The penultimate week of college football has come to a close. In classic college football fashion, it was quite the wild series of games in Week 12.
The game-of-the-week matchup between No. 7 USC and No. 16 UCLA for the battle of Los Angeles did not disappoint. The Trojans kept their playoff hopes alive with a trio of takeaways on UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. USC sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams was sensational in the game. His favorite receiving target, Jordan Addison, reeled in 11 receptions fo 178 yards and a touchdown. Those two have done a lot of carrying for a Trojans defense that continues to struggle outside of takeaways.
Tenth-ranked Utah dropped a 20-17 game against No. 12 Oregon in Eugene. The Ducks’ defense finally did their part, and the pass defense had its best game of the season—picking off Utes quarterback Cam Rising three times. Oregon now controls their own destiny for the Pac-12 championship heading into the final week of the regular season.
A multitude of prospects had standout performances, with some new names making noise who you need to keep note of.
EDGE Keion White (Georgia Tech) halts North Carolina’s high-powered offense
Keion White will be on the older side of players in the 2023 NFL Draft. But the intrigue for what the sixth-year senior brings is sure to assist his draft stock. At 6’5” and 285 pounds, White offers versatility in a wide variety of ways. White primarily aligns as the stand-up outside linebacker or hand-in-the-dirt edge rusher in Georgia Tech’s multiple front defense. Despite his jumbo size, White has some of the freakiest pound-for-pound athleticism in this year’s class, and was part of The Athletic’s 2022 “Freaks List,” an annual collective by writer Bruce Feldman of the country’s most physically gifted players in one place.
White diced up North Carolina’s offensive line on Saturday with effort plays and impressive counter moves on his rush. White may not have the juice to consistently beat NFL offensive tackles on the outside shoulder, but he should be utilized as a potential sub-package pass rusher on the interior of most NFL defenses. White is a player who could generate more buzz in future weeks. His three-sack, five tackles-for-loss performance against North Carolina in a winning effort should certainly help.
Keion White, big man spin move. pic.twitter.com/AHx6wA6HDo— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) November 20, 2022
S J.L. Skinner (Boise State) is a specimen, pulls up clutch for the Broncos
There is this freaky-looking athlete playing northwest of the Rocky Mountains who you may seldom see on your television screen. That will soon change when Boise State safety J.L. Skinner is playing on Sundays. The 6’4”, 220-pounder has had opportunities to align as a deep safety and in the box for the Broncos this season. Against Wyoming, Skinner had one of his first opportunities of the season to flex his muscles.
A very close game with the Cowboys came down to back-to-back clutch picks for the fourth-year junior. On his first interception, Skinner appears to roll down and align in the box. He drops into a middle hook, reading the in-breaking tight end and breaking on the football to make the play. It was a wonderful effort, and one that should have sealed the game. The video below shows just how insane the ending to that game was, and the impact Skinner had on it.
Here's the INSANE ending that clinched Boise State a spot in the MWC Championship Game: pic.twitter.com/TJxZyn3KIG— Cover 3 Podcast (@Cover3Podcast) November 20, 2022
All WR Tank Dell (Houston) does is put up numbers
Tank Dell will likely be one of the smallest receivers at 5’10”, and 155 pounds to ever be drafted into the NFL next spring. He is probably a late-round pick, but Dell produces and puts up insane numbers at a decent level of football. Dell originally was a class of 2018 recruit and went the junior college route. He joined Houston in 2020, and has been on the upward swing since.
In 2021, Dell put up over 1,300 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. In 2022, Dell is threatening that yardage number with 14 touchdowns. He was dominant against East Carolina this past week.
The fifth-year player put up 176 yards and a touchdown against the Pirates. Dell has some of the sweetest feet in this class. Always a threat to take it the distance, Dell does everything he can to make up for his size profile. He’s been a problem in the red zone his entire Houston career, and that continued against East Carolina on Saturday.
Dell should be a shoo-in for the Senior Bowl. No official accepted invite has come through yet, but that should be something to monitor in future days/weeks. Dell should be, at minimum, a role player in the NFL despite being a size outlier.