The NFL Draft prospects of the week are running back Zach Charbonnet and safety Brandon Joseph. Both players had big time plays and four quarters of great football to help their respective teams to wins.
UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet is one of the best, most exciting running backs in college football. It feels like every week he is carrying the Bruins offense to another win and Saturday’s showdown with Stanford was no different. Stanford came into this showdown winning two straight games where they allowed a combined 31 points. It felt like the Cardinal had some momentum and had possibly shored up its defense.
Zach Charbonnet dismantled Stanford’s defense, rushing for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Charbonnet also led UCLA in receiving on Saturday, catching five passes for 61 yards. All in all, he touched 26 times and averaged about ten yards on every touch. UCLA beat Stanford 38-13.
Charbonnet could have gone pro after an impressive year at UCLA last year, but stuck around to be one of the best running backs in the country this season. Through seven games, he has rushed for 964 yards and ten scores, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. He has been a constant outlet in the Bruins passing game too, catching 20 passes for over 230 yards. At 6’1”, 220 he has the build and strength of a powerback, but also possesses breakaway speed and surprising agility. While Bijan Robinson is the runaway RB1 in the 2023 class, Charbonnet is a pro-ready back who will make an instant impact in the league.
Notre Dame is well on their way to turning their season around and Brandon Joseph continues to factor into that resurgence. Against a scrappy Syracuse team, Joseph started the game with a pick-six that set the tone for the rest of the 41-24 win for the Irish. Joseph was consistent in coverage all day while providing extra support in the running game.
Brandon Joseph transferred to Notre Dame after three years playing at Northwestern. With the Wildcats, Joseph picked off nine combined passes in 2020 and 2021. He has been one of the best coverage safeties in the country and is now using those talents to help a talented Notre Dame defense this season The Irish are 5-3 after a slow start to the season and as they continue to win, Brandon Joseph’s name will get mentioned more and more.