Happy Saturday and good morning, Big Blue View!
It is time once again for college football to kick off your weekend. Without further ado, let's get right to this weekend's slate of games, and which ones I'm going to want to watch.
Four Games To Watch
West Virginia at (2) Baylor (Noon, FOX) -- If you love offensive fireworks, then this game is the highlight of your Saturday. When these two teams throw down it is always a track meet. In 2013 they combined for 115 points, 872 total yards. In 2014 it was a defensive struggle that only produced 68 points and 774 total yards. But in addition to offensive excess, there will be some interesting prospects on the field as well.
Athletic freak extraordinaire Shawn Oakman demands a close watch as teams try to figure out if he will ever harness his tremendous physical gifts. Next to him is Andrew Billings, who's raw strength could draw interest from the GIants -- who have historically loved powerful linemen on offense and defense. On offense, WR Corey Coleman is starting to draw interest as one of the potentially elite receivers in this draft class. Offensive lineman Spencer Drango is sure to rate highly in his position group as well.
Unfortunately for West Virginia, Karl Joseph, their best prospect, has been lost for the season with a knee injury. His nose for the ball and fearless physicality will be missed by the Mountaineers' defense.
(10) Alabama at (9) Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., CBS) -- We swing down to the SEC for our second game. Both of these teams are fighting for a berth in the College Football Playoffs, and this should make for a tremendous game. Alabama's running back Derrick Henry has been overshadowed by Leonard Fournette and Ezekial Elliott, but he is a force to be reckoned with. At 6-2, 242 pounds, Henry's blend of size and open-field speed reminds of Brandon Jacobs. Also, tight end OJ Howard has intriguing upside. On defense, inside linebacker Reggie Ragland is the name to watch for the Giants, but defensive tackles A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed can dominate the interior of an offensive line.
Over on the TAMU side of the ball, it is difficult to watch any player not named Myles Garrett. The sophomore pass rusher is one of the most dominant pass rushers in the country, his size and athleticism reminiscent of Jadeveon Clowney. But of their draft eligible prospects, red-shirt sophomore receiver Ricky Seals-Jones has rare size for the position at 6-5, 235 pounds, and could see his stock rocket if he decides to come out after this year. And continuing the line of TAMU offensive tackles, Germain Ifedi is big and athletic enough to potentially go in the 1st round.
(7) Michigan St. at (12) Michigan (3:30 p.m., ESPN) -- Who would have thought a few months ago that Michigan would be rated 12th in the nation? Harbaugh has had an instant impact on the Wolverines, ratcheting up their intensity and getting the most out of a roster most felt was mostly untalented.
Michigan St continues to be one of the best teams in the country, riding a stout defense with edge rusher Shilique Calhoun and quarterback Connor Cook.
Penn St at (1) Ohio St (8 p.m., ABC) -- As a game, this probably shouldn't be very interesting, however these two teams have prospects aplenty. First, Penn State has quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who flashes tremendous NFL upside, but has maddening inconsistencies to go with an offense that often as not seems to put him in position to fail, rather than succeed. But the story is Penn State's defensive line. First is DE/DT Anthony Zettel, who offers power and versatility, much like a young Justin Tuck or perhaps a rich-man's Kerry Wynn. But of more interest to the Giants would be Carl Nassib. Nassib is the younger brother to Giants' quarterback Ryan Nassib. The former walk-on defensive end has 10 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and an interception to go with 27.0 total tackles and 12.0 tackles for a loss on the season. He isn't getting much attention nationally, but he should be.
On the other side of the ball are Ohio State's legion of future NFL players. Headlined by Joey Bosa, the Buckeyes also have potential first rounders in Ezekial Elliott (RB), Taylor Decker (OT), Michael Thomas (WR), Adolphus Washington (DT), Von Bell (S), and Cardale Jones (QB). The Beezer Brigade should pay attention to linebacker Joshua Perry. His size, athleticism, and versatility remind of Devon Kennard.
Who I'm looking at for the Giants at 25th Overall
Earlier in the week we took a look at where the Giants would be seeded if the season ended today. It turns out the Giants would be picking 25th overall. On that note, I want to take a good, long, look at Carl Nassib. This was supposed to be a weak class for edge rushers, but Nassib is turning into a monster pass rusher. He has prototypical size at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, while also showing a good first step, bend, and flashes the ability to time the snap.
The Giants are in dire need of a pass rush, and getting a player who has gotten 22 sacks or tackles for a loss in just six games seems like a great addition. It also helps that Nassib was never a heralded player. He was a 200-pound walk-on at a program under siege, but he has worked and transformed his body, and become a play-maker to be feared. I rate "work ethic" as my most desirable trait in any prospect, and Nassib's history as much as his family connections or current accomplishments are what draw me to him.