Offenses ran wild in Week 10 of the college football season. The highlight of the week was the Bedlam game with Oklahoma outlasting Oklahoma State, 62-52. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for almost 600 yards. Other offensive heavy affairs included USC putting up 54 points against Arizona, Notre Dame outlasting Wake Forest 48 to 37 and Iowa, of all teams, putting a beatdown on the Ohio State defense to the tune of 55 points. Here are the prospects that stood out during the exciting week for college football.
Riley Ferguson, quarterback (Memphis)
One of the few quarterbacks who’re actually playing better than was expected at the beginning of the year, Ferguson continued to flash his patented deep ball and ability to throw on the run against Tulsa. Although he runs a simplified offense, Ferguson is beginning to justify that he can be some teams developmental prospect at the position. He and wide receiver Anthony Miller are one of the more exciting pair of teammates in the country.
Jarvion Franklin, running back (Western Michigan)
Although they lost Corey Davis to the draft, the Western Michigan offense hasn’t lost a step thanks to their workhorse running back. Franklin’s a bruising back who’s small, square frame reminds me of Mike Tolbert. Although he doesn’t have great agility, his straight-line speed and pure strength makes him difficult to stop when defenders have him squared up.
Sean Welsh, guard (Iowa)
When you come to Iowa as a guard it’s expected that you’re one of the best in the country at the position. Welsh certainly deserves that reputation after stonewalling Ohio State’s Dre’mont Jones, a potential first-round pick, all day. His quickness out of his stance is elite. He was almost as impressive blocking in the run game and helped key Akrum Wadley’s 118-yard day. I haven’t heard much about Welsh from the draft community, I expect that to be remedied soon.
KeKe Coute, wide receiver (Texas Tech)
Christian Kirk get’s a lot of hype as a slot receiver with great speed, but Coute has a similar skillset and has almost twice as many yards this season. Coute is a very sudden route runner, which allows him to completely fool any safeties that are protecting against the deep ball. Against Kansas State, he caught two long passes for touchdowns using those route skills.
Roquan Smith, linebacker (Georgia)
Smith has been one of the surprises of this year’s college football season. He’s a speedy 3-4 inside linebacker who penetrates in the run game and excels in coverage as well. He played like his hair was on fire against South Carolina, finishing with 9 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. He may be solidifying a first-round draft stock.
Derwin James, safety (Florida State)
The hype for James before the season was overwhelming and his play has not warranted the anticipation. He’s still been solid on the back end, but has lacked the type of impactful plays that he made his Freshman year. His 4 passes defensed, tackle-for-loss, and hurry against Syracuse won’t help him reach those transcendent level of hype again, but shows why the safety will be a first rounder.
Harrison Phillips, defensive tackle (Stanford) - Washington’s State’s interior linemen are light and quick on their feet, which creates a huge mismatch when you have a large, strong defensive tackle like Harrison Phillips. He was having his way all day, bull-rushing his way to Luke Falk to the tune of a sack, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, and a QB hurry. Phillips has been flying up draft boards of late and at ,the end of the year, may even reach the heights of former Stanford Cardinal Solomon Thomas.