Just like that, the Big 12, ACC, and SEC Championship Games are set. The 2020 college football season is winding down and this week’s risers feature several prospects that put an exclamation mark on a terrific campaign. These five prospects helped themselves the most this weekend.
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
I am fully on record with my position on Trask in that he isn’t a prospect I personally value in the first round, but the way he keeps performing in 2020 will likely lead to an NFL team investing a Day 1 pick for his services. His dynamic season continued on Saturday on the road in a rivalry game against Tennessee where he completed 35-of-49 passes for 433 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He became the first Gators quarterback with three 400-yard passing games in a single season.
Trask has put together a Joe Burrow-esque like rise this season and his output is impossible to ignore. When it comes to size, accuracy, and handling pressure in the pocket, Trask firmly checks the boxes. He has pedestrian arm strength and mobility, but his ability to identify leverage advantages and facilitate the Florida offense this year has been poetic.
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Like Trask, Jones’ skill set doesn’t check all the boxes and he isn’t the type of prospect I would invest a first-round selection on, but the season he has put together is impossible to ignore. Leading Alabama to a ninth consecutive win to start the season, this time getting revenge on LSU on the road, Jones completed 20-of-28 passes for 385 yards and four touchdown passes.
Jones’ ability to connect on the deep ball continues to shine as he connected on four of five attempts targeted at least 20 yards down the field, including all four of his touchdown passes. His only incompletion on a 20-plus yard attempt was dropped against LSU. Jones was a surgeon from the pocket and engineered an offensive attack that hung 55 points on LSU in Death Valley.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
LSU isn’t bragging about its DBU label after the torching it took on Saturday from Smith, who hauled in eight receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns in the Tide’s 55-17 win. Smith hauled in touchdown catches of 65, 61, and 20 yards, showcasing both his ability to win down the field and after the catch.
Smith has already logged a career-high in receptions (80), receiving yards (1,305), and touchdowns (15) in just nine games so far in 2020 and every week eases concerns over his slight frame.
Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
The Crimson Tide offense dominated LSU on Saturday Night to the tune of 32 first downs, 650 total yards, and 55 points while keeping Jones clean and averaging more than six yards per rush. It’s never overly sexy to talk about offensive linemen but Dickerson and the Alabama front five deserve plenty of credit for the success against LSU.
Dickerson was a big-time recruit that spent his first few seasons at Florida State. While he fared well, the Seminoles were a mess offensively and he was playing out of position. Dickerson has found a home at center in Tuscaloosa and his dominant season continued against LSU. He is one of the season’s biggest risers overall.
Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
Roche leveled up and transferred to Miami from Temple for the 2020 season. While he has put together a solid campaign, he hasn’t performed quite to the level he did for the Owls in 2019 when he was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year. Collecting six tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, Saturday's win over Duke was a good reminder of how dominant he can be.
Jaelan Phillips, Roche’s running mate on the other side of the line, also wrecked the Duke offense as the duo form the best pair of defensive ends in the ACC.