Spring ball has wrapped up and soon enough summer practices will begin at campuses across America. College football often offers us plenty of surprises, whether it be an unexpected upset, a team that comes out of nowhere to have rousing success, or a player who suddenly breaks out and turns into one of the best in the nation.
Using the preliminary S&P+ rankings from SB Nation’s Bill Connelly as a guide, I’ll be going through each FBS team and highlighting some players to watch for during the upcoming season. Some are draft eligible, while others are names for devy owners to remember.
In this edition, I’ll look at players from the 64-60 portion of the rankings.
64. Wake Forest
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Cam Serigne, Tight End, Senior
Serigne has been Wake Forest’s top receiving threat since the moment he stepped on campus, with over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career. He’s also posted Dominator Ratings of 33%, 26%, and 26% in his three seasons as a Demon Deacon, which are elite numbers for a tight end.
At 6’3”, 245 pounds, Serigne is on the smaller sides for tight ends but this shouldn’t affect his pro potential too much. He’s consistently shown solid route running ability, speed that lets him get behind linebackers, excellent hands, and good open field ability. He’s also improved his vertical game in each of his three years in school, going from 9.8 yards per catch his freshman year, to 12.2 his sophomore year, and finally 14.2 last year.
With consistent production and possessing many excellent traits, he could potentially be a starter one day in the NFL. I am concerned about his age (he’ll be 24 when he takes his first NFL snap) and I’m not sure how well he’ll test in the vertical and broad jumps. Serigne should be one of the most productive tight ends in college football again this year, which should help him get picked at some point during next year’s NFL Draft.
Jamauri Wakefield, Running Back, True Freshman
Current starter Ralph Webb will graduate after this season, leaving the door open for Jamauri Wakefield to take over Vanderbilt’s backfield. The 6’1”, 220 pound Wakefield was a three star recruit last year who spurned offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, and Wake Forest to attend Vanderbilt. He redshirted last year but once Webb graduates, there is little competition at the running back position on Vanderbilt’s roster, and I’d expect Wakefield to take over as the workhorse for the Commodores program. Wakefield has added 10 pounds of muscle since arriving on campus, and boasts a team high squat of 575 pounds (tied with Webb).
Coach Derek Mason has been talking Wakefield up since the team’s bowl game, even though he was just a scout team back at the time. He was also the talk of spring practice after rushing for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s spring game. While he lacks good long speed, he is an elusive player with solid vision and power. Wakefield could end up being one of the top running backs in the SEC in the coming years, which certainly says a lot about his potential as a player.
Ralph Webb, Running Back, Senior
Webb is a senior and arguably Vanderbilt’s best player. Coming off back to back 1,100+ yard seasons, he’s poised for another big year. At 5’10”, 202 pounds, Webb has adequate size for the position. He’s a tough back whose very tough to bring down, which is likely a result of his tremendous balance. In my opinion his toughness and vision are his two best traits, as these two things are really what make it clear that he works for every yard he gains. However, Webb appears to be limited athletically, particularly in terms of speed. He’s also a very stiff player in terms of his hips and ankles. This makes his strides appear very choppy, even though he may make some defenders miss.
One other aspect of Webb’s game that I like is his receiving ability. He has 55 career receptions, and shows nice hands and natural ability out of the backfield. I would say that he’s a Devonta Freeman-esque player. While Freeman has produced for the Falcons, he was a fourth round pick and I didn’t like him that much coming out of school. I also don’t think that Webb has shown as much on tape as Freeman did. However, Webb has produced more and I’d expect the two to test very similarly. In another deep running back class Webb could go undrafted, but I think he has what it takes to stick around on an NFL roster for a few seasons.
62. Appalachian State
Jalin Moore, Running Back, Senior
Moore burst onto the scene last year after Marcus Cox got hurt, averaging 125 yards and a touchdown per game after he got hurt in the third game of the season. He was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for over 1,400 yards and ten touchdowns. With Cox graduating, Moore could get even more work this year, potentially north of 300 carries.
At 5’11”, 205 pounds, he has solid size for the position. As a recruit, Moore was a zero star player, so he really came out of nowhere to produce last year for the Mountaineers. He’s also going to turn 23 during his rookie year, which has him on the older side of running back prospects. Overall, I think Moore isn’t much of an NFL prospect, but he could have a hugely productive senior year.
Riley Ferguson, Quarterback, Redshirt Senior
Ferguson was an Elite 11 finalist in 2012 who enrolled at Tennessee before going to a junior college for a year. He then signed with Memphis, where he threw for over 3,700 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. He’s a very accurate quarterback with and is phenomenal throwing on the run. Ferguson has a strong arm, and combining this with his above average downfield accuracy makes for him having an exceptional vertical game. However, his pocket presence is something that concerns me. He seems to have happy feet at times and sometimes looks uncomfortable when facing pressure.
Another issue that Ferguson has is that he is a one read quarterback who sometimes locks onto his top option. This helped contributed to him throwing ten interceptions last year, and this problem was particularly evident in his game against Ole Miss. He’ll also be over 23 and a half years old at the time of his first NFL game, which is very old for any player. Ferguson may have a chance to make an NFL team, but ultimately he’s a much better college quarterback than NFL one.
Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Redshirt Senior
Miller burst onto the scene last year, producing over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdown for the Tigers. This included 36% of the team’s yards and 41% team’s touchdown. He possesses excellent speed and very strong hands. He’s also a solid route runner, and all of these traits put together allow him to be a threat to score at any time. Even though he’s only 5’11”, 195 pounds, Miller plays with a physicality that let’s him play like a much bigger player. His leaping ability in jump ball situations also contributes to this play style.
I expect Miller to test very well at the combine, and coupling his athleticism with his production, I would compare him to Emmanuel Sanders. My only concern about Miller right now is that he’s likely to be on the older side since he is a redshirt senior. However, if he puts up phenomenal production again and lives up to my expectations for how he’ll test, I have no reason to see why he can’t fulfill my ranking of WR8 for next year’s draft.
Players to Watch: Eric Dungey, Quarterback, Junior, Steven Ishmael, Wide Receiver, Senior
Latest posts by Kyle Pollock (see all)
- 20/20: Josh Jacobs - February 11, 2019
- Bowl Game Previews: December 22nd - December 22, 2018
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Sam Darnold, QB USC - May 20, 2018