Trevor Lawrence: 2021 NFL Top Prospect

Trevor Lawrence has been one of the most well-known college football players since 2018, with many suggesting he is the most prolific QB prospect since Andrew Luck. He has led Clemson to two national championships, and his only loss was in this past year’s national title game. Before January 13, 2020, Lawrence was 29-0 as QB for the Tigers. The knock on Clemson is that the ACC is weak compared to the likes of the SEC. Regardless, Lawrence beat Alabama. He beat Notre Dame. He beat Ohio State. Only LSU has defeated the Lawrence led Tigers. At the basis of this, Trevor Lawrence is a winner.

Standing at 6’6, 220lbs, Trevor Lawrence has the frame that GM’s want in their QB. In 2018, Lawrence aired out 3,280 yards for 30 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In 2019, Lawrence threw for 3,665 yards for 36 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and holding a 65.8 completion percentage. Pair that with 103 rushes for 563 yards and 9 touchdowns, Lawrence showed that he could have been the first overall draft pick in the 2020 draft. He topped every passing category in the ACC in 2019. 7th in Heisman voting in 2019. Back to back ACC championships. A 2018 National Champion. Scouts have been flaunting about Lawrence since he won the starting QB job at Clemson. As we look ahead to the 2020 season, I want to dive into what makes Trevor Lawrence so good.

Arm Strength

Everyone wants their QB to have an absolute cannon, but that just isn’t always the case. You can have a guy that can air it out if need be, but is not always comfortable in doing so. Some guys are great at working off playaction to create miss-matches in the intermediate part of the field. Lots of guys find their success utilizing the short passing game and letting their receivers eat up yardage after the catch. Trevor Lawrence likes throwing the ball down the field. It’s almost like it’s his first read, and damn is he good at it.

Here we are against South Carolina late in the first quarter. A little bit of a slow start for the Clemson offense, but here they are blowing the top off a defense. Lawrence escapes a rush by now 49er Javon Kinlaw and delivers an absolute missile to his receiver, in stride, for a 65 yard touchdown.

Enter in the 2019 ACC championship game against Virginia. 1st quarter, 7-7 ball game, Lawrence getting pressure from his backside to deliver a strike down the field for a touchdown to start the onslaught.

Skip ahead to midway through the 3rd quarter, Lawrence darts the nail in the coffin on a deep toss to setup inside the goal-line.

As pleasing as it is to see a QB launch the ball down the field, delivering a strike with some serious velocity is just as beautiful. Here we have Clemson looking to end the half with a score. 2nd and 13 with 0:50 left on the board, Lawrence delivers a ball into the tightest of windows.

Seeing Lawrence roll to the left and throwing across his body with such fluidity and releasing with velocity is what separates himself from the pack.


Having the power to make throws is one thing, being able to be accurate is another. Lawrence has shown time and again that he can deliver the ball in the perfect spots for his receiver without the defender to make a play. I’ll just let these clips from his game against South Carolina in 2019 do the talking.

Those throws seem so easy for Lawrence, and maybe it is. South Carolina does not have the premier corners that the big-time schools have. But wait, Ohio State does. This first clip shows Lawrence’s ability to give his receiver a shot, without allowing the defenders to come up with an interception. The corner was able to force his route more towards the sideline so the receiver wouldn’t have the space to make the grab that he otherwise would.

Insert Jeffrey Okudah, the third pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, into the equation. He is a lock-down corner in terms of man-to-man coverage. Lawrence delivered the ball in a spot where only his receiver was able to make the grab in anticipation that Okudah would be on his back hip, which he was not.

Running Ability

Being a proficient passer is the number one duty to being a QB. Adding the threat of rushing creates an enormous amount of headaches for opposing defenses. Lawrence isn’t a Lamar Jackson type of runner, but he is very productive.

Back to the ACC Championship, early in the 1st quarter, Lawrence executes a read option that is crucial in forcing defenses to respect his rushing game. Here, a nice 15 yard carry gets him the first down.

