Bryce Torneden, S #1, Kansas (v. West Virginia, Saturday, 12 PM EST, ESPN2)
Kansas football players rarely garner draft hype, but the Jayhawks have a burgeoning star this year in Bryce Torneden. The junior safety has been a stalwart on the back end and his services will be in dire need against West Virginia’s high powered passing attack. Kansas is unlikely to upset the number nine ranked team in the country, but strong play by Torneden could propel him into the draft discussion. - Natan
Marquise Brown, WR #5, Oklahoma (v. Texas, Saturday, 12 PM EST, FOX)
The Red River Rivalry is one of this weekend’s most highly anticipated games. The game is no doubt going to be a high scoring affair between two top 20 teams. Marquise Brown is Oklahoma’s headlining playmaker on offense, outside of Kyler Murray of course. The speedy pass catcher has over 500 yards through the air and Texas’ tough defense will be his biggest challenge yet. - Natan
Darnell Savage, S #4, Maryland (v. Michigan, Saturday, 12 PM EST, ABC)
Excited to see what Savage does against Michigan, man. Folks have been pumpin’ Savage up as a potential nickelback/safety hybrid player, which is interesting to me. I enjoyed watching Savage fly to the football against Texas in Week 1 when I was at FedExField, but I was more impressed with teammate Antoine Brooks Jr., and his ability as a potential safety/nickel player. My eyes will be in the Maryland backfield all game — corner Tino Ellis also has some traits.
Jachai Polite, EDGE #99, Florida (v. LSU, Saturday, 3:30 PM EST, CBS)
Polite was a rumble-y sort of player — might be good, probably isn’t there yet — coming into the season. Then, before his battle with a good offensive line in Mississippi State, some buzz started to grow louder: “Man, Polite’s having a good season, isn’t he?”
Then the Bulldogs game — and wow, Polite put on a clinic. He’s officially on the bulletin board as a riser to watch, and facing an uber-physical team in LSU is a great way to string together two impact performances for NFL scouts.
Evan Worthington, S #6, Colorado (v. Arizona State, Saturday, 4 PM EST, PAC12 Network)
Colorado’s offense has caught a ton of the buzz thus far into their surprisingly strong season — but I have eyes on a couple players on the defensive side of the football in a big match-up against a good Arizona State team. Worthington is the first — he’s a rangy safety with really nice size and length who moves surprisingly well in space considering his frame. I’m not sure he’s a true cover man, but he offers some interchangeable traits that make him an interesting NFL piece for sure.
Drew Lewis, LB #20, Colorado (v. Arizona State, Saturday, 4 PM EST, PAC12 Network)
Lewis is the other player that really intrigues me on this Colorado defense. He’s one of Feldman’s freaks from the offseason — at 230, he power cleans 355, hits 1.50 in the 10-yard split, and broad jumps over 10’. That athleticism shows up on film: Lewis is super bursty into the contact point as a tackler, and is a good cover man in space as well. I’ll be interested to see how he handles physicality — Arizona State really wants to steamroll you with the running game.
Tyrel Dodson, LB #25, Texas A&M (v. Kentucky, Saturday, 7 PM EST, ESPN)
Dodson was in the news cycle last week for...less than great reasons. Not his fault: he was the player Jimbo Fisher shook by the facemask last week. Woof.
But Dodson is a good player in his own right — he’s a very intelligent backer when he’s lined up off-ball, and he brings a nice brand of physicality when the Aggies drop him down to the line as a SAM rusher. I think his brand of football translates really nicely to handling this Kentucky offensive line, and I expect a good game from him.
Josh Allen, EDGE #41, Kentucky (v. Texas A&M, Saturday, 7 PM EST, ESPN)
Kentucky has been a pleasant surprise this year and pass rusher Josh Allen has been a catalyst for the Wildcats on defense. Allen has a staunch test this weekend against Texas A&M and their explosive offense. Allen’s blend of pass rushing and run stopping prowess will be put to task against a balanced Aggies gameplan. - Natan
Jonathan Abram, Safety, Mississippi State (v. Auburn, Saturday, 7:30 PM EST, ESPN2)
The Bulldogs defense has star power in their front seven, but that shine has overpowered the performance of safety Jonathan Abram. The versatile playmaker has been a quiet stud in Starkville and will have a tremendous match up against Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn Tigers. Auburn will try to push the ball downfield all night, giving Abrams plenty of chances to make memorable moments for NFL evaluators. - Natan
Bryce Love, Running Back, Stanford (v. Utah, Saturday, 10:30 PM EST, ESPN)
Bryce Love was a preseason Heisman favorite but has struggled to meet stratospheric expectations. After a 2,000 yard rushing campaign in 2017, the senior back is averaging a modest 4.2 yards per carry early this season. Against Utah, Love has a great opportunity to make up for lost time and feast on a vulnerable defense. He’s fallen out of favor with Heisman voters and draft analysts, but Love is still very much a talented player and he’s due for a big performance. - Natan