Devy Tweet Storm: SEC and Notre Dame

Rob Willette

Last weekend, I was stuck inside and my mind drifted to the current college football landscape. To escape the bad weather outside, I created a storm of my own…a Tweetstorm. In this series of articles, you’ll find some quick thoughts on every Power Five college football team, plus Notre Dame, and key players from those teams. Remember, you can find more content like this routinely if you follow me on Twitter @RobWillette.


-Rumor has it they quite a bit of talent.

-QB Jalen Hurts really helped them evolve on offense. Passing limitations at this point. Needs to make huge strides there.

Tua Tagovailoa looks advanced. Should push Hurts as early as 2017. Better passer and plenty mobile. QB room looks good.

-Few backs make defenders run in the other direction like Bo Scarbrough. Bruiser. Solid athlete. More passing chops than he has shown. Things have never quite come together for one full year for him, which gives me pause. But incredibly tantalizing prospect. Older.

-I am big on trSO Joshua Jacobs. Very good balance and razor-sharp cuts in the open field. A weapon in the passing game. Found a way to contribute in crowded backfield. Could lead this backfield in 2018. His overall game is rock solid and reliable.

Najee Harris is an easy guy to root for. Runs tough; runs big. Skills in the passing game. Don’t think I will like him as much as Alabama’s other big backs, but he is a NFL player.

Damien Harris does not thrill me. Good at second level. Some quality burst. Not sure he’s dynamic enough to be lead ball carrier in NFL.

B.J. Emmons seems lost in the depth chart. Power runner who lacks the size/versatility of other Tide backs. Good player, just “Bama’d”.

Brian Robinson impressed enough to spring to potentially contribute as a tFR despite loaded backfield. No-nonsense, get downhill runner. With more running panache than first expected. Like him quite a bit and see him earning his niche in backfield.

Calvin Ridley is well-known at this point. Not an alpha, IMO, but rock-solid WR2 in NFL. I wish I had a good old joke right now.

T.J Simmons has gotten a lot of pub throughout spring. Do not know anything about him. Intend to change that.

Jerry Jeudy blew up the spring game. Should play early. Mature game. Wonder if he is a touch undersized (thin) given his game style. But he has time to grow physically. Can eviscerate defenses in intermediate game. The logical Ridley replacement long-term.

-Early enrollee WR Tyrell Shavers has most upside here. Small forward body with incredible straight-line speed. Likely not a year one contributor.

Henry Ruggs is an incredible athlete. Not enrolled until summer. Not your typical receiver but can really thrive in Bama’s short game.


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-Shame Rawleigh Williams had to retire. He was going to factor into 2018 draft class.

-With this news, Devwah Whaley should thrive. Perfect fit for Arkansas offense. Gets downhill. Want to see him more utilized in pass game.

-JUCO WR Brandon Martin getting good buzz. Do not have a good read on him yet. Need to do more work.


-Extremely excited to see Jarrett Stidham under center. Adds a refreshing dimension to this offense: the forward pass. Stidham has legs too. Can make plays on run. Accurate if not booming arm. Heisman dark horse and guy who could mix in next two QB classes.

-RB Kamryn Pettway is a bulldozer. Not sure his style works when the defenders are capable of matching his brutish strength.

-More bullish on Kerryon Johnson. Big back in his own right yet has plus skills in passing game. Great SEC duo. Each can lead backfield.

-Want to see WR Kyle Davis get full reps with Stidham. Bully on the outside. Can make plays in traffic due to fearless mentality. Davis had odd spring absence. Hoping all is well. Physically already a NFL body.

Nate Craig-Myers had a strong spring. Do not like him as much as Davis but he can do some damage after the catch. Should also emerge.

Elijah Stove has a role here. More of a niche player. Not strong on the football field. College talent only.

Marquis McClain had spring moments as well. Another guy physically advanced. Auburn can bully people with their skill position beasts.


Malik Zaire/Feleipe Franks a battle to watch. Long-term, Franks the toolsy quarterback you want to own. High upside/high bust factor.

-Running back Jordan Scarlett looked better as a sophomore. Still room to grow as a runner, but positive gains. Has a ton of natural talent.

-RB Lamical Perine related to Samaje. Has a similar game, though not as good as Samaje. Stash devy prospect in deep leagues.

-On the field I see few weaknesses with Antonio Callaway. Plays big, plucks the ball with his hands, has traits of excellent route runner.

