The wait is over. The 2022 college football season kicks off this Saturday with 11 games, highlighted by a Nebraska-Northwestern matchup from Ireland. Our Devy Team is here to make general and devy-specific predictions for the season ahead.
Who Will Emerge as the 2023 QB3?
I’ll go with Anthony Richardson to emerge into the elite tier of the 2023 quarterbacks. Richardson has all the tools if he can refine a few things. Richardson brings a fantasy upside that few others possess.
Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. He stepped in last year and threw for 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns with six straight 300-yard games to end the year.
I believe it will be Richardson. He has all the physical tools, and it looks like he is putting it all together in the spring game. All the other QBs have question marks, so a strong year could push him over the top just based on potential.
I think Richardson will emerge and cement himself as the 2023 QB3 this season. He has displayed insane athleticism, and I believe it will be on full display in 2023. Richardson comes into the season with a lot of eyes on him with varying expectations, but I feel great about the season he can put together. If people don’t know the name, they will learn it very quickly.
A full season of Anthony Richardson at the helm for the Gators 🔥🔥🔥— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) August 8, 2022
The young man has the total package, now it’s time to show it. 🐊 pic.twitter.com/Z5ChU6bUvb
There is no player in college football who I am more excited to watch this season than Richardson. He will solidify himself as the 2023 QB3 or better. Richardson is one of the most dynamic players in recent memory. I have watched him closely this offseason, and I see a much more confident, comfortable passer capable of being an exceptional prospect.
Who Will be the Devy WR1 in 12 months?
It’s the guy who I have ranked as such right now, Xavier Worthy. Worthy might be lean in frame, but he’s mean in game. With a true freshman breakout season already in his back pocket, I expect Worthy to cement his standing as the Devy WR1 for ’24 and beyond this season.
It would be bad juju if i didn’t share a little Xavier Worthy propaganda today— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) May 21, 2022
📌 Track speed
📌 Fluid accelerator
📌 YAC connoisseur
📌 Violent mover out of breaks
Currently 2024 WR1 in my @DynastyNerds devy ranks#HookEm #Devy
Texas wide receiver Worthy – I expect he will have a dominant statistical season and ascend just past Marvin Harrison Jr., who will share targets with JSN and Fleming.
I believe the devy WR1 will be Worthy. He had a great freshman year with inconsistent QB play from Casey Thompson. This year he has phenom QB, Quinn Ewers, so he should be able to stack another productive year at Texas.
I’m going to call my shot and say Emeka Egbuka out of Ohio State will be the devy WR1 in 12 months. With many highly ranked devy assets expected to declare for the 2023 draft, I think the speedster will make his name known this season after the departure of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. A shifty receiver with incredible speed, Egbuka has sadly been stuck down the depth chart with great talents ahead of him. With spots open for the taking, I think Emeka Egbuka can potentially be the devy WR1 at this point next year.
Current rankings be damned, Marvin Harrison Jr. will be the devy WR1 in 12 months. An excellent case can be made for Worthy. I even have Worthy ranked a few spots ahead of Harrison at the moment, but that may be short-lived. If Harrison posts the 900-12+ season that I expect he will, with a far better physical profile than Worthy, he should vault ahead of Worthy or any other receiver in the devy rankings.
Which 2025 Prospect Will Make the Biggest Impact as a Freshman?
Luther Burden should have an immediate day one impact for Missouri, so he gets my vote, but my sleeper is Houston wide receiver Matthew Golden.
Penn State running back Nick Singleton. I think Singleton comes in and has an immediate breakout season for Penn State. He offers way more explosiveness than the other backs on the team, and he’s also much more versatile.
Penn State incoming 5-star running back Nicholas Singleton has elite athleticism and explosiveness. He’s the next Jonathan Taylor, mark it down.pic.twitter.com/UulEbUckKR— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) January 4, 2022
This is a tough one, but I think it will be Burden at Missouri. The Tigers are going to need some offensive firepower to stay in games. Tyler Badie is gone, so a new focal point is needed, and I think that can be Burden. He is my top receiver in this class and is a complete prospect, ready to contribute right away.
For a good reason, I’ve talked about Branson Robinson a ton this offseason. This elite running back headed to Georgia is my pick to make the biggest impact out of the freshman this season. Though he will most likely be thrown into a committee, as most Georgia backfields are, I think Robinson will do everything in his power to take the lion’s share of backfield touches. He is a dominant and powerful runner with many skills that I believe will easily translate to the college landscape.
I have to go with my guy Burden. He is the most complete receiver prospect in this class and has a clear path to immediate impact. His size and strength make him more physically prepared to contribute as a freshman at Missouri. Burden will be a yards-after-catch monster from Day 1.
