scouting match-ups - week 2
9/12 - Louisville at Clemson
Louisville has two key players to watch on offense. Tutu Atwell (WR) is undersized, but he has an amazing blend of speed and quickness. After posting 70 receptions for 1,276 yards in 2019, big things are expected out of him again. Dez Fitzpatrick (WR) wasn't as prolific, but he's a good player in his own right that can present a challenge.
Clemson has as much if not more talent than almost any team in the nation. The match-up to watch here is on defense. Derrion Kendrick (CB) and James Skalski (ILB) will be tested at multiple levels against a very good WR tandem.
9/12 - Auburn at North Carolina
Auburn has talent on both sides of the ball, more than enough to win this battle. On offense, I'll keenly be watching Jatarvious Whitlow (RB), and how UNC looks to defend against him. With some notable losses seen on defense, we'll see how they do against the pass.
North Carolina has one guy on each side of the ball to watch. Chazz Surratt (LB) doesn't have a ton of time at the position, but he looked well-seasoned last year. He'll have his hands full. On offense, Dazz Newsome (WR) was very productive in '19, amassing 72 receptions for over 1,000 yards. Let's see if he can pick on a depleted secondary yards.
9/12 - Kentucky at Florida
Kentucky has a few players with eyeing in this one. While their may not be any great 1:1's on the surface, talent is abound. On defense, Quinton Bohanna (NT/DT) will be their main rock up front. What he lacks in flash he makes up for in size. Will he be able to create log jams in this one? Playing behind him is Jamar Watson (OLB), a guy who registered 6.5 sacks last year. I imagine he'll oscillate between off-ball and edge duties. On offense, things will look entirely different with Lynn Bowden now off to the NFL. Someone has to emerge on offense, keep eyes peeled for who that'll end up being. One mainstay is Drake Jackson (C). He could kick things up a notch and become one of the better pivot men in the conference. Perhaps their best player on either side of the ball is Landon Young (OT). He hasn't lived up to his advanced billing so far, but he's gifted. I imagine Florida will test him in this one. Young could up his stock if he does well.
Florida has talent on both sides of the ball, arguably equal talent-wise. On offense, Kyle Trask (QB) emerged quite well and has all the makings of a future NFL starter. He has the tools and players around him to pick secondaries apart. At his disposal are Kyle Pitts (TE), Kadarius Toney (WR) and Trevon Grimes (WR). Pitts may end up being the nation's best TE. Toney missed a ton of time last year and wasn't used much, but he's insanely dangerous when given the chance. Grimes was steady if not reliable, should certainly see his targets go up. Stone Forsythe (OT) will man the blindside again this year. When on, he's pretty darn good. Let's see if he goes up against Watson. On defense, they'll be lead by a really good secondary. Trey Dean II (CB), Marco Wilson (CB) and Brad Stewart Jr. (SAF) all have NFL potential, with Dean presently garnering the highest grade. Operating in front of them are Jeremiah Moon (EDGE) and Kyree Campbell (DT). Moon only registered three sacks last year, but he's a wiry player with potential. Campbell was active up front and kept opposing interiors honest. He battling against Jackson will be fun to watch.
9/12 - Texas at LSU
Texas lost a lot of weaponry and yards on offense, but they still have a heavy producer in Keaontay Ingram (RB). He's rushed for over 1,550 combined yards in his first two season, could surpass the 1,000-yard mark in 2020. Sam Ehlinger (QB) is a proven competitor who should the offense going, whether it be by the use of his arm or legs. He's a handful. Samuel Cosmi (OT) will be providing the blocking for both of the aforementioned from his blindside post. He appears to be one of the nation's best LTs, should get 1st-round buzz. After looking great as a Freshman last year, Jake Smith (WR) is poised to break out. He'll get plenty of opportunities. On defense, the Longhorns will be led by their secondary. Caden Sterns (SAF) and B.J. Foster (SAF/CB) will each be playing on Sundays in due time.
