before that where he had another interception, he is now on my radar.
AUSTIN CASSIDY | SAFETY | SENIOR | NEBRASKA:
At 6'2", 210 LBS, Cassidy is a sizeable safety in NCAA Football. He's not only above the bar in size, but he is above the bar in awareness, quickness, and knowledge of the game. It's rare that Cassidy finds himself out of position on a given play. He had an interception in the game against Washington which was his first on the year. The senior not only helps out in defending the pass but already has racked up 14 tackles on the year as well. He is quickly becoming a key piece to the Huskers defense.
ROBERT BLANTON | CORNERBACK| SENIOR | NOTRE DAME :
Robert Blanton had probably one of the more amazing plays of the day against Michigan State as he picked the ball off and ran it back for 82 yards to set up a Fighting Irish score.This was his 2nd interception on the year already. Pair that with a sack and 16 tackles and Blanton is quickly making a name for himself on a national scale. Manti Te'O is one of the best, if not the best player on that defense but if Blanton continues on like he has, he will be right up there with Te'O for some consideration for that title.
JAVON HARRIS | SAFETY | JUNIOR | OKLAHOMA:
Two big time interceptions against Florida State's quarterbacks certainly helped Harris catapult his draft stock. Before Saturday much of the nation did not know of Javon Harris. Well that's certainly changed in a hurry. Harris is now going to be looked at real closely by scouts the rest of the year. When you make plays like that this early on, on that big of a national stage, you've now peaked interest from just about every scout in pro football. An eagle eye will now be honed in on Harris for the remainder of the year, and if he keeps cranking out production as he has, he'll be a very high round draft pick should he declare for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Which of these four players are you most interested in following moving forward in to the season?
Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State) CB - 6'2", 185 LBS (50 votes)
Austin Cassidy (Nebraska) S - 6'1", 210 LBS (20 votes)
Robert Blanton (Notre Dame) CB - 6'2", 207 LBS (79 votes)
Javon Harris (Oklahoma) S - 5'11", 207 LBS (21 votes)
170 total votes