Week one for college football went off beautifully, and we watched some very good games. The excitement continues to build as we move into week two, with the Big 12 and ACC announcing their presence this week with their first set of games. At the same time, we did hit a bit of a roadblock this week. TCU vs. SMU is postponed due to positive COVID tests; we hope they will be able to get this game in at a later date. Even with that game taken off the schedule, this weekend is chocked full of great games with some intriguing prospects to watch, so let’s get into week two devy prospect’s to watch.
Syracuse vs North Carolina (18)
While Syracuse has some talent, if you tune into this game, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss a single UNC possession.
Sam Howell is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in college right now, and my prediction to be the top QB drafted in the 2022 class. Howell won the job as a true freshman and looked like a three-year veteran. Playing with incredible poise in the pocket. Howell will have a good test this week playing against an average defense. Syracuse came in as the 66th ranked defense last year with a rating of 79.1.
Howell’s arm strength and ability to extend plays makes him incredibly fun to watch. We should see some of that on display this weekend. He has the toughness to sit in the pocket and deliver an absolute dime to his wide receivers while knowing he’s going to take the big hit from defenders. I’ll be watching him to see if he still has his incredible accuracy to the deep and intermediate parts of the field, while also looking to see if he’s improved his footwork.
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Dyami Brown produced in his freshman year but saw a big step up in production once Howell took over at QB. After his sophomore breakout season, Brown comes in with some serious NFL buzz and hype. Another solid season should see him as a top WR draft prospect.
Brown has a little bit of everything you want in a wide receiver. He has the NFL size and speed combo. Great burst off the line and eats up yards quickly. His ability to get YAC yards and break tackles makes him fun to watch after the catch, and his great body control and catch radius make him dangerous in contested catch situations.
Dazz Newsome is another WR who benefited from Howell, and for some analyst, is considered the better prospect. While he wasn’t able to produce much earlier in his career, much like Brown, he had a breakout season in 2019. His speed and route running helped him get open for some big plays.
Newsome ability to use his speed and quickness creates easy separation on routes. Profiles as a slot WR, and does a great job with YAC and is elusive after the catch. Newsome should be the big play guy Saturday, and a player to watch for the NFL.
Josh Downs is a freshman who wasn’t ranked highly in the 2020 recruiting class. A four-star prospect just this year will likely be the three for this offense. If he gets some playing time, I’ll be intrigued by how he looks. Being connected to Howell for the next two years, though, should help him.
Louisiana vs Iowa State (23)
Quarterback Brock Purdy had a great season in 2019 and started to move into the top of the tier two conversation at QB. While he likely doesn’t move his way into the tier one competition with Lawrence and Fields. Another great season from Purdy could secure solid draft capital. Purdy shows great poise in the pocket and shows off some good athleticism in extending plays. Very accurate in the shorter areas of the field. While he has the arm strength to get the ball deep, he does struggle with deep-ball accuracy.
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Running back, Breece Hall burst on the scene much like Purdy last year. Hall produced as a freshman, and going into his sophomore year has some serious expectations on his shoulders. Hall has the full package. He has speed and vision. He can even lineup out wide and play some wide receiver. Hall is one of the top guys in the 2022 class at RB, and I’m looking forward to another great season from him.
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Tarique Milton, wide receiver, took a big step forward in 2019 after a productive 2018 season. With a ton of vacated production gone (44.6% targets, 48.2% receptions, 42.3% receiving yards,) Milton looks to be in line for a bulk of the receiving work. He’s versatile enough to be able to play inside and outside. Milton is a red-shirt junior, so he could enter the NFL draft after this season. Milton and Purdy should be a fairly deadly combo in 2020.
Tight end Charlie Kolar will be the second option in the receiving game behind Milton. Kolar has a real shot at breaking out this year as the number two in the receiving game. He has excellent athleticism and very good hands. Kolar is great in contested catches. He has been improving each year in blocking, which is key at the next level. With another good season, Kolar should work his way toward the top of the draft class, but I don’t see him being in the discussion with the top guys.
Duke vs Notre Dame (10)
This should be a really good game and one of the games I’m looking forward to this weekend.
Chase Brice, the quarterback for Duke, is an underrated NFL prospect. This will be a huge year for Brice as we don’t have much film on him from his time at Clemson. In the limited tape I’ve seen of him, he has good poise in the pocket and made some really good deep throws. Again most of his work came against backups in blowouts, so going up against a ranked team this week and a good Notre Dame defense is appointment viewing.
Deon Jackson, the senior running back for Duke, is another player I’ll be watching. After a good sophomore season, his stats and production dipped some in his junior year. Jackson is one of the best receiving backs in the country and should garner some interest from NFL teams based solely on what he can do there.
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Notre Dame has quite a few players worth watching; one player I’m looking forward to watching is freshman running back Chris Tyree. Tyree, a top 100 recruit in the 2020 class, comes into a battle with redshirt junior Jafar Armstrong. Armstrong likely is the lead back for now, but I think Tyree has more talent. I want to see if he gets any run in this game. Tyree comes in already with great speed and burst. I like his vision and lateral quickness. He also showed some receiving work in high school as well.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kevin Austin profiles to be the top receiving options for the Golden Domers. Suspended last year for a violation of team rules, he’ll need to prove he can stay on the field for Notre Dame. Great ball skills, and good in contested catches, can Austin step up into the massive vacated production and produce for Notre Dame? That is what I’ll be looking to see.
Jordan Johnson, freshman wide receiver, will be an intriguing player to watch. I do think he will get a shot to start and should work well with quarterback Ian Book. I don’t think the Notre Dame wide receiver core is extremely talented, so seeing what Johnson can do will be exciting.
