There’s only one more week of regular season college football to consume. Where did the season go? There’s still plenty of meaningful football on the horizon, but the chances for NFL hopefuls to impress scouts are dwindling down. Let’s examine who helped themselves in Week 13.
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Big Ten is loaded with quality EDGE defenders and Gross-Matos refused to be overshadowed by Chase Young’s return for Ohio State. Although Penn State was unable to hand the Buckeyes its first loss of the season, Gross-Matos starred for the Lions. In a disruptive performance, Gross-Matos racked up nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Gross-Matos features impressive physical traits, and he’s becoming quite the nuanced defender. He just might be the second pass rusher off the board in April.
Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Welcome back, Chase Young! Missing the last two games due to suspension, Young was fresh and back to his dominant self in a critical game for Ohio State’s College Football Playoff aspirations.
In his latest dominant outing, Young tallied nine tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles in Ohio State’s 28-17 win over Penn State. Young in unbelievable and few defenders can impact a football game like he does. Saturday was just the latest example of an offense having no answer to slow him down.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
The mark of a great offensive playmaker is when everybody knows he’s going to get the ball and the defense still can’t stop him. Leading Oklahoma State in both rushing and receiving yards, Hubbard provided the plays offensively the Cowboys needed to defeat West Virginia.
For the game, Hubbard accumulated 106 rushing yards to go with 88 receiving yards on seven receptions. Hubbard’s been sensational all season long, serving as the workhorse and focal point of the Pokes' offense. He has a legitimate case to be a top-three contender in the Heisman Trophy race.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
The 10-1 Baylor Bears are one of the best stories in college football this season and the play of senior WR Denzel Mims is a big reason why. A big play threat, Mims is closing in on 1,000 receiving yards this seasons and has already logged a career-high 11 touchdowns.
On Saturday in Baylor’s 24-10 victory over Texas, Mims hauled in seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. The win over Texas marked Mims’ fourth consecutive game with a touchdown and sixth game of the year with at least 90 receiving yards. While he doesn’t get as much pub as he deserves in a rising crop of receivers that is loaded with talent, Mims is among the most physically gifted in the class.
Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Don’t look now, but this Michigan offense is hot. The Wolverines have scored at least 38 points in each of its last four games heading into “the game” next Saturday. If Michigan is going to have a chance to spoil Ohio State’s season, big performances like the one Nico Collins had on Saturday will be required.
In Michigan’s 39-14 win over the upstart Hoosiers, Collins hauled in six receptions for 165 yards and three touchdowns. It was Collins’ first game of over 100 receiving yards and his three touchdowns were also a career high. In a crowded crop of receivers, these are the type of outing that can move the needle for a prospect.
Rodrigo Blankenship, K, Georgia
Take a look around the league and you will quickly discover that there are numerous NFL teams currently unsettled at kicker. While nobody loves investing draft capital in a kicker, they matter and few are as succesful at the college level as Blankenship who drilled all four of his attempts in Georgia's 19-13 win over Texas A&M.
In damp and rainy conditions, Blankenship made two field goals of over 40 yards and scored 13 of the Bulldogs' 19 points in a narrow victory with the hopes of a berth in the College Football Playoffs on the line. Blankenship has now made a career-high 23 field goals this season. He can solidify the kicker role for an NFL franchise for years to come.