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.
#1 Georgia @ Vanderbilt
Saturday, 10/14 | 12:00 PM ET, CBS
Brock Bowers #19, TE 2024 (6’4”, 240)
Another week, another big game for Georgia’s all-world tight end, Bowers. After dominating both the UAB Blazers and Auburn Tigers, Bowers set his sights on running through the Kentucky Wildcats. And that is exactly what he did. There isn’t much left to say about how good Bowers is. He is easily the TE1 in the 2024 class. I don’t expect this game to remain competitive, so we may only get an abbreviated showing.
Indiana @ #2 Michigan
Saturday, 10/14 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
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. As expected, Corum has been a vital piece of the offense so far in 2023. However, Corum hasn’t exactly “wowed” in any of the games. This Indiana defense should be another solid test for Corum. I have Corum in my second tier of running backs for the 2024 class.
JJ McCarthy #9, QB 2024 (6’3”, 202)
Next, we have Michigan’s signal-caller, McCarthy. He has been impressive in the young season, completing 77.6% of his passes. We still haven’t seen McCarthy or Michigan be tested by an opponent in 2023. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that to change this week. I think there’s a good chance that McCarthy will declare after this season, and if he does, he should be firmly in the Day 2 mix.
Syracuse @ #4 Florida State
Saturday, 10/14 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC
#4 Florida State
Jordan Travis #13, QB 2024 (6’1”, 212)
Florida State has quite a few players that I’ll be watching closely. The first name on that list is their quarterback. Travis has led the Seminoles to an undefeated 5-0 record and a resurgence in the national spotlight. While he has been instrumental in the success of Florida State, I still have some questions about how well his game will translate to the next level. The pre-draft process is going to be extra important for Travis.
Johnny Wilson #14, WR 2024 (6’7”, 237)
Wilson is the next player to note for FSU. He seems to always be fighting some kind of injury, and this week is no different. When he’s on the field, he remains an unguardable target due to his 6’7″ size. I like Wilson’s chances of being a Day 2 NFL pick if he can test well during the pre-draft process.
Keon Coleman #4, WR 2024 (6’4”, 215)
The next player to note is Coleman. Like Wilson, Coleman started the season with a bang. He caught nine passes for 122 yards and three scores in the opening game. Unfortunately, he’s cooled off dramatically since then, catching only 11 passes for 156 yards and three scores in the four games since. I like Coleman quite a bit and expect him to garner more draft buzz as the pre-draft process approaches.
Jaheim Bell #6, TE 2024 (6’3”, 239)
Bell is the final player to note for FSU. The transfer from South Carolina hasn’t been a major part of this offense yet in 2023. He has only caught 10 passes for 151 yards and 1 score to date. Bell does have the option to return for another year if he wants to, but he does have the tools to play at the next level.
Arkansas @ #11 Alabama
Saturday, 10/14 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Raheim “Rocket” Sanders #5, RB 2024 (6’2”, 242)
The main player to know for the Razorbacks is their junior running back, Sanders. He has been very underwhelming so far in 2023. Sanders is averaging a measly 2.7 yards per rush on 34 carries. During his breakout season last year, some people were wondering if the former wide receiver could become the RB1 in the 2024 class. However, things have not gone that way, and at this point, there’s a chance that Sanders could return for another year. I’ll be watching closely to see how he does against a very good Alabama defense.
Jase McClellan #2, RB 2024 (5’11”, 212)
This is an interesting season for Alabama. The only player worth noting is McClellan. He and the entire Alabama team haven’t done much to impress in 2023 yet. However, if the Crimson Tide are going to be successful this year, it will likely be through the running game. At this point, I think McClellan will be a mid-to-late-round NFL prospect come draft day. He still has some time to turn things around, but he needs to get going soon.
#8 Oregon @ #7 Washington
Saturday, 10/14 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
Bo Nix #10, QB 2024 (6’2”, 217)
Undoubtedly, the game of the week is this top-ten showdown between Oregon and Washington. There certainly are playoff implications from this game, but I am most excited to see the battle at quarterback. Bo Nix is once again putting up gaudy numbers for the high-powered Ducks. However, as for his NFL potential, I view Nix as more of a college QB than a top-tier NFL prospect. It’s not to say that Nix can’t succeed in the NFL, but I think he’s a mid-round NFL selection.
Troy Franklin #11, WR 2024 (6’3”, 187)
One of the top options for Nix this year has been Franklin. He has been tearing up the competition in 2023, notching four 100+-yard receiving games through the team’s first five games. Franklin is a former 4-star recruit with all the physical traits to be an NFL receiver. I think Franklin is deserving of Day 2 NFL Draft capital.
Michael Penix Jr. #9, QB 2024 (6’3”, 213)
For Washington, their top prospect is sixth-year senior quarterback Penix. Unlike Nix, Penix is likely going to be a top-15 draft pick. He has been unbelievable this year, completing 74.7% of his passes for 1,999 yards and 16 touchdowns, with only two interceptions. We have seen his ability to make every throw on the field. However, my two biggest concerns are his injury history and age. He will be 24 only a handful of days after the NFL Draft. We’ve seen some older prospects drafted in the first round, so it’s by no means out of the question. But I think it may keep him from being a top-10 pick.
