Good morning 49er Faithful! We are back for our breakdown of college football's Week 3 action. We have game previews and a rundown of notable draft-eligible prospects for Saturday's slate of college football games. Each week, we will not be highlighting every game and every prospect. Rather, we will grab a few notable games in the morning and then in the afternoon and highlight names you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason.
The first half of the previews come courtesy of Greg Valerio, and the second half come from Jake Narayan. Enjoy Saturday's action!
Connecticut Huskies at No. 22 Missouri Tigers
Time: 9:00 AM PST
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
The first game of the day does not have too many draft-eligible players; nevertheless, there are a few players to keep an eye on. Connecticut's FS Andrew Adams, No. 22, has a good combination of size, speed, and athleticism with solid instincts. Adams finished the 2014 season with 95 tackles and 4 interceptions, and is off to a great start for the 2015 season with 11 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Missouri showcases a couple of draft-edible offensive lineman to keep an eye on in OT Connor McGovern, No. 60 and C Evan Boehm, No. 77. Connor McGovern is a very smart versatile offensive lineman, capable of playing both guard and tackle spots. McGovern is playing left tackle this year for Missouri, but will likely kick inside to guard at the next level. Evan Boehm is a stout and strong prospect with a good combination of size, strength, and leadership for the center position. Boehm, a former high school wrestling champion, utilizes his tremendous power and sneaky speed to dominate on the inside. NFL rookie offensive lineman typically take a good year to get adjusted to the rigors and strength needed to be successful at the next level. Let us hope Justin Smith (Missouri's new assistant strength coach) is able to help speed up the process for these two prospects.
On the defensive side of the ball for Missouri, keep an eye on ILB Kentrell Brothers, No. 10 and CB Kenya Dennis, No. 7. Kentrell Brothers is a very impressive inside linebacker with solid skills defending the run. Although Brothers' speed is not appealing, he utilizes his amazing instincts and awareness to be a dominating force in the middle for the Tigers. In just two games thus far, Brothers has already recorded 32 tackles. Kenya Dennis showcases a good combination of size, speed, and athleticism, with solid awareness in coverage, and impressive aggressive skills in run support.
DT Julian Campenni, No. 90, 6'0 - 302 lbs., 5.00 40 - Connecticut (UFA)
DE Kenton Adeyemi, No. 95, 6'4 - 287 lbs., 4.92 40 - Connecticut (UFA)
FS Andrew Adams, No. 22, 6'0 - 198 lbs., 4.58 40 - Connecticut (6th-7th)
RB Russell Hansbrough, No. 32, 5'8 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - Missouri (UFA)
OT Connor McGovern, No. 60, 6'4 - 304 lbs., 5.02 40 - Missouri (5th)
C Evan Boehm, No. 77, 6'3 - 320 lbs., 5.15 40 - Missouri (4th-5th)
ILB Kentrell Brothers, No. 10, 6'0 - 238 lbs., 4.86 40 - Missouri (6th)
CB Kenya Dennis, No. 7, 5'11 - 200 lbs., 4.52 40 - Missouri (7th)
No. 14 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Time: 12:30 PM PST
The next game showcase a lot of draft-eligible talent. For Georgia Tech, there are two prospects worth noting in DT Adam Gotsis, No. 96 and CB D.J. White, No. 28. The Australian born, Adam Gotsis, is a raw prospect with a great combination of size, length (long arms), power, speed, and athleticism. The former Australian Rules Football player has impressive balance and agility for a man his size and has a lot of untapped potential to go along with his power and athleticism. Gotsis will need to improve his technique, but with solid coaching he will make a great 3-4 defensive end. D.J. White is a solid corner prospect showcasing amazing speed, solid ball skills, and good awareness. White struggles a bit in coverage, but is quick to recover and has nice closing speed. White has good size and athleticism with an impressive burst, and he is best utilized with the action in front of him.
Other Georgia Tech prospects to keep an eye on are: FS Jamal Golden, No. 4 and SS Demond Smith, No. 12. Also, FB Patrick Skov, No. 24 is the younger brother to 49ers inside linebacker Shayne Skov.
Draft-eligible talent for Notre Dame is in abundance, and I could probably take up an entire article highlighting each one, which I am sure Notre Dame fans would absolutely love, but since we are providing a lot of games today, I will showcase a handful of players to keep an eye on. The first player I am absolutely excited about is junior OLB Jaylon Smith, No. 9. I see a lot of similarities to Jaylon Smith's game with Patrick Willis, which I know is a tall order, but Smith's speed, athleticism, and amazing sideline-to-sideline capabilities are truly impressive. Smith showcases great size, agility, explosion, and strength and would be a great fit next to NaVorro Bowman as an inside linebacker in the 49ers 3-4 defensive scheme. Smith will be tested in Georgia Tech's vaunted triple option offense.