Which Group of 5 Team Can Run the Table?
I’m going to go with Houston. They saw the ingredients it takes up close with rival Cincinnati doing it last year, and I think they are poised to make some major noise. Clayton Tune and Nathaniel Dell are a dangerous duo. The Cougars are legit.
I’ll take Houston. They’ve got QB Tune back and have a pretty easy schedule. I think Matthew Golden is a true freshman receiver who can make an early impact with Tune. They play UTSA and Texas Tech early on, but they can run the table if they can get past those two teams.
I think Houston could be the team this year. They bring back a lot of talent on offense and have an exciting freshman Golden to pair with Dell. They do not play Cincinnati in the regular season. Even though they play Texas Tech on the road, I think their offensive firepower is enough to prevail.
I think the University of Houston will run the table in terms of Group of 5 members. Though the team lost star running back Alton McCaskill to a torn ACL in the offseason, the offense still looks strong. Led by senior Tune and Dell, the passing attack for the Cougars will be the focus of the team. Throw in freshman receiver Golden and this team looks to spend their last year as a Group of 5 team, proving why they are making the jump to the Big 12.
I would love to be the contrarian here, but it’s a clean sweep for Houston. They are stacked on both sides of the ball with plenty of devy and C2C interest. There have been raving reviews about quarterback Tune this summer, and I expect an offensive explosion from him, Dell, and Golden.
NFL size, pedigree, expecting Year 1 production as the starting Z receiver at Houston. I am really high on Matthew Golden for #C2C, and #devy to a slightly lesser extent. Good speed and refined for a true freshman. Riser in the 2025 class.pic.twitter.com/YvzfbztPhk— Justin Hulsey (@FF_Hulsey) August 4, 2022
Who is Your Favorite Dark Horse Heisman Candidate?
Let’s go with North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary. He keeps improving every year (3433 passing yards and 35 touchdowns in ‘21), and the schedule is favorable for him to push for the Heisman conversation.
Give me Will Anderson. He arguably could’ve won it last season with 17 sacks on the season. If any of the big names falter this season, Anderson might have the cache built up to win. I don’t know if the other QB candidates aside from Young and Stroud will win enough games to be seriously considered.
Malik Cunningham. To make a push for the Heisman, a quarterback needs a lot of highlight plays, and Cunningham will have that through the air and on the ground. He is electric in the open field and has a remarkable ability to throw the ball down the field. Louisville has some talented transfers on offense that should help Cunningham this season.
Malik Cunningham led P5 QBs last season in:— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 12, 2022
🥇 Rushing Yards – 1,142
🥇 Rushing TDs – 20pic.twitter.com/EAXe20UmhO
This one is for the IDP guys out there; my favorite dark horse Heisman candidate is Anderson, LB, out of Alabama. While this conversation has been gaining some traction, there is still the expectation that the battle is solely between Young and Stroud. I think Anderson is one of the most skilled players in college football and honestly should’ve been a possible finalist last year. It will require an outright fantastic season to garner the attention of the Heisman vote, but I believe Anderson has it in him to become only the second defensive player to win the award.
Hendon Hooker is +4000 to win the Heisman, and I see no better dark horse pick. Of course, it will take some unforeseen outcomes for C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young, and Tennessee will likely need to win 9+ games. I have no doubt that Hooker is capable of a special statistical season. A 4000-40-5 season is within his range of outcomes, and so is a Heisman Trophy.
Which Teams Reach the College Football Playoff and Who Wins it All?
Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and Miami. ‘Bama Winner.
Utah, Georgia, Ohio State, and Alabama, with Alabama winning it all.
It may be boring for some, but it will be much of the same as in the past. I see Georgia and Alabama coming from the SEC, along with Ohio State and Oklahoma. Ohio State has the edge in the Big 10 by getting Michigan at home, and Oklahoma has most of its big games at home. In the championship, I see Alabama getting it done against Ohio State.
I think the College Football Playoff will consist of Alabama, Ohio State, USC, and Texas A&M. I think Alabama wins it all against Ohio State. There is no better script for the National Championship game than to put the top two QBs and most likely the top two in the Heisman voting against each other in their last game before the NFL Draft. Both teams are still powerful, but I think between what Alabama has returned from last year’s team and what they have gained through the transfer portal, Saban will have no problem leading this squad back to dominance. I think Lincoln Riley will succeed in a new market at USC and run the Pac-12 with ease behind Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison. I believe Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies finally get it figured out and work their way into their first College Football Playoff appearance.
Alabama and Ohio State are obvious selections this season. I will also add Utah and Clemson for the final two spots. I have Ohio State beating Alabama to win it all and cap off an undefeated season.
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