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2021 NFL Draft: College football recap, Week 9

A Big-12 bloodbath and a mashup in Michigan

As the 2020 college football season reaches November, we’re beginning to get a sense of who the pretenders and who the contenders are team-to-team, as well as conference-to-conference. With this week’s loss to Texas for Oklahoma State, for example, it looks like the Big-12 doesn’t have any elite teams and should not expect to be selected to the College Football Playoff. Similarly, with Michigan State’s embarrassing upset of rival Michigan, we can say with confidence that the Big Ten’s only elite team is unbeaten Ohio State. Below are the prospects who stood out during another crazy week of college football.

Desmond Ridder QB (Cincinnati)

The captain of the Bearcats’ Cinderella start to the season, Ridder’s play against Memphis was virtually flawless. While his handful of beautiful deep passes were what every pundit immediately started showing in highlight videos, most impressive was his ability to scan the field and deliver highly accurate throws. That’s primarily why he had an 80 percent completion percentage, 271 total yards and four touchdown passes. Then when you factor in his mobility and the fact that he also ran for two touchdowns, it’s easy to see why the junior quarterback should be rocketing up boards similar to BYU quarterback Zach Wilson.

Chance Campbell LB (Maryland)

In a back-and-forth game that featured plenty of scoring, you’d be remiss in thinking that none of the Terrapins’ defenders had a good game. Campbell led his team with 13 total tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, and a sack. His heady play included sniffing out a wide receiver screen on 3rd-and-4 and keeping Tanner Morgan contained on several possible scrambles. Hi visions isn’t perfect, as he got caught napping on some run blocks, but he looks like he can handle an outside linebacking role at the next level.

Thayer Munford OT (Ohio State)

The Buckeyes largely handled their business against Penn State, and while the obvious thing to point to after the game was the virtually flawless play of quarterback Justin Fields, the offensive line—Munford in particular—did a fantastic job. Ohio State’s left tackle was manhandling defensive linemen at the point of the attack, even 300-lb defensive tackles were no match for his upper-body strength. Then in the passing game, he didn’t allow a single pressure or sack, according to PFF’s tracking. Questions remain about his ability to stay at left tackle, but it’s hard to question his talent with games like these.

Kadarius Toney WR (Florida)

The senior wideout had an interesting day, at least statistically. Although he only had 60 yards in the passing game, he had two touchdowns and also rushed for 23 more yards and another touchdown. He made up for a bad route and a missed touchdown opportunity early in the game by coming alive in the second quarter with a screen catch-and-run that is one of the more mesmerizing plays of the season. He immediately followed that up with a nifty out-and-up route that left him virtually uncovered for another touchdown.

Joseph Ossai EDGE/LB (Texas)

In being moved from a traditional off-the-ball linebacker to an edge rusher, Ossai has taken to his new role like a duck to water. He has the body size to hold down the edge and his quickness and speed there is a much bigger asset. He harassed Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins to the tune of 12 tackles, three sacks, six (!!) tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries for good measure. Of his three sacks, none were more important than on the final play of overtime that ended the game for the Cowboys. Ossai is playing his way into the first round.