Happy Labor Day! Week 1 of the college football season is upon us, and with the start of the 49ers regular season just around the corner, we are going to take a look at our potential future. Each week throughout the college season we will break down a few college football games providing highlights and profiles of draft-eligible prospects. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with Week 1.
No.11 Ole Miss Rebels at No. 4 Florida State Seminoles
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Capping off a blockbuster opening weekend of the 2016 college football season will showcase a great match-up between the Mississippi Rebels vs. Florida State Seminoles. The setting -- Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida -- is a neutral-site, and will be the second time the Rebels and Seminoles square off on the gridiron - Ole Miss leads the series 1-0 with a 33-0 victory in 1961. Look for Ole Miss to try and contain one of the nation's premier running backs, Dalvin Cook. Cook amassed 1,691 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015, and is the engine that runs the Seminoles' offense. After losing their top wideout - Laquon Treadwell - to the NFL, Ole Miss quarterback sensation Chad Kelly will be looking to hook up with his new premier target, Damore'ea Stringfellow. Kelly and the offense will have their hands full battling against one of the tougher defenses in college football, and the Seminoles are primed to even the series at one a piece.
And if you need another reason to watch the game tonight, scouts for the 49ers will be in attendance.
Ole Miss is featuring several draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on this year. A few guys of note are: QB Chad Kelly, *WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, TE Evan Engram, and SS Tony Conner.
QB Chad Kelly, No. 10, is the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Chad started off his college football journey at Clemson, but was later dismissed from the school due to "conduct detrimental to the team". Swag Kelly click for awesomeness - found himself at East Mississippi Community College , AKA - Last Chance U (a fantastic series on Netflix) - where he lit up the JUCO competition and accepted an offer to play for Ole Miss. A very confident Kelly - "I'm the best quarterback in the nation" - will definitely need to overcome plenty of red flags from his past, including maturity and coach-ability issues; nevertheless, Swag Kelly has a rocket of an arm capable of making throws all over the field, an aggressive attacking mentality, and shows toughness and strength in the pocket. His reckless style of play at times does not help his accuracy.
*WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, No. 3, a redshirt junior, replaces former Rebel's star, Laquon Treadwell, as the number one wide receiver threat for Ole Miss. Stringfellow, a size and strength receiver, displays decent speed, solid ball skills, high-points balls with nice body control, wins contested catches, and is physical and tough to bring down.
TE Evan Engram, No. 17, is extremely athletic and explosive, and is typically lined up all over the place (split out wide, slot, in-line, H-back) in the Rebels offense, which makes him a great candidate as a move tight end at the next level. The hybrid tight end showcases tremendous burst off the line of scrimmage, fluidity in route running, quickness in-and-out of breaks, amazing ball skills, impressive hands, explosiveness after the catch, and a nightmare match-up for any line backer. His blocking skills are not too shabby either with good positioning and hand technique and tenacity to finish keeping his feet moving.
SS Tony Conner, No. 12, looks to improve his prospects after enduring an injury plagued 2015 season with a knee injury (torn meniscus during Week 3). The standout senior displays a tremendous physical game (one of the hardest hitters in football) with impressive versatility. Conner is aggressive in run support easily able to step in as a linebacker, blitz off the edge with great quickness, and solid ball skills and fluidity in coverage. His versatility will be coveted at the next level and could play a similar role as Jaquiski Tartt.
A few other Rebels to keep an eye on: WR Quincy Adeboyejo, No. 8; DE Fadol Brown, No. 6; DT D.J. Jones, No. 93; and *OLB Marquis Haynes, No. 10.
* = indicates junior status
QB Chad Kelly, No. 10, 6'2" - 224 lbs., 4.76 40 - (2nd)
RB Akeem Judd, No. 21, 5'11 - 228 lbs., 4.62 40 - (UDFA)
*WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, No. 3, 6'2" - 212 lbs., 4.58 40 - (3rd)
WR Quincy Adeboyejo, No. 8, 6'3" - 195 lbs., 4.48 40 - (7th-UDFA)
TE Evan Engram, No. 17, 6'3" - 227 lbs., 4.64 40 - (2nd-3rd)
C Robert Conyers, No. 75, 6'5" - 298 lbs., 5.10 40 - (UDFA)
DE Fadol Brown, No. 6, 6'4" - 273 lbs., 4.93 40 - (7th-UDFA)
DT D.J. Jones, No. 93, 6'0" - 321 lbs., 5.08 40 - (6th)
*OLB Marquis Haynes, No. 10, 6'2" - 222 lbs., 4.67 40 - (4th)
ILB Rommel Mageo, No. 46, 6'1" - 232 lbs., 4.78 40 - (UDFA)
CB Tony Bridges, No. 1, 6'0" - 185 lbs., 4.53 40 - (UDFA)
SS Tony Conner, No. 12, 6'0" - 225 lbs., 4.60 40 - (5th)
LS Will Few, No. 53, 6'3" - 242 lbs., 4.87 40 - (UDFA)
Florida State continues their NFL prospect influx with several draft-eligible candidates destined for their names to be called in the 2017 NFL Draft. A few prospects to keep an eye on today are: *RB Dalvin Cook, *WR Travis Rudolph, *OT Roderick Johnson, and *DT Derrick Nnadi.
