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Draft Prospects: Week in Review

Here is the weekly news round-up on 2004 draft prospects, such as Florida's fast-rising 2004 offensive guard Max Starks (pictured). subscribers: Ask's draft guru Tony Pauline your questions about this year's crop of draftees in the <A HREF="">Ask the Insiders</A> forum!

October 13
  • Suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett filed a federal suit Friday accusing the university of violating his privacy rights by giving police information from an NCAA investigation.  According to the Associated Press, Clarett is seeking in excess of $2.5 million.

  • Lee Evans answered the call Saturday night and took another step in the right direction.  In a heated contest against Ohio State Evans torched Chris Gamble with 5 minutes left in the game and scored on a 79-yard touchdown reception putting Wisconsin up for good.  It was Evans' only catch of the night.

  • Oregon senior guard Joey Forster, may have seen his football career come to an end.  Forster, considered a solid middle round choice for next April's draft, tore both the ACL and MCL ligaments in his right knee last month.  Forster played the entire 2002 season with an ACL tear in his left knee but the newly injured joint has no stability.

  • After putting on his dad's number 34 jersey before the game for inspiration, Jarrett Payton went on to lead the Hurricane in his first college start.  Payton led all rushers carrying the ball 26 times for 97-yards and caught two passes for 15-yards, one, which resulted in a touchdown.  Scouts are studying Payton hard to see if he has potential as anything more than a situational runner does at the next level.

  • Virginia Tech cornerback DeAngelo Hall, considered a prospect with first round potential, had NFL scouts wowing at another aspect of his game in the Hokies 51-7 romping over Syracuse on Saturday.  Twice in the first quarter Hall returned punts for touchdowns, the first covering 58-yards the second 60.  Hall later scored a third touchdown on a 24-yard reverse.  He has line-up as a wide receiver at times this season.

  • After a sizzling start, which thrust him to the front of the Heisman Trophy race and saw him charge up the running back charts of NFL teams, Michigan's Chris Perry cooled down recently.  And though his rushing stats have decreased, Perry caught an astounding 11-receptions for 122 yards in Friday's come from behind victory over Minnesota.  Catching the ball out of the backfield was not a skill NFL scouts thought Perry had.

October 14
  • Texas running back Cedric Benson has fumbled in each of the last three games and it is becoming a chronic problem.  The reason for it?  Many feel it is because Benson has small hands like Ricky Williams.  Benson has displayed flashes of his old self this season and said early on he is giving serious consideration to entering the NFL Draft next April.

  • Florida senior offensive lineman Max Starks should be back in the line-up next week after not playing against LSU because of an abscessed tooth.   Starks, who has split time at several positions this season, is fast becoming the favorite offensive guard in next April's draft.

  • Ohio State linebacker Robert Reynolds was suspended by the team for this week's game against Iowa after jamming his fingers into the neck of Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi then choking him during the Badgers thrilling upset victory Saturday night.  Most scouts consider Reynolds as a solid late round pick.

  • Florida State's passing plays typically has at least one receiver running a safe short route yet Chris Rix rarely threw any of those safe-underneath passes during Saturday's loss to Miami. Rix threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles during the game Saturday but coach Bobby Bowden feels Rix still gives FSU the best chance of winning.

  • Utah junior offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu, who has started the last three games at right tackle and has experience at guard, was kicked out of Saturday's victory over San Diego State in the fourth quarter for kicking an opponent who was on the ground.  The Utes have suspended him for the first half of Saturday's game at UNLV because of the incident.

  • Texas junior Derrick Johnson, considered by most NFL scouts as a potential first round choice, said the constant loses to Oklahoma will not be a factor whether he decides to leave the Longhorns early for the NFL Draft.

October 15
  • Besides breaking several NCAA receiving marks this season Rashaun Woods extended his streak of at least two receptions in every contest to 37 games in last Saturday's victory over Kansas State.

