We have made it to another weekend with football! We might even be seeing more conferences playing games in the near future! If you’re new to this article, the goal is to bring you the top dynasty prospects to watch in nationally televised college football games. It’s never too early to take a look forward. Who are going to be the sleepers of upcoming rookie drafts? Check back here every week for my ‘Weekly Watch’ series before you head into the weekend. Use this article each week as a place to refer back to as you get ready to watch each game.
How this article works:
I’ll give you the network, time, and teams playing in nationally televised games. Below that, I’ll list the respective schools’ prospects that are, in my opinion, worth mentioning, their position, the year they are eligible to enter the NFL Draft, and their listed heights and weights.
Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@tristancook_) if you have players you think deserve to be mentioned in next week’s article. This year will be a little different than last because of all the unknowns we face. I will still be trying to highlight the players to watch, but we will likely be digging a little bit deeper with fewer games. Hopefully, this will give you a few names to monitor throughout the year.
Nebraska @ #5 Ohio State
Saturday, 10/24 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
Adrian Martinez #2, QB 2021 (6’2, 225)
The B1G is back! The first game on the slate for this week is Nebraska vs Ohio State. Most of the eyes will be on the Buckeyes, but when Nebraska has the ball, there are a couple names to be aware of. The first is Adrian Martinez. He’s a dual-threat QB that, when healthy, is really fun to watch. He’ll likely be facing the toughest matchup of the shortened 2020 season, and his pro potential is somewhat limited, but he’s worth mentioning.
Wan’Dale Robinson #1, WR 2022 (5’10, 190)
The other Huskers’ player to watch is #1 Wan’Dale Robinson. He was a threat both as a running back and receiver last year for Nebraska. He won’t be eligible to declare for the draft until 2022 at the earliest, but he’s a playmaker that should be heavily involved.
#5 Ohio State
Justin Fields #1, QB 2021 (6’3, 228)
The big name to watch here is QB Justin Fields. Everyone by now knows the name Trevor Lawrence. And, most people know who Justin Fields is, but the big question that remains for me is how big is the gap between Trevor Lawrence and my current QB2, Justin Fields. There is plenty of time to debate Justin Fields as a prospect, and he will have to absolutely wow this year if he’s going to have a chance to pass Lawrence, but for now just keep your eyes on #1.
Trey Sermon #8, RB 2021 (6’1, 215)
The next player to watch is Oklahoma graduate transfer Trey Sermon. He missed most of 2019 at Oklahoma with a knee injury, but should be back at full strength and ready to produce. He lacks top-end speed but makes up for it in most every other area of his game. He shows a good combination of speed and power. I am excited to see how he fares with Ohio State.
Chris Olave #2, WR 2021 (6’1, 188)
As with any big program around the country, OSU has many players that will be playing on Sundays in the future, but the final name I will mention here is Chris Olave. He is a smooth route runner with soft hands that should be one of the focal points of a very productive offense. He was their best WR last year, and with another strong season could be a very early NFL draft pick.
#2 Alabama @ Tennessee
Saturday, 10/24 | 3:30 PM ET, CBS
Najee Harris #22, RB 2021 (6’2, 230)
Alabama’s names one again remain the same. You’re likely very familiar with Najee Harris by now, and that’s a good thing. He’s looked very good this year. I am excited to see the debates that will happen about which RB should be taken first between Harris and Travis Etienne. I’m not leaning one way or the other at this point, as they both are incredibly promising in different ways. Expect another big day for Harris against the Vols.
Jaylen Waddle #17, WR 2021 (5’10, 182)
The next player to watch is Jaylen Waddle. His name isn’t a new one, but the important thing to note for Waddle is that he has continually shown his ability to make big plays, including a 90 yard TD reception last week against Georgia. I’ve seen Waddle listed near the top of 2021 WR rookie ranks. I’m not sure he’ll end up that high for me, but his electrifying speed and big-play potential are exciting to watch.
DeVonta Smith #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
The final name I’ll note is DeVonta Smith. He is coming off of a 11/167/2 game and, like Waddle, has produced well all season. As I’ve mentioned before, Smith has seen some very high praise from notable NFL scouts, including Daniel Jeremiah saying Smith reminded him of Marvin Harrison.
