College football is here! Finally, this weekend we get a slate of five games featuring FBS programs. With that, NFL hopefuls will start their campaign to shoot up draft boards and make impressions on teams and fans alike. Here are some names to watch from this Saturday Slate.
Nebraska v. Illinois: 1 PM ET on FOX
Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska: Cam Taylor-Britt is one of the bright spots on the Nebraska defense. The six foot senior is a physical, instinctual cornerback who has been a playmaker his whole career for the Huskers. He will have a great test to start his season against an Illinois passing game featuring some playmakers.
Austin Allen, TE, Nebraska: It is hard not to notice Austin Allen when he’s on the field, standing over 6’8” and catching passes down the field. Allen’s usage really increased last year and he could be trending into a bigger role this year. NFL teams should be curious about a player with Allen’s size translating to the NFL.
Brian Hightower, WR, Illinois: Brian Hightower only caught 11 passes last year, but he averaged 19 yards a reception and scored three times. The 6’3” playmaker has immense potential to have a breakout season this year.
UCONN v. Fresno State: 2 PM ET on CBSSN
Kevin Mensah, RB, UCONN: Kevin Mensah is one of the more productive players in college football right now. With two straight thousand yard seasons, Mensah will be eyeing a third in 2021. Mensah is a short, but stout runner with great vision, patience and pad level. He is a tough running, tackle breaking machine taking on a talented Fresno State defensive line.
David Perales, Edge, Fresno State: David Perales broke onto the scene last year, notching 4.5 sacks in only six games for his first season at the FBS level. The dynamic pass rusher has great burst off the line. It will be exciting to see what he can do with a full season.
Hawai’i v. UCLA: 3:30 PM on ESPN
Darius Muasau, LB, Hawai’i: Darius Muasau was a tackle machine for the Rainbow Warriors last year and figures to be the top defender on the team in 2021. Muasau is smaller, but plays with great speed, physicality and instincts. He will have a great chance to show off against UCLA’s spread offense.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA: Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been starting at UCLA for a few years now and has improved with every season. He is a smart quarterback who can make it happen with his legs or through the air. The quarterback class this year is hardly as clear as they have been in the past. Can the UCLA signal caller establish himself as one of the premier passers in the nation?
UTEP v. New Mexico State: 9:30 PM ET on Local TV
Praise Amaewhule, Edge, UTEP: Praise Amaewhule broke out in a big way last season, racking up 7.5 sacks in seven games. He is a seriously talented, athletic player who has a high ceiling. Taking another step will put UTEP on the map and him on many NFL teams’ radars.
Shamad Lomax, DB, New Mexico State: New Mexico lost a season to COVID and many players left in the process, leaving New Mexico State with many unknowns on their roster. Shamad Lomax, however, is a known entity in the defensive backfield. He is a seasoned player with great instincts on the field and knack for the football.
San Jose State v. Southern Utah: 10 PM on CBSSN
Cade Hall, DL, SJSU: With 10 sacks in 2020, Cade Hall established himself as a premier defender for SJSU. Hall is a strong, high motor player who can disrupt from inside or out. He will have closer eyes on him this year after a breakout season and should have a softball start to his season with Southern Utah on deck.