South Carolina, early first quarter. Often times, you’ll see QB’s scramble out of the pocket to find a receiver and either force a throw or throw the ball out of bounce. Lawrence can’t locate an open receiver, sees open grass, and takes it inside the 5.

After watching Lawrence over the past two years, I rarely see him slide. He plays the game hard, which I can’t criticize. However, if I’m a GM, and I’m paying my QB millions of dollars, I do not want himself to take unnecessary hits. For example, his playoff game against OSU in 2019. 3rd and 2, Lawrence has the easy first down. Just slide.

With that said, he also gives himself a chance to make a play like this.

Trevor Lawrence vs Chase Young

Chase Young, now Washington Redskin (#2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft), had an opportunity to slow Lawrence down by attacking him from his blind side. Two plays in particular caught my attention. First, in the 1st quarter, Lawrence is faced with a 3rd and 10, already down by 10. In an attempt to make a play, Lawrence scrambles to his left, only to be met by Young.

Lawrence 1. Young 0. 3rd quarter, Clemson now up by 5. 1st and 10, Lawrence finds Young chasing and beats him around the edge for a nice pick up.

Pressure Situations

Here is when the money is made. Let me set the stage for you. Trevor Lawrence is 28-0 in his career. College Football semi-final vs #2 ranked Ohio State. 4th quarter, 3:06 left to go, down by 2. Lawrence sets up shop deep in his own territory at the 6 yard line. In Trevor Lawrence fashion, history ensues.


Trevor Lawrence is currently the favorite to be the first overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has shown that he has all of the tools to be a starting QB in the league. What I will say is that I do not expect him to have a Heisman campaign in the fall. I would like to see him put up the same, if not better, numbers than he did last season. Preferably, less interceptions and more completions. However, as we will get into, I would not be surprised to see a guy break out next year and over take him in next year’s draft. Who that will be? Maybe one of the next few guys I will cover. If you made it this far, I thank you. I would appreciate if you would follow the blog and like us on Facebook.


Talent Disparity in College Football: Inner Monologue Vol.6

As we make our way into the 2019 season of college football, the CFP rankings currently sit as Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, and Oklahoma. Familiar teams continue their dominance, most notably Alabama and Clemson. This goes all the way back to when the College Football Playoff began in the 2014-15 season. Alabama has played in the playoffs every year. Clemson missed the inaugural playoff, but has made every playoff after. Oklahoma has made the playoff 3 of the 5 years. These three teams are seemingly dominating their respected conferences and schedules with relative ease. Sure, they may have a game each year that goes to the last few minutes or OT, but they always prevail. Then you have the likes of Ohio State and Georgia who always get so close, yet OSU has made the trip twice and Georgia once. So what gives?

If you go back and look at who has been dominating the recruiting game, it’s easy to guess. From 2016 to 2019, Alabama has 58 Five Star recruits, Georgia has 47, Clemson has 26, Ohio State has 34. Now if you look at a team like Michigan, they have 12. Notre Dame has 2. Florida has 8. The drop off is incredible. Now, people like to come back with the argument of having four and three star recruits. Sure, let’s have that argument.

                      2019 2018
  5-Stars 4-Stars 3-Stars 5-Stars 4-Stars 3-Stars
Alabama 11 58 13 12 51 18
Ohio State 13 47 25 11 55 17
Georgia 14 45 25 14 47 24
Clemson 7 33 33 9 37 24
Michigan 4 36 38 4 40 39
Florida 1 39 35 2 33 43
Notre Dame 1 46 35 1 43 38

The disparity is clear. Then the question becomes, why is this happening? Well, as I mentioned before, who has been competing for National Championships? Kids want to win rings, and they are going to the schools that are giving them the best chance to. With a four team playoff, there are not many teams to pick from. As you can see, Alabama and Georgia are the top teams in the SEC, Ohio State is the best team in the B1G 10, and Clemson is a sure winner of the ACC.

Then we look at which teams are putting players in the NFL. In the 2019 NFL Draft, Alabama led the country with 10 players drafted, Ohio State being second with 9 players, and fifth being Georgia with 7. As far as conferences go, SEC is dominating recruiting, which in turn, the SEC is dominating the draft year in and out with 64 players being drafted last year alone. The numbers speak for themselves.

