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College Football Championship Weekend: NFL Draft Observations and Players of the Week

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

The College Football conference championships are in the books and the bowl games and playoffs are on the horizon. The weekend featured some thrilling games (and some snoozers), but definitely provided some great insight into a few NFL Draft prospects.

  • Florida State getting shafted was expected, but that doesn’t make it any more ridiculous: Look, I get that college football is a business first and foremost. They want the best games and the best ratings for the college football playoffs. Sure. Whatever. That being said, the cynical nature of Florida State’s exclusion is no easier to stomach. Undefeated in a Power-5 conference is no easy feat and they beat a damn good Louisville team in the ACC championship with a third string quarterback. The Noles have one of the best, most talented defenses in the country and they could’ve put up a fight against the high powered offenses in the playoffs. The committee made a business decision to have Alabama and Texas round out the top four. The games are going to be good, no doubt, but I can’t help but feel the committee has compromised the whole point of a playoff system for the sake of ratings.
  • I want to see Washington and Michigan play each other. I don’t see a college football championship match up that doesn’t sound like a great time, but I do think the Wolverines playing the Huskies could give us some great information for key NFL draft prospects. The game itself would be about Washington’s incredible offense versus Michigan’s stingy defense. More in the details would be Michael Penix dealing with heavy pressure up front and exotic coverage schemes while Rome Odunze would be challenged by a great Michigan secondary. Top prospects tested at the the highest level ahead of their draft cycle.
  • Speaking of Michigan’s defense, I love Mike Sainristil. The Wolverines have some awesome defenders, but I can’t help but key in on #0 every time I watch. Sainristil started his career at Michigan as a wide receiver and switched to defense last year. Over the last two seasons, he has turned into a ballhawk for the Wolverines defense, picking off six passes so far this year. He is a great athlete, plays with fierce intensity, and he improves weekly as a technical defender. He turned in another great game against Iowa in the Big 10 Championship and was crucial in Michigan’s shut out of the Hawkeyes.

Offensive Player of the Week: Kimani Vidal, Running Back, Troy

Troy probably exhausted the Sun Belt Championship’s fireworks budget when they scored 49 points and running back, Kimani Vidal may receive the invoice after he scored five touchdowns in this game. Vidal carried the ball 26 times for 233 yards and those five scores. He was nearly impossible to bring down, seemingly breaking a tackle on every carry. The 5’8”, 215 pound back is a powerful runner and a dangerous player with the ball in his hands an Appalachian State got to see that on full display. Vidal has carried the ball 280 times for over 1,500 yards and 14 scores in his senior season. He will be a really solid addition for teams looking for running back help in the mid rounds this draft.

Defensive Player of the Week: Mike Sainristil, Cornerback, Michigan

A 26-0 beatdown in a championship game does not happen by accident. The Michigan defense shut down Iowa on Saturday through the air and on the ground. Mike Sainristil added to his already impressive season by notching a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass defended. He is a do-it-all defender out of the nickel and teams will probabl highly covet him at the next level.

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