Two defensive line prospects to keep an eye on are DT Sheldon Day, No. 91 and DE Romeo Okwara, No. 45. Sheldon Day is a quick and powerful defensive tackle showcasing great balance and a quick first step. Although Day's lack of size and length will limit him to a 3-technique, his impressive penetration and quickness at the point of attack makes him a disruptive force in the backfield. Romeo Okwara is a great length and speed prospect coming off the edge. Okwara needs to show more consistency, but with another solid year under his belt, he should be a good rotational edge rusher at the next level.
One offensive player to keep an eye on is arguably the top offensive tackle prospect in this years' draft class in junior OT Ronnie Stanley, No. 78. Stanley, a technician, showcases tremendous combination of size, athleticism, length, quickness, speed, and strength. Using his long arms, lateral quickness, balance, solid technique, and a quick first step, Stanley easily mirrors defenders in pass pro, and shows physicality in the run game. He also shows durability starting every game the past two seasons.
Other Notre Dame draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on are: RB Tarean Folston, No. 25; WR Will Fuller, No. 7; WR Chris Brown, No. 2; C Nick Martin, No. 72; ILB Joe Schmidt, No. 38; CB KeiVarae Russell, No. 6; FS Max Redfield, No. 10; and SS Elijah Shumate, No. 22.
* = indicates junior status
RB Broderick Snoddy, No. 22, 5'9 - 190 lbs., 4.46 40 - Georgia Tech (UFA)
FB Patrick Skov, No. 24, 6'1 - 234 lbs., 4.96 40 - Georgia Tech (UFA) Grad transfer Stanford. Younger brother of Shane Skov.
OT Bryan Chamberlain, No. 53, 6'4 - 295 lbs., 5.21 40 - Georgia Tech (UFA)
DT Adam Gotsis, No. 96, 6'5 - 285 lbs., 4.88 40 - Georgia Tech (3rd-4rd) Australian.
DE Jabari Hunt-Days, No. 32, 6'2 - 261 lbs., 4.84 40 - Georgia Tech (UFA)
CB D.J. White, No. 28, 5'11 - 188 lbs., 4.49 40 - Georgia Tech (5th)
FS Jamal Golden, No. 4, 5'11 - 193 lbs., 4.56 40 - Georgia Tech (7th-UFA)
SS Demond Smith, No. 12, 5'11 - 192 lbs., 4.57 40 - Georgia Tech (7th)
RB *Tarean Folston, No. 25, 5'9 - 214 lbs., 4.56 40 - Notre Dame (3rd)
WR *Will Fuller, No. 7, 6'0 - 180 lbs., 4.51 40 - Norte Dame (4th)
WR Chris Brown, No. 2, 6'2 - 195 lbs., 4.48 40 - Notre Dame (5th)
WR Amir Carlisle, No. 3, 5'10 - 192 lbs., 4.43 40 - Notre Dame (UFA)
OT *Ronnie Stanley, No. 78, 6'6 - 315 lbs., 5.17 40 - Notre Dame (1st)
C Nick Martin, No. 72, 6'4 - 295 lbs., 5.26 40 - Notre Dame (3rd)
DT Sheldon Day, No. 91, 6'1 - 285 lbs., 4.94 40 - Notre Dame (2nd-3rd)
DE Romeo Okwara, No. 45, 6'4 - 260 lbs., 4.83 40 - Notre Dame (5th-6th)
DE Ishaq Williams, No. 11, 6'4 - 271 lbs., 4.76 40 - Notre Dame (6th-UFA) Out for the year, Academics. Williams lost eligibility appeal. He was suspended in 2014 as part of an academic fraud case. Williams was formally readmitted by Notre Dame, but Williams did not enroll in school, leading to the NCAA rejecting his eligibility appeal to play this year. Williams has returned to school and is on track to for his degree, but he isn't allowed to practice with the team this fall.
OLB *Jaylon Smith, No. 9, 6'3 - 235 lbs., 4.67 40 - Notre Dame (1st)
ILB Joe Schmidt, No. 38, 6'0 - 235 lbs., 4.84 40 - Notre Dame (6th-7th)
CB *KeiVarae Russell, No. 6, 6'0 - 190 lbs. 4.49 40 - Notre Dame (2nd) Cleared by NCAA and reinstated. Missed 2014 season due to academic investigation.
