Hello, and welcome back! The college football season is finally upon us! If you’re new to this article, the goal is to bring you the top upcoming dynasty prospects to watch in nationally televised college football games. It’s never too early to take a look forward. Who will 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 (@THEtristancook) if you have players you think deserve to be mentioned in next week’s article.
East Carolina @ #2 Michigan
Saturday, 9/2 | 12:00 PM ET, Peacock
Blake Corum #2, RB 2024 (5’8, 213)
The players of note in this game all reside on the Michigan sideline. Blake Corum surprised some people when he announced that he would return to Ann Arbor for the 2023 season. Corum should see a heavy workload in this game and throughout the season. I don’t see much of an avenue for him to supplant Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson as the RB1, but he could work his way into the RB2 discussion for the 2024 class.
JJ McCarthy #9, QB 2024 (6’3, 202)
Next, we have Michigan’s signal-caller, JJ McCarthy. JJ had a bit of a breakout season in 2022, completing nearly 65% of his passes and better than a 4:1 TD:INT ratio. The 2024 QB class has a very well-defined top-2, but the QB3 position is up for grabs, and some people have eyed McCarthy for that spot.
Donovan Edwards #7, RB 2024 (6’1, 210)
The final name of note is junior running back Donovan Edwards. He saw an increased workload last year, especially after Corum went down with an injury. Edwards finished the season with three impressive outings, running for 216, 185, and 119 yards against Ohio State, Purdue, and TCU, respectively. He has displayed the ability to catch the ball downfield, and his skill set is one that I believe NFL teams will covet.
Colorado @ #17 TCU
Saturday, 9/2 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
Travis Hunter #12, WR/CB 2025 (6’1, 185)
One of the most enticing games of the opening week has to be Colorado traveling down to Fort Worth to play the Horned Frogs. In case you have been living under a rock (or don’t follow college football), Deion Sanders took over an abysmal Colorado Buffaloes team and has hopes sky-high in Boulder. We don’t really know what to expect from CU, but one of the prized transfers Coach Sanders brought with him is former 5-star WR/CB Travis Hunter. I will be watching him closely this year to see how his game translates at the Power 5 level.
Jimmy Horn Jr. #5, WR 2024 (5’10, 170)
Jimmy Horn Jr. is another transfer who came to Boulder this offseason. Horn came to CU from the University of South Florida, where he caught 67 passes for 959 yards and 4 touchdowns in two years. He is a slender receiver but is very dynamic with the ball in his hands.
Trey Sanders #2, RB 2024 (6’0, 225)
With Kendre Miller departed TCU is one of the more intriguing backfields to watch this season— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) August 2, 2023
Former Alabama 5 Star Trey Sanders transfers in but I got my eyes on Emani Bailey
An explosive lightning bolt who averaged 8.1 YPC in limited work last year pic.twitter.com/V0F6sywQul
On the TCU side of the football, they, too, will be relying heavily on new faces in 2023. With the departures of Max Duggan, Quinten Johnston, and Kendre Miller, the Horned Frogs need to replace nearly all of their offensive production from last season. Enter Trey Sanders. Sanders came over from a crowded Alabama backfield hoping to boost his NFL Draft stock. I could see him following a similar path to that of the aforementioned Kendre Miller. If Sanders can impress on the field this season, he has the traits to be a mid-round NFL pick.
Jaylon Robinson #13, WR 2024 (5’9, 180)
The other player I’ll be watching when TCU has the ball is Jaylon Robinson. Robinson most recently transferred from Ole Miss, where he was limited to only 5 catches for 29 yards last year. He has been all over the country in his collegiate career, starting at Oklahoma before heading southeast to the University of Central Florida. After some success there, Robinson took his talents to Oxford, MS, before heading west to TCU. Robinson’s best trait is his speed; when that is on display, he is really fun to watch.
Arkansas State @ #20 Oklahoma
Saturday, 9/2 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Jovantae Barnes #2, RB 2025 (6’0, 204)
The final game of the early time slot I’ll be watching is Arkansas State at Oklahoma. With all due respect to Arkansas State, my main focus during the game will be on two Oklahoma players. First, we have sophomore RB Jovantae Barnes. Barnes is a former 4-star recruit who should be in for a big workload this year. I am excited to watch him play.