  • The Miami Hurricanes originally planned to rotate running backs Jarrett Payton, Jason Geathers and Tyrone Moss after the loss of Frank Gore.  However, Payton looked so effective those plans have changed and he is now the team's feature ball carrier.

  • All-MAC linebacker Nick Duffy likely is out for the year after undergoing surgery yesterday to repair an ankle injury.  The Northern Illinois senior has ended his college career and can now prepare for the NFL Draft.  He is considered a lot round pick by scouts.

  • Monday morning free safety Sean Taylor had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder to remove loose particles from his shoulder.  Earning Big East defensive player of the week honors after his performance in Miami's victory at Florida State on Saturday, Taylor will miss the Temple game this weekend but will be back in time for the November 1st contest against Virginia Tech.  The consensus first safety to be drafted if he leaves for the NFL, Taylor is considered a first round pick.

  • South Carolina senior lineman Travelle Wharton is questionable for Saturday night's game against LSU after suffering an ankle sprain last Thursday against Kentucky.

  • Several Texas players took exception to Oklahoma offensive tackle Jammal Brown saying that the Longhorns defense has a propensity to wear down and quit.  Brown made the statements after the Sooners drudging of Texas last Saturday.

  • The pain from the stress fracture in the toe of Colorado tight end Quinn Sypniewski will cause him to petition for a medical redshirt to gain another year of eligibility.  Sypniewski, considered a potential late round choice in next April's draft and a tight end known for his blocking, says he came to the final decision on Sunday though he'd had it on his mind for weeks.

October 16
  • Illinois senior quarterback Jon Beutjer will be sidelined for Saturday's game at Michigan with a sore back.  He is considered by most NFL scouts as a late round choice.

  • Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons broke the NCAA record for most passing yards in four consecutive games, the second time this year he's broken the record.  Symons has caught the eye of NFL scouts after taking over for Kliff Kingsbury.

  • Running back Patrick Cobbs was named the Sun Belt Conference's offensive player of the week after the junior set Sun Belt and North Texas records rushing for 249 yards against Idaho Saturday.

  • Florida defensive end Bobby McCray is becoming a force in the SEC and garnering a lot of interest from NFL scouts.  McCray did not have a sack in his first three games but now has eight for the season and is vowing to break Florida's single-season sack record of 13.

October 17
  • Pittsburgh running back Brandon Miree will miss yet another game this Saturday against Rutgers. Miree has a deep calf bruise.  He was a bit of a sleeper coming into the season and a prospect NFL scouts kept close watch on for hopes of a breakout season.

  • Colorado senior running back Bobby Purify could be headed for a redshirt season.  Purify severely sprained ankle during the Washington State game and does not know when he will return to the field.  The injury is nearly identical to the one he suffered late last season, which kept him out action for the last month of the season.  NFL scouts had hoped Purify would take the next step up and handle the ball carrying duties for CU after Chris Brown departed for the draft last year.

  • Senior defensive end Bo Schobel leads Conference USA with 9 ½ sacks and was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week posting 2 ½ sacks against South Florida last Friday.  Schobel needs just one sack to break the TCU single-season record of 10 set by his cousin, Aaron Schobel, and 10 sacks to tie the schools career mark of 31, also set by his cousin.

  • When Jeff Smoker made his departure from the Spartans for a substance abuse problem last season, NFL scouts wrote him off for the future. Yet after completing the rehab then working in the Lansing City Mission as a volunteer, Smoker has returned to lead the surprising Spartans to the front of the Big 10, which has given league personnel reason for pause.  Word is scouts are impressed with both the maturity Smoker showed returning to the field and his leadership on it, which has many considering expending a draft pick for his services.

  • Texas Tech receiver Carlos Francis ranks fifth nationally in receiving yards per game (106.7) though he is second on the team in receptions (37). Francis needs just 570 receiving yards to overtake Lloyd Hill as Tech's all-time leader in that category. 

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