In one of the most stacked opening week schedules in recent memory, college football fans will be busy all of Saturday watching great football games. Naturally, with great college football games there are great college football players and thus, NFL draft prospects. From the minute the day starts at 7:30 AM with a game taking place in Ireland, there will be NFL prospects on the field. Here are some players to keep an eye on this Saturday.
- Harold Landry, DL, Boston College: All the way across the pond in Ireland at 7:30 eastern time, Boston College's stingy defense will take on Georgia Tech's triple option offense in an ACC match up. While neither of these teams are title contenders, Boston College has one of the most underrated defenders in the country in Harold Landry. Landry is a good athlete with great strength and nonstop tenacity on every play. Playing defense against Georgia Tech's offense is a great indicator of a defender's physicality and awareness, so Landry has an outstanding chance to start the season strong and show he can be a top tier run defender.
- Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA: In their first matchup, there is a great chance of UCLA getting into a high octane shootout with the Texas A&M Aggies at 3:30 ET on CBS. TAMU will always be fielding athletic offenses under Kevin Sumlin and this year is no different with a talented crop of receivers including Speedy Noil, Christian Kirk and Ricky Seals Jones. With that type of talent at pass catcher, there is going to be a lot of stress on the UCLA secondary to hold down the fort. UCLA's most talented cover corner, Fabian Moreau, is coming off an injury but was one of the better corners in the country before he went down a year ago. The athletic, six foot corner will have have his hands full in his first test back, but if he is able to show out, it could be a great indicator of his ascension back to being a top corner in the country.
- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: So I probably do not need to explain ho Leonard Fournette is and frankly he is the type of player you want to watch every week, but his match up this week is particularly interesting. While Fournette will face plenty of great defenses in the SEC, the junior running back starts his season against the always tough Wisconsin Badgers defense (3:30, ABC) . Sometimes it is tough to shake that first game rust and with troubles at quarterback, LSU will likely need Fournette to make an impact immediately. Wisconsin will likely be loading up the box to stop Fournette, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.
- Jamaal Adams, DB, LSU: Fournette gets all the headlines, but LSU safety, Jamal Adams, is probably the best prospect on the team. Adams is a great athlete with good size and a great brand of physicality. Against a Wisconsin team that loves to run the ball, Adams' ability to come up against the line of scrimmage and make a play will be tested.
- Ryan Switzer, WR, UNC: On the low, Ryan Switzer is one of the best playmakers in the country. Along with being a talented receiver, Switzer is the most dynamic kick returner in college football. The elusive receiver can play bigger than his size at the catch point and use his speed to create yards afterward. Against an athletic Georgia defense (5:30, ESPN) and playing with a new quarterback, it will be important for Switzer to make plays out of short passes on a consistent basis to help the passing game along and give the Tar Heels a chance.
- Elijah Hood, RB, UNC: UNC is loaded with offensive skill players, but none is better than their 220 pound running back, Elijah Hood. Hood has the size to run over guys and the speed to run by them. He is the main cog in the UNC offense and with a new quarterback, the running game will be a big part of why UNC will take the next step or take a step back this season. Hood has a chance to hit the ground running against Georgia and establish himself as a top running back in the country.
- Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson: When talking about Clemson, it is an obvious choice to bring up Deshaun Watson, the best quarterback in the country, or Mike Williams who is one of the better receivers in college football, but more people should be talking about Clemson's running back, Wayne Gallman. Gallman is not an overwhelming athlete, but he has excellent vision, toughness and is very quick. He will be a player to keep an eye on against a talented Auburn defensive line (9, ESPN) that features Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson. Clemson will need Gallman to help keep Auburn's defense honest, so he'll need to run hard to get yardage.
Along with all of these great match ups, be sure to check out the new episode of Ginger Genuine Draft for a full preview of the USC-Alabama match up (8 PM, ABC) that features more NFL talent than I can count....