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Ducks and Tigers highlight top 10 college football prospects to watch

CFB viewing guide.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 01 South Carolina at Vanderbilt Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the first real College Football Saturday of the season! This week’s packed slate of games spills over into a crowded Saturday schedule. There are some fantastic games on deck today, but lots of games that may not draw a lot of intrigue. However, a closer look will reveal a handful of draft prospects who will be tested and have a great chance to boost their stock.

  • Cam Akers, Running Back, FSU: Cam Akers had all the hype in the world after a promising freshman year before taking a big step back last season. The athletic runner looked sluggish and indecisive at times last season, but will hope to have a big junior season to propel his draft status. Akers has a formidable test against Boise State (12 PM, ESPN). The Broncos always have a stingy, scrappy defense and a big Akers performance will hopefully be signs of things to come for him.
  • Raekwon Davis, Defensive Line, Alabama: The next up for Alabama’s non stop production of NFL ready defensive linemen is Raekwon Davis. The massive 6’7” defender is an impressive athlete who can wreck a run game on command. With Quinnen Williams in the NFL, Davis will need to step up and be the top dog on the Crimson Tide line. Duke is coming to town (3:30 on CBS) with a new look offense. Quentin Harris and Deon Jackson are legit offensive playmakers for Duke (who deserve their own draft consideration) and Davis will have a great opening day showcase to wreck their entire day.
  • Donnell Stanley, Center, South Carolina: While Tyler Biadasz is the center of attention (heh) in the national conversation about interior linemen, Donell Stanley is an experienced player worth a look. The 322 pounder is physical, with a high football IQ and plays with a high motor. Against UNC (3:30, ESPN), Stanley will be playing hard and display his solid, balanced game.
  • Paddy Fisher, Linebacker, Northwestern: Paddy Fisher is the Big 10s most productive linebackers. Fisher is an instinctive, hard playing linebacker who is the leader of the Northwestern defense. Facing Stanford (4 PM, Fox) and their talented offense, Fisher will have no easy task slowing down a balanced attack from the Cardinal. Obviously Fisher will want to propel his team to an upset victory, but a strong game from him will go a long way to boost his NFL stock.
  • AJ Dillon, Running Back, Boston College: After a sophomore slump, AJ Dillon will want to establish himself among the premier running backs in the country. Dillon is a true power back and at his best he is an unstoppable force with the ball in his hands. Dillon and the Golden Eagles are kicking the season off against Virginia Tech (4 PM, ACCN), who always field a tough defense. Dillon, who has carried the ball 527 times in the last two seasons, is a lock to be fed the ball against the Hokies. This will be an intriguing start to what should be a comeback season for the nearly 245 pound running back.
  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Running Back, Vanderbilt: The third leading rusher in the SEC last season is going to be the main cog in Vanderbilt’s offense this year. The 215 pound runner is a three down threat, a hard runner and has good quickness. Vaughn will face down a highly ranked Georgia team (7:30, ESPN) and his big play threat ability will be on full display. Vaughn averaged a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry last season across 157 attempts while scoring 12 TDs. He will put a lot of pressure on the Georgia defense all game.
  • D’Andre Swift, Running Back, Georgia: While Ke’Shawn Vaughn and the Vanderbilt offense are sidelined, it will be D’Andre Swift’s turn to make a move in this battle of top running backs. Swift is a home run hitter and with Elijah Holeyfield in the NFL, he will see the bulk of the carries for the Bulldogs. Swift has instantaneous speed. Every time he touches the ball, coaches hold their breath. The Heisman hopeful will be one of the most intriguing players to watch tomorrow.
  • Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon: All eyes will be on the Oregon v. Auburn headliner tomorrow (7:30, ABC) and no one will draw more attention than Justin Herbert. Herbert would have been a high first round pick last year, but decided he wanted to return to take Oregon to playoff contention and hopefully get picked first overall. The huge, athletic signal caller will have a tall task against a stacked Auburn Tigers defense. Performances against SEC defenses are often used as a barometer for NFL success, right or wrong, so a lot of stock will be placed in Herbert’s performance.
  • Shane Lemieux, Guard, Oregon: While Justin Herbet will rightfully be the headliner in this ranked match, Oregon’s entire offensive line deserves NFL attention. Particularly, Shane Lemiux is the star on the Duck line. Lemieux is an athletic, technically sound blocker and will have a huge role against Auburn. Beating SEC teams is all about winning in the trenches. Lemieux and co. will be crucial in beating the Tigers.
  • Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn: Auburn’s whole defensive line is loaded but Derrick Brown is the top prospect. The 6’5”, 325 pound defender is a freak athlete for his size and a total wrecking ball for offenses. Oregon’s offense is obviously their calling card and Brown will need to be at his peak to disrupt the Ducks. A dominant performance could swing the outcome of the game.