-Still not getting his due respect for 2018 class. Tyrie Cleveland is a physical specimen. Made some huge plays in 2016. Plenty of refinement still to go for Cleveland. But pure upside – physical talent – off the charts. Incredibly gifted.


-A billion backs. Could spend days talking about them. Nick Chubb not the same in 2016; still very good. At 80% of what he was, still a day two back. All the way back, the only guy who can challenge Derrius Guice/Saquon Barkley.

-True freshman DeAndre Swift is awesome. Can spread out wide and make plays as a receiver and is as complete as a runner as they come. Lab-created RB. Expect him to earn looks due to his receiving prowess; potential starter in 2018.

-True sophomore Elijah Holyfield still highly regarded, and rightfully so. Prefer Swift; still acknowledge Holyfield could take this backfield in 2018. Powerful runner who improved greatly late in high school career. Just needs reps and for Chubb/Sony Michel to get out of way.

-Speaking of Sony Michel, he was a bigger recruit than Chubb out of HS. Not the same talent; pretty balanced prospect, however. He does a lot of things well. Productive running back-by-committee player in NFL.

-Forgotten man is Brian Herrien. Had some academic hurdles which prevented him from being a more heralded recruit. Was still solid as a freshman. Has a lot of plus traits. Going to figure in this backfield despite Swift/Holyfield.

-Calvin Ridley’s brother Cavin “Riley” Ridley had a credible freshman season. Good size, decent athleticism. Do not see a ton to get excited about. Much like Calvin, older, and has not splashed with age-weighted metrics. Purely speculative.

-True freshman Jeremiah Holloman has a college-ready game. The best bet to lead this team in receiving 2018 and beyond. Solid prospect.

Isaac Nauta was the rare freshman tight end to contribute. The prototype; early leader for top tight end in 2019. Rare TE to own in devy.

-Forgot #Georgia QB situation: Actually prefer Jake Fromm long-term. Think Jacob Eason has a few flaws which will be exposed in 2017. He’s huge with a great arm, but leaves me a bit underwhelmed. Fromm is a true field general. Just lacks the flash.


-Better talent base than we have seen previously. Headed by running backs.

Benny Snell had great freshman year. Used out of wildcat frequently. Could stand to make athletic gains but encouraging start to career.

-Redshirt freshman A.J. Rose offers a different dynamic. Bit more explosive and should offer nice punch as 1B runner.


Derrius Guice leads the way for Tigers and arguably the nation. Despite limited passing game usage, he is electric in pass game. Neck and neck with Barkley.

-Intrigued by true freshman Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Compact runner with smooth cuts and underrated athleticism. Small but stout. Potentially the lead back in 2018. Really overlooked at the moment.

-I think Les Miles had a type at WR. D.J. Chark is leggy and springy. Not much production but always the case with LSU receivers.

-One of the more athletic receivers in the SEC. Drake Davis is an even better athlete. Raw coming out of HS. Could be the next lead WR.


-No longer just a place to find defensive players. This offense has a lot of talent across the board.

-True sophomore Damarea Crockett is an elite prospect. Very good athlete and finishes runs with attitude. Need to see more in passing game. Though he is highly regarded, still not enough aggressive investments in him. He’s a guy worth betting on.

Drew Lock is toolsy at quarterback. Surely to be divisive; accuracy needs work and there are bouts of inconsistency. Checks a lot of NFL boxes. Likely needs two more years to grow.

-WR J’mon Moore emerged in 2016. Straight-line athlete without much lateral talent. Big and thin; fading him despite production.

Demetrios Mason was a pleasant surprise as a freshman. Plays the WR position like a running back and has a playmakers’ swagger. Mason could be a fast riser for me. Very impressed in limited viewings.

Ole Miss

Shea Patterson takes over and the offense should not miss a beat. Mobile quarterback with improvisational skills. Solid prospect

D.K. Metcalf is the big name on offense. Perhaps the nation’s premier jump ball receiver. Showed some YAC juice in spring game. Want to see a bit more dynanism to his athletic profile before gushing about him. But high upside.

-Fellow sophomore WR A.J. Brown is a tank. Physical and despite limited vert can still make plays on the football in the air. Nick Saban was very high on him as a recruit. Potentially premier WR for 2019.

Van Jefferson had a nice redshirt freshman season. Thin receiver who may struggle with more physical defenders. Good college player at the moment.

Mississippi State

Nick Fitzgerald replaced Dak Prescott admirably. Known mostly for his legs but enough arm talent to keep tabs on him.

-RB Aeris Williams improved each season. Returns as lead back. Big runner with little flash. Quality player; intrigued to see him in 2017.

