Welcome back! We’re off and running with another year of college football! 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 is 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 weekly article as a place to refer back to as you prepare 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.
#1 Alabama @ Texas
Saturday, 9/10 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
Bryce Young #9, QB 2023 (6’0, 194)
The main man to know for Alabama is still Bryce Young. He put up really impressive numbers last week against a vaunted Utah State defense. They held Young to only 195 yards passing, but he didn’t need to throw the ball much as Bama was cruising. Bryce did throw for 5 touchdowns and added another 100 yards and a touchdown rushing the ball. Young faces off against a better defense this week, but not exactly an elite squad. The debate all season will be if Young or CJ Stroud is deserving of the QB1 status.
Jahmyr Gibbs #1, RB 2023 (5’11, 210)
Jahmyr Gibbs got off to a nice start in his first game for the Crimson Tide, rushing the ball for 93 yards on only 9 carries. He also caught one pass for 5 yards, giving him over 100 yards from scrimmage on the day. I was slightly disappointed in how lightly used Gibbs was as a receiver, considering that is one of his biggest strengths. Hopefully, he will show off those skills more this week.
Jermaine Burton #3, WR 2023 (6’0, 200)
Burton had a solid day in his first game for Alabama, notching 5 catches and 2 touchdowns. He did only tally 35 receiving yards, which was rather underwhelming. But, as Bryce Young spreads the ball around to several different receivers, I’m not concerned about Burton getting more down-field looks in the future. Burton seems to be the top Bama receiver, but several others are eager to get a piece bigger of the pie.
Traeshon Holden #11, WR 2023 (6’3, 214)
One of those guys is Traeshon Holden. He is a former 4-star recruit who sat behind top-tier wide receiver talent and is finally seeing meaningful action in his junior year. Holden led the all receivers for Alabama with 5/70/2 against the Utah State Aggies. He has the size and athleticism to play at the next level, so he’s a name to watch this year. Another player of note was freshman wide receiver, Kobe Prentice. He also caught 5 passes for 60 yards. A name to keep an eye on for 2025.
Bijan Robinson #5, RB 2023 (6’0, 220)
There are many future NFL players to watch in this game, but the one I’m most interested in monitoring is Bijan Robinson. He’s the consensus 1.01 in non-Superflex drafts, and it would take something massive to change that. Robinson does it all and does it all very well. This will all but certainly be the toughest defense he faces prior to getting drafted, so it will be good to see how he performs. I expect it to be tough sledding for Bijan, but we’ll likely see a couple of plays where all you do is say “wow”. He’s a special prospect.
Xavier Worthy #7, WR 2024 (6’1, 163)
Sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy is the next Texas player to watch. He had an underwhelming game last week against UL-Monroe, only catching two passes for 24 yards. Worthy had a stellar freshman season in 2021, and I fully expect him to once again put up big numbers in 2022. However, as it will be for the entire Texas team, this game will be tough. Worthy is a smaller receiver, and how he performs against this secondary will be worth watching.
Ja’Tavion Sanders #0, TE 2024 (6’4, 249)
The next player on my list for Texas is sophomore tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. He was the top receiving weapon for Ewers last week as he hauled in 6 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Sanders has the potential to vault himself up draft boards if he continues to produce in this offense. I’ll be watching to see how he plays as the year progresses.
Quinn Ewers #3, QB 2024 (6’2, 206)
The last name to know here is Quinn Ewers. I am not expecting much from him in this game, as Bama is a three-touchdown favorite. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Ewers flashes a few really impressive throws in this game. He has the tools to be an early pick and could fight Caleb Williams for QB1 status in 2024.
South Carolina @ #16 Arkansas
Saturday, 9/10 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Spencer Rattler #7, QB 2023 (6’1, 215)
I feel like I’ve been talking about Spencer Rattler regaining value for a long time. He had an inconsistent game last week against Georgia State, only throwing for 227 yards, including two interceptions. He did, however, show off a bit of the ability that had him in the discussion as the top quarterback in last year’s class. He needs to put it all together and show consistency. I’m not sure he will, but I’ll be monitoring him.