Eric Gray #3, RB 2022 (5’10, 205)
For Tennessee, this will likely be a tough challenge for RB Eric Gray. He is a 2022 prospect, but is worth mentioning. He had a 24/128/0 rushing game in a blowout loss to Kentucky last week. Gray still has time to develop, but should be a name to monitor going forward.
#16 Iowa State @ #6 Oklahoma State
Saturday, 10/24 | 3:30 PM ET, FOX
#16 Iowa State
Brock Purdy #15, QB 2021 (6’1, 212)
The players for Iowa State are pretty much the same. QB Brock Purdy is someone that has some work to do, but could potentially rise up draft boards if he can play well the rest of this season and chooses to declare for the NFL draft. He certainly has the tools, but they don’t always translate on the field. He did have a nice game against Texas Tech where he completed nearly 75% of his passes for 300+ yards and two TDs.
Breece Hall #28, RB 2022 (6’1, 212)
The next name here is a 2022 prospect, but worth mentioning because he’s looked very good of late. Breece Hall is a name that you will undoubtedly hear many times over the next couple years. He had a big day against the Red Raiders as well, rushing for 135 yards and 2 TDs.
Charlie Kolar #1, TE 2021 (6’6, 257)
The Cyclones have two potential 2021 NFL TE prospects. The first of which is Charlie Kolar. At 6’6 he is a huge mismatch for defenders in the red zone. And, to his benefit, he has displayed the ability to make contested catches. He doesn’t create much separation, but at his size he doesn’t need to.
Chase Allen #11, TE 2021 (6’7, 240)
The other TE prospect for Iowa State is Chase Allen. He, like Kolar, is very difficult to cover for defenses. He’s probably a more rounded prospect than Kolar is currently. TE can be one of the toughest positions to project to the NFL, but Allen has all the traits that you look for from one.
#6 Oklahoma State
Chuba Hubbard #30, RB 2021 (6’0, 208)
On the OK State side of the ball, the names of note have not changed. The first is Chuba Hubbard. He hasn’t been particularly impressive this year, totally only 339 rushing yards and 4 TDs. I am still a believer in Chuba, but he’s not on the same tier as Harris and Etienne for me. Perhaps he will regain some ground on them going forward. It’s definitely something to watch.
Tylan Wallace #2, WR 2021 (6’0, 190)
The other player is WR Tylan Wallace. So far this year he has quashed any concerns over the health of his knee and proven that he’s one of the best WRs in all of the country. He won’t get the same praise as some of the guys from big name schools, but I am a big fan of Wallace’s game. I’ll be looking to add him to my team’s come rookie draft season.
#8 Penn State @ Indiana
Saturday, 10/24 | 3:30 PM ET, FS1
#8 Penn State
Journey Brown #4, RB 2021 (5’11, 215) ***INJURED***
There is some uncertainty surrounding Penn State RB Journey Brown. It was reported that he was going to miss the entire 2020 season with an “undisclosed medical condition” but he then then posted a video stating that he “cannot wait to get back on the field with my team.” So, while we won’t see him this week, we certainly will hear about him during the game, and when healthy, he’s one of the better backs in the country.
Noah Cain #21, WR 2022 (5’10, 228)
In the absence of Brown, Noah Cain will likely see a heavy workload. He had a solid but unspectacular season last year in a very crowded backfield. WIth the departure of Ricky Slade and now Journey Brown missing time, Cain has an opportunity to be in the spotlight. He was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school, I’m excited to see his increased role.
Pat Freiermuth #87, TE 2021 (6’5, 260)
The final player to mention is TE Pat Freiermuth. He was probably the consensus top TE coming into the 2020 season. But, after the incredible start to the year by Florida’s Kyle Pitts, Freiermuth has slid down some draft rankings. I still have him as my top TE, but the gap is razor thin. Look for him to dominate this year.
Stevie Scott III #8, RB 2021 (6’2, 231)
There are two names that I will mention for when the Hoosiers have the ball. The first is RB Stevie Scott III. Scott was Indiana’s leading rusher last year with over 800 yards on the ground as well as hauling in 26 passes for another 200+ yards. He is a bigger back, and the Penn State defense should be a good test for him.
Whop Philyor #1, WR 2021 (5’11, 180)
The other name is Whop Philyor. He is a senior WR who led the team with just over 1000 yards receiving and 5 TDs. Philyor isn’t a big name, but could be someone that sneaks under the radar and makes a splash in the NFL. Keep your eyes on #1 for Indiana.