Is there a problem with this? Alabama has created a dynasty. Clemson may be creating a dynasty. Georgia is giving Bama a run for their money. Ohio State looks like the best team in the country, and has been the best team in the B1G 10 the last few years. Oklahoma has nobody keeping up with them in the B1G 12. With these trends continuing, I don’t see much of these teams dropping out of the playoff race. Rather, I think they will just continue to grow putting themselves into a whole other tier of college football, leaving the “have-nots” playing for nothing. Is this discouraging? Sure. Is it fair? I don’t see what’s wrong with the principles of this. This is the consequence of giving the people what they wanted, the college football playoff.

If there was to be a solution to this, it would have to be an expansion in the college football playoff. Moving to 8 teams would allow for recruits to have a better chance of getting their ring, while being on a team that they have an immediate impact. These five star recruits are waiting an extra year or two to see the field because the five star recruits at their position from the year’s prior are in their spot. Some people have been proposing that expanding to a 12 or 16 team playoff would be even better, but then it becomes teams are playing that don’t belong. If the playoffs were to start today, would people really want to see a game between #1 Alabama vs #16 Boise State. I mean, let’s be honest, the spread would be about 31 points. With an 8 team system, we would be looking at #1 Alabama playing against #8 Wisconsin (Jonathan Taylor). That would be far more interesting, especially seeing how JT handles himself against a stout Alabama defense.

My case is that disparity in college football is a reality. These broadcasters and analysts that are saying that the amount of 5-star recruits a team has compared to another doesn’t matter are absolute idiotic. The same teams are landing the big name recruits, and these same teams are playing in January. I just want to bring to light that recruiting is a big factor in how teams are playing, coaching aside. It’s easier to go out on the field on Saturday with a 5-star team than it is coaching up a team of 3-star players. Of course not all five stars pan out, but I’m not considering the outliers because, well, they are outliers. The college football system is among the most exciting brand of sports, but the disparity is making the game predictable and repetitive.

Don’s Top 10 Defensive Players: 2019 College Football Rankings

It would have been easier to rank each defensive group individually, however, I’m on a time crunch so I figured I would just group them all together and as the season progresses, I will separate each position. It’s not fair nor possible to compare a safety to an edge rusher because they’re different. I decided to put this list together based on talent and how much impact I think each player has on a game. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson; Joe Bachie, LB, Michigan State; Raekwon Davis, DE, Alabama; Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame

10. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

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Dylan Moses is the player to watch on this Alabama defense. Formerly a 5-star recruit, Moses will be playing as an interior linebacker for this Alabama group. Alabama has been notorious for having a very good linebacker group, specifically in the middle of the field. This will be Moses’ first season being the sole contributor at the Mike, so expect to hear his name quite often while watching the Tide in the fall.

9. Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern

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via Northwestern Athletics

Paddy Fisher is the best run-stopping linebacker in college. His ability to fill the gap and make a tackle is fun to watch. I would like to see Fisher to be higher on this list, but I want to see Fisher show off some pass rushing ability. If he can develop a knack for rushing the QB, then expect Fisher to fly up NFL big boards.

8. Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

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via 24/7 Sports

Gross-Matos took the 2018 season by storm by racking up 8 sacks with 20 tackles for loss. He’s the type of player that coaches game-plan against, but no matter what you do, he will make the play. If you run inside of him, he’s hitting you in the mouth. If you run outside of him, he’s chasing you down and grabbing you for a loss. Stay in the pocket to long? Sack. The DE’s in the Big 10 are absolutely incredible, because four of the ten players on this list are DE’s in the Big 10.

7. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

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via Virginia Sports

Bryce Hall terrorized receivers in 2018, leading the nation in pass breakups and passes defended. Hall allowed on 34 completions in 13 games. He is the definition of a no fly zone. Now entering his senior year, this Virginia defense has the ability to really make some noise with Hall leading the helm. If Hall continues his play, look for him being the number one corner entering the 2020 NFL draft.

