Lamar Jackson has come out of nowhere to garner the most hype, and he could take the early lead this week. However, he is not the only prospect to play a significant game this weekend. Francois, Barrett, Ward, McCaffrey, Cook, and Kizer each also have contests that are among the more significant on their schedule.
If Week 1 was a thriller and Week 2 was a snooze, Week 3 is shaping up to be separation week for teams and individuals. It’s this week that we will get a feel for where this season is headed.
Others to Watch: QB Kenny Hill (TCU), RB Leonard Fournette (LSU), RB Curtis Samuel (Ohio State), RB Mike Weber (Ohio State), QB Seth Russell (Baylor), QB Jalen Hurts (Alabama), QB Trevor Knight (TAMU), and RB Royce Freeman (Oregon)
10. QB Deshone Kizer (Notre Dame)—The dual threat signal caller has some opportunities on the horizon and is one of many on this list with a key game: a matchup against the Spartans.
9. RB Donnell Pumphrey (San Diego State)—I do not expect the Aztec’s numbers to slow down any time soon. Currently the nation’s leading rusher, he plays on a team that may keep winning too.
8. RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)—It has been a slower than expected start for the Seminole, but he will likely have his first 100+ rushing yard outing of the season against Louisville and could burst back on the scene.
7. RB Nick Chubb (Georgia)—That outing against Nicholls was not pretty for Chubb or his team. Still, he is among the nation’s most dynamic players and will find his stride.
6. QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)—Don’t write off Watson just yet. The Clemson quarterback has had a rough start, but his team is 2-0, his numbers have been adequate, and he will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself.
5. RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)—The Cardinal is one of the game’s most electric playmakers and returns to action this week.
4. QB Greg Ward (Houston)—Thursday night’s contest against Cincinnati is a chance to shine after sitting out last week.
3. QB JT Barrett (Ohio State)—Saturday’s matchup against Oklahoma will be critical in Barrett’s bid. A midseason matchup at Wisconsin will be his only other “big stage” contest before the season closes against Michigan State and Michigan. With a host of other weapons on his team and a deep crop of dual threat quarterbacks, this is a chance for the Buckeye signal caller to stand out.
1b. QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)—The sophomore is a human highlight reel and has put up MONSTER numbers. Still, his team is about to run into Florida State which could give make his case harder even if he plays well. A Jackson fueled win, however, would give him a massive early lead.
1a. QB Deondre Francois (Florida State)—Francois is in an odd position in that he is not even getting the most hype at his position in his conference. So why do I rank him #1? Because I think his team is poised to win this week and may be well positioned to run the table. Yes, that matters.