Rome Odunze #1, WR 2024 (6’3”, 215)
After Penix, the next prospect to know is wideout Odunze. At 6′ 3″, Odunze presents a prototypical NFL WR size. He has been the favorite target of Penix so far this season, catching 32 passes for 608 yards and four scores. His name has been mentioned more and more as one of the top receivers in this class. I have him in my third-tier of wideouts, but he could ascend to the ‘non-Marvin Harrison Jr.’ tier.
Jalen McMillan #11, WR 2024 (6’1”, 192)
The final player to know for the Huskies is McMillan. He has missed a couple of games with an injury but is expected to be back in this game. McMillan is a versatile weapon that can attack a defense all over the field. His NFL Draft profile is a little weaker than Odunze’s, but McMillan is worth watching.
#10 USC @ #21 Notre Dame
Saturday, 10/14 | 7:30 PM ET, NBC
Caleb Williams #13, QB 2024 (6’1”, 215)
The players to watch for USC haven’t changed. The main man is the reigning Heisman winner, Williams. There isn’t much to say about Williams that hasn’t already been said. I, and the majority of people, have him firmly as the QB1 in the 2024 class. My only concern for Williams is whether he will declare this year or come back for one more year at USC. Notre Dame will be the toughest defense he’s faced all year, so I am excited to see how he performs.
Brendan Rice #2, WR 2024 (6’3”, 210)
ne of Caleb’s favorite targets this year has been senior wideout Rice. If you weren’t aware, he is the son of San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice. He has had a bit of an underwhelming career but really seems to be shining in 2023. The athletic testing portion of the pre-draft process will have a particularly large impact on how NFL teams view Rice. Right now, Day 2 of the NFL Draft is a bit of a longshot but not out of the question.
#21 Notre Dame
Sam Hartman #10, QB 2024 (6’1”, 210)
Quarterback Sam Hartman is the top player to watch in this game for the Irish. He had his worst game of the year last week in a loss at Louisville, completing only 57.9% of his passes and throwing three interceptions. If Hartman is going to regain any of the draft buzz and hype he had earlier in the year, he will need to show up big against USC this week.
Mitchell Evans #88, TE 2024 (6’5”, 260)
One other player to note is junior tight end Evans. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Notre Dame has a playmaker at the tight end position, and that is exactly what Evans has been. The 6′ 5″ Evans has been Hartman’s favorite target this season, catching 22 passes for 343 yards and a score. After the departure of Michael Mayer to the NFL, Evans has stepped in nicely and appears to be the next tight end in line for Notre Dame.
#25 Miami @ #12 North Carolina
Saturday, 10/14 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Tyler Van Dyke #9, QB 2024 (6’4”, 230)
The player I’ll be watching when Miami has the ball is junior QB Van Dyke. He had been playing well before last week’s last-second loss to Georgia Tech. If you missed this game, it was dumbfounding to watch as Miami inexplicably ran the ball instead of kneeling. But, before that, Van Dyke struggled. He completed a season-low 66.7% percent of his passes and threw three interceptions. He has one more year of eligibility, and at this point, he should return for the 2024 season.
#12 North Carolina
Drake Maye #10, QB 2024 (6’4”, 230)
The first player to know for UNC is their third-year quarterback, Maye. After a slow start, he has turned it up a notch over the last few weeks. I have Maye firmly as my QB2 in this class and would be surprised if he wasn’t a top-five NFL selection.
Devontez Walker #9, WR 2024 (6’3”, 200)
‘Tez’ Walker is the other name to know for the Tar Heels. He finally made his season debut last week after fighting the NCAA for eligibility. Walker transferred to UNC from Kent State before this year, hoping to elevate his draft stock. Unfortunately, because he couldn’t play before last week, it’s hard to say if Walker will declare at the end of this season. However, Walker is absolutely a player you should know for the future.
#18 UCLA @ #15 Oregon State
Saturday, 10/14 | 8:00 PM ET, FOX
J. Michael Sturdivant #1, WR 2024 (6’3”, 205)
The player I will be watching closest when UCLA has the ball is Sturdivant. He spent his first two seasons in Berkeley before transferring to UCLA prior to this season. After arriving on campus, Sturdivant has impressed, leading the Bruins in receiving yards and touchdowns. He has the prototypical outside NFL receiver size, and the former 4-star recruit has garnered some draft buzz as the season has progressed. I think he could be a late bloomer in the pre-draft process.
#15 Oregon State
Damien Martinez #6, RB 2025 (6’0”, 232)
On the Oregon State side, there are two players that I’ll be watching. Like many Oregon State teams of years past, this team focuses heavily on the running game. That means we will see sophomore running back Martinez utilized early and often. This UCLA defense has played well in 2023, so this will be a good test for Martinez.
DJ Uiagalelei #5, QB 2024 (6’4”, 252)
The other name to know is a familiar one in Uiagalelei. After losing his starting job last year at Clemson, ‘DJU’ transferred to Corvallis and has the Beavers ranked in the top 15. His draft stock has undoubtedly fallen since taking over the reins from Trevor Lawrence. I am not holding my breath for a DJU resurgence, but he was a highly-touted QB prospect at one point.
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!