Prospect Watch: Thurs/Fri TV Games

Greg Mastin is back with a guide on who to watch during Thursday and Friday night's college games, as we continue our year-round coverage of college talent.

Thursday, October 14

#17 Louisville at #3 Miami (ESPN)

Louisville gets a big test to prove it belongs in the top 20 when it travels to Miami. The Cardinals are a surprise team, mainly because they start so many underclassmen. Quarterback Stefan Lefors has quietly put together an outstanding season and a half after replacing Dave Ragone. He is a bit short at 6-0, but could get drafted next spring. Defensively the top player is defensive end Marcus Jones who had 10 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss a year ago. If anyone on the Cardinals will be a top prospect in April, it will be him. The secondary is very young, but senior safeties Brent Johnson and Kerry Rhodes are worth watching.

Miami is usually a team loaded with NFL-level talent, but last year's bumper crop has left the Hurricanes with a lot of underclassmen, and the jury is still out on many of them. Offensively, the top prospect may have been junior left tackle Eric Winston, but he is out for the year with an injured knee. Guard Chris Myers is worth a look, he is probably the best prospect left now that Winston is out. Junior wide receiver Roscoe Parrish has speed, but at 5-9, isn't likely to be leave school early and be a high pick. Defensively the Hurricanes are trying to replace four first round draft picks and it will be more towards the end of the year that we can get a good read on some of the younger guys filling those holes. Certainly cornerback Antrell Rolle is a shutdown cornerback, and should be a top pick. If the Cardinals throw at him, it will be a nice chance to see his technique and how well he plays the ball.

Friday, October 15

Texas Christian at Alabama-Birmingham (ESPN)

Was it only a year ago when TCU tried to crash the BCS party? They got as high as sixth in the BCS poll before getting knocked off by Southern Miss on a Thursday night. Some of those players are back, anchored by three solid senior offensive linemen in tackle Anthony Alabi, guard Zach Bray and center Chase Johnson. Alabi is the best prospect of the three. Defensively the Horned Frogs lost a lot of talent. The best of the bunch are linebacker Martin Patterson and safety Marvin Godbolt.

UAB isn't a noted football program, but they do bring a 4-1 record into this game, their only loss coming to Florida State. QB Darrell Hackney is a player to watch, he is in the top ten in quarterback efficiency and has a 398 yard effort already this season. His favorite receiver is Roddy White who has over 500 yards receiving in five games. Defensively the best player is linebacker Zac Woodfin, who has already blown away the UAB school record for tackles and has another six games to pad his total.


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