Welcome back! The college football season is nearly half completed. 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.
#8 Tennessee @ #25 LSU
Saturday, 10/8 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Hendon Hooker #5, QB 2023 (6’4, 218)
There has been increasing draft buzz for Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker. But, I’m not much of a believer in his NFL potential. He has the size and has looked impressive at times, but I don’t see it with him. Plus, he’s a fifth-year player who took a long time to break out. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see him get a look in the NFL, but I’m not too excited about him after college.
Jalin Hyatt #11, WR 2023 (6’0, 180)
Hooker’s top target this year has been junior receiver, Jalin Hyatt. He doesn’t quite have the size of fellow WRs Bru McCoy and Cedric Tillman, but Hyatt has been the top option thus far. I expect to see that continue after the injury to Tillman and wouldn’t be surprised to see Hyatt have a big game this week.
Kayshon Boutte #7, WR 2023 (6’0, 205)
For LSU, the main player to watch is Kayshon Boutte. The third-year receiver hasn’t exactly looked great so far this year, with only 11 catches for 97 yards and no scores. I am not too worried about his on-field production, but it would be nice to see him do something more than we’ve seen this year. Boutte is currently my WR1, but that gap has narrowed to Jordan Addison and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
#17 TCU @ #19 Kansas
Saturday, 10/8 | 12:00 PM ET, FS1
Quinten Johnston #1, WR 2023 (6’4, 215)
One of the players hoping to crack the top tier of 2023 eligible receivers is TCU’s Quinten Johnston. However, he hasn’t done much of anything yet this year. I’m starting to worry about his performance. Hopefully, we will see QJ start putting up bigger numbers soon.
Kendre Miller #33, RB 2023 (6’0, 220)
The other player on this roster that I’ll be watching this week is Kendre Miller. Unlike Johnston, Miller has looked good this season. I expect him to once again be heavily involved this week. While I’m not sure how high-up draft boards he will make it, Miller is someone I’m monitoring.
Jalon Daniels #6, QB 2023 (6’0, 215)
The main man carrying the undefeated Jayhawks is their junior quarterback, Jalon Daniels. Daniels has blown up this year and is starting to garner some Heisman buzz. He completes nearly 70% of his passes and is 4 yards shy of being the team’s leading rusher. Daniels is one of the most exciting players to watch, so keep your eyes on him this week.
Texas @ Oklahoma
Saturday, 10/8 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC
Bijan Robinson #5, RB 2023 (6’0, 220)
There’s not much that needs to be said about Bijan Robinson. He’s really good, and he’s all but locked up the 1.01 in non-super flex drafts. Bijan ran for 101 yards and a score last week. I expect him to have a big week in his final game against Oklahoma. Bijan should be the top non-QB pick in all formats.
Xavier Worthy #8, WR 2024 (6’1, 163)
Sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy is the other Texas player I’ll mention. He came into last week a bit nicked up but blew up for 119 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns on 7 catches. He also threw a touchdown pass on a double-pass to tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. I am a big fan of Worthy, and it was nice to see him put up a good game.
Eric Gray #0, RB 2023 (5’10, 211)
The first of two players that I’ll be watching for Oklahoma is running back Eric Gray. He had a quieter game last week in the loss to TCU. Gray had 60 yards rushing and only one catch out of the backfield. I anticipate Gray being a Day 2 NFL Draft pick, but I think he’s a steal there. I’ll probably end up drafting him in a lot of rookie drafts.
Marvin Mims #17, WR 2023 (5’11, 184)
The other player I’ll be watching closely is receiver Marvin Mims. Mims seems to be either hot or cold, and it’s hard to know which version we will get. It didn’t help that his quarterback Dillon Gabriel was knocked out of the game last week, but hopefully, Mims can show up this week against Texas.
Auburn @ #2 Georgia
Saturday, 10/8 | 3:30 PM ET, CBS
Tank Bigsby #4, RB 2023 (6’0, 213)
The player to know for Auburn is junior Tank Bigsby. He had a promising freshman season in 2020, but his sophomore campaign was a bit up-and-down. I have been a fan of Bigsby and think he’s a bit undervalued. He currently is my RB2 in the class, but as I’ve mentioned, several players are vying for that spot. I seem to be higher on Bigsby than most, but he’s usually in the group with Alabama’s Gibbs and Ole Miss’ Zach Evans for RB2.
Kendall Milton #2, RB 2023 (6’1, 220)
The first player of note in this game is junior running back Kendall Milton. He has been their most effective rusher this year, tallying 271 yards rushing on 44 carries. Milton has split time with fellow running back Kenny McIntosh, who surprisingly leads the team in receptions. I believe Milton has the best chance to play on Sundays in the future, so I’ll be watching him closely.