Jalil Farooq #3, WR 2024 (6’1, 204)
Jalil Farooq is the other player to note. He was third in the team last year in all major receiving categories but will now look to take over as the main returning target of this passing offense. Farooq’s first two seasons have been relatively modest, but he has displayed flashes of what made him a highly recruited prospect.
#3 Ohio State @ Indiana
Saturday, 9/2 | 3:30 PM ET, CBS
#3 Ohio State
Marvin Harrison Jr. #18, WR 2024 (6’4, 205)
Once again, a handful of players for Ohio State are projected to be top dynasty picks. The first one of note is Marvin Harrison Jr. After a quiet freshman season, he exploded onto the scene last season with 1,263 yards receiving and 14 scores. Harrison is projected as a top 5 NFL pick and should be off the board by pick four in all dynasty rookie drafts. He’s my top-ranked receiver and will be a joy to watch all year.
TreVeyon Henderson #32, RB 2024 (5’10, 214)
Ohio State’s next player to watch is TreVeyon Henderson. He’s coming off an underwhelming season in 2022, where he ran for fewer than 600 yards. He was somewhat limited by injuries, but overall, his sophomore campaign was forgettable. I still have him ranked as my top RB and expect a bounce-back year.
Emeka Egbuka #2, WR 2024 (6’1, 206)
Emeka Egbuka is the final player I will note. He had a strong season last year with 10 scores and over 1,100 yards receiving. If not for MHJ, Egbuka would be garnering a lot more attention. He was recently ranked as the #18 overall player in Mel Kiper’s first 2024 NFL draft rankings. The biggest question for Egbuka and this offense is how they will fare with Kyle McCord throwing the ball rather than CJ Stroud.
Boise State @ #10 Washington
Saturday, 9/2 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
Michael Penix Jr. #9, QB 2024 (6’3, 213)
The Washington Huskies have a few players to know, starting with their quarterback, Michael Penix Jr. Penix, who has seemingly been in college for half a decade but really broke out last year in his first season with Washington. He completed 65.3% of his passes for 4,641 yards with 31 TDs and only 8 INTs. Penix is currently viewed as a late-first-round NFL prospect, but with another good season, he could vault himself up into the top half of the first round.
Jalen McMillan #11, WR 2024 (6’1, 192)
One of Penix Jr.’s main targets last year was Jalen McMillan. No WR duo can stand up to the Ohio State pair, but the Huskies have a dynamic duo of their own. Jalen led the team in receptions and touchdowns in 2022. He is electric with the ball in his hand and will again look to be a vital piece of this passing attack.
Rome Odunze #1, WR 2024 (6’3, 215)
Washington WR Rome Odunze with a gorgeous double move against UCLA last year— Jacob Lintner (@lintnermedia) August 24, 2023
His stats in 2022 : 75 Rec 1,145 yards 7 TD
With a potential first round QB in Michael Penix Jr. returning, keep an eye on Odunze in that WR2 conversation for the 2024 draft. pic.twitter.com/AdluPuCsUN
The other half of the WR duo for Washington is Rome Odunze. At 6’3, Odunze presents a prototypical NFL WR size. His name has been increasingly mentioned as one of the top receivers in this class. I expect to see him targeted heavily this season and look forward to seeing him play.
Rice @ #11 Texas
Saturday, 9/2 | 3:30 PM ET, FOX
Quinn Ewers #3, QB 2024 (6’2, 195)
The Texas Longhorns may have lost Bijan Robinson to the NFL, but they still have several top players on their roster. The first on that list is quarterback Quinn Ewers. After being a highly sought-after recruit, Ewers is now in a position to put up big numbers. As I have mentioned, the 2024 QB class is wide open after the top 2 (Caleb Williams and Drake Maye), and Ewers is most certainly in the mix for the QB3 spot.
