Trey Sermon – RB, OSU Everyone is so excited about highly touted Master Teague finally getting his chance to be “the guy” in Columbus next season. However, incoming transfer Trey Sermon will soon force Teague back into his situational duties. Sermon complements Fields extremely well with his athleticism and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. I really loved Trey Sermon at OU with Baker Mayfield, and I think Day will take ideas from that offense in order to fully utilize Sermon’s tool box. All in all, he is in line for a big time season in a potent offense.
Brock Purdy – QB, ISU, Charlie Kolar – TE, ISU I have already written about how much I love me some Purdy, but to keep it short, I believe this guy has top of the 1st round potential. Purdy’s favorite target is a descendant of the Gronk archetype at 6’6″ 258 lbs. Kolar combines that size with great athleticism and receiver instincts. He had two drops in 95 targets over the past two seasons. In a very strong 2021 TE class, I have him ranked TE4. Expect both of these studs to feed off of each other, as well as their elite HC Matt Campbell, for a productive final season in Ames before they all head to the NFL.
George Pickens – WR, UGA Pickens was a five star prospect out of Alabama in 2019, and he translated into an immediate success as a true freshman in Athens (727 yds, 8 TDs). These numbers, however, are only the beginning of his ascension. I say this in part due to an expected growth in performance from his training, but moreover due to the departure of the inconsistent Jake Fromm. The UGA QB room is absolutely loaded with talent, starting with incoming graduate transfer Jamie Newman from Wake. Newman’s exceptional deep ball is a clear upgrade from Fromm and will surely result in some special aerial displays by Pickens. Newman elevated WR Sage Surratt to a 1000 yard season at Wake last year, I would be shocked if Pickens doesn’t have 1000+ yds and/or 10 TDs by the season’s end.
Joe Ngata – WR, CLEM In the face of Justyn Ross’ injury, the Tigers will need someone to step up and fill Ross’ role as “the guy” T-Law looks to when it matters most. Luckily, Joe Ngata is a 6’3″, 210 lbs stud on the outside that can really do it all. While he may fall short of the absurd catch radius Ross possessed, he is tremendous after the catch with great speed and elusiveness. His movement is impressive for his size, and I see this versatility as a perfect help for the progression of T-Law. Ngata is the next great WR in a long line of them at Clemson, and he will be playing on Sundays in due time.
Zach Charbonnet – RB, UM ZC is the prototypical RB prospect, both on and off the field. He was highly touted out of high school – a 4 star recruit out of California – and I still view him as underrated. His work ethic is infectious, his demeanor is admirable, and his combination of size and agility at the RB position is invaluable. In other words, the ceiling is the roof. As a true freshman, he stepped in and had a relatively productive season while splitting carries with Hassan Haskins. When Shea began to struggle, OC Josh Gattis was able to turn to ZC for consistency. However, he seemed to lack downhill power at times, a natural deficiency for a true freshman. As he is groomed by UM’s training staff for his increased role this upcoming season, I can only imagine how much better he could become. In the end, I envision Charbonnet taking control of his current situation (vs. Haskins) by showcasing his superior foot speed and vision. With UM’s QB situation still a question mark, Gattis will look to establish a consistent run game early and often to stabilize the offense. In that effort, it will be Charbonnet that emerges as not only UM’s most versatile RB, but it’s most dependable, too. Once ZC bursts onto the scene in 2020, his NFL buzz will arrive simultaneously, as his physical and mental abilities currently dictate a 3rd-4th round pick at the latest.