Who to watch in college football: November 2

By | October 31, 2019

#8 GEORGIA (6-1) vs #6 FLORIDA (7-1); 3:30 PM ET; CBS … The East has pretty much always been the poor cousin in the SEC and that’s no different this year in which LSU and Alabama are currently 1st and 2nd in the country. However, the West division champion – presumably the winner of next week’s ‘game of the century’ match-up between LSU and the Tide at Alabama – will still have to get by the East winner in the SEC championship game in early December. And that could pretty well be decided on Saturday afternoon when Georgia and Florida hook up in their annual showdown in Jacksonville. Of course, if its UGA versus Florida there are going to be talented players all over the field, meaning Jacksonville should also be something of a must-stop for pro scouts this weekend.

Georgia, in particular, should have a major impact early at the 2020 draft. Junior OT Andrew Thomas (#71, 6-5, 320), for example, is a rising star in this year’s draft class with top 5 potential. Meanwhile, UGA junior QB Jake Fromm (#11, 6-2, 220) also looks to have legit early first round possibilities, although pro scouts would like to see a little more consistency. Georgia has a third possible first-round candidate for 2020 in junior RB D’Andre Swift (#7, 5-9, 215), an explosive slasher who is on pace to run for close to 1,500 yards this fall. At the same time, veteran safety J.R. Reed (#20, 6-1, 195) could give the Dawgs yet another possible top 100 candidate. Meanwhile, other Georgia seniors who could get later round or free agent interest include WR Tyler Simmons (#87, 6-0, 200), who is also a good return artist, TE Charlie Woerner (#89, 6-5, 245), DE Tyler Clark (#52, 6-3, 300), NT Michael Barnett (#94, 6-3, 305), DE David Marshall (#51, 6-3, 275) and MLB Tae Crowder (#30, 6-2, 235).

Florida won’t have the same impact at the 2020 draft as Georgia, but the Gators have at least one legitimate opening round prospect in junior CB C.J. Henderson (#1, 6-1, 205), a rangy cover corner with a closing burst, although he has been slowed by an injury through the first month and a half of the season. In the 5 games he has played, though, Henderson has 9 pass breakups. Similar story for DE Jabari Zuniga (#92, 6-4, 250), who has returned to the lineup after missing all or part of three games with an ankle injury. In the 4 games he played, Zuniga has three sacks. Zuniga combines with fellow DE Jon Greenard to give the Gators a potentially disruptive pass rush. Meanwhile, other Gators to watch include RB Lamical Perine (#2, 5-10, 220), MLB David Reese (#33, 6-1, 240), SS Jeawon Taylor (#29, 6-1, 210) and WRs Van Jefferson (#12, 6-1, 200), Tyrie Cleveland (#89, 6-1, 205) and Josh Hammond (#10, 5-11, 195).

#7 OREGON (7-1) at SOUTHERN CAL (5-3); 8 PM ET; FOX … Speaking of one-loss teams desperately trying to keep their slim national playoff hopes alive, Oregon will be in that very situation when the Ducks travel to play USC Saturday evening. This one will also give folks another look at Oregon QB Justin Herbert (#10, 6-5, 235) who has really elevated his game of late and seems to be back in the top 5 discussion for the upcoming draft. For the record, Herbert is flirting with the 70% completion mark as he’s thrown for 262 yards per game and 21 TDs this fall against just one pick. Herbert works behind an outstanding offensive line anchored by heady C Jake Hanson (#56, 6-1, 305) and LT Calvin Throckmorton (#54, 6-5, 310), both of whom have second-day potential. Same for rising OG Shane Lemieux (#76, 6-4, 315), as well as veteran ILB Troy Dye (#35, 6-3, 230). USC also has an OL worth a long look in junior LT Austin Jackson (#73, 6-6, 310), another rising prospect with first-round potential. Other veteran Trojans to watch include DE Christian Rector (#89, 6-4, 270), ILB John Houston (#10, 6-3. 230) and WR Michael Pittman (#6, 6-3, 220).