FS Avery Sebastian, No. 4, 5'10 - 195 lbs., 4.59 40 - Notre Dame (UFA) Transfer from California.
FS *Max Redfield, No. 10, 6'1 - 198 lbs., 4.52 40 - Norte Dame (3rd)
SS Elijah Shumate, No. 22, 6'0 - 213 lbs., 4.54 40 - Notre Dame (4th-5th)
South Carolina Gamecocks at No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs
Time: 4:30 PM PST
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
My final game I am highlighting is showcasing several draft-eligible prospects on both teams. South Carolina, the apparent pipeline to the San Francisco 49ers, has two receiving prospects to keep an eye on in junior WR Pharoh Cooper, No. 11 and TE Jerell Adams, No. 89. Pharoh Cooper displays amazing explosion and athleticism to go along with his playmaking abilities. Cooper, who is built like a running back, is extremely versatile, capable of lining up all over the field and brings value in the return game. Cooper's ideal position is in the slot at the next level, but will excite many teams with the Randall Cobb-like abilities to be an explosive playmaker in space. Jerell Adams is an impressive athlete with a great combination of size (6'6"), speed, and athleticism. The former high school basketball player and former high school football quarterback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end, and punter displays terrific size and speed for the position with reliable hands and good ball skills.
South Carolina's OT Brandon Shell, No. 71, has a massive frame with sneaky quickness and the length Trent Baalke loves with his offensive lineman. The great nephew of Hall of Famer Art Shell, Brandon is an impressive powerful offensive lineman with good athleticism, nice balance, and fair footwork. He will need to improve his technique and is likely considered a guard or right tackle prospect at the next level. (*Mid-round offensive lineman Baalke prospect alert).
Georgia is also showcasing an offensive lineman to keep an eye on in OT John Theus, No. 71. Theus displays a nice combination of size (6'6"), length, and versatility to play both tackle positions. Theus is not overly athletic and has trouble against speed rushers off the edge, but with better technique and an increase in strength, Theus should make an ideal right tackle prospect.
Two defensive edge prospect to take note are junior OLB Leonard Floyd, No. 84 and OLB Jordan Jenkins, No. 59. Leonard Floyd showcases an explosive skill-set NFL teams desire with their pass rush specialists. His speed and bend off the edge is impressive. Floyd displays superb athleticism with good technique, excellent burst and closing speed, amazing first-step off the line, fair hands with decent pop at point of attack, quick to transition into pass rush moves (has a tremendous swim move), impressive change of direction, fair at stacking and shedding, and fair against the run. He also possesses great balance and body control, where coming out of the arc from his bend he is able to adjust with ease and take advantage of his length. He shows sound awareness, good coverage skills, and an excellent tackler in space. Jordan Jenkins has a high motor and is explosive off the edge. He utilizes solid hand usage and strength at the point of attack, great balance, lateral movement, and flexibility, and impressive closing speed. Jenkins is relentless and plays with an angry-aggressiveness wreaking havoc in the backfield.
Other draft-eligible players to keep an eye on are: RB Keith Marshall, No. 4; FB Quayvon Hicks, No. 48; WR Malcolm Mitchell, No. 26; DE Josh Dawson, No. 91; and K Marshall Morgan, No. 13.
RB Brandon Wilds, No. 22, 6'1 - 224 lbs., 4.56 40 - South Carolina (6th-7th
WR *Pharoh Cooper, No. 11, 5'11 - 208 lbs., 4.52 40 - South Carolina (4th)
WR Shamier Jeffery, No. 8, 6'1 - 196 lbs., 4.64 40 - South Carolina (UFA)
TE Jerell Adams, No, 89. 6'5 - 234 lbs., 4.64 40 - South Carolina (5th)
OT Brandon Shell, No. 71, 6'5 - 327 lbs., 5.19 40 - South Carolina (4th) Coming off January 2015 shoulder injury. Surgically repaired torn labrum on right shoulder. The great nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell.
DT Gerald Dixon Jr., No. 92, 6'3 325 lbs., 5.12 40 - South Carolina (UFA)
DT Phillip Dukes, No. 52, 6'3 - 324 lbs., 5.34 40 - South Carolina (UFA)
DE Cedric Cooper, No. 18, 6'2 - 248 lbs., 4.84 40 - South Carolina (UFA)
SS Isaiah Johnson, No. 21, 6'1 - 210 lbs., 4.65 40 - South Carolina (6th-7th) Transfer from Kansas.
