College football notes / open thread

  Conference play.  It's when America's best college football teams separate from the pack, forge a path toward success and toss off the shackles of cross-country calamity (though I have to admit, Louisiana and West Virginia do kind of seem like twin brother states separated at birth...).

  It helps if you get hyped up.  Oklahoma St. Head Coach Mike Gundy can help:

  Ah college football.  Don't ever change.

  Dancing skills or not, there are some NFL prospects who offer other traits that might be more useful as football players in play tonight in the South Florida-Pittsburgh game (here's my early watchlist with more updates to come).

  While S. Florida QB B.J. Daniels has been playing well this year in leading the Bulls to an early 4-0 record (8 TDs, just one interception), he's not a great NFL prospect.  There are some defenders on USF who look the part however.  FS Jerrell Young looks like he could turn into a solid cover 2 free in the NFL.  Sophomore OLB DeDe Lattimore continues to improve.  While he's draft-eligible as a redshirt sophomore, I expect him to return for a year.  If the trajectory holds and he elevates his play (especially in the contain awareness), I could see him jumping up into round 3.  Right now though, I've seen him a couple times since last year and he's a step slow to get to the edge and it's not because of his speed.

  Pittsburgh may be a more confused team than USF, but they've got the better defensive prospects.  Pitt OLB Brandon Lindsey (#85 overall#7 OLB) is a gifted athlete with speed, but he's not the complete package.  Maybe more relevant to the Rams would be guard Lucas Nix (#5 G).  Plus athleticism for his size, which is plenty beefy for the NFL, and comes with nice long arms.

  Looking for a top WR?  Slim pickings here tonight.  If there are two that have a shot to get to that point, it's a pair of sophomores that are both redshirt sophomores.  For Pitt, it's Devin Street.  He's plenty tall, though a bit lanky, so there's a bit of one-sidedness to his size, a kind of anti-Blackmon.  He works well to the inside, but I'd like to see him turn outside more cleanly.  This could be a good chance to show his Iowa performance wasn't a fluke (7 rec, 138 yds, 1 TD).  On the Bulls, it's Sterling Griffin.  He's already made a HUGE jump in year two, but much of that is due to Daniels' improved handling of the offense.  I'll be keying in on him when the Bulls have the ball tonight.

  So there ya go.  The game starts in an hour, so hit it up with draft talk here for the night.  Holler.

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