Offense: Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Purdue came just about there to spoiling Indiana's first 8-4 season since 1993. A 28-10 deficit late in the third looked momentarily insurmountable for the Purdue offense, which had struggled up to that point, save for a 72-yard Brycen Hopkins tuddy.
Then, Purdue suddenly found Hopkins more — a lot more. He scored a two-point conversion to tie it in the fourth, as well as a fourth-down touchdown pass in the first overtime to keep Purdue in the ball game. Across the middle of the field, Hopkins was simply way too much athlete for Indiana's linebackers and safeties to handle.
As he has been so far this year, Hopkins was the motor to the scoring offense for the Boilermakers. While he still has questions about his hands, Hopkins is the unquestioned the top tight end in the class following the announcement of Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth is returning to school. At the Senior Bowl, a consistent week catching the football could propel Hopkins into the back-half-of-the-first conversation.
Defense: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
Is Jonathan Greenard the most impactful or successful non-quarterback transfer for the 2019 college football season? I would argue so.
Two years removed from ranking fifth in the ACC in tackles for loss with the Louisville Cardinals, Greenard lost the 2018 season to injury, graduated, transferred to Florida, and now leads the SEC in TFLs with a three-sack, three tackle-for-loss, 1 forced-fumble game in a 40-17 shellacking of in-state rival Florida State.
This game followed a five-TFL, two-sack performance against Missouri in the last game Greenard played in as he has dealt with a nagging injury in the 2019 season. That said, a healthy week of Senior Bowl practices could affirm Greenard is firmly a top-75 player in the class, who would be a household name and fan favorite had he remained healthy the last two years.