Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Wisconsin were all idle this week and Clemson played Wofford. Needless to say, many of the heavy hitters across the college football landscape were absent from the weekend, which created an odd feel for a Saturday in early November.
While the powerhouses weren’t part of the mix, there were still several big time performances from 2020 NFL Draft prospects that helped elevate their respective draft stocks. Here’s who helped themselves in Week 10.
Amari Henderson, CB, Wake Forest
I’ve watched a good bit of Wake Forest football in recent years and Henderson is always a name I see making impactful games. After nearly every watch of the Deac’s defense, I make a note that I need to take a deeper look at CB Amari Henderson but never quite get around to it. Well, I’ve clearly waited too long and Henderson is putting together a statement final campaign in Winston-Salem and had a resume performance in Wake’s 44-10 victory over NC State on Saturday.
For the game, Henderson compiled six tackles (five solo), a tackle for loss, four pass breakups and two interceptions. Part of a dominant defensive effort, Wake held the Wolfpack to just 17 completions on 25 passing attempts for only 149 yards. Henderson was the best defensive player on the field and it’s time to take him seriously as a prospect.
Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Nebraska quickly built a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter over Purdue and a fourth-quarter comeback was required for the Boilermaker’s to claim a 31-27 victory over the Huskers on Saturday. Those late game heroics don’t happen without the playmaking skills of Bryce Hopkins who hauled in receptions of 10 and 26 yards during the game winning drive. For the game, Hopkins caught eight passes for 97 yards.
It was just another stellar performance for Hopkins who is proving on a weekly basis that he’s the best pass-catching tight end in the rising class.
Shaq Quarterman, LB, Miami
I’ll be the first to admit I am not Quarterman’s biggest fan and I think he’s a limited player in the NFL given his lack of range and consistency to win in space. But with that said, he is an outstanding downhill run defender that can plug gaps and bring a physical, imposing force to the field on early downs. His performance in Miami’s 27-10 win over Florida State on Saturday was a terrific showcase of how effective he is working between the tackles.
In a game where the Canes limited the Noles to just 31 yards rushing on 41(!) attempts, Quarterman was a dominant thumper, racking up nine tackles including 3.5 tackles for loss.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Hubbard is having the best season of any offensive playmaker in college football and I’m not sure it’s particularly close. With 20 carries for 223 yards and two touchdowns against TCU on Saturday, Hubbard is now over 1,600 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns in nine games in 2019. He’s scored a touchdown in every game and has multiple touchdowns in six of nine contests. You read that correctly.
TCU is one of the Big Twelve’s best defenses and Hubbard made the Frogs looked like warm butter, dashing through them for an average of 11.2 yards per carry. He’s explosive and the focal point of the Cowboy’s offense and still cannot be stopped. It’s time to talk Heisman and the possibility of Hubbard being a top-five back in the 2020 class.
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Hodgins’ breakout season continued on Saturday in Oregon State’s 56-38 win over Arizona. In his fourth 100-yard receiving day of the season, Hodgins caught seven passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns. For the season, Hodgins now has 12 receiving touchdowns in eight games, proving his consistency to produce on a weekly basis.
My favorite component of Hodgins’ outing against Arizona was the big play ability he showcased. Averaging a season-high 21.4 yards per reception, Hodgins attacked the second vertically and found space. His blend of size and route-running prowess was fully on display Saturday.
Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
Washington wasn’t able to beat Utah on Saturday but it wasn’t because Hunter Bryant wasn’t dominant in the contest. For the game, Bryant reeled in six receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns, bringing him to 557 receiving yards on the season.
For a team looking for a tight end that can flex out wide and provide a mismatch, Bryant would be a great option. He’s a dynamic pass catcher that knows how to attack the secondary and find space. He ran loose all over Utah on Saturday and is in the conversation to be a top-three tight end in the rising class.
Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Jake Fromm has won a lot of football games at Georgia and the Bulldogs’ 24-17 win over Florida on Saturday was another feather in his cap. Completing 20-of-30 passes for 279 yards, Fromm had two touchdown passes and did not turn over the ball.
Fromm isn’t going to wow anyone with his arm talent or athletic ability, but what can do is play good situational football and execute with great poise to keep his offense on schedule. Converting 12-of-18 third downs against Florida was the latest example. Florida’s defense continually put Georgia in tough situations and time after time, Fromm came up with a big completion. I don’t think Fromm will be a high first round pick that is handed the keys to a franchise, but performances like the one he had on Saturday are a good reason why he’ll get a chance at some point to be “the guy” in the NFL and at a minimum put together an unheralded lengthy career as a backup.