Missouri State vs Oklahoma (5)
I don’t expect this to be a close game at all, and unfortunately, this game will be on pay-per-view, which I won’t be paying for. However, I will be looking for highlights for this game as there are multiple players on Oklahoma I am excited to see.
Spencer Rattler, starting quarterback for Oklahoma, not only has an incredible name but is a prospect many of us want to watch. He comes in with a swagger that his teammates and Oklahoma fans love, and everyone else hates. He broke all kinds of records in high school and came to Oklahoma as the highest-rated quarterback of his class. He has a good team around him, and having head coach Lincoln Riley all in on him is a ringing endorsement.
Seth McGowan, freshman running back, looks to be the guy who has the most to benefit from the Kennedy Brooks opt-out. McGowan has the prototypical NFL size. He has shown to be a very good one-cut running back while also having the power to run defenders over.
Theo Wease should fit in perfectly with new QB Spencer Rattler. Wease has great length and size. He high points the ball, and in contested catch situations, his ability to contort his body while in the air is amazing. He has less competition this year for targets, unlike 2019. I’m expecting a big game this week and moving forward.
Charleston Rambo has a chance to be the top wide receiver for Oklahoma as well. With the vacated production from the top draft picks that have left over the past two years. He has elite speed and should show that off even more being opposite Wease this season.
Utep vs Texas (14)
I don’t think this game will be close either. Texas should blow out UTEP. This will be a big game for some of these players to show out.
Sam Ehlinger quarter should be in for another good year. While everyone knows who Ehlinger is, I did want to touch on him really quick. He should have a good game this week, and with another good year, should boost his draft stock. I see him more as an NFL backup though at the next level.
Bijan Robinson, the freshman running back, is the player I’m most excited to see. Bijan is the highest-rated running back prospect in the 2020 class. He comes in with a great skill set. His vision, versatility, footwork, and power are incredible. He will have to battle with Keontay Ingram, who I do think will be the starter. However, Robinson is more talented, and its a question of when not if he takes over for Ingram.
Brennan Eagles, after the 2018 season, no one would have guessed the wide receiver would produce the way he did in 2019. With a big jump forward and Colin Johnson and Devin Duvernay leaving, a ton of vacated targets were left behind for the three stars in the receiving room. Eagles projects to be the slot WR for Texas. His size, body control, and high point ability prime him for a massive season. If Eagles can produce as the top WR for Texas, he’ll get the draft capital at the next level.
Jordan Whittington is my favorite of the wide receiver group. He has versatility all over the offense and can play defense. Whittington’s ability after the catch is what excites me the most. His ability to make defenders miss but can also run through them. He also has the top-end speed to get around defenders or straight out beat them. He suffered the same injury he did in high school, so proving he can stay healthy and have a good season will be key.
Jake Smith is the wide receiver many expect to breakout big this year. He is considered by many to be the guy. Smith plays with great speed and lateral quickness. I loved watching him find the weaknesses in zone coverage’s throughout the season. His explosiveness off the line and after the catch make him intriguing to watch. He will be in a battle with Eagles for that slot role. I think whether he wins it or not, Smith can be the best WR on Texas. I expect him to have a good game here and a good season. He’ll be a player everyone is talking about next season.
Clemson (1) vs Wake Forest
Clemson vs. Wake Forest is set up to be a fun game to watch. While I don’t think it will be a particularly close game. Both teams have prospects I will be watching.
For Clemson, we all know who Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are and will be watching them. Both should be near the top of their positional groups. Lawrence the likely number one overall pick, but having a better season this year will help him. I’m a little lower on Etienne than others, but another solid season should help his stock. Where the real battle and intrigue comes in is with this wide receiver battle.
Joe Ngata, sophomore wide receiver, is perceived to be the lead receiver for Clemson after Justyn Ross went out with an injury. Ngata is known for his size and body control. He will be in a fight with Frank Ladson to see who steps forward. I would lean Ngata, and this will be a good game to take that step. It doesn’t hurt that he has one of the best quarterback prospects we’ve seen in a few years throwing him the ball.
Frank Ladson, sophomore wide receiver, is in a battle with Ngata to see who will step up to be the top receiver at Clemson. Ladson is a very talented receiver in his own right and brings speed that Ngata doesn’t have. Ladson has NFL size and a player who seems to high point the ball with the best of them and usually wins every contested-catch ball. The battle between Ladson and Ngata will be one to watch, and this week will be the start of it.
Sam Hartman, junior quarterback, is the player from Wake Forrest I will be focusing on. Former starter Jamie Newman transferred out during the off-season, leaving the job to Hartman. We don’t know what we will get from Hartman, a former three-star prospect for Wake Forrest. He has experience in the system and from limited film has shown to have a good arm. Losing Surratt will hurt him some, but if he can put up good numbers against a good Clemson defense and continue with a good season. He could be a guy garnering some draft buzz by the end of the season.
Donovan Greene, red-shirt freshman receiver, will be the guy everyone is watching for Wake Forest. Greene came into the 2020 season as the number two receiver in this offense. However, NFL hopeful Sage Surratt opt-ed out. Vacating production and moving Greene to the number one spot in this receiving core. He has shown the ability to create separation from defenders easily and gaining yards after the catch. He has shown spurts of great hands and body control. This will be one of his best matchups going against this Clemson secondary.
Those are the games and players I’m looking forward to watching this weekend in week two. I will continue breaking down five to ten matchups every week. Make sure to keep checking out our devy content. If you’d like to see more of my content, follow me on twitter @sportsfanaticmb or check out my podcast, the Fantasy Football Roundtable.