Jaheim Bell #0, TE 2023 (6’3, 232)
One of the best weapons on this Gamecocks’ roster is tight end Jaheim Bell. He was used all over the field last week, catching 4 passes and rushing the ball 7 times for a total of 57 yards. He’s technically eligible to declare after this season, and I’m intrigued by him and how he’s used in this offense.
MarShawn Lloyd #1, RB 2024 (5’9, 212)
The last player to note for South Carolina is the second-year running back, MarShawn Lloyd. Lloyd recovered from a torn ACL he suffered last season and found the endzone twice last week. He wasn’t particularly efficient on the ground, only gaining 2.7 yards per carry, but he did find the end zone. He also added a touchdown in the receiving game. Lloyd was the 5th ranked running back in the country coming out of high school and could end up playing on Sundays. Keep your eyes on him.
Raheim Sanders #5, RB 2024 (6’2, 227)
Raheim’ Rocket’ Sanders is the main player to watch on the Arkansas side of the ball. He and quarterback KJ Jefferson dominated the rushing attack for the Hogs last week. Sanders went for 117 yards on 20 carries but couldn’t score. He also added a few catches out of the backfield. Sanders looked impressive against Cincinnati, and I expect him to do so again this week.
Trey Knox #7, TE 2023 (6’5, 245)
The guy that stepped up to lead the team in receiving was converted wide receiver to tight end, Trey Knox. Knox was a fairly highly touted 4-star wide receiver recruit who showed off his receiving skills against the Bearcats. He tallied 2 touchdowns on 6 catches for 75 yards. If he continues to produce big numbers, I’d expect to see him get some solid draft buzz.
Missouri @ Kansas State
Saturday, 9/10 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN 2
Luther Burden III #3, WR 2025 (5’11, 215)
There are only two players in this game that I’m interested in watching. First is true freshman wide receiver Luther Burden III. Burden was the #3 overall player in the 2021 recruiting class and #1 WR. In his first college game, Burden only caught 3 passes but took a quick pass and fought into the endzone for his first touchdown. There’s plenty of time to watch Burden play, but he’s someone to know for the future.
Deuce Vaughn #22, RB 2023 (5’6, 176)
On the other side of the ball, we have one of the most exciting players in the country Deuce Vaughn. At 5’6 and 176 lbs, Vaughn looks like a pinball bouncing all over the field. Last week he carried the ball 18 times for 126 yards and a touchdown against South Dakota. It’s hard to say what Vaughn will or could be at the NFL level, but he’s certainly fun to watch.
Appalachian State @ #6 Texas A&M
Saturday, 9/10 | 3:30 PM ET, ESPN 2
#6 Texas A&M
Devon Achane #6, RB 2023 (5’9, 185)
Devon Achane is the main 2023 player to keep your eyes on for the Aggies. Similarly to the aforementioned Deuce Vaughn, Achane is a smaller, incredibly explosive back. He seemingly is the fastest player on any field he’s on, and that speed should be on full display this week against App. State. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Achane come back for another year, but he is eligible to head to the NFL after this season.
Ainias Smith #0, WR 2023 (5’10, 190)
Ainias Smith is the other 2023 eligible guy to watch. He’s more of a space player at the NFL level and is extremely explosive with the ball in his hands. Last week against an overpowered Sam Houston team, Smith went for a 6/164/2 receiving line. It’s hard to say if he has much of a chance beyond college, but while he’s around, he is exciting to watch.
Evan Stewart #1, WR 2025 (5’11, 170)
One other name to know for the future at A&M is true freshman wide receiver Evan Stewart. He was ranked just behind Missouri’s Luther Burden III in the 2021 class and showed off why last week. He caught 5 passes for 57 yards in his first collegiate game. It certainly wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a promising sign for his first game. He’s definitely someone to remember.
