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Weekly Watch: Week 8

Who do you have winning: Penn State or Ohio State? @THEtristancook breaks down the biggest games and the players to know in Week 8 of college football!

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.

#7 Penn State @ #3 Ohio State

Saturday, 10/21 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX

#7 Penn State

Nicholas Singleton #10, RB 2025 (6’0”, 224)

The first game of the day is one of the best we have this week. When Penn State has the ball, there are two players that I’ll be watching. Unfortunately, they are not eligible until next year, at the earliest. First, we have running back Nicholas Singleton. He has been splitting carries with fellow sophomore Kaytron Allen but is the more talented runner. Singleton has penciled his name into the RB1 spot for the 2025 class and is a player you will want to know. He has been bottled up a bit this year and may be in for another rough day against Ohio State.

Drew Allar #15, QB 2025 (6’5”, 243)

The other player for Penn State is their quarterback, Drew Allar. My biggest concern earlier this year with Allar was that his level of competition was relatively low. Unfortunately, those concerns have only now grown as he’s struggled in Big 10 play. In conference play, Allar only completes 57.2% of his throws and looks like a different quarterback. This game will be the toughest yet, so I’ll be watching closely to see if he can step up his play.

#3 Ohio State

Marvin Harrison Jr. #18, WR 2024 (6’4”, 205) 

SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 23: Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) attempts to catch the football in action during a football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Ohio State Buckeyes on September 23, 2023 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

The players to know for Ohio State still haven’t changed. It’s not out of the question that the top-3 rookie picks in non-super flex leagues this upcoming year could all be from OSU, with Marvin Harrison Jr. leading that group. I am interested to see how Harrison looks against a good opponent. He was held to 32 yards receiving on only three catches a few weeks ago when Ohio State squared off with Notre Dame. I expect to see a much better showing this week.

TreVeyon Henderson #32, RB 2024 (5’10”, 214) ***INJURED***

Ohio State’s next player to watch is TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson had his best game of the season in the Notre Dame game, rushing for 104 yards on only 14 carries, including one he put into the end zone. However, he has not been on the field since that game. My biggest question for Henerson is his health. I hope he is back on the field and looking good this week. If he can get through the year without more injuries, he should test well and be one of the top RBs in rookie drafts next year.

Emeka Egbuka #2, WR 2024 (6’1”, 206) ***INJURED***

Emeka Egbuka is the final player I will note. He, along with many other receivers, are vying for the WR2 ranking in this class behind Marvin Harrison Jr. Egbuka is a very smooth player who would be the top option at nearly every other school in the country. After a somewhat slow start to the season, Egbuka rattled off three solid performances in a row but struggled a bit in his last outing against Maryland. There is a chance that Egbuka and Henderson could miss this game, but hopefully, we see them back on the field.

Washington State @ #9 Oregon

Saturday, 10/21 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Washington State

Cameron Ward #1, QB 2024 (6’2”, 223)

In this game, I will be watching quarterback Cameron Ward. Ward has really struggled in his last two outings. In those games, he’s combined for 389 yards with 3 interceptions and only one touchdown pass while completing less than 60% of his passes. Ward is again facing a tough opponent this week with Oregon. If he’s going to regain any of the excitement he had surrounding his arrival in Pullman, he’ll need a big game this week.

#9 Oregon

Bo Nix #10, QB 2024 (6’2”, 217)

For Oregon, the players to know are unchanged. Last week, we saw Bo Nix play well but ultimately come up just short against Washington. 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)

EUGENE, OR – SEPTEMBER 23: Oregon Ducks wide receiver Troy Franklin (11) reacts after scoring on a 36-yard reception in the second quarter during a PAC-12 conference football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and Oregon Ducks on September 23, 2023 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire)

One of the top options for Bo Nix this year has been junior wideout Troy Franklin. He has been tearing up the competition so far in 2023, notching five100+-yard receiving games through the team’s first six games. Franklin put on a nice display last week in the shootout with Washington, catching 8 passes for 154 yards and a score. He hasn’t received as much national attention as some of the other draft-eligible receivers, but I think Franklin is worthy of a Day 2 NFL Draft pick.

#8 Texas @ Houston

Saturday, 10/21 | 4:00 PM ET, FOX

#8 Texas

Quinn Ewers #3, QB 2024 (6’2”, 195)

The first player to know in this game is quarterback Quinn Ewers. He has been my QB3 in the 2024 class for a while but hasn’t performed particularly well since the Alabama game in early September. In his last outing, Ewers was outplayed by Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel in a heartbreaking loss. I still am a firm believer in his talent, but I would not be surprised if Ewers chooses not to declare if he doesn’t turn around his play. This week against Houston is a great opportunity to do so, and I’ll be watching to see if he steps up.

Xavier Worthy #1, WR 2024 (6’1”, 172)

One of the top weapons for Texas is junior WR Xavier Worthy. Worthy has played well all year, outside of a few dropped passes. The biggest knock against him was, and still is, his size. However, the modern NFL game suits his dynamic speed and elusiveness. He 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. He’s been very hit-or-miss so far in 2023. Perhaps this week, we’ll see him utilized more.


