Prospect Watch: Friday Night's Games

Keep an eye on a linebacker in ESPN's early game...


#12 Florida State at N.C. State (7:30 ESPN)

Florida State is a team I haven't had a chance to review, and they have several good prospects, as you would suspect. Offensive tackle Alex Barron may be the best prospect on the team. He is a big, quality left tackle who has a good chance at going in the first round, potentially fairly high. Chris Rix, a potential first day pick at one point, has been injured and may not even start this game. Rix' favorite target, Craphonso Thorpe is another potential first day selection. On defense, tackle Travis Johnson is tough inside, but shoulder injuries and some off-the-field issues could hurt him on draft day.

The Wolfpack have been banged up, including star running back T.A. McClendon. He is an underclassman, but should be an early pick whenever he comes out. Offensive tackle Chris Colmer is a late first day prospect, but injuries have slowed him down as well. Defensively, safety Andre Maddox and linebacker Pat Thomas have the talent to go on the first day of the draft, too.


Southern Miss at Memphis (8:00 ESPN 2)

Southern Mississippi has a top prospect in linebacker Michael Boley. Boley is a do-everything type, who has racked up impressive tackle and sack numbers. He is a semifinalist for both the Bednarick and new Lott awards, and should be in the mix to win both awards if the fact he plays at a Conference USA school doesn't hurt him.

Memphis is coming off a hard-fought, tough loss to Louisville. Their top prospect is underclass running back DeAngelo Williams who is still in the mix for the Hossmann Maxwell Award (both are player of the year awards). He probably won't win either, but he is in some very impressive company. The top senior prospect is defensive tackle Albert Means, a big 330-plus pounder who has the talent to be a first day pick.

Hawaii at Fresno State (10:30 ESPN)

Quarterback Timmy Chang is the big name for the Warriors. He has passed for more yards than anyone in college football history in Hawaii's high-powered passing attack. He did struggle against Utah, though, which didn't help his stock. Despite his records, he is more an early second day pick than a top prospect.

The player to watch for Fresno State is redshirt-junior safety James Sanders. He is a three-year starter at strong safety who makes plays all over the field. He likes to be in the box, and is a good blitzer as well as strong in run support. He also has proven to be a solid special-teamer, having blocked two kicks and nearly getting a hand on several others.


The OBR Top Stories