Xavier Worthy #1, WR 2024 (6’1, 172)
One of the top weapons for Texas is junior WR Xavier Worthy. He enters his junior season looking to build on two strong seasons to start his collegiate career. At only 172 pounds, Worthy is a slender receiver. However, he has dynamic speed and elusiveness and has shown the ability to produce despite his size. Worthy is vying for the WR2 spot in my rankings with OSU’s Egbuka.
Ja’Tavion Sanders #0, TE 2024 (6’4, 243)
The final player to note for Texas is tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. He had a big season last year, tallying 54 catches for 613 yards and 5 scores. Sanders projects as a potential difference maker for the Longhorns and at the next level. The TE1 position in the 2024 class belongs to Georgia’s Brock Bowers, but Sanders is firmly in the second spot in my rankings. I expect to see him heavily used in this offense.
#21 North Carolina @ South Carolina
Saturday, 9/2 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
#21 North Carolina
Drake Maye #10, QB 2024 (6’4, 230)
The main attraction in this game is UNC’s Drake Maye. He had a monster year in 2022 in his first season as the starter. Maye threw for 4,321 yards, 38 TDs, and 7 INTs while completing 66.2% of his passes. The top QB spot in this class will be a battle between Maye and USC’s Caleb Williams. I am excited to see him take the field this year.
#5 LSU @ #8 FSU
Sunday, 9/4 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Jayden Daniels #5, QB 2024 (6’4, 210)
There are a couple of players I’ll be watching for LSU, and Jayden Daniels is the first on that list. He’s had a tumultuous career but led the Tigers to a big year in 2022. Daniels has the traits to be a dual-threat star but has struggled to put all the pieces together on the field. This is a make-or-break year for Daniels.
Malik Nabers #8, WR 2024 (6’0, 200)
One of the top targets for Daniels this year is junior receiver Malik Nabers. Nabers had a big year last year, catching 72 passes for 1,017 yards. LSU has a history of producing top-tier WRs, and Nabers looks to be next in that line. We know that after the top couple of receivers in this class, it is wide open. With a good 2023 campaign, Nabers could find his name in that group of receivers.
Jordan Travis #13, QB 2024 (6’1, 212)
On the other sideline, Florida State has a few players that I’ll be watching closely. Jordan Travis has come a long way during his time in Tallahassee. This marks his sixth season for the Seminoles, and Travis has been garnering some hype heading into this season. There are plenty of QBs hoping to see their names rise up draft boards; if Travis is going to start his ascension, it will need to begin this week.
Johnny Wilson #14, WR 2024 (6’7, 237)
Johnny Wilson is the next player to note for FSU. At 6’7, Wilson is hard to miss on the football field. He is a bit of a polarizing player and hard to project at the next level. He is a matchup nightmare but will need to display more than size if he wants to play on Sundays in the future. Wilson only caught 43 passes last year but totaled nearly 900 yards on those catches, averaging 20.9 yards per reception. He is a big play threat that I have been a fan of for a while now.
Jaheim Bell #6, TE 2024 (6’3, 239)
The final player to note is transfer tight end Jaheim Bell. He came over from South Carolina with the hopes of being more utilized and vaulting himself up in the NFL Draft picture. The tight end position is tough to project, but I believe Jaheim Bell has the skills to play at the next level.
#9 Clemson @ Duke
Monday, 9/5 | 8:00 PM ET, ESPN
Will Shipley #1, RB 2024 (5’11, 210)
There are two players that I’ll be watching closely for Clemson in this game. The first one is junior running back Will Shipley. He comes into the 2023 season off of a big sophomore year. Shipley rushed for 1182 yards and 15 TDs while adding another 38 catches for 242 yards. He is one of the names to watch for the RB2 position in the upcoming draft.
Beaux Collins #80, WR 2024 (6’3, 210)
Beaux Collins is the other player to know in this game for the Tigers. He had a disappointing season that was hampered by injuries and offensive struggles. Beaux had big aspirations heading into last year but is now looking to reassert himself in the 2024 WR class. He has prototypical size for NFL receivers, so if he can stay healthy and produce, he could rise up draft boards.
That’s it for this week’s games. 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 ( @THEtristancook ). Also, check out the 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. You can use the code “tcook” for 15% off a membership of any kind!