KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
Welcome to the 2nd edition of Eye on the Future. This week we discuss 11 games that I will be watching closely from either the couch or the press box. I’m headed to Lawrence, KS to take in the TCU vs Kansas game. Look for the Scouting Notes on this game after the weekend. Let’s get into the games and prospects that interest me for week 3.
TCU @ Kansas (Scouting this game live from the press box. game is broadcast on FX)
The Jayhawks have a speed demon at linebacker in Tunde Bakare. I want to see his speed in person, because it looks unreal on TV. Outside linebacker prospect Toben Opurum is a pass rusher that should get some pressure on TCU QB Casey Pachall. Duane Zlatnik lines up at left guard for the Jayhawks. He is a good combo of size, strength and technique. Check out some of the holes he plows open for speedy back Tony Pierson.
TCU, in their first Big 12 conference game, is loaded with young prospects. Already mentioned big armed QB Casey Pachall. He gets his head on straight and he’s in the discussion for early drafted QBs. He has weapons in running back Waymon James and wide receiver Josh Boyce. Look for Stansly Maponga and Ross Forest to be all over the KU QB.
CAL @ Ohio State (ABC)
Keenan Allen is a stud WR for the Bears. He’s a huge target that has skills in the open field. Surefire top 15 pick, if the junior declares. The 3-4 front of the Cal defense features an end and nose tackle prospect worth watching. Keep an eye on DE Deandre Coleman and NT Aaron Tipoti.
Speaking of nose tackles, Ohio State has a big time prospect up front in Johnathan Hankins. A player I really like, but not sure where he fits at the NFL level is DE John Simon. In the defensive backfield, Ohio State features features safety CJ Barnett.
Tight end Jake Stoneburner and left guard Andy Norwell are 2 players I like from the Ohio State offense. For those of you wanting a fullback in Kansas City, take a look at Zach Boren. He is as good of a blocker as they come.
Virginia Tech @ Pitt (ESPNU)
My guy Logan Thomas(who may or may not be the Chiefs first round pick in my next mock draft) should have a great day against the Pitt defense. The Hokie defense is loaded with young talent. Defensive ends James Gayle and JR Collins bring the heat. Bruce Taylor at middle linebacker makes a lot of plays. Cornerbacks Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller also have bright futures.
Ray Graham, with a knee that is looking better every week, is a running back to watch. Big WR/TE Mike Shanahan is a guy that could be a nice fit in certain spots for Kansas City. The defense has 2 guys I like in DE/DT Aaron Donald and safety Jared Holley.
UCONN @ Maryland (ESPN3)
As mentioned last week, Huskies TE Ryan Griffin is a talent for them. That’s about it. The main reason I’m watching this game is to see Maryland LB/S prospect Kenny Tate. He was a big time prospect, then got hurt last year. Inside linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield was a good player last year, who I’m looking for to take a step forward.
North Carolina @ Louisville (ESPN2)
North Carolina, as usual, is loaded with prospects. The left side of the offensive line, tackle James Hurst and guard Jon Cooper, are big time prospects. Erik Highsmith and Jheranie Boyd are a couple of WR to keep an eye on in this game. The Tar Heels defense has a nose tackle prospect that continues to climb the rankings in Sylvester Williams. Defensive end Kareem Martin and inside linebacker Kevin Reddick are worth watching as well. I love college teams that run the 3-4 defense, the transition is easier for these players entering Romeo’s system.
Louisville has center Mario Benavides and running back Dominique Brown. Brown is a powerful back that made the switch from QB last year. Preston Brown is a thickly built inside linebacker that would be a nice fit next to DJ in the Chiefs defense. Hakeem Smith, the safety, is one of the teams top tacklers.
Stony Brook @ Syracuse (ESPN3)
Quarterback Ryan Nassib is up and down for Syracuse, but has an NFL arm. Hopefully we will get to see some of WR Alec Lemon and left tackle Justin Pugh, are both NFL caliber players.The Cuse defense has 3 guys are really like, all of which could be good fits with the Chiefs. Shamarko Thomas at safety is a playmaker, he can do it all. Linebackers Marquis Spruill and Markus Pierce-Brewster are 2 of the more under the radar defenders that I will keep an eye on all season.
Florida @ Tennessee (ESPN)
Vols WR Cordarrelle Patterson has been worth watching. I can’t wait to see what he does in this game. Across from him is WR Justin Hunter, who is the better all around WR. Both should be high picks when they declare. Throwing to them is big armed QB Tyler Bray. He can sling it with the best of them. Up front for the Vols is left guard Dallas Thomas and right tackle Ja’Waun James.
The Vols have a monster at nose tackle in 6-8 380 lb Daniel McCullers. I can’t wait to see this beast play. Prentiss Waggner is a cornerback to watch in the Tennessee secondary.
Just like last week, I’m watching Florida inside linebacker Jonathan Bostic. He was all over the field last week and would be an instant upgrade over Jovan Belcher. Gators tight end Jordan Reed is in the mold of an Aaron Hernandez.
Arizona State @ Missouri (ESPN2)
The Sun Devils have a few prospects worth watching. Defensive end Junior Onyeali has some ability. Jamal Miles is an all-purpose threat that can score any time he touches the ball. Cameron Marshall is a powerful running back for the Sun Devils.
Having watched Mizzou from the press box last week vs Georgia, I have a good idea of this team. DT Sheldon Richardson, WRs Marcus Lucas and TJ Moe and Cornerback EJ Gaines. These 4 will be big time players for the Tigers in this game.
Florida Atlantic @ Georgia (ESPNU)
The main reason I’ll be watching is to see if Jarvis Jones has another great game. He dominated Mizzou last week and I want to see him do it again. The same can be said for Georgia WR Marlon Brown. After his breakout game last week, I want to know if Brown will stay consistent.
Notre Dame @ Michigan State (ABC)
Notre Dame is littered with talent this year. Starting with the offensive line,Left tackle Zack Martin, left guard Chris Watt and center Braxton Cave all have a future in the NFL. Whoever throws the ball for the Irish has some targets. Tight end Tyler Eifert is as good as they come. Running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick are dangerous out of the backfield. Manti Te’o leads the Irish from the middle linebacker spot. Another 3-4 defense is lead up front by NT Louis Nix III and end Kapron Lewis-Moore. Unsure if Lewis-Moore will play though. Zeke Motta is a decent safety prospect.
William Gholston, standing 6-7 275 lbs, is a freak at DE for the Spartans. He could play multiple positions in any scheme at the next level. The Spartans have 3 linebackers to take a look at: Chris Norman, Max Bullough and Denicos Allen. Allen is a pass rusher that would be a nice addition to the Chiefs on the outside. Johnny Adams is a cornerback that many have among the first DBs taken in next years draft. Offensively for Sparty, watch running back Le’Veon Bell. You won’t be sorry. Guy is 245 lbs and can run over, juke or hurdle you. Very special talent.
Texas @ Ole Miss (ESPN)
Ole Miss has very little talent on their roster, but they do have some. Linebacker Mike Marry is a thumper. WR Ja-Mes Logan is a deep threat. Cornerback Wesley Pendleton has proven he can make some plays.
Texas has talent to burn on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor are both consensus first round picks. They bring different skills to the table, but each is effective. Jordan Hicks is a star at linebacker, he will continue to make a name for himself. In the secondary, watch CB Carrington Byndom and FS Kenny Vaccaro. The Longhorn offense is a young group. Right guard Mason Walters and WR Mike Davis are the only prospects worth watching.