A lot of college football players turned in great performances for Rivalry Week. Few things bring out someone’s “A” game like a match up with some history. Few players, however, turned it on the way Tremaine Edmunds did in Virginia Tech’s rivalry game against Virginia.
Edmunds picked up two sacks, a tackle for a loss and several more stops against the run. He was too much to handle for the Virginia line in the passing and running game and was all over the field for four quarters. Virginia did not score a single point.
The junior linebacker finishes the season with five and a half sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, two pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Edmunds was a movable chess piece on the Hokie defense who could rush the passer, defend the run, blitz from off the ball and looked surprisingly natural in coverage for a 250 pound linebacker.
His evaluation will be fun given how multiple his skill set is and what a great athlete he looks like. While it is not definite that Edmunds could come out after a strong junior season, he will likely be highly regarded given his athletic profile, tape and production over the last two years. Also, his skill set means that every team could find a role for him on their defense.
Other Performances of Note
- Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia: Matching up with Georgia Tech’s offense is never easy for a defender, but Roquan Smith answered the call by living in the Yellow Jacket’s backfield for four quarters. His three tackles for a loss played a big part in Georgia’s stifling of Paul Johnson’s offense and the big win over their in state rival.
- Rashaad Penny, Running Back, SDSU: Rashaad Penny finished his regular season off with a masterful 203 yard, two touchdown performance against New Mexico. The senior running back finished the season with four straight two hundred yard performances where he also scored nine touchdowns. Penny currently leads the country in rushing with 2027 yards on only 275 carries (7.37 YPC) and 19 touchdowns. To make things even more impressive, Penny has scored two more touchdowns as a receiver, one as a punt returner and two as a kickoff returner. Penny’s insane production in his senior season is bound to get him some serious draft recognition considering he is a 5’11”, 220 pound back with power and breakaway speed.
- Harrison Phillips, Defensive Lineman, Stanford: Stanford pulled away in their rivalry game against Notre Dame because of their offense, but some strong defensive performances helped keep an explosive Fighting Irish offense at bay. Harrison Phillips has been an impact defender for the Cardinal this year and he continued to contribute with two sacks against Notre Dame. The 6’4”, 295 defensive tackle moves all over the Stanford line to maximize his athletic ability and that helped against Notre Dame’s strong running game. Phillips is a well rounded defender with impressive athletic ability on the field. With 13 sacks and 25.5 TFLs in the last two seasons, it is hard to not see him get some draft hype soon.
- Orlando Brown, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s offense has been humming all season and it was no different in their Big 12 match up with West Virginia. The Sooners rolled for over 300 yards on the ground and over 300 more through the air and that would not have been possible if not for Orlando Brown’s stellar performance. The 6’4”, 345 pound junior mauled in the run game and was a wall as a pass blocker. Brown is immensely talented and has been a big part of the Sooners’ success this year. Will the junior enter the draft? He would be highly regarded if he decided to.