A huge week on the college schedule offers something for everyone. There are bound to be changes in the top ten rankings as a pair of ACC rivals face off in a game the media will focus on. There are also a number of great match-ups between NFL prospects scouts will be monitoring. Here are five.
Antonio Richardson versus Sutton & Clowney. They’ll be plenty of previews on the match-up between Jadeveon Clowney and Antonio Richardson as tomorrow is an important contest for both prospects. Both have been accused of playing not to get hurt and are more concerned about entry into next April’s draft then they are the 2013 season. Someone will get the upper hand tomorrow. That being said its also an important contest for another prospect who’s not shown up this season; South Carolina defensive end Chaz Sutton. Off the 2012 film Sutton displayed himself as a natural athlete with good pass rushing skills. In six games this season Sutton has totaled 15 tackles and 2 sacks. Saturday’s Tennessee-South Carolina contest is a great opportunity for all three prospects.
Its put up time for Tajh Boyd. Talk to ten scouts about Tajh Boyd and you’re likely to come away with 11 different opinions; that’s how diverse, or divided if you prefer, the thoughts are. Bottom line is Boyd and the explosive Clemson offense face an equally athletic Florida State defense in a game which will shake-up the national rankings. The Seminole pass rush has proven to be no better than average this season yet the speed of their defensive back seven coupled with Boyd’s penchant for throwing passes which receivers are reaching back or leaving their feet to grab, could offer opportunities for Florida State. It could also unleash more opinions on Clemson’s senior quarterback.
Will Dee Ford keep the momentum going? Ford, graded as a potential second day pick by scouts, missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury but has since come roaring back. In the four games he’s played since his return Ford’s totals read 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. Texas A&M is a different type of opponent as Ford will have to get past tackle Jake Matthews then run down quarterback Johnny Manziel. It will take a combination of quickness, strength and speed to accomplish the task. Tomorrow’s contest, even more so than the season ender against Alabama, gives Ford an opportunity to show scouts he’s elevated his game.
Xavier Su’a-Filo; the rising star few are mentioning. The UCLA junior lineman is the buzz of the scouting community on the west coast. Scouts love the athleticism and versatility of the three year starter. Su’a-Filo lined up at left tackle as a freshman before moving into guard the following season. He’s a big time talent and will get to display his skills against Stanford, a middle of the road PAC 12 defense yet the best front seven the Bruins have faced this season.
Is James Morris the real deal? I’ve sung the praises of James Morris on a number of occasions this season, often times to my own detriment. Personally I feel the Iowa senior is one of the most underrated linebacker prospects in the nation. He best be on his game against Ohio State, the Big Ten’s top offense, if scouts are to believe the same. The Buckeye’s rushing attack is averaging more than 280-yards a game. Their passing game is struggling as quarterback Braxton Miller hopes to bounce back from last week’s poor performance against Northwestern. Morris needs to shut down the Buckeye running game and prove he can handle Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State’s developing tight end who looks like a man-child at the position.