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Devy Roundup: Week Five

We cover some top college performances from over the weekend and look ahead to next week.

Zamir White

The SEC showcases the best of college football and the stars shine brightest when two SEC teams clash. Arkansas earned its first SEC win since 2017 by defeating the “potent” Mississippi State team coming off their huge win versus LSU last week. Georgia and Alabama are on a collision course and will meet in two weeks. Florida looks potent and dangerous. Tennessee looks perched to potentially wreak some havoc as well.

Several teams suffered upsets and the Big-12 were the biggest victims. Perennial powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma fell to TCU and Iowa State. Oklahoma is in danger of falling out of the Top 25 with a 1-2 record. UCF lost to Tulsa, ending their yearly flirt with BCS bowl consideration early this season.

I will try to highlight different players from week to week with a mention of the players who did what we expect them to do. I don’t want to talk about Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts every week, especially if they aren’t doing anything to affect their draft stock.

All of the final scores can be found here.

Top Devy Performers

Zach Wilson, QB BYU

Wilson’s accuracy was nearly flawless as he completed 24 of 26 passes versus Louisiana Tech. He threw for 325 yards with two touchdowns while adding in 43 yards with three touchdowns on the ground.

If the early consistency sustains, Wilson will rise up draft boards. He’s got a wicked strong arm and throws well on the run. His mobility adds an extra element in which NFL teams are starting to utilize more. Wilson is at the tail end of my second tier of draft-eligible quarterbacks for 2021 but is proving he should be elevated.

Matt Corral, QB OLE MISS

Corral dissected the Wildcat defense en route to the Rebels’ 42-41 overtime win. The redshirt sophomore completed 24 of his 29 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 51 yards.

Corral initially committed to Florida but flipped and ended up attending Ole Miss as a four-star top-100 prospect.

Dissecting what I’ve seen thus far, he’s improved light years since 2019. The coaching staff rotates in John Rhys Plumlee and it seems to affect Corral’s rhythm. Plumlee is far more dangerous as a runner. Corral is more confident this year and is completing over 76% of his passes. He moves well in the pocket and spreads the ball all over the field.

I want to see his confidence and improvement continue before I make huge changes. In the first two games, I was impressed. Corral was likely to be drafted late if at all on what we had before this season. He could declare after this season and enter this draft if he continues with the improved play.

Mac Jones, QB Alabama

Before the season, most analysts didn’t have the highest expectations for Alabama’s new quarterback. Jones was solid in the few games he played in 2019 but not spectacular. Against Texas A&M on Saturday, he completed 20 of 27 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns.

The weekly challenges never stop in the SEC and he is throwing to a ridiculously talented stable of receivers. Some of the throws he has made were to wide-open receivers, inflating his numbers a little. However, Jones has great footwork and makes sound decisions. He has solid mechanics and excels throwing to the second level of the field. The deep ball is adequate but not a strength.

With highly-touted recruit Bryce Young in the wings, the pressure will be on Jones to continue to excel. The pressure on the Tide to win a title is higher than normal this year and if Jones leads them to the promised land – he will continue to rise up draft boards.

Zamir White, RB GEORGIA

Georgia looks exceptional this year and “Zeus” is one of the big reasons. He rushed for 88 yards on 19 carries against Auburn and scored two touchdowns. He also caught one pass for ten yards in the convincing win.

White is one of the most talented backs in the 2021 eligible class. A powerful runner with exceptional balance through contact, he’s a load to bring down. He has the ideal size for a three-down back and can hold up to a massive workload. If he can play the whole season and Georgia feeds him the ball – he could see his name called early next April.

John Emery Jr., RB LSU

When Emery stepped on campus as the number two back in the 2019 class, many presumed he would take over and start right away. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the man for LSU in 2019. The first game this season, it appeared Chris Curry may have the lead role and limit Emery another season.

Against Vanderbilt in week five, Emery rushed the ball 12 times for 103 yards and a score while also catching three passes for 21 additional yards.

From an athletic standpoint, Emery has the edge and should be the starter. Curry and Tyrion Davis-Price have been good but neither possess the elite athletic ability of Emery. His cutting ability makes him incredibly dangerous and he has phenomenal contact balance as well. If he can wrestle an even bigger role for the rest of 2020, the sophomore can begin to make a run at 2022 draft RB1.

Eric Gray, RB TENNESSEE

Another back who can challenge for 2022 RB1, Gray continues to impress on limited touches. Against Missouri, he rushed the ball 16 times for 105 yards and a score, also scoring on a 13-yard reception as well.

Gray possesses rare speed at the running back position, blending it with power and ability to make defenders miss in small spaces. The potential to be a three-down back who can also be the home-run threat makes Gray an interesting prospect. Tennessee needs to give him more touches and we can finally see all he is capable of.

Reggie Roberson, WR SMU

There’s always been a lot to love about Roberson’s game and after a few more games like this, he won’t be much of a secret anymore. He caught only five balls against Memphis but turned it into 243 yards and two touchdowns.

Roberson has great hands with the ability to snare the ball away from his body and wrestle away contested catches. He is a clean route runner – a technician who uses fluid movement to set up defenders and quick footwork to create separation at all levels. Not the type of receiver to overwhelm with speed and flashiness, Roberson is well rounded and efficient. One of those players who could slide in the draft but end up being a very good WR2 in the NFL.

Kadarius Toney, WR FLORIDA

The numbers aren’t the flashiest but when Toney has the ball in his hands, stop what you are doing and watch. He had six grabs for 86 yards and a touchdown versus South Carolina. Florida has to find a way to get him more touches!

