Stock Up: Travis Etienne
Etienne is a guy who needs to be talked about sooner than later. The Clemson running back sits among the loaded top 5 backs for the 2020 eligible class. He had a dominant day against Georgia Southern which is what you need to see against lesser opponents like this. 16 carries for 162 yards returning over a 10 yard per carry average checks that box emphatically for me. Add in two trips to the end zone and he showed why he already belongs in the first round conversation next year.
Sleepers: Darius Anderson & Squally Canada
Two guys you probably haven’t heard much from fared extremely well against high ranked opponents. While this performance alone won’t get them an NFL opportunity, it certainly puts them on the radar to perform at a high level against NFL caliber defenders. Darius Anderson of TCU only carried the ball 12 times against Ohio State. The result? Oh, just 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against #4 Ohio State. On a strong TCU team, Anderson becomes one to watch as the season rolls onward. As does Squally Canada, who leaps to the top of the most fun names in college football list. My man Squally gashed #6 Wisconsin for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns and much like Anderson, on only 11 carries. Again, this type of performance against a highly ranked team really shows a lot. I will be looking for more big performances from both of these backs against their future, lesser opponents.
Stock Staying Solid: Justice Hill
Justice Hill is a guy who was already on radars for NFL scouts and fantasy players alike. He put up 123 yards and a touchdown against #17 Boise State. His quarterback also stole a couple running touchdowns inside the 10. This is a guy many expect to be a scat back at the NFL level. I agree with this take to an extent. His size will restrict his workload, but he can make a high level impact. We have not seen a lot of pass catching out of him, but with his athleticism and profile, I don’t expect him to have much of an issue finding a role on an NFL offense.
A Trio of Wide Receiver Impact
Three big name wide receivers had big games as well, including Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He is Oklahoma’s top receiving option and he showcased his talents against Iowa State putting up 9 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown. His biggest attribute is his speed. He is a major burner who can beat you deep on any given play. He is a small receiver at 5’10” and only 160 lbs, but he reminds me a little bit T.Y. Hilton. If he can continue to evolve his route tree and use short area quickness to create separation closer to the line of scrimmage, then he will succeed as an NFL wideout. In terms of big play ability, it is not hard to see Tyreek Hill in Hollywood Brown.
Jerry Jeudy only caught three passes against Ole Miss. They went for 136 yards and a pair of scores. The Tide rolled over the Landsharks (dumb mascot name) but Jeudy stood out making some big plays. Standing 6’1” and 192 lbs, he profiles as a possession type guy at the NFL. This game shows a deep threat ability that was great to see from him. Strong testing at the combine (which remains a long way out) will be big for Jeudy. He has plenty of room to rise in the ranks before then.
His classmate Donovan Peoples-Jones had a huge week as well catching 4 balls from Shea Patterson for 90 yards and three, count ‘em, 3 touchdowns against SMU. He profiles differently from Jeudy because, while he is only slightly larger (6’2”, 207 lbs), he plays and profiles as a red zone receiver type of player. He uses his body well and plays big. Tarik Black, the wolverines other big name receiver, missing the rest of the season gives DPJ a window of opportunity to shine in a big way. I expect a significant rankings rise from him by the end of the season.