South Carolina @ LSU
Saturday, 10/24 | 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Shi Smith #13, WR 2021 (5’10, 190)
The main player to watch for the Gamecocks remains WR Shi Smith. He had a strong game in South Carolina’s upset over Auburn last week, and has put together a nice resume so far this year. Smith’s future is likely as a slot WR in the NFL, but look for him to be all over the field against an underperforming LSU defense this week.
Terrace Marshall #6, QB 2021 (6’3, 200)
For LSU, there are only two players in this game that I will mention. The first is WR Terrace Marshall. Marshall is off to a tremendous start so far in 2020. So far his 21/424/7 receiving line is leading the team in each category. At 6’3, he’s a big target and his ability to win in several different ways makes him a very intriguing prospect.
Arik Gilbert #2, TE 2023 (6’5, 249)
The other name to note here is freshman TE Arik Gilbert. Since he’s only a freshman, he has to wait until at least 2023 until he’s eligible, but you will probably hear his name mentioned as he’s the second leading pass catcher on this offense. It’ll be a treat to watch him play for years to come.
Ja’Marr Chase #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 207) ***OPT-OUT***
There is one more name that I will mention for LSU, but he won’t be playing in this game. I of course am referring to Ja’Marr Chase, the star WR that has opted to prepare for the NFL draft. I I still have Chase as my WR1 for 2021, but there are several names in that conversation. Much of my final rankings will come down to testing figures and landing spots for these top guys, but that’s for a later time.
#18 Michigan @ #21 Minnesota
Saturday, 10/24 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Zach Charbonnet #24, RB 2022 (6’1, 220)
The final game of this week is between Michigan and Minnesota. When big blue has the ball, keep your eyes focused on RB Zach Charbonnet. He had a very impressive freshman season for the Wolverines last year, particularly his 11 rushing TDs. He was a hot name in devy leagues, and will have to wait until at least 2022, but he’s likely someone you’ll see making plays.
Chris Evans #9, RB 2021 (5’11, 216)
The next name is senior RB Chris Evans. Evans is back on the Michigan team after being removed from the program in 2019. The full story behind his dismissal was never fully disclosed, but he is back on the team and looking to contribute. It’ll be interesting to see what his role is this week and going forward, but the former 4-star recruit has plenty of talent.
Ronnie Bell #8, WR 2021 (6’0, 190)
The final UM name to watch is WR Ronnie Bell. He led the 2019 squad in both receptions and yardage, but only scored one time. He has big shoes to fill after the departures of Donovan Peoples-Jones (NFL), Tarik Black (transfer), and Nico Collins (opt-out). We will see how he’s able to handle being the focal point of the passing attack.
Rashod Bateman #0, WR 2021 (6’2, 210)
On the other side of the field, there really is only one player to focus on, and that is Rashod Bateman. For most people, he’s in the discussion with the aforementioned Ja’Marr Chase and Purdue WR Rondale Moore as the top WR in the 2021 class. Bateman has the spotlight all to himself after the departure of Tyler Johnson to the NFL, and I can’t wait to watch him play.
Mohamed Ibrahim #24, RB 2021 (5’10, 210)
There are a couple more names I’ll mention, first is junior RB Mohamed Ibrahim. He is the Golden Gophers leading returning rusher. As primarily a backup, he ran for 600+ yards and 7 TDs as a sophomore. This will be a good test against a good defense to see how he handles the starting role.
Tanner Morgan #2, QB 2021 (6’2, 215)
The final player to mention here is QB Tanner Morgan. He’s a very intriguing QB prospect. He is entering his 3rd year behind center for Minnesota, and at times, has shown flashes of NFL talent. But, he’s also been inconsistent and sometimes is a bit careless with the ball. If Morgan has a good year, he could move into day 2 draft discussions.
That’s it for this week’s games. I will be previewing a handful of players each week going forward. As I previously mentioned, if there is anyone you’d like me to take a look at, or want to share your thoughts on anything dynasty related, hit me up on Twitter ( @tristancook_ ). Also, check out tape on some of these guys in the Dynasty Nerds Film Room. It’s an amazing tool that I plan to take full advantage of.