Hello and welcome back! College football is back! 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.
#3 Michigan @ Maryland
Saturday, 11/18 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
Blake Corum #2, RB 2024 (5’8”, 213)
There are only a couple of players that interest me in this game. The first on that list is Michigan’s Blake Corum. As expected, Corum was the focal point of the Michigan offense against Penn State last week. Corum carried the ball a season-high 26 times for 145 yards with two scores. I expect to see more of the same this week for Corum as they will again be without Coach Harbaugh. If Corum can finish the season strong, he could vault himself into the discussion as one of the better backs in this class.
JJ McCarthy #9, QB 2024 (6’3”, 202)
The other player to note is JJ McCarthy. I was excited to see how he’d play against Penn State last week, but unfortunately, we hardly saw him throw the ball. McCarthy did complete 87.5% of his passes in the game, but he only threw the ball eight times. If they keep this level of commitment to the run, McCarthy may need to rely more heavily on the pre-draft process to showcase his skills. He also still has another year of eligibility, so he could decide to come back for the 2024 season.
#1 Georgia @ #18 Tennessee
Saturday, 11/18 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Brock Bowers #19, TE 2024 (6’5”, 240)
The main player to know in this game is Georgia’s superstar TE, Brock Bowers. He made a triumphant and somewhat unexpected return to the field last week against Ole Miss. Bowers only caught three passes but made a big impact by getting into the end zone. If you watch this game, you’ll likely see Bowers more involved this week. He is still easily the TE1 in the class.
#20 North Carolina @ Clemson
Saturday, 11/18 | 3:30 PM ET, CBS
#20 North Carolina
Drake Maye #10, QB 2024 (6’4”, 230)
The first player to know for UNC is their third-year sophomore quarterback, Drake Maye. He is coming off an emotional double-overtime win against Duke. Maye didn’t have his best game but made the big plays when his team needed him most and earned the victory. I have Maye firmly as my QB2 in this class and would be surprised if he wasn’t a top-5 NFL selection.
Devontez Walker #9, WR 2024 (6’3”, 200)
Devontez ‘Tez’ Walker is the other name to know for the Tar Heels. He has been tearing it up since being ruled eligible a little over a month ago. Walker has quickly become one of Maye’s favorite targets, leading the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. If Walker declares for the draft, he should garner serious attention from NFL scouts.
Will Shipley #1, RB 2024 (5’11”, 210)
Will Shipley is the player of note for Clemson. He’s had a disappointing season and will almost assuredly be returning to Death Valley for his senior year. Coming into 2023, Shipley had a chance to elevate his game and become one of the first few running backs taken, but now he’ll need to make some big moves if he’s going to recoup any of that draft hype.
UCLA @ USC
Saturday, 11/18 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
J. Michael Sturdivant #1, WR 2024 (6’3”, 205)
The player that I’m going to be watching closest when UCLA has the ball is wideout J. Michael Sturdivant. He spent his first two seasons in Berkeley before transferring to UCLA for 2023. After arriving on campus, Sturdivant impressed early in the year but has fallen off of late. He has the prototypical outside NFL receiver size, and the former 4-star recruit has garnered some draft buzz as the season has progressed. His best option would be to return for another year, but he’s a name worth knowing.
Caleb Williams #13, QB 2024 (6’1”, 215)
The main man for USC is the reigning Heisman winner, Caleb Williams. He struggled again last week against Oregon, completing only 55.9% of his passes. Some people have voiced concerns about Caleb Williams, but I am not worried about him. He should still be the top selection in the NFL Draft and rookie Superflex drafts this coming year.
#6 Oregon @ Arizona State
Saturday, 11/18 | 4:00 PM ET, FOX
Bo Nix #10, QB 2024 (6’2”, 217)
For Oregon, the players to know are unchanged. Nix is once again putting up gaudy numbers for the high-powered Ducks. I haven’t been a huge fan of Bo’s NFL potential, but as he continues to light up scoreboards and stat sheets, he has also generated some NFL Draft buzz. I will need to dive into his tape and pay close attention to his pre-draft process to see if there’s something I’m missing.
Troy Franklin #11, WR 2024 (6’3”, 187)
One of the top options for Bo Nix this year has been junior wideout Troy Franklin. He only caught two passes last week but still managed to tally 147 yards receiving. Troy is currently tied for 5th in the entire country in receiving yards. He has continued to rise up draft boards and is now firmly in the first-round discussion.
Elijhah Badger #2, WR 2024 (6’2”, 190)
The player to watch for ASU is Elijhah Badger, the junior receiver from Sacramento, CA. After a monster game against the Colorado Buffaloes on October 7th, in which he caught 12 passes for 134 yards, Badger had only tallied 111 yards receiving over his next three games. He then proceeded to have a monster game last week against UCLA, with 116 yards receiving and a score on 12 catches.
#5 Washington @ #11 Oregon State
Saturday, 11/18 | 7:30 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 is putting up absurd numbers in this high-flying Washington offense, throwing for over 3,500 yards already. If Penix were a few years younger with a cleaner injury history, he’d be in the QB1 discussion. But because of that, I think his ceiling is the QB3 in this class.
Rome Odunze #1, WR 2024 (6’3”, 215)
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 mentioned more and more as one of the top receivers in this class. I am not sure how many receivers we’ll see get picked on the first night of the draft, but Odunze will likely hear his name called as one of them. He is a very physically dominant receiver that can contribute right away for any NFL team.
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 aforementioned Ohio State pair, but the Huskies have a dynamic duo of their own. McMillan returned to the field last week in Washington’s win at Stanford, but he did record a catch. This 2024 receiver class looks like it will be chock-full of big-bodied receivers, so smaller, smoother guys like McMillan and Texas’ Xavier Worthy could stand out. I know that 6’1” and 192 pounds isn’t exactly slender, but his play style is more akin to elite route-running and quickness than physical dominance.
#11 Oregon State
Damien Martinez #6, RB 2025 (6’0”, 232)
On the Oregon State side, there really is only one player that I’ll be watching, and that is Damien Martinez. Like many Oregon State teams of years past, this team focuses heavily on the running game. That means we will see sophomore running back Damien Martinez utilized early and often. This game is a great opportunity for Martinez to make a statement on a national stage.
Florida @ #9 Missouri
Saturday, 11/18 | 7:30 PM ET, ESPN
Trevor Etienne #7, RB 2025 (5’9”, 205)
There are a couple of players that I’ll be watching in this game. The first one is sophomore running back Trevor Etienne. He is the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne. Trevor is a different style of runner than his older brother but is a solid prospect in his own right. I’m excited to see how he develops over the remainder of this and 2024 seasons.
Ricky Pearsall #1, WR 2024 (6’1”, 190)
Ricky Pearsall is the other player of note on the Florida sideline. He is having a career year for the Gators and may be playing his way onto the NFL’s radar. He’ll likely be a mid or late-round draft pick in the NFL Draft but could thrive in the right system.
Luther Burden III #3, WR 2025 (5’11”, 208)
On the Missouri side of the ball, the main player to know is still Luther Burden III. He’s in the midst of a breakout season with nearly 1,000 yards receiving on 68 catches. Burden is on the shortlist for WR1 in the 2025 class, so you’ll likely hear his name more and more over the next 18 months or so. I am a fan of his game and am eager to watch him develop.
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 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!