*RB Dalvin Cook, No. 4, a dominant threat for the Seminoles, is arguably one of the best running backs in the nation. Cook displays a smoothness to his game with excellent instincts, versatility, and big-play waiting to happen at any time threat. His vision and feel for the game is tremendously impressive, showcasing a nice suddenness in traffic with elite tackle-breaking slippery skills similar to a snake sliding through grass, and the capacity to hit the home run whenever he touches the ball. Cook's amazing talent, determined work ethic, and desire for continued improvement will bode well for him at the next level.
*WR Travis Rudolph, No. 15, was a highly sought out recruit out of high school that has developed nicely over the years. Rudolph displays a great combination of size, speed, and athleticism, with impressive suddenness in his game and the ability to break in and out of cuts showing the speed and quickness to separate from defensive backs. The junior is not really a physical receiver, but has impressive toughness with the ability to make plays, taking advantage of short passes and turning them into big gains. He also shows great ball skills, good hands, and the ability to elevate for the football in traffic and in the end zone.
*OT Roderick Johnson, No. 77, is a highly aggressive road grader mauling through defenses with his brute physicality, size, and strength. The junior boasts great length with a large wing span, impressive athleticism, and relatively light feet for a man his size. Johnson has the mindset and physicalness of a nasty guard, but showcases good athleticism and decent foot speed to slide laterally and adjust to movement. Although a dominant force as a run blocker - displaying tremendous toughness finishing off blocks all the way to the whistle - Johnson is inconsistent in pass protection, where his "rawness" is still evident and technique will need to continue to improve (waist bender).
*DT Derrick Nnadi, No. 91, is a beast in the middle of the Seminoles' defense. The junior boasts a big powerful stout frame with great athleticism, foot quickness, and agility. A load in the middle, Nnadi shows great ability to play front-side blockers at the point of attack with strength and leverage, and utilizes is short area quickness and agility to defend against back-side blocks showcasing tremendous athletic ability for a bruiser of a space eater.
A few other Seminoles to keep an eye on: FB Freddie Stevenson, No. 23; DE DeMarcus Walker, No. 44; CB Marquez White, No. 27; and SS Nate Andrews, No. 29.
QB Sean Maguire, No. 10, 6'3" - 232 lbs., 5.28 40 - (UDFA)
*RB Dalvin Cook, No. 4, 5'11" - 206 lbs., 4.46 40 - (1st)
FB Freddie Stevenson, No. 23, 6'0" - 243 lbs., 4.82 40 - (6th)
*WR Travis Rudolph, No. 15, 6'1" - 189 lbs., 4.52 40 - (3rd)
WR Kermit Whitfield, No. 8, 5'8" - 180 lbs., 4.40 40 - (UDFA)
WR Jesus Wilson, No. 3, 5'10" - 186 lbs., 4.47 40 - (UDFA)
*OT Roderick Johnson, No. 77, 6'7" - 311 lbs., 5.37 40 - (1st-2nd)
OG Kareem Are, No. 72, 6'5" - 334 lbs., 5.38 40 - (UDFA)
DE DeMarcus Walker, No. 44, 6'2" - 273 lbs., 4.86 40 - (6th-7th)
DE Chris Casher, No. 21, 6'3" - 256 lbs., 4.79 40 - (UDFA)
*DT Derrick Nnadi, No. 91, 6'1" - 312 lbs., 5.09 40 - (2nd-3rd)
CB Marquez White, No. 27, 6'0" - 181 lbs., 4.49 40 - (3rd-4th)
CB Ryan Green, No. 7, 5'10" - 205 lbs., 4.52 40 - (UDFA)
SS Nate Andrews, No. 29, 5'11" - 210 lbs. 4.62 40 - (6th-7th)
Enjoy your Labor Day!