6. Derrick Brown, DT, Aurburn

All-SEC DL Derrick Brown returning to Auburn for senior season

via  Todd Van Emst/ Auburn Athletics

SEC coaches were not happy to here that Derrick Brown was returning to Auburn for his senior season. Why? Because he was already projected to be a first rounder in the 2019 NFL draft, but he is returning to the 2019 season after being selected to the all-SEC team. Brown is looking to show scouts his ability to rush the passer, after accumulating 4.5 sacks last season. I’m excited to see how Brown attacks QB Justin Herbert week 1 when Oregon comes down to meet Auburn.

5. Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State

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via Michigan State Athletics

Kenny Willekes will be coming off a leg injury that occurred at the end of last season, but he is expected to be at full strength. Over the last two years, Willekes has 15.5 sacks and 35 tackles for loss. The dynamic between Willekes and Bachie is one that is to be feared by opposing offenses. The problem lies to MSU’s offense, which is hoping to have a bounce back season.

4. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

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via 24/7 Sports

The safety/linebacker hybrid, Isaiah Simmons, is now the leader of the Clemson defense. After losing nearly their entire defensive line, Simmons is expected to pick up some of the lost pieces. Entering his junior season, Simmons was the tackle leader last year for Clemson with 97 total tackles. With that, 9 of them were for a loss. Simmons had one interception, which he ran back for a touchdown. He was listed as a safety last season, but I’m expecting him to put some weight on and become a powerhouse linebacker.

3. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

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via Hawkeye Sports

The story line this season will be Epenesa vs Young. Unfortunately, we will not see the two play. What we will see is Epenesa play Gross-Matos, which is another of the four Big 10 DE’s. Regardless, an argument can be made to have Epenesa at the top of this list. He is already projected by some to be the number one selected Edge to be taken in 2020, and is drawing comparisons to the Bosa brothers. In 2018, Epenesa totaled 37 tackles with 16.5 of them being for loss and 10.5 of them being sacks. Look for another big season from Epenesa as he makes a push towards the 2020 NFL Draft.

2. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

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via USA Today

Rounding out the Edge rushers is Chase Young, the predecessor to the Bosa brothers reign of OSU anchors. It’s a tough task to replace such talent, but Chase Young is looking to be even better than the Bosa’s were. His stats are comparable to Epenesa, 33 tackles (14.5 being for loss) and 9.5 sacks. I’m predicting Young to have a better season than Epenesa this year, and with OSU having a tougher schedule, I think he will be entering the 2020 draft as the premiere Edge rusher.

1. Grant Delpit, S, LSU

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via 24/7 Sports

Just to establish credibility, in 2016, I had Jamal Adams as the top player in college. In 2017, I had Derwin James as the top defensive player in college. In 2018, I had Quinnen Williams, who although is unproven in the NFL, I’m still holding a great track record. Grant Delpit is set to have a HISTORIC season. Last year, Delpit had 74 tackles, 9 being for a loss, 5 were sacks, and he had 5 interceptions. Incredible numbers, and I truly believe he is going to do so much more. I’m hoping LSU pulls their offense together because with Delpit being the best defensive player in college, they have a chance to pull off a run for the title. I expect the other nine here on this list to move up and down, but Grant Delpit is most likely going to sit at the top spot all year.

Don’s Top 10 Quarterbacks: 2019 College Football Rankings

While doing the Top 10 Running Backs and Wide Receivers, I struggled with the lists because of how much talent there is in college in those positions. While making this list, I found that the top 3 QB’s are no doubt in my mind. However, after that, no QB really gave me the definite, concrete evidence on why they are top 10. I did not include QB’s that are going into their first starting season because they do not have tape for me to really judge. At the end of the season, I do expect Justin Fields and Jacob Eason to crack the top 10. Let’s get into it.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Love, Utah State; Adrian Martinez, Nebraska; Ian Book, Notre Dame; Justin Fields, Ohio State; Jacob Eason, Washington 

10. D’Eriq King, Houston

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via Houston Athletics

D’Eriq King comes in at the 10 spot after an incredible first season at Houston. Throwing for 36 touchdowns and rushing for 14, King might be the best dual-threat QB in college. King has a chance to solidify himself as a top QB this year when he opens the season against Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma week 1. I expect that game to be the typical, exciting, high-scoring game that all fans need and love. Week 1, Houston vs Oklahoma, get ready.

