Week 0 in college football only involved two games, but both proved to be exciting affairs. The rumble in the sunshine state between Miami and Florida was penalty-filled but exciting nonetheless. Then the Hawaii-Arizona late-night game was a track meet between two explosive offenses, with Hawaii eventually pulling off the upset. Here are the college prospects who stood out during the truncated first action of the 2019 college football season.
DeeJay Dallas RB (Miami)
The Miami Hurricanes had almost no business being competitive in their game against Florida, if not for the junior running back’s Herculean effort against the Gators’ defense. His 107 rushing yards on only 12 attempts was just the beginning. He also had four catches for 37 yards, including a Houdini-like screen pass, forced a handful of missed tackles, displayed very good contact balance, and even managed to hold up in pass protection. This promises to be a deep running back class, but you can safely add Dallas to the list of draftable candidates at the position.
Cedric Byrd II WR (Hawaii)
Byrd’s 14 catches for an insane 224 yards, entailed nearly half of Hawaii’s yardage output. The Arizona defense had no answer for the 5’9”, 175-lb receiver. Byrd displayed his overall speed and penchant for downfield routes, while also showing off his hands and shiftiness on underneath work. The Rainbow Warriors’ run-and-shoot offense is very friendly to quick, sure-handed receivers like Byrd, so if he can remain productive this year, perhaps his draft chances will rise higher than John Ursua’s (seventh-round pick of Seattle Seahawks) last year.
Jonathan Greenard EDGE (Florida)
We highlighted Jabari Zuniga before the game and he definitely balled out, but his line-mate Jonathan Greenard was occasionally just as disruptive against the over-matched Miami offensive line. The transfer from Louisville sacked Miami quarterback Jarren Williams 1.5 times, had two tackles-for-loss, and was tied for the team lead in tackles with six. Weighing in at 263 lbs, Greenard was able to set the edge against the run well, while working around the offensive line on various stunts and twists.
Trajan Brandy CB (Miami)
Florida didn’t have a ton of success when dropping back to pass with Feleipe Franks, which had more due to with Miami’s coverage on the back end than the team getting pressure with its defensive line. Despite possessing a smaller frame more suited to playing slot cornerback, Brandy battled Florida receivers all day primarily in man-coverage at the right cornerback spot. His main opponent was receiver Van Jefferson, a legitimate talent, who was held to only one catch for 14 yards. Maybe the only blemish to Brandy’s day was his inability to get off blocks on the perimeter, which led to some chunk plays for the Gators.