The third week of the college football season was action-packed and filled with upsets around the country. Sixth-ranked USC lost to Stanford, 41-31, while third-ranked Alabama lost a thriller to Ole Miss, 43-37. Your current Heisman leader is sophomore running back Leonard Fournette, who punished Auburn rushing for 228 yards on only 19 attempts. With an exciting week four on the horizon, let’s take a look at the top players who will be playing on Sundays next season.
Top 5 Senior Quarterbacks
Cody Kessler, USC – 25/32, 272 yards, 2 TD
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State – 10/11, 227 yards, 2 TD
Trevone Boykin, TCU – 21/30, 454 yards, 5 TD, INT
Carson Wentz, North Dakota State – 18/27, 262 yards, 4 TD
Connor Cook, Michigan State – 15/23, 247 yards, 4 TD
Top 5 Quarterbacks – Underclassmen
Christian Hackeberg, Penn State – 10/19, 141 yards, INT
Cardale Jones, Ohio State – 4/9, 36 yards, 2 INT
Ohio State survived a scare from Northern Illinois, winning 20-13. Jones was even benched in favor of J.T. Barrett after throwing two interceptions. Head coach Urban Meyer has not named a starter for this week’s upcoming game against Western Michigan. Jones will remain a first-round pick if he can manage to hold onto his job.
Jared Goff, California – 27/37, 268 yards, 3 TD
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss – 18/33, 341 yards, 3 TD
Going into to Alabama and beating the Crimson Tide is no small feat. Sure Alabama isn’t what it was three or four years ago, but they are still a great team. Kelly showed poise and confidence leading Ole Miss to a victory. Kelly will certainly be noticed after securing the win and may have an NFL future. Kelly’s uncle Jim had quite the NFL career himself with the Buffalo Bills. Maybe Chad can, too.
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee – 15/21, 144 yards, 2 TD
Top 5 Senior Running Backs
D.J. Foster, Arizona State (RB/WR) – 5 carries, 8 yards; 4 catches, 16 yards
Foster came into Arizona State as a vaunted recruit but has struggled early in his career. Now a senior, Foster has found his own niche turning himself into one of the best receiving backs in college. Foster will likely have a promising career as a third-down receiving back in the NFL. That’s not to say Foster can’t run either as he racked up more than 1,000 yards last season. Foster is a shifty runner with explosive speed who will make his next team excited to get their hands on him. Foster reminds me a lot of former New York Giants running back David Wilson. In an evolving NFL that involves the passing game more often, expect Foster’s draft stock to reflect that as he should find himself being selected in the second/third round.
Byron Marshall, Oregon – 1 catch, 9 yards
Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech – 17 carries, 81 yards
Dixon is your typical bruiser. He is not particularly shifty but he will drop the shoulder and run you over. Dixon has been a bit of a workhorse in college but his bruising frame seems like he can handle to task at the next level. Dixon hopes he can bring his power running game into the NFL in 2016 as he reminds me a lot of Jonathan Stewart from the Carolina Panthers.
Kenyan Drake, Alabama – 11 carries, 33 yards
C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame – 22 carries, 198 yards, 3 TD
Top 5 Running Backs – Underclassmen
Derrick Henry, Alabama – 23 carries, 127 yards, TD
Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State – 23 carries, 108 yards
Alex Collins, Arkansas – 28 carries, 170 yards, TD
Collins was once the top recruited running back in high school. While Collins hasn’t exactly lived up to that hype, he hasn’t gotten a chance to be the workhorse back either. Collins has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, even while splitting carries. Collins could be a huge steal come draft day especially if he improves as a receiver, something that is hardly his fault as Arkansas may have better success finding a random pedestrian to be their quarterback.
James Connor, Pittsburgh – OUT FOR SEASON (Torn ACL)
Kelvin Taylor, Florida – 16 carries, 45 yards, TD
Son of Jacksonville Jaguars legend Fred Taylor, Kelvin may have one of the higher ceilings of any back in college football. Taylor has always been a guy who has shown flashes of greatness only to be overshadowed by horrible quarterback play that saw defenses stack the box early and often. We’re seeing how successful Matt Jones is with Washington in the NFL.
Top 5 Senior Wide Receivers
D’haquille Williams, Auburn – 2 catches, 19 yards, TD
Like all Auburn receivers, it is really hard to judge how good they really are because of poor quarterback play. Auburn used a converted defensive back in Nick Marshall as its quarterback for the past two seasons. Williams is similar to former teammate Sammie Coates, who was taken in the third round of this year’s draft. Williams is an overall raw receiver whose eventual pro day and combine will be very important to his draft stock. I expect Williams to be a late first-round pick reminding me a lot of Minnesota wideout Cordarrelle Patterson.
Josh Doctson, TCU – 5 catches, 171 yards, 2 TD
Doctson is TCU’s best receiver and became a viable option last season, amassing more than 1,000 yards. Doctson is not a burner but posses elite size at 6-foot-4. Doctson does need to improve his strength as he could have trouble playing against tough press corners in the future. Doctson continues to put up video game numbers which have him in the late first-round discussion.
Braxton Miller, Ohio State – 0 catches
Nelson Spruce, Colorado – 6 catches, 63 yards
Spruce was a highly productive player last season, catching more than 100 passes. Spruce will have to show that he is able to beat double coverage more often this season in order to push up his draft status. At this moment, he will likely find himself in the later rounds.
Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State – 8 catches, 156 yards, 3 TD
Top 5 Wide Receivers – Underclassmen
Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi – 5 catches, 80 yards, TD
Marquez North, Tennessee – 3 catches, 29 yards
Michael Thomas, Ohio State – 3 catches, 60 yards, TD
Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh – 10 catches, 131 yards, TD
Travin Dural, LSU – 4 catcehs, 27 yards
Dural looks to continue the LSU receiver trend after watching the success of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Dural had a bit of a breakout season last year, posting seven touchdowns despite horrible quarterback play. LSU players have translated rather nicely to the pros in recent years as Dural looks to continue that streak.