9. K.J. Costello, Stanford

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via Grant Shorin, Stanford Athletics

Stanford is coming off an 8-4 season with a bowl win against a tough Pittsburgh team. Leading this is QB KJ Costello, who threw for over 3,500 yards and added 29 touchdowns with that. The problem I see with Costello is his 11 interceptions. Costello is a 2020 NFL prospect, so I’m expecting him to bring those interceptions down. With Whiteside now playing on Sundays, Costello needs to find a way to lead Stanford past a tough schedule.

8. Mason Fine, North Texas

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via North Texas Athletics

Mason Fine is heading into his senior season at North Texas with almost 10,000 yards under his belt. He’s been the CUSA Player of the Year for the past two seasons, and has only progressed forward. Look for Mason Fine to have a terrific year, with NFL scouts eyeing him. A 4,000 yard season with 35+ touchdowns is expected, and I think will be the bar for Fine.

7. Shea Patterson, Michigan

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via Michigan Athletics

Out of everyone on this list, everybody’s job is relatively safe. Shea Patterson, on the other hand, must deal with two promising QB’s behind him on the depth chart, Dylan McCaffery and Joe Milton. Patterson’s numbers do not jump off the sheet, but, with Josh Gattis now leading Michigan’s offense, I’m hoping, as all Michigan’s fans are, that Patterson lights it up this season.

6. Sam Ehlinger, Texas

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via Texas Athletics

When talking about dual threats, Sam Ehlinger is in that conversation. Over the last few years, critics have talked about whether “Texas Football” is back. Well, Ehlinger has made Texas relevant again. In 2018, Ehlinger threw for nearly 3,300 yards with 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Along with that, Ehlinger rushed for 480 yards and 16 touchdowns. Texas and Ehlinger’s true test this season will be week 2 when LSU comes into town.

5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Image result for jalen hurts oklahoma

via Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

What a roller coaster Jalen Hurts and his story has been over the course of his college career. He went from being the 2016 SEC Player of the Year and leading the Crimson Tide to two national championship games (2016 & 2017) to being benched in the 2017 National Championship, to then end up transferring to Oklahoma. This story is one that I will be most intrigued with this season, just because I want Oklahoma to take down Alabama because of this whole situation. Hurts has some big shoes to fill as well, with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray being the last two QB’s that have played for Oklahoma.

4. Jake Fromm, Georgia

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via Jeff Sentell/DawgNation

Jake Fromm broke out during his freshmen season, leading Georgia to the National Championship. Many believed he would be the next face of college football, and although he has not played poorly, he hasn’t been what everyone once believed. Regardless, Fromm is still a top 5 QB, with a Georgia team that should make some noise in 2019. Look for Fromm to make or break his NFL draft stock this season.

3. Justin Herbert, Oregon

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via Oregon Athletics

Justin Herbert may have been the number one overall pick if he would have entered the 2019 NFL Draft. However, Herbert decided to return to the Oregon Ducks with hopes of leading them to the title game. Physically, Herbert may be the most gifted of all NFL Draft prospects. However, he needs to improve his completion percentage and interception rate to really bring this Oregon team to the next level.

2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Image result for trevor lawrence

via Sports Illustrated

Here is what is going to bring the argument to the table. Lawrence vs Tagovailoa. At first, I had Lawrence ahead of Tua, no questions asked. That’s just from what I watched during last year’s national championship game. I think Lawrence is a heisman favorite this year, and he will lead Clemson to another national championship. He threw for over 3,000 yards with 30 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Along with this, he is returning Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross to his weaponry. This offense has the possibility of being an all-time great unit.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

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via Alabama Athletics

Tua Tagovailoa is the best QB in college. He was just shy of throwing for 4,000 yards last season and added 43 touchdowns to that number. It’s easy to hate Alabama, and I love seeing them down, but I can’t bet against Tua. He throws to three of the best college receivers in the nation. Me saying that should take away some sort of acknowledgement because it could be said that they make him look better than he is, but I think that Tua would excel with anyone catching his ball. The Tua vs Lawrence argument is going to be a fun thing to watch.