#24 Tennessee @ #17 Pittsburgh
Saturday, 9/10 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
Hendon Hooker #5, QB 2023 (6’4, 218)
Hendon Hooker feels like he’s been in college for roughly ten years, but it’s only been half a decade. He will put up good numbers in this Tennessee offense and distribute the ball to his playmakers, but I don’t know if he has much of an NFL future. He will probably get a look, but his age isn’t doing him any favors.
Cedric Tillman #4, WR 2023 (6’3, 215)
Hooker has two big targets to throw the ball to, the first of which is Cedric Tillman. He led the passing attack last week and should regularly be a big part of this offense. Tillman is coming off a big year in 2021 and seems poised to pick up right where he left off. Keep your eyes on #4 for the Vols.
Bru McCoy #15, WR 2023 (6’3, 220)
The player I’m most intrigued about on this team is the former USC wide receiver, Bru McCoy. McCoy sat out the entire 2021 season because of off-field legal trouble. He subsequently transferred to Tennessee and, after a bit of confusion, was ruled eligible for 2022. On the field, McCoy has plenty of talent to play on Sunday, but he’ll need to show he’s back in top form to be considered by the NFL.
Kedon Slovis #9, QB 2023 (6’3, 215)
Another former USC Trojan, Kedon Slovis, is my top player to watch for Pitt. Plenty of people are out on Slovis, but I think he’s got a shot to get drafted. I don’t think he’s a sure thing, but he made some impressive plays against West Virginia last Thursday. He’s got a long way to go to be a high-profile prospect, but he’s better than many think.
Konata Mumpfield #14, WR 2024 (6’1, 180)
One of the top pass catchers for Slovis on Thursday was Konata Mumpfield. The Panthers spread the ball around, but Mumpfield led the team in catches with 5 for 71. After the departure of Jordan Addison, there was a lot of uncertainty in this wide receiver room. Mumpfield looked good and has a chance to play on Sundays if he keeps it up.
Washington State @ #19 Wisconsin
Saturday, 9/10 | 3:30 PM ET, FOX
Cameron Ward #1, QB 2023 (6’2, 220)
This game is going to be a great test for Cameron Ward. He put up good numbers last week against Idaho but was inconsistent in his first game at the D1 level. He faces off against a much better defense in Wisconsin, so I’ll be paying close attention to how he looks. Ward might be someone you’re unfamiliar with, but I think that’ll change by the end of the season.
De’Zhaun Stribling #88, WR 2024 (6’3, 204)
Ward heavily targeted two players last week, Donovan Ollie and De’Zhaun Stribling. They both averaged under 10 yards/rec, but Stribling was able to haul in a touchdown. Stribling is my preferred pass catcher in this offense, but both players have NFL size and could develop into under-the-radar prospects.
Braelon Allen #0, RB 2024 (6’2, 235)
The most exciting part of this game will be watching sophomore running back Braelon Allen face off against the less-than-elite Washington State defense. He rushed 148 yards and 2 touchdowns last week, including this ridiculous 96-yard touchdown. Allen is the clear RB2 in the 2024 class (behind TreVeyon Henderson) and should go big again this week. Get your popcorn ready.
#20 Kentucky @ #12 Florida
Saturday, 9/10 | 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Will Levis #7, QB 2023 (6’3, 232)
One of the most interesting matchups in this game will be senior quarterback Will Levis vs. the Florida defense. Levis has been considered the potential QB3 in this class. Levis is a bit of a polarizing prospect but is certainly worthy of monitoring. I’m not a huge believer in Levis, but I’m willing to give him an opportunity to prove me wrong. It’ll be good to see how he does against this Florida team that upset #7 Utah last week.
Anthony Richardson #15, QB 2023 (6’4, 232)
Speaking of polarizing prospects, Anthony Richardson fits the bill quite nicely. Richardson willed his team to victory against the Utes in The Swamp last week. He’s got the tools to be a top NFL pick and makes some plays, like the one below, that just leave you in awe. I think Richardson will rise up draft boards and has a good shot at being drafted in the first round in the upcoming NFL draft.
