The first full weekend of college football was chock-full of exciting matchups and even more fascinating outcomes of those games. Utah dismantled Florida — the Gators’ offense looked lethargic, and the inability to come within a score while Utah played a backup quarterback was startling. Colorado was the talk of the weekend as they knocked off a ranked TCU team as a three-score underdog in impressive fashion. Florida State took down LSU 45-24 in a top-10 matchup after the Seminoles scored 31 unanswered points in the second half.
There were plenty of top prospects on display with Week 1’s action spanning Thursday all the way into Monday. Three performances in particular stood out in what was quite the crowded week.
Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders is No Novelty Player
The son of Deion Sanders has played for his father since high school, and that’s continued all through college. That development isn’t a surprising one as the eldest Sanders has climbed the ranks from high school head coach to the Power 5 in a swift manner.
Shedeur Sanders isn’t just a product of being the son of Deion Sanders — the young Sanders is a legitimate NFL Draft prospect at the quarterback position. That much was evident as he connected with his targets on Saturday against a top-25 team to the tune of 510 yards passing and four touchdowns on his way to a record-setting day for himself and the program. It was a dominant showcase for a player looking to earn lofty NFL Draft praise jumping from the SWAC to the PAC-12.
Among others, Sanders is throwing to true sophomore sensation Travis Hunter each week — a player who looks like a no-doubt stud for the 2025 NFL Draft. It should be a fun season in Boulder with Sanders already climbing Heisman Trophy watch lists one week in.
There may be a new WR2 in Florida State WR Keon Coleman
One of Florida State’s newest weapons — Keon Coleman — showcased all of his talents en route to a massive win over No. 5 LSU on Sunday night in a game where the Seminoles posted 45 points on a talented Tigers defense. Coleman delivered three scores and over a Benjamin receiving. Coleman is a Michigan State transfer whose name has been diluted by recent 2023 NFL Draft selection Jayden Reed — now a member of the Green Bay Packers. But Coleman is soaring at a new program through one game.
A former basketball star and hardwood high flyer, Coleman is finding all of his footing as he stamps himself as a legitimate first-round contender at wideout. Coleman stands 6’4” and looks every bit the part as a different-looking dude on the football field. Between the white lines, he’s very gifted with twitchy athleticism for a plus-sized X receiver. With all of that twitch and athleticism, Coleman possesses the ball skills of an elite rebounder at the 3-spot. It’s cliché to use a player’s basketball history in how they catch the football, but it’s absolutely true for Coleman. He has elite hands, body control, and natural ball skills to track and nab at the highest point.
When you think of the elite among the best in college football at the receiver position, you have to give Keon Coleman a seat at the table.
North Carolina EDGE Kaimon Rucker stuffs the stat sheet
Nobody had a better statistical performance in Week 1 than Tar Heels edge rusher Kaimon Rucker — who feasted on South Carolina’s offensive line with eight tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. For some players, that’s an entire season. Rucker did it in one game aligning anywhere from three-technique to a stand-up “Jack” linebacker. He’s a fascinating prospect with quick twitch and a bit of a unique body type at 6’1 1/2” and 265 pounds. Rucker was a complete game wrecker on Saturday night.
UNC DC Gene Chizik raved to us about Kaimon Rucker’s natural pass rush ability, which he shows here inside at 3-tech.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 6, 2023
Guys that know how to rush can usually do it from multiple alignments and @_kruck75_ showed that in Week 1.
Hard to coach this kind of rush coordination: pic.twitter.com/4HM02Ba6EF
Honorable Mention Candidate: Minnesota S Tyler Nubin picks off Nebraska twice
Nubin is a high-profile 2024 NFL Draft prospect who proved it on Thursday night against Nebraska with a pair of interceptions that included a game sealer late in the game to help his team secure a win.
There’s a great deal of high-level instincts to Nubin’s game and that was demonstrated clearly with the interception to seal the game as he baited Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims from the beginning of the play to the end. He followed that up showing off burst and hands as he cut in front of the wideout.