South Carolinabentley

Jake Bentley accelerated his studies to enter college a year earlier than expected. You would have never known it. Was very efficient as true freshman and showed incredible touch on deep ball. 2019 has few more promising QB prospects.

-True sophomore Rico Dowdle has an odd running style but gets it done. Displayed good balance and mentality in 2016. Value could go either direction in 2017. Needs to really cement his status as top playmaker on this offense. Lot of mouths to feed.

-WR Deebo Samuel is elusive after catch. Has a little Pharoh Cooper in his game. Better athlete than Cooper. Could be big riser in 2017.

-WR Bryan Edwards was extremely impressive as 17 year old in SEC. Looks like an NFL receiver. Dominated cornerbacks physically. Absolutely bullish on him. 2017 could be true breakout party. He and Bentley could quickly become SEC’s best pass-catch duo.


Jon Kelly at RB actually proved to be an upgrade over Jalen Hurd. If there is such a thing as a high character runner, he is it. Kelly is fearless. Tenacious. Underrated.

-Thin depth chart behind Kelly. Carlin Fils-Aime has wheels but not sure his overall game makes him an impact player. Niche back.

-Summer enrollee Ty Chandler is an excellent space player with underrated between the tackle chops. Should be RB2 as true freshman.

-WR and true junior Jauan Jennings plays angry. Attitude is always on the edge in a positive way; nobody outcompetes him. An elite red zone threat as is. Has every opportunity to become premier receiver with Josh Malone moving on.


-I have been accused of being low on Christian Kirk. It is a hill I am currently comfortable dying on. He’s a good football player. I question whether his skills equate to a big fantasy impact. Can he thrive as a pure receiver? More than most he needs a strong system in place. Don’t see him carrying a passing attack.

-True sophomore RB Trayveon Williams eclipsed 1,000 yards a freshman. Ballerina in space; one of the better space backs in college football. If he can add good weight without sacrificing athleticism, a top back for 2019 and premier devy asset.

-True freshman early enrolee Jhamon Austin should contribute immediately. Incredible ball skills and brutish frame. NFL body. Not a speed merchant but doesn’t need to be. Smooth transition to SEC football. Already plays an NFL style and elite freshman prospect.

-True freshman QB Kellen Mond could play in 2017. Bit rocky with accuracy at times but depth chart is not intimidating. Huge ceiling in this O.


-I like HC Derek Mason and think this team produces some good players over the next few seasons.

-Leading with the HC is not a good sign. Senior RB Ralph Webb has a good workhorse profile. Lacks dynamic traits. Webb likely a late round/UDFA type based on productive career.

Notre Dame

-Throwing in the Irish. Curious if Brian Kelly finds a way to pin 2017 losses on DeShone Kizer.

-RB Josh Adams is leggy and unorthodox. Good long speed and pass catching skills. Not sure his running skills lead to feature back. But he is a big back who can catch. Not a common specimen. Would love to see his testing results in agility drills.

-Redshirt sophomore QB Brandon Wimbush leads the Irish in good shape under center. Despite less than ideal size, has big arm and moxie. Could theoretically declare in 2018 but more than likely a 2019 prospect. Good skillset. Breakout season upcoming.

-JR WR Equanimeous St. Brown – or ESB as the cool kids call him – was electric in 2016. Smooth mover with great ball skills. He’s thin and I want to see more theatrics post-catch. Like him, do not love him right now. Still premier prospect for 2018.

-JR Miles Boykin looks ready to finally contribute. Rare movement skills for a mammoth receiver. Needs to fix inconsistent hands. Another tree for Notre Dame outside. Has the physical tools to pop and physically dominate.

-SO WR Chase Claypool is a rare athlete. Size and fluidity galore. Had huge transition out of Canada yet still hit field in 2016. Crazy catch radius and almost makes spectacular catches by accident. Still learning and so much room to grow. One of better devy values.

-RB Tony Jones is ready to emerge. Didn’t play last year but ready to mix in to backfield. Quick and physical, he’s underrated.

-RB Dexter Williams also mixes in behind Josh Adams. Has yet to make the impact many hoped but still oodles of talent. A hold if you own.

-Nobody discusses sophomore WR Kevin Stephenson. He is cut from a different cloth as far as Notre Dame receivers are concerned. He’s got quick feet and gets vertical in a hurry. Do not sleep on him with this group.

If you enjoyed this look at the SEC, check out my thoughts on the other Power Five conferences.


rob willette