Any other week, the big story may have been Clemson shellacking Wake Forest in what appears to be a return to form for the Tigers’ offense. However, it was the hip injury suffered by Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa that is the biggest news of the week. Season-ending injuries are always a reality in the violent game that is college football, but it’s never easy to watch arguably the best player in college football go down with one. The injury could not only drastically change Alabama’s fortunes, but also the future NFL Draft as well. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow may be a lock to be the first quarterback drafted after the dust settles.
Below are the prospects who stood out this week in the college football landscape.
QB Shea Patterson (Michigan)
With a reputation as an inconsistent passer at best, it was encouraging to see Shea Patterson deliver on his massive potential in at least one game, and against a great defense at that. Famous for their tight man-coverage, Michigan State’s defense challenged the senior to find the open man and by navigating the pocket or by escaping and making some clutch throws on the run. Patterson looked decisive and accurate while throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns. His traits remain intriguing.
C Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin)
Another 200-yard game for Jonathan Taylor means that it’s time to give credit where credit is due—the Badgers offensive line—specifically their leader Biadasz. The Cornhuskers’ defensive tackles are no pushovers, but the junior center still pushed them off their spot in the run game, and rarely gave ground to pressure up the middle when the team dropped back to pass. Make no mistake, Biadasz deserves to go in the first round.
WR Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)
It came in a losing effort in what must have been a huge let-down game against Iowa, but that shouldn’t put a damper on Johnson’s overall performance. He managed to catch nine passes for an astounding 170 yards against an upper echelon Hawkeye secondary that features a couple NFL prospects. The coaches’ plan was to work him on slants early, to then set up a slant-and-go later in the game, which worked to perfection in the second quarter. The Hawkeyes knew the ball was going to Johnson, but they still couldn’t stop him. That’s the mark of an alpha receiver.
LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)
Murray was playing like a man possessed in Oklahoma’s close comeback win against Baylor. The Sooners found themselves down by 25 points early in the game but, despite that deficit, Murray was still running around, sniffing out screens and making tackles all over the place. Murray’s efforts eventually stopped the Baylor offensive onslaught, which triggered the comeback. By the end of the game, Murray led his team in tackles with eight and had two tackles for loss.
DT Bravvion Roy (Baylor)
The reason Baylor was up 31-10 after the first half was because of the performance of their defense. That defense was led by their big defensive tackle Roy, who finished the game with eight tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. NFL teams don’t value primary run stuffers like they used to, but after Roy’s performance against the Sooners perhaps he can hear his name called in April.