Don’s Top 10 Wide Receivers: 2019 College Football Rankings

Looking forward to the 2020 NFL Draft, it is expected that the wide receiver class coming out will be just as good, if not better, than the 2014 Draft (OBJ, Mike Evans, Jarvis Landry, Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks). Names are going to be left off this list that I wish wouldn’t be, however, these ten are sure talent. Furthermore, I think most of these guys are going to be exceptional talents at the next level. The craziest thing is that two receivers from both Alabama and Clemson made this list, and a third from Alabama was just shy of cracking my top ten. Let’s get into it.

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama



Jerry Jeudy is now a household name across the nation, being praised by many college football experts. NFL scouts are looking at Jeudy as a possible OBJ type of player. If you turn on Jeudy’s tape, every play gets better and better. His route-running is Pro-Bowl caliber, which coincides with his catching ability. Jeudy beats defenders down the field, and if defenders are able to keep up, he is still catching the ball. The dynamic between Tua and Jeudy is the best in college football. In 2018, Jeudy racked up over 1,300 yards with 14 touchdowns. With the abundance of talent down in Tuscaloosa, I don’t expect Jeudy to have an astronomical season on the stat sheet, but he is going to be fun to watch.

2. Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

via Sports Illustrated

Laviska Shenault is my favorite receiver as of right now. Last year it was N’Keal Harry, who I see the same resemblance of play-making ability. Laviska is a big body that can run, catch, and score. What more could you possibly ask for? In 2018, Shenault caught 86 passes for 1,011 yards and 6 touchdowns. Along with that, he had 17 rushes for 115 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is Colorado’s heart and soul, and I’m excited to see what he brings into the 2019 season.

3. Rondale Moore, Purdue

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If you haven’t heard of this kid, do a quick search. He was the freshman sensation last year that torched Ohio State. In fact, go back and watch his film from that game. Similarly to Shenault, Moore is Purdue’s offense. He is not as big as Shenault, but he plays similarly. In his freshman season, Moore caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also utilized in Purdue’s run game, having 21 carries for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. We still have two seasons of Moore, and I expect Moore to be at the top of my list next year.

4. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

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via Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Last year we had Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, this year we have CeeDee “Showtime” Lamb. With no Kyler Murray, Lamb is still in great shape with former Alabama QB Jalen Hurts leading Oklahoma’s offense. Lamb is a more intriguing prospect than Brown in my opinion due to his size and speed. Also, let’s not forget his catch radius. If Hurts can throw anywhere around Lamb, he is catching the ball, no question.

5. Tee Higgins, Clemson

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via Mike Comer/Getty Images

The first of the Clemson dynamic duo, Tee Higgins is Trevor Lawrence’s sure target. He is similar to Lamb in the fact that just throw the ball in his general area, and he will find a way to make the catch. Not to mention, Higgins is 6’4. If Lawrence throws the ball up, Higgins is jumping over the defender to make the catch, as he did plenty of times in the 2018 season. It’s going to be interesting to watch this Clemson team with the abundance of talent they have on that offense.

6. Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

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via Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Tylan Wallace attracted much attention last year after decimating defenses with his ability to track down the long ball. With over 1,400 yards last season, I expect Wallace to cement himself as a top 5 receiver in the nation this upcoming season. His ability to beat defenders is almost second to none. Last season, Wallace was just shy of 1,500 receiving yards with only 86 catches. He averages over 17 yards a catch, absolute insanity.