#10 USC @ Stanford
Saturday, 9/10 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Caleb Williams #13, QB 2024 (6’1, 215)
The Trojans have a ton of talent on their roster, but I will focus on their top two guys. First, we have sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams. We finally saw what he looked like playing for USC, and as expected, it was good. Caleb completed 86.4% of his passes en route to 249 yards and 2 touchdowns against Rice. He is already the top quarterback in the 2024 class, so he just needs to show he hasn’t regressed. He’ll get to do that in primetime against Stanford this week.
Jordan Addison #3, WR 2023 (6’0, 175)
Jordan Addison is the other player I’ll be watching for USC. He led the team in catches and scored twice in his Trojan debut. Addison, like Williams, doesn’t have much to do but stay healthy to be a high-ranked prospect. I don’t think he can surpass LSU’s Kayshon Boutte or Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but Addison is in the discussion for WR3 in this class.
Tanner McKee #18, QB 2023 (6’6, 230)
There are two guys to know on Stanford’s side of the ball. First, we have quarterback Tanner McKee. He is an older prospect but has been getting some draft buzz. He’s somewhat similar to another former Stanford quarterback, Davis Mills. McKee has prototypical quarterback size and isn’t particularly mobile in the pocket. This USC defense isn’t very good, so we might get to see McKee show up big in primetime.
EJ Smith #22, RB 2023 (6’0, 210)
The other player to know is EJ Smith. I’m sure it will only be mentioned 50+ times on the broadcast, but EJ is the son of former Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. EJ is still establishing himself but has a great opportunity to be the primary running back. He has already shown his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield quite well.
#9 Baylor @ #21 BYU
Saturday, 9/10 | 10:15 PM ET, ESPN
Monaray Baldwin #80, WR 2024 (5’9, 169)
This Baylor team looks a lot different than it did last year. One of the promising performers from last week’s game was sophomore wide receiver, Monaray Baldwin. He only caught 4 passes but put up 81 yards and a touchdown. He’s a smaller player but should be involved in the passing attack for the Bears.
Jaren Hall #2, QB 2023 (6’1, 205)
BYU’s Jaren Hall is a sleeper quarterback prospect that could end up rising up draft boards in 2023. Hall looked good last week against USF, completing nearly 80% of his passes for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns. If there’s one thing to know about this 2023 quarterback class, it’s that beyond Bryce Young and CJ Stroud, there are a lot of question marks. Hall is one of the guys who could vault his way into that next tier of quarterbacks or end up struggling to get drafted. I think he’ll end up somewhere in the middle, but it’ll be good to see how he does against the Baylor defense.
Christopher Brooks #2, RB 2023 (6’1, 230)
The other player to watch is running back Christopher Brooks. He transferred to BYU from Cal and promptly ran through the USF defense. On only 13 carries, he ran for 135 yards and a touchdown. Brooks is a big back that is a load to take down. Facing a solid Baylor defense should also be a good test for Brooks, so we’ll see how he does.
Mississippi State @ Arizona
Saturday, 9/10 | 11:00 PM ET, FS1
Will Rogers #2, QB 2023 (6’2, 210)
If you’re staying up way late and didn’t get to watch enough football, you’re my kind of person. The game I’ll be watching is Mississippi State at Arizona. Mike Leach and Co. travel to Tucson and bring their high-flying, high-scoring passing attack. The man throwing the ball for the Bulldogs is Will Rogers. Last week, Rogers threw for 450 yards and 5 touchdowns against Memphis. Rogers and this offense are great to watch, and as this game goes past midnight, that’s all we can ask for.
Jacob Cowing #2, WR 2023 (5’11, 175)
There are a few players on both sides of the ball that are interesting to me, but the one I’m going to be paying attention to the closest is UTSA transfer, Jacob Cowing. He quickly proved that playing at the P5 level wasn’t too much for him, as he went for 8/152/1 in his first game for Arizona. This week he gets to face off against an SEC team. I’m a believer in Cowing. I’ll be very interested in how he does.
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!