Darnell Washington #0, TE 2023 (6’7, 270)
The next player to know is Darnell Washington. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s the massive human that treated us to this play in Week 1:
That’s right, at 6’7″, Washington hurdled the defender before running down the field for a big gain. His size, speed, and athleticism will get NFL scouts’ attention and general managers’ attention. And, as I’ve mentioned previously, Darnell Washington may not even be the best tight end on his team.
Brock Bowers #19, TE 2024 (6’4, 230)
Another tight end to know for Georgia is sophomore Brock Bowers. He doesn’t quite have the size of Darnell Washington but is currently the leading candidate to be the TE1 in 2024. Bowers is only two catches behind McIntosh but leads the team in all other major receiving categories. He’s also shown some impressive speed on tight-end jet sweeps.
#11 Utah @ #18 UCLA
Saturday, 10/8 | 3:30 PM ET, FOX
Cameron Rising #7, QB 2023 (6’2, 218)
There are a few players that I’m interested in for the Utes, the first of which is quarterback Cameron Rising. He came into this season with high expectations for Utah and some draft buzz surrounding him. After the disappointing loss in the opening week at Florida, Rising has looked strong. I think the ceiling is limited with him, but if he plays well, I expect to hear that draft buzz get louder.
Dalton Kincaid #86, TE 2023 (6’4, 240)
After the injury to Rising’s favorite target, Brant Kuithe, I expect to see Dalton Kincaid more heavily involved. This offense usually runs through the tight end position, and Kincaid is a good one. He has the physical profile to play on Sundays. It will likely come down to how he runs at the combine. So, make sure you remember his name.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1, QB 2023 (6’1, 205)
On the UCLA side of the ball, there are two players to know. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the first player to watch. He is off to the best start to a season of his career, completing nearly 75% of his passes while leading the Bruins to an undefeated 5-0 start. The talent has always been there for DTR, but he’s yet to put it together for a full season. Perhaps this will be his year.
Zach Charbonnet #24, RB 2023 (6’1, 220)
The leading 2023 eligible player that I’ll be watching is running back Zach Charbonnet. He has looked good carrying the ball this season but has also been dynamic as a receiver. Charbonnet is currently the third-leading receiving option for the Bruins. I expect Day 2 draft capital for Charbonnet, assuming he doesn’t test poorly.
#3 Ohio State @ Michigan State
Saturday, 10/8 | 4:00 PM ET, ABC
#3 Ohio State
CJ Stroud #7, QB 2023 (6’3, 218)
The players to note for Ohio State haven’t changed. I could list a handful of players and still feel like I’m leaving some players out. You’re probably quite familiar with them at this point. First, we have quarterback CJ Stroud. There seems to be a toss-up in the devy community between CJ Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young as the QB1 for 2023. I have Stroud as my QB2, but the gap isn’t particularly large. And, with the injury to Young, Stroud could close the gap.
Jaxon Smith-Njiba #11, WR 2023 (6’1, 200)
The biggest question about this game is whether Jaxon Smith-Njigba will play or not. It has been the question since he suffered a hamstring injury early in the season. It looks like he has a chance to play, but I am not holding my breath. JSN is still my WR2 in the class behind Boutte, but USC’s Jordan Addison is closing the gap quickly.
TreVeyon Henderson #32, RB 2024 (5’10, 214)
The final player to watch is TreVeyon Henderson. He’s the clear-cut RB1 in 2024, as far as almost everyone is concerned. All Henderson really needs is to stay healthy and test as expected, and he’ll be the top running back in the class. He is also dealing with an injury but is expected to return to the field.
Jalen Berger #8, RB 2023 (6’1, 205)
For the Spartans, the player of note is Jalen Berger. The former Wisconsin running back has recouped a bit of his draft stock after he was usurped by Braelon Allen last year for the Badgers. Berger has led this backfield and looked impressive in doing so. I’m a Berger believer, so I’m happy to see the resurgence. He’ll need to continue to perform to have meaningful NFL draft capital, assuming he declares after the season.
North Carolina @ Miami
Saturday, 10/8 | 4:00 PM ET, ESPN 2
Drake Maye #10, QB 2024 (6’4, 220)
One of the biggest surprise breakouts this season has been North Carolina’s Drake Maye. He has completed nearly 70% of his passes, over 1,500 yards passing, 19 scores, and only a single interception. Maye has also added 3 rushing touchdowns. May has vaulted himself into the 1st round quarterback discussion in the 2024 draft. It is still early, but he has passed every test thrown at him. I expect to see him put up good numbers again this week.
Josh Downs #11, WR 2023 (5’10, 175)
The best weapon for UNC is Josh Downs, who returned to the field last week and promptly put up 120 yards receiving on 8 catches. Downs isn’t in my top tier of receivers in the 2023 class, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s good. This is shaping up to be a very deep year for wide receivers, and I believe Downs could end up being a value pick in the second round of rookie drafts this summer, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him end up in the back of the first round either.
