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2023 NFL Draft: Week 10 college football recap

Potential first-round defenders litter our prospects of the week

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Another telling week of college football is in the books, and Week 10 brought a ton of drama to the table. We thought there was a potential game-of-the-year candidate heading in between No. 1 Tennessee and No. 3 Georgia. That game turned out to be handled by Georgia, 27-13. A multitude of Bulldogs defenders balled out in this game, including cornerback Kelee Ringo. Georgia was forced to win this game without leading edge rusher Nolan Smith. One player who absolutely dominated will get his flowers later.

The true game of the year contender was No. 6 Alabama traveling to No. 10 LSU. The Crimson Tide’s defense could not stop the legs of Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels. It wasn’t always pretty for LSU’s offense, but they found a way. The LSU defense got after Alabama quarterback Bryce Young all night—the Tigers registered 10 total hurries and a couple of sacks. Instead of kicking the extra point in overtime to tie the game and subsequently send the game to double OT, LSU head coach Brian Kelly ended it with a designed rub play to stud freshman tight end Mason Taylor. Pandemonium ensued as fans stormed the field in Baton Rouge for the second time this year.

No. 24 Texas proved their worth against No. 13 Kansas State in a game where Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson would not be denied. The Wildcats made an admirable second-half run, but they were plagued by their mistakes in this one.

What No. 22 NC State is doing this year despite a significant injury at the quarterback position is really impressive. The Wolfpack took down No. 21 Wake Forest 30-21. Wake quarterback Sam Hartman has had a ton of turnover issues over the last two weeks, leading to a two-game skid. The Wolfpack linebackers continue to be their best players. Their fantastic trio of Isaiah Moore, Drake Thomas, and Payton Wilson combined for 26 tackles, three sacks, and 6.5 tackles for a loss. A throughly dominant performance.

The games have wrapped for the week, and we had some monstrous performances from defensive prospects—so let’s take a closer look!

DT Jalen Carter (Georgia) wrecks shop in victory over Tennessee

College football’s monstrous king was back and looking as good as ever. Carter singlehandedly wrecked Tennessee’s offense all afternoon. Words can’t describe just how ferocious of a player Carter is. He brings the fight on every rep. Carter regularly works to clear hands and presents issues with his explosiveness off the snap. The weight behind his hands is overwhelming for interior players. Carter played sparingly against Florida after being out over a month with injury. He didn’t miss a beat Saturday, generating four tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Carter is a special player.

CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) has some special ability

Eighth-ranked Oregon ran through one of the worst Power 5 teams in college football on Saturday. That’s not surprising or particularly impressive in itself. It was expected. But the performance of one of the premier cornerback in the country is what really stood out in the game. Christian Gonzalez has been a steady riser for how fluid of an athlete he is. The Colorado transfer got to go against his former team this week and delivered big time with two interceptions on back-to-back receptions. Both plays came in zone coverage. His first pick came as he dropped into a deep quarter with a receiver pushing vertical. Gonzalez flipped his hips and did a pirouette while staying cleanly in phase. The second came as he peeled off in deep zone coverage to break on the ball, jump a route, and make a beautiful hands catch—plucking it away from the receiver. Gonzalez is firmly in the first round at this point, and that’s not changing.

EDGE B.J. Ojulari (LSU) boosts his draft stock on way to win

Ojulari is likely sitting in the fringe territory as a first-round pick with less than six months to go until the 2023 NFL Draft. Ojulari has a lot of physical gifts, and LSU allows him to use them. He’s not the biggest person to ever play the edge position. His body type is more similar to Alabama edge Will Anderson—6’3” and 250 pounds. Questions have been raised about whether Ojulari can put his hand in the dirt at the next level, but he did enough with his power against Alabama to impress in a big way. Ojulari had 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, and a sack. He also registered two quarterback hurries. Ojulari was effective on stunts—giving him the opportunity to sprint through the teeth of the offensive line before they could prevent the hair-on-fire rusher from hitting their quarterback. He is a natural-born pass rusher who just took it to one of the best teams in the country on primetime television. Ojulari is tracking towards the green room in April with just a few more weeks remaining in the regular season.