Greetings 49er Faithful! We are back with our breakdown of college football's Week 8 action. Each week throughout the college season we will break down a few college football games providing highlights and profiles of a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason. The two college football games we will highlight today are No. 6 Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Alabama match-up and No. 11 Houston vs. SMU match-up. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with Week 8.
* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status
+ = injury status
No. 10 6 Texas A&M Aggies at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Time: 12:30 PM PST
Live Stream: CBS Sports Live Video
Texas A&M has a several draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: QB Trevor Knight, No. 8; *WR Speedy Noil, No. 2; WR Josh Reynolds, No. 11; *WR Ricky Seals-Jones, No. 9; OT Avery Gennesy, No. 65; *DE Myles Garrett, No. 15; DE Daeshon Hall, No. 10; OLB Shaan Washington, No. 33; and SS Justin Evans, No. 14.
*WR Speedy Noil, No. 2, is definitely true to his name as an amazing athlete with elite speed, the kind of speed that makes him a threat all over the field and a home run threat any time he touches the ball. The former high school track athlete (400m, long, and triple jump) explodes off the line of scrimmage quickly getting behind defenders and plays bigger than his 5'11" size with an explosive vertical and strong reliable hands to bring in contested balls. Shows the ability to break in and out of his breaks with the necessary quick feet and suddenness separating from defenders and the speed to pull away quickly. Displays the ability to make plays taking the short pass and burst to daylight with great lateral quickness making decisive cuts without losing speed. Brings value in the return game. Red flags: plenty of off field issues (team suspensions and arrest for driving without a license), and has been bothered with some nagging injuries throughout his career, so durability concerns are an issue as well.
*WR Ricky Seals-Jones, No. 9, is a physically dominant player utilizing his impressive Calvin Johnson-like size, tremendous length, impressive speed, and outstanding catch radius plucking balls away from his body with strong hands, and is a mismatch nightmare for defenders. Displays a great ability blocking in the perimeter, and utilizes his body to post up against defenders. Needs more consistency in his game (too many drops), but flashes of his dominance is eye-opening.
*DE Myles Garrett, No. 15, is the top prospect in this years' draft class. Garrett brings a perfect blend of size, length, fluidity, speed, instincts, agility, power, and athleticism. A true disruptive force, Garrett lead the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss, and forced fumbles in 2015. An outstanding pass rusher both off the edge and inside (shows great awareness in stunts), Garrett is explosive (terrific first-step) with excellent flexibility, elite quickness, burst, and acceleration with insane closing speed. He plays with excellent leverage, body control, and balance, adept at holding the point of attack and releasing with amazing change of direction skills, agility, foot quickness, and power. Displays a variety of pass rush moves and is skilled converting speed into power. Has a motor that always runs hot. Shows a high football IQ with physical traits and superior athleticism to be a dominant playmaker at the next level.
QB Trevor Knight, No. 8, 6'0" - 215 lbs., 4.76 40 - (7th-UDFA)
*WR Speedy Noil, No. 2, 5'11" - 192 lbs., 4.36 40 - (5th)
WR Josh Reynolds, No. 11, 6'3" - 190 lbs., 4.52 40 - (5th)
*WR Ricky Seals-Jones, No. 9, 6'5" - 240 lbs., 4.59 40 - (5th-6th)
OT Avery Gennesy, No. 65, 6'5" - 310 lbs., 5.08 40 - (4th)
*DE Myles Garrett, No. 15, 6'5" - 270 lbs., 4.57 40 - (1st)
DE Daeshon Hall, No. 10, 6'5" - 260 lbs., 4.78 40 - (3rd-4th)
DT Hardreck Walker, No. 98, 6'2" - 290 lbs., 5.08 40 - (UDFA)
OLB Shaan Washington, No. 33, 6'3" - 235 lbs., 4.82 40 - (7th-UDFA)
SS Justin Evans, No. 14, 6'0" - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - (6th)
Alabama is loaded with several draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: TE O.J. Howard, No. 88; *OT Cam Robinson, No. 74; DE Jonathan Allen, No. 93; *DE Da'Shawn Hand, No. 9; DT Dalvin Tomlinson, No. 54; OLB Tim Williams, No. 56; OLB Ryan Anderson, No. 22; ILB Reuben Foster, No. 10; **CB Marlon Humphrey, No. 26; SS Eddie Jackson, No. 4; and K Adam Griffith, No. 99.
TE O.J. Howard, No. 88, is a mismatch in the middle of the field and on the perimeter displaying an impressive combination of size (6'6" - 251 lbs.), speed, explosion, athleticism, and strength (benches 405 pounds and squats 500 pounds). A dangerous receiving weapon in the middle of the field, Howard can easily take advantage of defenses with his 4.57 speed up the seam, the suddenness to separate and get away from man coverage taking advantage of his impressive length and athleticism, finds holes in zone and squares up presenting a large target and catching radius for the quarterback, and extends hands away from the body to make the catch. Along with good catching and great YAC ability, his blocking has been steadily improving as well, where he shows an excellent base, platform, and hand positioning blocking inline, and athletic ability with agility to swing his hips blocking in space when detached.
DE Jonathan Allen, No. 93, showcases amazing athleticism and power with impressive quickness and technique wreaking havoc in backfields as an up-field disrupter. Allen displays great burst off the line of scrimmage, quick, heavy, and violent punch at the point of attack, sound leverage utilizing great length, excels at converting speed to power, and the versatility to be disruptive from the inside and off the edge.
