This is the first, of what I hope to be a weekly column here at Deep Fried Draft. In this column, I will go over the draft related news from the week, look back at the games I watched the previous week, and then list the games I am watching the following weekend.
THIS WEEK’S DRAFT NEWS
The biggest news of the week came down today when the Big Ten announced that have reversed course on sitting out the fall football season. The preliminary report says the league is scheduled to play a unique 8+1 schedule starting on the weekend of October 24th.
Sources: The Big Ten is coming back and will begin the weekend of Oct. 24. It’ll include daily, rapid testing as a fixture of the plan. A statement from the league is imminent.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 16, 2020
This is great news for the prospects that needed that extra year of film before entering the 2021 NFL Draft. However, as of this writing, eight players had opted out of the season. Five of those have signed with agents. Dane Brugler of The Athletic($) thinks that a precedent this year has already been set with the NCAA that would allow the players that want their eligibility reinstated be able to get it.
Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth has already stated he wants back in. Ohio State G Wyatt Davis has as well. Buckeyes corner Shaun Wade announced he was entering the draft on Monday although he may reverse course now. Of the 8 that have entered their names the only player, I believe that is firmly set to sit out Penn State LB Micah Parsons.
After the rumors of the Big Ten returning began to trickle out, players from the Pac 12 and the MAC began tweeting out their thoughts of why not us. The Pac 12 (and a lesser extent the Mountain West) have stronger government obstacles to climb than the Big Ten. Nonetheless, with the COVID testing that the Big Ten has in place, the Pac 12 schools (specifically the ones in California and Oregon) should be able to get going with a schedule similar to the one their midwestern brethren are rolling with.
The MAC commissioner slammed the door on playing this fall. They seem to be poised to give the spring a go. They could be alone there with the FCS programs who agreed to a framework today for a reduced playoff structure.
LSU DL Tyler Shelvin and Neil Farrell have both had a change of heart and could be returning to the defending champs in time for their opener against Mississippi State. Shelvin is likely a first-round pick.
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
A good, not great debut for transfer QB D’Eriq King. King needs this season to convince NFL scouts he can play the position at the next level. Another transfer for the Canes, edge rusher Quincy Roche, looked great off of the edge. UAB WR Austin Watkins (cousin of KC Chiefs Sammy), has been solid in both games I have watched of the Blazers this year.
Wasn’t a ton to get excited about in this one, however, two Mountaineer seniors made me jot their names down to further research. Senior RB Marcus Williams did a fine job in a RBBC approach to replace Darrynton Evans. I was impressed by the burst from senior DL Demetrius Taylor (6’1″ 195).
In one of the biggest shockers from this past weekend, the Ragin’ Cajuns went on the road and smashed up Iowa State, 31-14. Cyclones junior QB Brock Purdy played terribly. He showed an average arm and his accuracy wasn’t there. He was missing junior TE Charlie Kolar who sat out.
North Carolina LB Chazz Surratt is positioning himself to be the top LB selected behind Micah Parsons. Surratt is a superb athlete and is very instinctual. Syracuse junior safety Andre Cisco showed off his range all day. I also came away impressed with junior corner Ifeatu Melifonwu and jotted his name down for future reference.
In the opening of brand new Hancock-Whitney Stadium (also the future home of the Senior Bowl), the Jags blew a big second-half lead to Tulane. The Green Wave defensive front completely took over. Cameron Sample and Patrick Johnson were unblockable at times.
WKU edge Deangelo Malone is explosive. He caused issues galore for the Louisville offense. Speaking of that offense, Tutu Atwell has the speed of an F1 racecar. His running mate, WR Dez Fitzpatrick is also a big-play threat.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Boston College-@-Duke-11:00 AM-FSSO
Tulsa-@-Oklahoma State-11:00 AM-ESPN
Appalachian State-@-Marshall-12:30 PM-CBS
UCF-@-Georgia Tech-2:30 PM-ESPN
Louisiana Tech-@-Southern Miss-6:30 PM-ESPN2
Wake Forest-@-NC State-7:00 PM-ACCN