NCAA

Top NCAA Football Prospects To Watch on Saturday

on

We’re beginning the home stretch of the college football regular season. Teams are looking to get a bowl game invite or in the case of the select few, an invite into the college football playoffs. From an individual standpoint, the players are looking to put their best performances forward in the most pressure-packed situations.

This week is the appetizer to the main course of the last month of the college football season. It is devoid of many big-time matchups, but that doesn’t mean that this week isn’t extremely important. Each prospect can’t afford to put out bad tape this late in the season.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best individual matchups of the week’s slate of games.

Le’Raven Clark vs. Emmanuel Ogbah

The contest between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech pits two prospects on opposite ends of the spectrum. One prospect, Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark, is one of the more underrated offensive tackles in the nation and the other, Emmanuel Ogbah, is one of the more overrated prospects in college football.

Clark is another in the list of tackles who are made for the spread offenses. He has developed a good pass set where he plays with balance and good footwork, but as a run blocker, he walls off defenders instead of dominating defenders at the point of attack. For Clark, there is a ton to work with, but he is going to need to develop his strength and become nastier on a play-by-play basis.

Ogbah, on the other hand, has been lauded for his impressive statistical performances. Through seven games, Ogbah has recorded 8 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss, which is extremely impressive. However, when you take a deeper look at his production, you see that a lot of it isn’t projectable to the NFL. Ogbah doesn’t have the power or speed to consistently beat NFL offensive tackles. What he can provide in the NFL is a solid right defensive end who plays the run well, but only provides around six sacks a season, which isn’t bad, but it’s not what you expect from a player lauded as a first-round lock.

Overall, this game will give Clark an opportunity to burst onto the scene and showcase what kind of talent he is. This is a great opportunity for Clark and it will be up to him if he takes advantage.

Nelson Spruce vs. Ishmael Adams

The best individual matchup on Saturday will be between Colorado wide receiver Nelson Spruce and UCLA cornerback Ishmael Adams. This matchup pits one of the most well-rounded receivers against one of the biggest playmakers in the secondary in the nation.

Spruce is a consistent performer who runs precise routes and catches the ball with soft and natural hands. He understands how to set up the cornerbacks and he knows how to fit into the soft parts of a zone. Spruce is a cerebral player who rarely makes mistakes; however, Spruce doesn’t have the athleticism or big-play ability that will make him a potential No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

Adams is nearly the opposite of Spruce. Adams relies on his athletic abilities to thrive on Saturdays. He is ultra-aggressive and he makes up for his technical mistakes with his unnatural physical abilities. Adams needs to be better with his back pedal and work on his ability to identify route combinations, especially in zone coverage. Nevertheless, when he is allowed to let his physical ability take over, he is truly a special player.

Overall, this looks like a matchup can win because of how much better he is technically than Adams. Look for Spruce to carve up Adams with crossing patterns and comeback routes as he shows the NFL that he can be a legitimate No. 2 receiver.

Individual Players to Watch

The first player that you should keep your eyes on is Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, who is the hottest quarterback name on the market right now. Lynch has a fantastic arm and a great feel and touch when throwing the football. He makes fantastic throws with pressure in his face, even when he has to deliver the ball from different platforms. In a year where most of the top quarterbacks have failed to live up to the hype, Lynch has exceeded expectations in every way.

The other player to watch could be the best receiver in college football, TCU’s Josh Doctson. In the NFL, ball skills are paramount at the receiver position and Doctson is dominant at the catch point. Furthermore, Doctson displays knowledge of the subtle nuance required to get open in the NFL. At this moment, Doctson should be a surefire top-50 pick if he tests well and continues to play at a high level.

 


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com