LSU has more than enough talent to beat Texas, especially when you look at how their defense matches up against the Longhorns' offense. Tyler Shelvin (NT/DT) is a monstrous-sized player with early-round NFL potential. Glen Logan (DE/DT) isn't of the same caliber that Shelvin is, but he's a good base DE who can kick inside as well. He should get drafted as well. The LB corps has taken a hit in back to back years, but Damone Clark (LB) and transfer Jabril Cox (LB) are two more NFL types. Ingram will have a tough time moving the ball vs. this front-7. Backing them all up is a great secondary, unsurprisingly. Kary Vincent (CB) isn't a household name yet, just give it time. Derek Stingley Jr. (CB) isn't draft-eligible, but he's a future 1st-rounder. Meanwhile, JaCoby Stevens (SAF) has LB size but moves very well. He'll be locking down the back end. On offense, they lost a ton of talent at every level. That said, Ja'Marr Chase (WR) and Terrace Marshall (WR) could end up being the nation's best WR duo. Austin Deculus (OT) has the potential to be a solid if not good RT prospect.
9/12 - Tennessee at Oklahoma
Tennessee doesn't have a lot to work with, but they do have a couple O-Linemen that are on NFL radars. Trey Smith (OG) is a former top-shelf recruit who could've declared early and have gotten a Day-2 call. Cade Mays (OT) should be their best blindside, a key transfer they got from Georgia. On defense, Aubrey Solomon (DT) is another top-shelf recruit they got via transfer a year prior, and they're expecting big things from him. He's expected to log snaps at DT as well as DE.
Oklahoma has gobs of talent, another team that's proven its ability to re-load. Their offense loses some good players, but the talent is there. Creed Humphrey (C) could have arguably have been the first pivot off the board if he declared early. As of this post, he's the nation's best center. Adrian Ealey (OT) is expected to line up at RT, and he's damn good. Many view him as a Day-2 prospect. Kennedy Brooks (RB) will be their main runner, and he's an NFL-caliber back. Charleston Rambo (WR) isn't CeeDee Lamb, but he's no slouch. Their secondary and LB corps has NFL talent, but the match-ups I'll be watching will be with their DEs, LaRon Stokes (DE) and Ronnie Perkins (DE).
9/12 - Ohio State at Oregon
Ohio State will be in the running for the National Championship. As of this post, I feel the Buckeyes have 15 prospects who are draft eligible and worthy of as much. Justin Fields (QB) will pace their offense, and while he isn't Trevor Lawrence, he might be the nation's best runner-up at the signal caller spot. He'll have to be damn good against a wicked-good secondary. Chris Olave (WR) should be their WR1, and if he does well in this one he'll catapult his draft stock. Luke Farrell (TE) and Jeremy Ruckert (TE) should help matters, as each is gifted. Master Teague III (RB) is the next man up, more than capable of leading their run-game charge. But, Trey Sermon (RB) transferred in and will also get carries if healthy. In short, the backfield will move the ball. In front of him is one of the conferences if not nation's best O-Lines. Wyatt Davis (OG) and Josh Myers (C) form almost an unfair pairing, while Thayer Munford (OT) showed a lot of promise last year. Can this vaunted group give Fields enough time, and can the aforementioned find open men amid great opposing talent? On defense, they lost talent at all levels. Their D-Line and secondary will take a step back, for now. Jonathan Cooper (DE) has some upside, but he's no Chase Young by a long shot. However, Tyreke Smith (DE) has gobs of talent and could be a future Top-75 selection. The D-Line is young, but deeply stock with top-shelf recruits. Shaun Wade (CB) is a great CB who would've been a top-40 selection in the 2019 draft, could be a top-20 guy in 2020. He'll be tested mightily. The LB corps will be fantastic. Tuf Borland (LB), Pete Werner (LB) and Baron Browning (LB) each has the talent to break out and be more than just a middle-round guy. They'll have to keep their head on a swivel and attack.
Oregon has some rebuilding underway, and this will be a HUGE test for them. On offense, they have the nation's best blindside in Penei Sewell (OT), while CJ Verdell (RB) is a dangerous runner. Bryan Addison (WR) showed some signs of promise, could end up being their WR1. But, my money is on Johnny Johnson III (WR), a very good player who should get the respect he deserves in 2020. The defense will pace this team. Up front, Jordon Scott (NT) ca be one-dimensional, but he's a plus against the run. Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE) isn't draft-eligible, but he'll keep the OTs honest. He had 9 sacks last year and only looks to get better. Their secondary is among the best in the entire nation. Jevon Holland (SAF) is a terrific safety, but his running mate Brady Breeze (SAF) is solid too. And oh yeah, Verone McKinley III (SAF) might end up being the best of the bunch. They'll be flanked by two reliable, effective players. Thomas Graham (CB) and Deommodore Lenoir (CB) could send their stock soaring this year.