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Week 9 college football standouts

An eye on NFL Draft prospects.

Syndication: Gainesville Sun Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kenneth Walker III and Nakobe Dean are the top performing NFL Draft prospects from Week 9 of college football. Sometimes, new names will pop up and surprise us with great performances. Last weekend, however, stars we all know were shining bright in big games.

KENNETH WALKER III

Kenneth Walker III and the Michigan State Spartans faced their biggest test of the season in an undefeated Michigan team. The Wolverines have one of the best defensive lines in college football and all 11 men on the unit knew Kenneth Walker III would be getting the ball on a regular basis.

Still, Michigan State’s Heisman hopeful delivered a signature performance. Walker ran the ball 23 times for 193 yards and FIVE touchdowns. Against a stacked Michigan defense. It is not like MSU was just having an easy time running the ball. The rest of the team combined for just two rushing yards while Walker averaged 8.4 yards a carry.

Kenneth Walker III has made a name for himself as a low running bruiser, but it was breakaway runs that made the difference against Michigan and speaks to the way Walker can wear down a defense over a series, finally breaking their back with big gains.

You can tell Michigan is tired of tackling the 5’10”, 210 pound running back by the weak attempts they make on this touchdown run.

Eight games into the season and Kenneth Walker has 175 carries for 1,194 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. With four games left in the regular season and Michigan State staring down a potential playoff berth, expect Kenneth Walker III to keep growing his own legend.

NAKOBE DEAN

Way down south, the Georgia defense did their usual “scorched earth” type performance as they laid waste to the Florida Gators offense. While it was obvious that Georgia was going to win this game, handily even, it was still pretty awe-inspiring as they ran up a 34-7 score with Florida only scoring in the waning moments of the game.

Of course, Georgia’s defense is a pick-your-position unit with future NFL players at every position, but Saturday was another flashy performance from their star linebacker Nakobe Dean.

Dean’s closing speed is rare for a linebacker. That, combined with his instincts here, led to points for Georgia. The Bulldogs came away with two interceptions on Saturday and the other one they had to thank Nakobe Dean as well.

That is the beauty of Nakobe Dean in the Georgia defense. He is not just a linebacker. He is a weapon. He is fast as hell, willing to attack the line of scrimmage as a run defender and blitzer, and is dangerous as a coverage linebacker. The overall talent of the Georgia defense means the Dean can be deployed in a variety of ways and make an impact every time. His dominating game against Florida was no different