ILB Reuben Foster, No. 10, is a superb downhill plugger type of linebacker with a terrific combination of athleticism, size, physicality, range, speed, toughness, and strength. Foster is a fierce and terrific tackler with quality bulk-ability easily taking on bigger blockers at the point of attack winning with proper leverage separating with violent and powerful hands stacking and shedding, impressive sideline-to-sideline capabilities (superb range), and very skilled coming off the edge. A tremendously smart player with a high football IQ, Foster showcases excellent instincts and speed easily reading run keys and has the play speed (straight-line speed with a burst) to track down the football with impressive closing speed. Shows quality ability to play in coverage as well with sound awareness and balance. Moreover, he brings value on special teams where he's a strong tackler hitting with immense explosion. Foster is the best pure inside linebacker in the draft class and is a more athletic version to former Crimson Tide teammate, Reggie Ragland.
FB/DE Dakota Ball, No. 44, 6'3" - 268 lbs., 5.26 40 - (UDFA)
WR Gehrig Dieter, No. 14, 6'3" - 207 lbs., 4.62 40 - (UDFA)
TE O.J. Howard, No. 88, 6'6" - 251 lbs., 4.57 40 - (1st)
*OT Cam Robinson, No. 74, 6'6" - 310 lbs., 5.28 40 - (1st)
OG Korren Kirven, No. 78, 6'4" - 311 lbs., 5.23 40 - (UDFA)
DE Jonathan Allen, No. 93, 6'3" - 291 lbs., 4.85 40 - (1st)
*DE Da'Shawn Hand, No. 9, 6'4" - 280 lbs., 4.74 40 - (5th)
DT Dalvin Tomlinson, No. 54, 6'3" - 307 lbs., 5.14 40 - (7th)
OLB Tim Williams, No. 56, 6'4" - 252 lbs., 4.76 40 - (2nd)
OLB Ryan Anderson, No. 22, 6'2" - 253 lbs., 4.77 40 - (3rd-4th)
ILB Reuben Foster, No. 10, 6'1" - 236 lbs., 4.72 40 - (1st)
**CB Marlon Humphrey, No. 26, 6'1" - 198 lbs., 4.49 40 - (1st)
SS Eddie Jackson, No. 4, 6'0" - 194 lbs., 4.53 40 - (2nd)
K Adam Griffith, No. 99, 5'10" - 192 lbs., 4.87 40 - (7th-UDFA)
LS Cole Mazza, No. 55, 6'2" - 235 lbs., 4.93 40 - (UDFA)
No. 11 Houston Cougars at SMU Mustangs
Time: 4:00 PM PST
Channel: ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Houston has a few draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: WR/RB Greg Ward Jr., No. 1; DE Cameron Malveaux, No. 94; DT B.J. Singleton, No. 93; OLB Steven Taylor, No. 41; and OLB Tyus Bowser, No. 81.
OLB/ILB Steven Taylor, No. 41, is an amazing and explosive athlete with tremendous speed and quickness running sideline-to-sideline chasing down ball carriers, wreaks havoc in the backfield as a punishing blitzer (superb closing speed), terrific instincts with a nose for the ball, plays with great suddenness, and is solid in coverage with excellent range. His gap penetration, awareness, burst, and spin moves off blockers are impressive, and has excellent run and chase skills with sound tackling. Taylor is an absolute playmaker and is one of the best blitzing linebackers in the game. A scheme diverse prospect, Taylor could easily fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but will need to build up play strength for the next level in order to avoid losing battles against stout offensive lineman.
FB Tyler McCloskey, No. 45, 6'1" - 245 lbs., 5.04 40 - (UDFA)
WR/RB Greg Ward Jr., No. 1, 5'10" - 185 lbs., 4.49 40 - (7th-UDFA)
WR Chance Allen, No. 21, 6'2" - 215 lbs., 4.54 40 - (UDFA)
DE Cameron Malveaux, No. 94, 6'5" - 270 lbs., 4.86 40 - (7th-UDFA)
DT B.J. Singleton, No. 93, 6'3" - 314 lbs., 5.17 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OLB/ILB Steven Taylor, No. 41, 6'1" - 225 lbs., 4.77 40 - (3rd)
+OLB Tyus Bowser, No. 81, 6'2" - 240 lbs., 4.67 40 - (4th-5th) Out 4-6 weeks with facial injury-orbital fracture.
CB Brandon Wilson, No. 26, 5'11" - 200 lbs., 4.55 40 - (UDFA)
SMU has one very noticeable draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: **WR Courtland Sutton, No. 16.
**WR Courtland Sutton, No. 16, displays an excellent combination of size (6'4" - 220 lbs.), speed, explosion, short area quickness, physicality, and athleticism. Sutton is a nightmare match-up going up against defensive backs showcasing a large catching radius, a natural pass catcher that extends arms to make the catch with reliable strong hands, outstanding leaping ability, excellent body control, superb ball skills, and is an ideal Redzone target. The former Houston Cougars forward on their 2015-16 basketball team, Sutton is a legitimate downfield threat with deceptive speed (long strider covers ground extremely fast) lulling defensive backs allowing him to get behind them and wins contesting the catch with size, ball skills, strength, and body control. Defenses have tried to eliminate the threat over the top forcing the big-play receiver to make catches underneath, a new facet to his game this season that he's vastly improving upon.
+QB Matt Davis, No. 4, 6'0" - 212 lbs., 4.58 40 - (UDFA) Out for year knee injury.
**WR Courtland Sutton, No. 16, 6'4" - 215 lbs., 4.59 40 - (2nd)
SS Darrion Millines, No. 29, 6'0" - 208 lbs., - (UDFA)