Several of his catches this year have displayed hands I hadn’t seen when watching him in the past. He plucks the ball out of the air in stride and is incredibly dangerous after the catch. Toney has the strength to break tackles and bounces off contact routinely. I am keeping an eye on him in his senior season. I really love his playmaking ability.

Tylan Wallace, WR OKLAHOMA STATE

Wallace has displayed the ability to be one of the top receivers drafted and it was on showcase this week. Returning this year, even in a deep receiver class, could be huge for his stock. On Saturday, he caught nine passes for 148 yards while finding the end zone twice.

Wallace has sure hands and catches the ball cleanly every time. He runs strong seamless routes and is most dangerous after the catch. The Cowboys often schemed plays to his strength and a creative NFL team would be wise to do the same.

Hunter Long, TE BOSTON COLLEGE

My podcast guest last week, CJ Lang, talked about Long on our pod and he had another strong performance versus Pitt in week five. Long caught nine passes for 98 yards to lead the team and has quickly become quarterback Phil Jurkovec’s favorite target.

Long is a legitimate NFL prospect and one I had lower in my rankings before the season. After a closer look, he is in my top seven now for 2021 draft-eligible tight ends. He has strong hands and wins routinely at the catch point. The athleticism isn’t on the level of Kyle Pitts or Brevin Jordan yet he is routinely open and creates separation with technique. And he can block too! Long won’t be a liability and should stay on the field every down when he reaches the NFL.

Poor Devy Performances

Trey Lance, QB NORTH DAKOTA STATE

I have only been able to piece together most of the game and here are a few highlights. Lance didn’t hurt his draft stock but if you weren’t a believer, he didn’t do anything to make you rethink him. It was a slow-starting game and as a passer, he looked rusty in the first half.

Lance ended up throwing for 149 yards on 15 of 30 passes. He threw a pair of touchdowns and his first collegiate interception. On the ground, he tacked on 143 yards on 15 carries with two more touchdowns. It definitely wasn’t a down game by any means, but the inaccuracy was a bit uncharacteristic.

It was his only game of the year and there were more than 20 scouts on the field. That is a lot of pressure and it showed in the first half specifically. He missed several wide-open throws by a decent chunk and looked out of sync. There is still a ton to love about Lance – the mobility, size, strong arm, and moxie – he’s a future starting NFL quarterback. It may take a little time to develop him, there are some rough aspects to hone. Lance is my third quarterback in the 2021 draft class and I don’t see any other quarterback leaping over him.

Sam Ehlinger, QB TEXAS

For as good as he looked in the first few weeks, Ehlinger showed how bad he can be in week five. He threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns, but also tossed an interception while completing only 17 of 36 pass attempts.

The erratic accuracy coupled with odd throwing motion are huge deterrents to him being a successful quarterback at the next level. Ehlinger is a fun college quarterback and when he’s on – Texas is really tough to beat. Take the inflated stats with a grain of salt, watch the senior quarterback closely and you will see what scouts worry about.

Marquee Week Five Matchups

Full Schedule

#14 Tennessee at #3 Georgia 10/10 @ 3:30 PM EST

This game is huge for Tennessee and they are likely going to do everything they can to control the clock. The Vols have a talented duo at running back with Ty Chandler and Gray but the passing offense is fairly pedestrian. Defensively, they love to cause pressure and will be facing a strong offensive line across the way.

Georgia is rolling with junior Stetson Bennett handing the ball off to White and passing to redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson and sophomore George Pickens. Georgia’s defense has been stout and will force Tennessee to pass. It could get ugly but I think the Vols keep it close till halftime.

#22 Texas at Oklahoma 10/10 @ 12:00 PM EST

It seems like an anti-climatic Red River Showdown, with both teams coming off a loss and neither team playing great in this early season. None of that matters in this rivalry, both teams want to win and both teams have to win – this game will be a ton of fun.

Spencer Ratter versus Ehlinger. Seth McGowan versus Keontay Ingram. Charleston Rambo and Austin Stogner versus Joshua Moore and Brennan Eagles. Talent all over the field and this one’s going to be a shootout. And I have no idea who will win. If I had money, it would be on the veteran quarterback in this one. Texas wins this one in Norman.

#8 Miami at #1 Clemson 10/10 @ 7:30 PM EST

Already a heckuva Saturday, buckle in – this one has it all and Miami is bringing some swagger into Clemson for their biggest test of the season. The ‘Canes are rolling and their offense is fun. Transfer D’Eriq King gives them a dangerous dual-threat quarterback while Cam’Ron Harris is leading the backfield. Brevin Jordan is a potential nightmare for the Clemson defense.

The Tigers are crushing teams and will be looking to send a message as well. Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and their talented receivers are going to present all sorts of problems for a decent Miami defense. If they take care of the ball like they normally do – without a few appearances of the turnover chain Miami doesn’t have much of a chance. Clemson will win but Miami could make it fun.

The Wrap-Up

It is getting to be the time of year where you wake up on a brisk Saturday morning and take the family out to the pumpkin patch. Pick the pumpkins you are going to carve into jack-o-lanterns while drinking a warm apple cider. Let the kids ride a hayride and spend too much money for some wonderful fall memories. I’m from the Midwest, at least that’s how we roll!

But it also means getting to the patch early and getting home in time for the best football of the year. The rivalry games, the clashes of titans, the squirrelly underdogs taking it to the big dogs… there is so much to love about this time of year and college football is at the top of the list!

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Devy Roundup: Week Five
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