Tyler Van Dyke #9, QB 2023 (6’4, 224)
There was much talk this off-season about who could be the QB3 after Stroud and Young. One of the most common names thrown out there was Tyler Van Dyke. Miami has looked really bad this season, so it would shock me to see Van Dyke declare after the season. He has shown some ability that can translate to the next level. However, I’m personally not super high on Van Dyke, but he’s worth monitoring.
#5 Clemson @ Boston College
Saturday, 10/8 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Will Shipley #1, RB 2024 (5’11, 205)
For Clemson, I’m mostly going to be focused on a pair of 2024 draft prospects, the first of which is Will Shipley. He has been Clemson’s best weapon this year but underwhelmed last week against NC State. He’s in the discussion for RB2 after Ohio State’s Henderson, so I’ll be watching him closely this week and all year.
Beaux Collins #80, WR 2024 (6’3, 210)
Beaux Collins is the other player for the Tigers to know. He isn’t having a particularly stellar year, but I think that’s more due to the mediocre quarterback play from DJ Uiagalelei. It wasn’t too long ago that DJU was a top devy prospect, but now he seems to be the cog holding back the Clemson offense. However, we’ve seen improved play from DJU and, subsequently, better production from Beaux. I like Beaux Collins a lot for 2024. We’ll see if he can continue to develop nicely.
Zay Flowers #4, WR 2023 (5’10, 182)
The player to know for Boston College is their senior receiver, Zay Flowers. I was surprised that he went back for another year, but he has looked good in 2022. Flowers is basically the entire BC offense and has shown spectacular playmaking ability, including this catch:
Sign me up as a Zay Flowers fan.
Washington State @ #6 USC
Saturday, 10/8 | 7:30 PM ET, FOX
Cameron Ward #1, QB 2023 (6’2, 220)
I’ve talked about Cameron Ward quite a bit so far this year. He’s a very intriguing prospect that has been dynamic at times for Washington State. Statistically, Ward has put up big numbers, but he’s also made some head-scratching plays. Ward loves to throw the ball to his big outside receivers, Donovan Ollie and De’Zhaun Stribling. All three are interesting to me, and will get a chance to show off on a national stage this week.
Caleb Williams #13, QB 2024 (6’1, 215)
The top two names to know for USC are still the same. Caleb Williams played well against Arizona State last week after struggling against Oregon State the week prior. I’m not super concerned about how he looks from week to week, as he is still firmly QB1 for 2024. I expect a big game this week for Williams.
Jordan Addison #3, WR 2023 (6’0, 175)
Jordan Addison is the other player to watch for USC. They have plenty of other names, but Addison is far and away the top 2023 prospect on this offense. He is challenging for the WR1 spot in the 2023 class. In fact, I’ve seen some people say they would take him over any other receiver. I’m not quite there, but I agree that the gap is closing.
#16 BYU @ Notre Dame
Saturday, 10/8 | 7:30 PM ET, NBC
Jaren Hall #3, QB 2023 (6’1, 205)
For BYU, the player I’ll be watching is fourth-year signal caller Jaren Hall. He’s a bit of a tough player for me to figure out. Sometimes he looks like a promising NFL prospect, and other times I struggle to see him having a chance at the next level. His range of outcomes is wide. I’ve seen it suggested that he could be a Day 2 NFL pick, but it wouldn’t shock me if he falls too late on Day 3. Hall will be someone I’m watching closely throughout this year.
Michael Mayer #87, TE 2023 (6’4, 265)
The only player I’m interested in for Notre Dame is their star tight end, Michael Mayer. He played well last week against North Carolina, with 7 catches and 88 yards receiving, and a score. This Notre Dame team remains bad on offense, and his production will fluctuate from week to week. What’s important to note is that Mayer is my TE1 for 2023. Keep your eyes on #87 for the Irish.
Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama
Saturday, 10/8 | 7:30 PM ET, FOX
Devon Achane #6, RB 2023 (5’9, 185)
For A&M, the main guy to watch is junior running back Devon Achane. I’m still very interested to see how he is valued as the NFL draft gets closer (assuming he declares) because he doesn’t really have the size to be an NFL running back. Achane has speed for days, but his size might hurt his draft stock.
Bryce Young #9, QB 2023 (6’0, 194) ***INJURED***
The main man to know for Alabama is still Bryce Young. It looks like he will miss at least some time with a shoulder injury. I have Young as my QB1 in the class, but there are several people out there who think he’s QB2. I think by the time the draft rolls around, he’ll be one of the top two quarterbacks taken.
Jahmyr Gibbs #1, RB 2023 (5’11, 210)
Gibbs is the other player I’ll be watching, who exploded carrying the ball last week. He had 206 yards rushing and 2 scores on only 18 attempts. I think Gibbs is a very good running back, and I have seen many people rank him as high as RB2. I think he’s in the discussion, but I still have him as my RB3 behind Bijan and Tank Bigsby.
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!
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