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Ben’s 10 college football prospects to watch in Week 3

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Cornerback challenges highlight prospect intrigue

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 22 Birmingham Bowl - Memphis v Wake Forest Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the third week of college football kicking off tonight, there are tons of NFL Draft matchups to keep an eye on. In particular, there’s a lot of showcase games for impressive defensive back prospects.

  • Essang Bassey, Cornerback (#21), Wake Forest v. North Carolina (6 PM, Friday on ESPN): UNC is off to a hot start this season and their offense is humming. Essang Bassey will lead the Deacs in an effort to slow the Heels down.
  • Jeffrey Okudah, Cornerback (#1), Ohio State v. Indiana (12 PM on Fox): Ohio State has run rampant over the first two weeks of the season and this week will be more of the same if the Buckeyes okay good defense. Jeffrey Okudah is a quick rising prospect who will be tasked with shutting down the Hoosiers and their talented wide receivers.
  • Keandre Jones, Linebacker (#4), Maryland v. Temple (12 PM on CBSSN): After starting his career out at Ohio State, Keandre Jones transferred to play in a bigger role at Maryland. He’s been crucial in the Terps’ 2-0 start and he will have a big test in a tough Temple team.
  • Bryan Edwards, Wide Receiver (#89), South Carolina v. Alabama (3:30 on CBS): Alabama’s defense is once again loaded with talent. South Carolina’s hopes of an upset hinge on Bryan Edwards making big plays against this team. Edwards is a very good player, but will he be good enough to carry the gamecocks in a tough game?
  • Paulson Adebo, Cornerback (#11), Stanford v. UCF (3:30 on ESPN): Paulson Adebo has been the best cornerback in the country to start the season, but the UCF offense will be his biggest trial yet. Coming off a loss last week, Adebo will need to be at the top of his game to slow the Knights offense and get Stanford back on track.
  • Kenny Wilekes, Edge Defender (#48), MSU v. ASU (4 PM on Fox): Michigan State’s defense has been excellent this season and Kenny Wilekes is a big reason why that is. MSU will need another big performance from him to stimy the Sun Devils and their balanced offensive attack. He needs to cause problems on every down to keep ASU at bay.
  • Tristian Wirfs, Offensive Tackle (#74), Iowa v. ISU (4 PM on FS1): There are a lot of intriguing players in this match but I’m particularly interested in seeing how Tristian Wirfs fares against ISU. Wirfs is one of many players vying to be the top offensive lineman in the country and this is a big stage to show off.
  • CJ Henderson, Cornerback (#1), Florida v. Kentucky (7 PM on ESPN): CJ Henderson has not had the start he wanted to begin this season. While he has been solid, he hasn’t dominated in the way many expected him to. Florida’s rivalry game will be a great opportunity to reassert himself as a top cornerback prospect.
  • Travis Etienne, Running Back (#9), Clemson v. Syracuse (7:30 on ABC): Their thrashing at the hands of Maryland May say differently, but Syracuse does have a talented front seven. The Orange will be a legitimate challenge for Clemson’s offense and I’m intrigued by how much success Travis Etienne has against them.
  • Elijah Molden, Cornerback (#3), Washington v. Hawai’i (7:30 on Pac 12 Network): Elijah Molden is arguably the top prospect in Washington’s secondary. As they recoup from last week’s upset, they’ll need to lock down against a potent Hawai’i offense. Molden will face off with dangerous wide receivers left and right, so he will need to be at the top of his game.