7. Justyn Ross, Clemson

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via Sports Illustrated

Speed. That’s what I get when I watch Justyn Ross. He is the perfect duo to match with Higgins for Trevor Lawrence. After beating the corner down the sideline countless times, Ross is able to run a hard comeback, use his agility to make the corner miss him, and outrun any defender around him. Some argue that Ross is a better receiver than Higgins, so I’m keeping a close eye on the two heading into next season.

8. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

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Look, I know Eric Waddle can be put here, but Henry Ruggs III has the best hands in college football. Watching him catch the football is a beautiful sight. The process of him making a catch is so fluid, it’s satisfying to watch with Tua throwing his way. This Alabama receiving group may go down as one of the best ever.

9. K.J. Hamler, Penn State

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via Mark Selders, Penn State Athletics

K.J. Hamler is Penn State’s new play-maker. First it was Saquon Barkley, then Miles Sanders, now it’s the K.J. Hamler show. Even last year, some argued that Hamler out shined Sanders. He plays all around the offense, from the X to the Z to the H. He can line up in the backfield, he can motion across the line, he can really do it all. Hell, he even returns kicks for Penn State. Entering the 2019 season, eyes are on Penn State to see what they can do to compete in the Big-10 East, and their leader is K.J. Hamler.

10. Jalen Reagor, TCU

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via TCU Athletics

Jalen Reagor is now starting to get the recognition he deserves. He’s quick, fluid, and shifty. Once he gets into open space, good riddance. Expect Reagor to shoot up draft boards once the season gets under way, because he is a big time deep threat for TCU. Me saying big time doesn’t really do it justice. Reagor is reported to run a 4.29 40, and honestly from his film, it shows. He gets to top speed quickly, and there is no catching him.

Honorable Mention: Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC; Jaylen Waddle, Alabama; Nico Collins, Michigan; Collin Johnson, Texas; Justin Jefferson, Texas


Don’s Top 10 Running Backs: 2019 College Football Rankings

With the 2019 CFB season right around the corner, I wanted to see which players I should be on the lookout for. After digging around, I decided that I should just watch the top players, write some notes about them, and put them in my own order. For the first edition of this mini series, I decided to start with running backs. I conducted a list of 30 backs from numerous sources. I then committed a cardinal sin of only watching their highlight tapes. I then narrowed that list down to 15 players, watched a few games of each, and then made my final judgement. Enjoy!

1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin



Jonathan Taylor is the best running back in college football, period. In his two years at Wisconsin, he has 4,174 yards with 29 touchdowns on 606 carries. Those yards and touchdowns are quarterback stats. Unfortunately, the Heisman has been taken from him due to record breaking quarterbacks. Regardless, look at his film. Look at his highlights. Jonathan Taylor runs harder than anyone I have looked at heading into the 2019 season. He isn’t much of a threat in the passing game, which I am not a fan of, but he doesn’t need to be. Wisconsin just hands him the ball and lets him do his business. Mind you, he is also playing in the Big-10, these aren’t Big-12 defenses. Look for Taylor to make a push for the Heisman once again this season.

2. D’Andre Swift, Georgia


via Joe Robbins

I could make an argument for Etienne being here at two as well, but I’m putting Swift ahead of him based on the fact that Swift is both quick and powerful. His numbers do not reflect those of Swift’s, but that’s due to the loaded backfield that Georgia has each year. I’m looking forward to the 2020 Draft to see the Swift vs Etienne arguments to be the number one back taken. Even though Taylor is the best running back in college, Swift and Etienne should and, most likely, will be taken before him due to the fact that they can be a weapon in the passing game.

3. Travis Etienne, Clemson


via Carl Ackerman Jr

Out of the three, Travis Etienne is definitely the most dangerous in open space. Even more so, Etienne has the ability to find open space regularly. He doesn’t have to bulldoze defenders like Taylor, he just out runs them. Like Swift, he has a predominant role in Clemson’s passing game. I would not be surprised if Etienne ends up being at the top of this list once the 2019 season ends, he’s that good. Last year, Etienne accumulated over 1,600 yards with 24 touchdowns. That is one season alone. Again, this is based on limited film review, but 24 touchdowns in one season should be enough for him to be at the top of this board. This should be another great season for Etienne and the Clemson Tigers.

4. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt


via USA Today

Go on YouTube, type in Ke’Shawn Vaughn vs Baylor, and enjoy the show. Vaughn is a top tier talent stuck on a terrible team with terrible offensive-line. Honestly, his situation is like Barry Sanders’ in a way. Vaughn is also the truth because he is in the SEC, where they do send plenty of defensive players into the draft. In the two games I watched from last year, Vaughn is an asset in the pass game, however, Vandy’s QB is utter garbage and can’t get him the ball. I’m looking forward to see what he’s going to bring heading into this season.

5. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State



Now with Mike Weber gone, J.K. Dobbins enters the 2019 season as the sole ball carrier for the Buckeyes. While watching Dobbins, I noticed a few things. One, he’s super shifty. One he gets passed the line, he can makes linebackers look lost trying to grab him. Secondly, if they do grab him, he is able to shake them off and maintain balance throughout his run. Lastly, he has incredible vision. As he navigates across the line of scrimmage, Dobbins seems to always know exactly where and how he is going to create a big run. I expect Dobbins to be Justin Fields’ best weapon this next season.

6. C.J. Verdell, Oregon


via Twitter @EricEvansPhoto

CJ Verdell is the exact running back you would expect from the Oregon Ducks. He’s fast, he’s elusive, and he can catch the ball. Playing with speed at the tempo Oregon plays with is a tough task, but Verdell has not disappointed me while watching his film. He’s a perfect target for Justin Herbert, usually able to make at least one defender miss. What Verdell lacks is physicality, however, as I mentioned, he makes up in speed. This Oregon team should be able to make a run in the Pac-12.

7. Cam Akers, Florida State


via AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Similarly to Vaughn, Cam Akers is stuck with a garbage team. I actually felt bad for him while watching his film because his QB can’t throw and his line can’t block. He had a down year last year, mainly due to injury issues. Reports came out that Akers is now one-hundred percent and looking to prove a point. Well, I’m hoping that Florida State fixes their line issues because Akers is a special talent. Like most of the other backs mentioned, he has a role in the passing game, but as I said, his QB is trash. If Florida State is back to where they need to be, Akers can show why he is a top back in the NCAA.

8. A.J. Dillon, Boston College

AJ Dillon

via AP Photo/Michael Conroy

I’ll admit, I was wrong about A.J. Dillon. Initially, I was going to leave him off this list. Luckily, I actually watched some of his tape and thank the lord I did. A.J. Dillon is a big kid, 245lbs at 6’0. That’s fullback size. However, he’s quicker than I thought he would be. The most surprising thing about all of what I saw was that he is actually a weapon in Boston College’s pass game. I am going to be looking at Dillon a lot closer this next season to truly see what his impact is.

9. Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma


via 24/7 Sports

I was unsure whether or not Brooks would even be on Oklahoma’s roster this season due to some allegations against him, however, it is likely that he will be rejoining the Sooners. Therefore, I believe he belongs on this list. Brooks explodes through the line, which is good and bad. He’s so fast through that his offensive line doesn’t have time to reach the second layer of defense. However, Brooks has the speed and agility to make tacklers miss. While watching his film, he was used in the passing game, but usually as a check down. I’m intrigued on how Brooks and this Sooners team will be without Murray this next year.

10. Najee Harris, Alabama



Rounding out the list is Najee Harris. I’ll be honest, if Harris was on any other team in college football, he would probably be a top 5 back right now. However, with the crowded and talented backfield down their in Alabama, Harris still remains in my top 10. Stat wise, Harris isn’t jumping off the sheet for anyone. It’s his film and his size. Najee runs hard, and loves to jump over defenders. Mind you, he’s 6’2 and 230lbs. Similar size to A.J. Dillon, I think Najee is the best back Alabama has had in the last few years. I’m hoping he will be able to shine a bit more this season, however, Alabama has quite the receiving core so I would expect them to utilize them more than their backfield.

Honorable Mention: Zach Moss, Utah; Eno Benjamin, Arizona State; Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU