It will be tough to follow up last week’s exciting slate of college football games, but there quite a few good match ups to keep an eye on for week five. Among them, there are NFL Draft prospects with opportunities to get high marks on crucial tests.
Solomon Byrd, Edge Defender, USC v. Colorado (12 PM ET on FOX)
Solomon Byrd has been the star of the USC defense through the early portion of the season. The senior defender has piled up 4.5 sacks, notching at least a half sack in every game so far. He has been relentless and disruptive on the edges of the Trojan defense and figures to be a factor in their game against Colorado. The Buffalos will be looking to prove something after being embarrassed by Oregon last week. Byrd has a great chance to make sure that doesn’t happen, especially considering the weaknesses along the Colorado offensive line. Expect Byrd to put on another big show and help shut down Colorado’s offense.
Cobee Bryant, Cornerback, Kansas v. Texas (3:30 PM ET on ABC)
Kansas was one of the scrappier teams in college football last year and this season looks no different with the Jayhawks off to a 4-0 start. While their offense has been the driving factor in their undefeated season, Cobee Bryant has been integral to their success on defense. Bryant has great instincts, size, and does a great job making plays on the ball. He will face a huge test in Texas’ passing game between Quinn Ewers and their corps of talented receivers. Bryant’s play will have a big impact on whether or not Kansas can pull off an upset.
Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver, Oregon v. Stanford (6:30 PM ET on Pac 12 Network)
Troy Franklin broke out last year for the Ducks, emerging as a favorite target of Bo Nix. This year, Franklin looks like one of the best receivers in the country. Franklin has already caught 25 passes for over 400 yards and five touchdowns. He stands tall at over 6’2” but moves incredibly well as a route runner and after the catch. Coming off a two touchdown performance against Colorado, look for Franklin to be a factor in Oregon’s match up with Stanford as the Ducks look to stay unbeaten.
DeWayne Carter, Defensive Lineman, Duke v. Notre Dame (7:30 PM ET on ABC)
Notre Dame will want a palette cleanser after their gut wrenching loss to Ohio State last week. That will be tough against a scrappy Duke team currently 4-0. Among the Blue Devils, DeWayne Carter will have a great challenge and greater opportunity on Saturday. The Duke defensive lineman has been one of the best players over the last three seasons and will have his hands full with one of the best offensive lines in the country. Carter needs a great game to keep Notre Dame from pounding the rock.
Xavier Legette, Wide Receiver, South Carolina v. Tennessee (7:30 PM ET on SECN)
Standing at 6’3” and almost 230 pounds, Xavier Legette looks more like a linebacker than a wide receiver. In his fifth year at South Carolina, Legette is averaging over 20 yards per catch on 27 receptions and is a driving engine in the South Carolina offense. His size/speed combo makes him a huge challenge for defenses to bring down once he has the ball in his hands. Against Tennessee, the Gamecocks will need keep up with an explosive Volunteer’s offense and Legette should be a key benificiary of that.