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Opening Day of College Football: Who To Watch?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I am proud and excited to announce that today is the first day of real college football. That's right, we may have gotten a taste of it last week with an underwhelming matchup between Cal and Hawaii, but tonight has a full slate of games from all different conferences. While it may not be the exciting grouping that the rest of the weekend offers, there are still some interesting match ups tonight in terms of NFL draft prospects.

  • Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden: Despite a few years of offensive ineptitude, overall, Oregon State might have the most underrated duo of wide receivers in the county. Bolden and Villamin compliment each other perfectly, as Bolden is the quicker, smaller receiver while Villamin is a 6-5, 240 pound behemoth of a wide receiver. Their match up against the Minnesota Golden Gophers tonight presents a good opening test against a tough Big 10 defense. Obviously a lot of the duo's success is predicated on how their quarterback plays, but both have the physical skill sets to take over a game if afforded the opportunity.
  • Zach Cunningham: Vanderbilt is not exactly known for producing a lot of NFL talent, but Cunningham has a chance to establish himself as one of the better linebackers in the country this year. The undersized linebacker plays with great awareness with the ability to read, react and attack excellently. Being undersized, he needs to bank on his intelligence and quickness to help him avoid traffic in the running game, so it will be intriguing to see how his game progresses this season. Against South Carolina tonight, Cunningham has an immediate opportunity to prove how he fares against a physical SEC run game. He has a great chance to put a mark on some Gamecock runners tonight and thus, leave his mark on the college football landscape.
  • Taywan Taylor: Taywan Taylor is the best wide receiver you have yet to hear about. The Western Kentucky star posted over 1,400 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Not only is he prolific, the 6-1, 195 pounder made Bruce Feldman's Freak List this offseason. Taylor has a rare blend of athletic ability and polish, so it will be exciting to see him as a senior. He starts the season with a new quarterback, facing off against the Rice Owls. Can Taylor continue to build on an impressive resume without longtime quarterback, Brandon Doughty, throwing him the football? That will be the question that likely decides if he is one of the top receivers taken this coming spring.

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