RB Keith Marshall, No. 4, 5'11 - 212 lbs., 4.49 40 - Georgia (7th-UFA)
FB Quayvon Hicks, No. 48, 6'1 - 251 lbs., 4.82 40 - Georgia (7th-UFA)
WR Malcolm Mitchell, No. 26, 6'0 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - Georgia (7th-UFA)
WR Justin Scott-Wesley, No. 86, 5'11 - 201 lbs., 4.49 40 - Georgia (UFA)
TE Jay Rome, No. 87, 6'5 - 250 lbs., 4.79 40 - Georgia (UFA)
OT John Theus, No. 71, 6'6 - 305 lbs., 5.21 40 - Georgia (3rd)
OT Kolton Houston, No. 75, 6'4 - 290 lbs., 5.12 40 - Georgia (UFA)
C Hunter Long, No. 66, 6'3 - 303 lbs., 5.29 40 - Georgia (UFA)
DT Chris Mayes, No. 93, 6'3 - 323 lbs., 5.23 40 - Georgia (UFA)
DE Josh Dawson, No. 91, 6'3 - 273 lbs., 4.86 40 - Georgia (7th-UFA)
DE Sterling Bailey, No. 58, 6'3 - 282 lbs., 4.88 40 - Georgia (UFA)
OLB *Leonard Floyd, No. 84, 6'3 - 232 lbs., 4.73 40 - Georgia (1st)
OLB Jordan Jenkins, No. 59, 6'2 - 253 lbs., 4.64 40 - Georgia (2nd)
CB Devin Bowman, No. 37, 6'0 - 182 - 4.56 40 - Georgia (UFA)
K Marshall Morgan, No. 13, 6'2 - 194 - 4.87 40 - Georgia (7th)
LS Nathan Theus, No. 49, 6'3 - 238 lbs., 5.34 40 - Georgia (UFA)
Stanford @ No. 6 USC
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Stanford had a rough time in the season opener at Northwestern, but then bounced back at home in a 31-7 win over UCF. The Cardinal got off to a slow start, but the offense finally found a spark in the second quarter, led by quarterback Kevin Hogan. He finished the day with 341 yards and 3 touchdowns, good enough to reward the team with a victory. Stanford will be traveling to Southern California to take on the no. 6 ranked Trojans. Hogan is going to have to exceed his performance last week to come away with a win against a defensive driven team. He has prototypical size and strength, great work ethic and good decision-making. Hogan does have bad throwing mechanics (winds up -- takes too long) and does not have a quick release to let a ball fly under pressure from the D-line.
Senior receiver Michael Rector should be Hogan's no. 1 target this year. Rector had four receptions for 89 yards including a 53-yard electrifying score. With the help of the new freshman Bryce Love, it should take less of the focus off of Rector and open up some more plays for the both of them. The Cardinal are also going to need the assistance of running back Christian McCaffrey, a sophomore from Castle Rock, CO.
I would not overlook Stanford if I were USC, as they now have some more offensive weapons, and the already sturdy defense. Top prospect Cody Kessler should have trouble trying to pick apart the Cardinal secondary, as the Stanford defensive line should be disrupting him most of the night. Kessler does not have top notch athleticsm and lacks physical attributes, but that really doesn't matter considering he's not a dual threat quarterback. He is able to make throws in tight windows and has good touch on his deep ball. As for the Trojan defense, there is one guy that really stands out to me, Su'a Cravens. Cravens is a hybrid safety-linebacker, but I think they are now calling him a linebacker only, because of his size (6'1", 230 lbs.). He is a versatile athlete with natural football instincts that show when he plays, a solid tackler and decent in pass coverage. Cravens could stand to put on some weight, and does not have great speed, which means he will most likely play linebacker at the next level.
Austin Hooper - TE
Devon Cajuste - WR
Ronnie Harris - CB
Dallas LLoyd - SS
Mike Taylor - OLB
Kevin Palma - LB
Cody Kessler - QB
Steven Mitchell - WR
Darreus Rodgers - WR
Leon McQuay III - FS
Chris Hawkins- SS
Delvon Simmons - DT
No. 15 Ole Miss @ No. 2 Alabama
Time: 6:15 PM PST
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
An early SEC clash. This game is probably the most intriguing of the weekend, and both teams have players they are showcasing that we can take a look at, starting with Alabama's linebacker, Reggie Ragland. He is a brick wall at the position, does not usually miss tackles, and even contributes on special teams. He needs to work on his coverage and maybe lose a few pounds to improve his speed and quickness. I can see Ragland being drafted in the third round.
