The College Football regular season has wrapped up, and now all we have left are conference championship games and bowl games. We’ve endured a lot of cancelled games and a lot of great players not playing each week, but we made it through the season, something I didn’t think we would see.
It was once again a skeleton schedule on Saturday, with only a few of the top teams in the country playing. Alabama dominated Arkansas; LSU stunned Florida; UNC steamrolled Miami; Georgia handled Missouri with ease; and Coastal Carolina survived a scare at Troy.
Week 14 Prospect Highlights:
Javonte Williams, RB, UNC
What a day for UNC running backs, and really UNC as a whole. UNC seemed like a pretender that would go into Miami and be brought back down to earth. But in reality, the exact opposite happened. UNC made Miami look like a sub-.500 non Power Five football team. And take a guess who the biggest reason for that domination was….. Javonte Williams! He finished the game with 236 yards and 3 touchdowns and averaged 10.3 yards per carry. He could not be stopped, and frankly that’s how it’s been all season for Williams. He’s been consistently dominant while displaying some great traits that will translate to the next level. Williams is a former linebacker, which is obvious when you watch him run. He will run straight through defenders, but he also has the speed to finish off big runs. It’s hard to argue that another prospect has helped themselves as much as Williams this season.
Michael Carter, RB, UNC
No, that isn’t a typo. Michael Carter is also a running back for UNC and he also dominated against Miami. He racked up 308 yards for 2 touchdowns and averaged 12.8 yards per carry. Carter and Williams are the perfect duo, with Carter being the lighter, shiftier, and faster back. Carter has been lighting up the ACC this season and has a chance to beat Travis Etienne for the best running back in the conference. Translating that to the NFL Draft, Carter has a chance to be a top 5 running back pick this year. At the very least, he would continue to make a phenomenal duo in the NFL (to another big back, like maybe Derrick Henry?).
Chazz Surratt, LB, UNC
Deciding to stick with UNC so far, Surratt was the dominant player on the defensive side of the ball for the Tar Heels. Miami has been a good offense this season, but that did not hold up this weekend. Surratt finished the game with 10 tackles and 2 passes defensed. He’s been one of the best linebackers in the country this year, as well as last year. He’s extremely athletic and quick and can cover the whole field. The NFL has drifted from really strong and bulky linebackers into smaller quicker linebackers who can cover sideline-to-sideline. Surratt has a chance to be a top 60 pick and an instant contributor.
Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
My articles before this season always included a small-school prospect, and frankly, I miss it. So I got really excited when I saw what Darden was doing on Saturday. He had 8 receptions for 173 yards and 4 touchdowns, after putting up 8 receptions for 135 yards and 3 touchdowns the week before. He’s put up 19 touchdowns this season (in only 9 games!), to lead the FBS. Darden announced Sunday morning he was declaring for the NFL Draft this year. He’s a small and quick receiver that can gain separation in a flash. He mainly plays in the slot, but he can be used all over the field. Darden is also a great returner, and can instantly help a team in his first year in the NFL as a returner.
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
To put it bluntly, this safety class is in desperate need of some top talent. In my latest Big Board, the first safety sits in the 49 spot. So when a safety plays like Nasirildeen did on Saturday, it gives the safety class a lot of hope. He had 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 interception. He has the build of Jeremy Chinn from the 2020 draft, meaning he can thrive as an in-the-box safety, but can also be moved to linebacker. He played in just his second game of the season this last week, after suffering a leg injury last season. It’s late in the season, but if he performs well in the Combine and other pre-draft festivities, Nasirildeen can potentially work his way into a top 50 pick.