What a great weekend it was. College football is officially back, and we were treated to a bunch of great games all day long from Boise State’s comeback against Florida State at 12 PM EST to Auburn’s comeback against Oregon at 7:30 PM EST.
Normally on these weekly previews you’ll see three prospects who had a great game and their draft stock is rising, three guys who had bad game and their draft stock is falling, one small school guy who had a great week and is firmly on scout’s radars, and the top three games to watch in the upcoming week. For the first recap of the season, I didn’t want to be a Grinch and knock guys after just one week (also most top teams with top prospects had minimal competition this weekend). Instead, I’ve thrown in one extra riser than usual for a total of four.
Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
Zuniga was unstoppable coming off the edge against Miami. He lived in the backfield with 1.5 sacks and 7 QB pressures. Zuniga took over the game, making life uncomfortable for the Miami QB. He showed how quick he was off the ball with his first step, often beating the offensive tackles before they even got out of their stances. Zuniga showed off not only his quickness, but his hand usage and the ability to bend, dip, and win the corner consistently.
Zack Moss, RB, Utah
The 2020 draft class is loaded at RB and Moss is projected in the mid rounds currently. It’s important for Moss to start to separate himself from the pack with a hot start, and that’s just what he did in week one. He proved he can be a workhorse back with 187 yards on 29 carries with one TD. Moss had a knee injury last year, but he showed he still has a blend of quickness, explosiveness, and power. He’s a hard runner with great vision and agility. Moss has a ton of talent that will push him towards the top tier of RBs in the 2020 class.
Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
Willekes showed in the first game that he’s made huge strides in the offseason from last year. He showed the ability to bend around the corner and explode in space, two things he hadn’t shown before. Willekes had a productive game, highlighted by a strip sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown. He finished with one sack, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a TD, and National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Willekes flashed across the screen throughout the game and was like a magnet for my eyes. Long story short, Willekes is a dominant football player that I’m excited to watch the rest of the season.
Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Adebo is currently my sixth ranked cornerback, but that might change already. He shut down every receiver he faced on Saturday, allowing only one catch for 7 yards and racking up two pass break-ups and one interception. Adebo’s interception was an amazingly athletic play as he tiptoed on the sideline to get his feet down. He has great timing and instincts and can stick on any defenders hip out of breaks. Adebo possesses quick closing speed to break on the ball. He shut down an entire half of the field all game. Adebo has earned a bump early.
Small School Prospect Spotlight:
Rico Bussey Jr., WR, North Texas
Bussey is a big play machine and he displayed that on Saturday. He had 4 catches for 156 yards and one touchdown, highlighted by a 49 yard snag with two defenders draped all over him. He posted 39 yards per catch as he dominated on downfield plays. He’s a scrappy receiver and a true baller. He’s at the top of my list of small school prospects for the 2020 draft.
Top Three Games to Watch This Week:
1) LSU vs Texas – September 7th
This is an amazing early season match-up. LSU is loaded with talent across their defense, and Texas has a couple underrated draft prospects that could shoot up draft boards after this game. LSU is led by safety Grant Delpit, cornerback Kristian Fulton, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence, and linebackers Michael Divinity Jr. and Jacob Phillips. Texas displays safety Brandon Jones, wide receiver Collin Johnson, quarterback Sam Ehlinger, and center Zach Shackleford.
2) Texas A&M vs Clemson – September 7th
Another great match-up in week two pins Texas A&M against top-ranked Clemson. Texas A&M lost a lot of talent to the draft last year, but they have a new crop of talent returning this year. Defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, linebacker Anthony Hines, and quarterback Kellen Mond highlight Texas A&M this year. Clemson is of course loaded with talent with draft prospects wide receiver Tee Higgins, running back Travis Etienne, linebacker Isaiah Simmons, and cornerback A.J. Terrell.
3) Stanford vs USC – September 7th
This isn’t the most top prospect laden match-up, but it’s a great rivalry with enough good prospects to require anyone’s attention. Stanford’s quarterback K.J. Costello left last game in the first half and did not return and at this time it is unclear if he will play in this game. Besides Costello, Stanford rolls out offensive lineman Walker Little, cornerback Paulson Adebo, and tight end Colby Parkinson. USC’s top prospects are running back Stephen Carr, edge rusher Christian Rector, defensive lineman Marlon Tuipolotu, offensive lineman Drew Richmond, and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.