Matthew Golden #2, WR 2025 (6’0”, 190) 

There aren’t a lot of names of note for the Cougars, but the one player I’ll be focusing on is sophomore receiver Matthew Golden. He is a former 4-star recruit who flashed nicely in his first year on campus in 2022. Golden has been all over the map in 2023 but is a player to remember for the future. This game against Texas is a good opportunity for him to showcase his skills to a national audience.

#16 Duke @ #4 Florida State

Saturday, 10/21 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC

#16 Duke

Riley Leonard #13, QB 2024 (6’4, 212) ***INJURED***

The biggest question for this game is if Duke’s junior quarterback Riley Leonard will be on the field or not. Leonard was injured several weeks ago in a loss to Notre Dame. He had been playing quite well beforehand but struggled against the Irish before his injury. The 2024 QB3 discussion is a fascinating one. Leonard is another one of the players who could throw his hat into the ring with a strong finish to the season. He has the size that NFL teams covet, and he’s got a great opportunity to perform well against a good Florida State defense in a primetime game.

#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, Jordan Travis. He has led the Seminoles to an undefeated 6-0 record and a resurgence in the national spotlight. While Travis 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 will be extra important for him as I think he is currently viewed as more of a collegiate quarterback than an NFL prospect.

Trey Benson #3, RB 2024 (6’1”, 223)

The next player to know for FSU is their junior running back, Trey Benson. Coming into the 2023 season, Benson had quite a lot of attention from the NFL Draft community. He had a big breakout year in 2022 and was looking to jump into the discussion as one of the top RBs in the 2024 class. Unfortunately, he’s been rather underwhelming in 2022. He had a monstrous game two weeks ago against Virginia Tech but stumbled against Syracuse last week. The next few weeks will determine if Benson decides to move on to the next level or return for another year.

Keon Coleman #4, WR 2024 (6’4”, 215)

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 03:Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) makes a touchdown reception over LSU Tigers cornerback Duce Chestnut (22) in the second half during the Camping World Kickoff game between the LSU Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles, on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire)

The final player to note is Keon Coleman. Coleman started the season with a bang. He caught 9 passes for 122 yards and 3 scores in the opening game. Unfortunately, he’s cooled off dramatically since then, catching only 11 passes for 156 yards and 3 scores in the four games since. However, last week against Syracuse, he caught 9 passes for 140 yards and a score. We’ve seen the good side of Keon Coleman at times, and his “good” is as good as nearly every other collegiate receiver. I think the NFL will love him and expect him to be drafted in the second or third rounds of the NFL Draft.

#14 Utah @ #18 USC

Saturday, 10/21 | 8:00 PM ET, FOX

#18 USC

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, Caleb Williams. I am very interested in watching how Caleb Williams looks in this game. After last week, which was one of the worst performances we’ve ever seen from Caleb, I expect a much better showing. However, this Utah defense is a very strong unit, and we saw him struggle against the Irish. I’m not concerned about him long-term, but I am eager to watch him play this week.

Brendan Rice  #2, WR 2024 (6’3”, 210)

One of Caleb’s favorite targets this year has been senior wideout Brendan Rice. If you weren’t aware, Brendan is the son of San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice. Brendan has had a bit of an underwhelming career but really seems to be shining in 2023. I think the athletic testing portion of the pre-draft process will have a particularly large impact on how NFL teams view Rice. Right now, I think Day 2 of the NFL Draft is a bit of a longshot but not out of the question.

Arizona State @ #5 Washington

Saturday, 10/21 | 10:30 PM ET, FS1

Arizona State

Elijhah Badger #2, WR 2024 (6’2”, 190) 

The majority of the noteworthy players in this game reside on the Washington side of the ball. However, when ASU’s offense is on the field, I will be watching their junior receiver, Elijhah Badger. He has been their most lethal weapon through the air this year, catching 33 passes for 422 yards and 2 scores. We all know that Washington has a high-flying offense, but if Arizona State is going to keep this remotely close, we’ll likely see Badger be a big factor as to why.

#5 Washington

Michael Penix Jr. #9, QB 2024 (6’3”, 213) 

For Washington, their top prospect is still their sixth-year senior quarterback, Michael Penix Jr. Penix will likely be a top-15 draft pick. He has been unbelievable this year, completing 72.1% of his passes for 2,301 yards and 20 touchdowns, with only 3 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. I may be stubborn, but I don’t think Penix will crack my top 2 QBs in this class. He’s in a battle for the QB3 position, but that’s as high as I think he’ll get.

Rome Odunze #1, WR 2024 (6’3”, 215) 

SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 14: Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) catches a ball from Husky quarterback Michael Penix (not pictured) during a PAC12 football game between the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies on October 14, 2023 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire)

After Penix, the next prospect to know is wideout Rome Odunze. At 6 ‘3”, Odunze presents a prototypical NFL WR size. He has been the favorite target of Penix so far this season, catching 40 passes for 736 yards and 6 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. I think that will get him drafted in the late second to mid-third round of the NFL Draft.

Jalen McMillan #11, WR 2024 (6’1”, 192) ***INJURED***

The final player to know for the Huskies is Jalen McMillan. He re-injured his knee during last week’s game against Oregon, and it is unclear whether or not we’ll see him on the field against ASU. Assuming he can get back on the field and that his knee checks out as fully healthy and structurally sound during the pre-draft process, McMillan should be, at worst, an early-Day 3 NFL pick.

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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