by Greg Doyle
It’s hard to believe, but here we are in mid-October, with important games all over the schedule. Let’s take a look at a few.
Boston College at Notre Dame (3:30 NBC): We’ve looked at the 4th ranked and undefeated Boston College Eagles before. Take a look at the September 15th College Scout to highlight a few of their top players. For Notre Dame, the September 1st column looked at some of the key players for the Irish. A few other players in the game that weren’t mentioned in those columns but are worth watching include:
Boston College RB Andre Callender (#32): Runs hard, but doesn’t have great speed or size. Seems to be just a notch below an NFL player, but he’ll get a look. Can catch the ball and has some shiftiness. Not a top prospect, but on his way to around 1,000 yards and has been a productive 4-year player. The good year gives him a chance to get noticed and with a good Combine performance (assuming he is even invited), he might have a chance to be drafted. A guy who is on the fringe who may stick at the bottom of an NFL roster or could end up being a good player in Canada.
Boston College LB JoLonn Dunbar (#40): A slightly undersized, but athletic linebacker who runs well. Seems to have a knack for big plays. Started out his career as a running back. A team leader and smart player who can cover. May have a shot with a 1-gap team if he can be a above-average special teams player.
Notre Dame DE Trevor Laws (#98): Has been one of the more productive guys on Notre Dame’s defense this year. Learning how to play 3-4 end, so that may interest the Patriots. A bit short at 6’1″ but has some size. Second day draft pick type.
Georgia at Vanderbilt (6:00 PM ESPN2): Georgia, 4-2 and in the midst of a down year, heads to perennial SEC cellar dwellar Vanderbilt, who is 3-2.
Georgia RB Thomas Brown (#20): Splitting time at running back with Knowshon Moreno. Brown is a short, smallish running back who has some power. Doesn’t overwhelm with his elusiveness or speed, but runs hard. Will finish with around 2,500 career yards, so deserves a look. Late round type.
Georgia WR Sean Bailey (#4): Georgia’s leading receiver this year comes into the game with 53 career catches. Good height and nice athlete. Has good hands, but could bulk up a bit. Has had a torn ACL, but come back nicely this year. Should be drafted.
Vanderbilt DT Theo Horrocks (#54): The kind of low profile defensive line plugger who the Patriots may take a stab at as a project. Has size, some productivity and works hard. Good strength. There is something to work with here and he has the size/strength combo to become a 2-gap lineman. Yet he is low profile, so the Patriots could look at him as a late round pick or free agent.
Vanderbilt DE Curtis Gatewood (#49): At 6’3″ 245, he has prototypical linebacker size. Plays mostly down in college, perhaps the Patriots could look at him as a linebacker convert if they are convinced he is athletic and can run well enough. Has good pass rush ability.
Vanderbilt LB Jonathan Goff (#47): One of the better linebackers in the SEC and plays inside. Makes a lot of tackles and plays. Has good size. Could be a first day draft pick and may attract interest from the Patriots due to his size and productivity. Grew up in Boston and starred for St. John’s Prep.
Others to watch: Over on Fox Sports at 6:30 PM, there is a huge Big 12 game as Oklahoma heads to undefeated Missouri. For Oklahoma, a key player will be shifty RB Allen Patrick (#23) who we have looked at before. Keeping the high-powered Missouri offense off the field will be key, and the Sooners will need a big game from Patrick. For Missouri, RB Tony Temple (#22) puts up big numbers and was a big recruit out of high school. His size doesn’t overwhelm you at 5’9″ 200, and Missouri runs a lot of option, which leads to big runs and big numbers even from average backs. But Temple does have speed and elusiveness. He’ll be drafted. Has not shown an ability to catch passes however. Over on ESPN2 at 9:15 PM, Arizona State takes on Washington at home. Arizona State RB Ryan Torain (#26) should be one of the best running backs in the draft and is fun to watch. He has size, power and speed. Check him out.