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2023 NFL Draft: Week 9 college football recap

One off-the-radar corner spearheads an upset; two polarizing prospects get some shine

Kansas State v Oklahoma Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Our three Week 9 college football games between ranked teams all ended in multiple-score deficits by game’s end, including two blowouts. A multitude of upsets occurred on the day, in quite shocking fashion. Our game of the week between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 13 Penn State was a tight one throughout, with the Buckeyes pulling away via their offensive firepower in the second half—chased by a historic performance for Buckeyes sophomore defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau. Ohio State won, 44-31, despite a 14-13 deficit at half.

One of the more shocking decisions of the weekend was No. 22 Kansas State blowing out No. 9 Oklahoma State, 48-0. The Cowboys have a ton of injuries piled up, but the Wildcats were playing without their starting quarterback on Saturday, too.

Third-ranked Tennessee handled No. 19 Kentucky with ease, taking the victory 44-6 over the Wildcats. The Volunteers’ offense just keeps on humming, and their defense stepped up in a big way in this game, picking Kentucky quarterback Will Levis off three times.

Let’s get to some prospects we thought showed out in Week 9 of the college football season.

CB Kei’Trel Clark (Louisville) helps Louisville whomp No. 10 Wake Forest

Clark is a senior corner for the Cardinals and a former Liberty transfer who’s helped to spearhead a three-game winning streak for Louisville. Clark was tasked with going against a very strong Wake Forest passing attack led by quarterback Sam Hartman. Clark didn’t flinch, and was a huge factor in this game. He finished with six tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack, and an interception for a touchdown in this one. Clark anticipated and jumped a 10-yard stop route and the rest was history for the NFL Draft hopeful.

More performances such as this one are going to lead to increased opportunities for Clark as a draft selection next April.

EDGE Dylan Horton (TCU) gets home against the Mountaineers

Horton will have one of the freakiest profiles of any player entering the NFL Draft in 2023. The 6’4”, 275-pounder looks like the prototype in every facet. His frame, arm length, and athleticism immediately jump out from the first snap. He’s been looking for more production (zero sacks leading up to Week 9), and he got it against West Virginia. Horton registered two sacks along with five total tackles. Horton’s profile could use more production; Saturday goes a long way in helping his numbers.

RB Deuce Vaughn (Kansas State) is a jackrabbit with a jetpack

We’re apparently in the category of polarizing NFL Draft prospects today, and it continues with running back Deuce Vaughn. Vaughn is generously listed at 5’6” and 176 pounds, but his on-field competitiveness far exceeds his measurables. All Vaughn does is make plays in every game he’s in. He put up 158 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground against Oklahoma State; he also scored on a beautiful diving reception at the goal line. Vaughn is averaging nearly six yards per carry in 2022 and has a career average of 5.8 on over 500 carries. He’s only in his third year in college, but Vaughn has the production to compare against nearly any player in the nation. The big question comes with his size, and that’s what could keep him waiting on draft weekend into the third day. It’s likely Vaughn will have to be put in a philosophically creative offense to maximize his explosive ability at the next level.