You cannot talk about Alabama football without hearing the name Derrick Henry. The man is a wrecking ball standing at 6'3", 240lbs. He rushed for 990 yards on only 172 carries and 11 scores, but he already looks like he is going to blow his sophomore stats out of the water, as he has 243 yards on 31 attempts and 6 touchdowns in just two games. Henry has good acceleration through the hole and can run over a backer meeting him there. He does not have the greatest speed, but it is enough to outrun someone in a foot race.
As for the Rebels, they have many players that are prominent, but especially receiver Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell is a dominating receiver with jump-ball ability that is valued in the NFL. He also has great vision after the catch and is very physical when the ball is in his hands. His season was cut short last year after he suffered a broken leg so we will see how he bounces back from that. Oh yeah, and there's Robert Nkemdiche, who highlights the strong Ole Miss defense. He is the anchor in the middle of this defense and plays the biggest role in the Rebel's run defense. His athleticism and speed in comparison to his size (6'4", 295 lbs.) is just incredible. He will fight to get to the ball even if it is off-tackle or a screen to a receiver (high-motor). He's a disciplined run defender, but could stand to improve his awareness.
Reggie Ragland - LB
Derrick Henry - RB
Jake Coker - QB
Ryan Kelly - Center
O.J. Howard - TE
Dillon Lee - LB
Geno Smith - FS
Eddie Jackson - SS
Laquon Treadwell - WR
Robert Nkemdiche - DT
Tony Conner - S/LB
Chad Kelly - QB
Jaylon Walton - RB
Trae Elston - FS
Evan Engram - TE
Rutgers @ Penn State
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Channel: Big Ten Network
Penn State is presenting some notable draft prospects, starting with quarterback Christian Hackenburg. He has great pocket presence and makes NFL ready tosses frequently. His mobility is not the best, but he can escape the pocket in a hurry if he needs to. He does operate in a pro-style offense and that can make his transition to the next level more fluent. The biggest knock on Hackenburg is his decision-making, which is extremely poor. He should be a first round draft pick, and the team that drafts him is most likely looking for a franchise quarterback, which begs the question, is he ready for it?
Penn State receivers are the strongest area of the offense, but all of them are sophomores, and since we are focusing on draft-eligible players, we move to the defensive side of the ball. Carl Nassib is the definition of scrappy. The defensive end had an outstanding game last weekend against Buffalo, totaling three sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. Nassib was a walk-on who earned a scholarship in 2013, and I think that gives him a drive going forward.
Rutgers is coming into this game 1-1, as is Penn State. Quarterback Chris Laviano struggles last week in his debut, completing 23 of 29 pass attempts for only 204 yards, in a 37-34 loss to Washington State. He had two turnovers that resulted in 10 points for the Cougars, but started to turn things around later in the game. Maybe it was first-game jitters, or maybe it wasn't, so it will be interesting to see how Laviano will perform in week 3 in Pennsylvania. Rutgers receiver Leonte Carroo is being considered as one the best receivers in the team's history, and he could've been selected in the first round of the draft last year, but bypassed that opportunity to return for his senior season. He was suspended for the first half of the game at Washington State, but came out in the second half and had three scores, which put Rutgers back in the game.
Christian Hackenburg - QB
Geno Lewis - WR
Andrew Nelson - RT
Brent Wilkerson - TE
Brendan Mahon - LG
Chris Laviano - QB
Leonte Carroo - WR
Darius Hamilton - DE
Paul James - RB
Nick Arcidiacono - TE
Andre Patton - WR
No. 11 Clemson Tigers at Louisville Cardinals
Thursday, September 17 recap
Before I hand off the late games to Jake, here is a quick recap from Thursday night's game of draft-eligible players to keep an eye on for the weeks to come.
WR *Mike Williams, No. 7, 6'3 - 210 lbs., 4.54 40 - Clemson (2nd)
DT D.J. Reader, No. 48, 6'2 - 325 lbs., 5.04 40 - Clemson (6th-7th)
DE *Shaq Lawson, No. 90, 6'3 275 - 4.67 40 - Clemson (3rd)
DT Sheldon Rankins, No. 98, 6'1 - 303 lbs., 4.92 40 - Louisville (3rd-4th)
DT Pio Vatuvei, No. 44, 6'2 - 296 lbs., 5.07 40 - Louisville (6th-7th)
DE *Devonte Fields, No. 95, 6'4 - 254 lbs., 4.74 40 - Louisville (3rd-4th)
ILB James Burgess, No. 13, 6'0 - 230 lbs., 4.72 40 - Louisville (6th)