College Football, Week 3: Best players of the weekend

    A pair of explosive Louisville Cardinals playmakers headline the list of the best players for Week 3 of the college football season.

    The third week of the 2020 college football season was headlined by a showdown between the 18th-ranked Louisville Cardinals and the 17th-ranked Miami Hurricanes. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is clearly the best player that the Hurricanes have had at the position in quite some time. The Houston transfer was brilliant, throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns while leading Miami to an impressive 47-34 victory. Before we take a dive into the best players of Week 3 of the college football weekend, let’s take a glance at the honorable mentions.

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    Notable Mentions

    Ian Book, Quarterback, Notre Dame

    Book led Notre Dame to a blowout 52-0 victory over South Florida. He wasn’t asked to do much as a passer, as the Fighting Irish had control of this game from the opening whistle, but Book did score three rushing touchdowns. After the “Big Three” 2021 quarterback prospects, there is a significant drop-off, and Book can be a player that benefits off of that if he continues to play smart football.

    Elijah Mitchell, Running Back, Louisiana

    Georgia State gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a scare this weekend, but Louisiana was able to find a way to get the “W”, riding the powerful workhorse Elijah Mitchell to victory. On the day, Mitchell ran for 164 yards and two touchdowns, including a walk-off 12-yard touchdown run in overtime.

    College Football Week 3 Best Players

    Javian Hawkins, Running Back, Louisville (5’9″, 196 pounds, Redshirt Sophomore)

    In a losing effort, Louisville running back Javian Hawkins was sensational on Saturday night. He carried the ball 27 times for 164 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. One of the highlights of the game was Hawkins’ spectacular 19-yard touchdown run, where he showcased his ability to move like a human joystick, reverse field, and tout the rock for a score.

    Hawkins is a dynamic player, possessing game-changing speed and acceleration. He is shifty, explosive, and elusive, making him a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Tony Pauline has positive things to say about Hawkins’ game, exclaiming:

    “Javian Hawkins is a small, game-breaking skill prospect at running back. He possesses tremendous burst through the hole and picks up big chunks of yardage from the line of scrimmage. Hawkins also shows the ability to create yardage and make defenders miss. He’ll be a good situational runner and third-down back at the next level.”

    Javian Hawkins is a thrill to watch and should be in store for a monster 2020 campaign. As it stands today, Hawkins is a mid-round prospect that would serve well in a Darren Sproles type of role on Sundays.

    Tutu Atwell, Wide Receiver, Louisville (5’9″, 165 pounds, Junior)

    Louisville wide receiver Tutu Atwell is one of the most electrifying players in all of college football and he did not disappoint this weekend. Against a talented Miami defense, Atwell hauled in eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while averaging 14.3 yards per reception.

    Due to his size and game-breaking speed, Atwell will draw comparisons to Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He might just be the fastest wide receiver in all of college football, being rumored to run the forty-yard dash in the mid 4.3s. After the catch, Atwell is magic, possessing majestic open-field elusiveness, and also serves as one of the best vertical threats in the nation.

    It’s worth noting that Tutu Attwell’s size is a major red flag. Dalton Miller attacked the question, “Does Attwell’s size work against him?” by stating:

    “Unfortunately, unequivocally, yes! In his 78 touches as a sophomore, he fumbled the ball four times. And as someone with the kind of agility and pop with the ball in his hands, teams are going to want to get him the ball early on manufactured touches. He’ll need to become stronger so defenders aren’t able to simply strip the ball from his grasp.”

    With that said, speed kills, and I don’t see a scenario where Atwell lasts past Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

    Brevin Jordan, Tight End, Miami (6’3″, 245 pounds, Junior)

    When you hear the top tight end prospects for 2021 being discussed, the names you will hear first are Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth and Florida’s Kyle Pitts. Well, you shouldn’t have this conversation without mentioning the name of Miami’s uber-athletic tight end, Brevin Jordan.

    Jordan was sensational against Louisville, hauling in seven receptions for 120 yards and a 47-yard touchdown. He flashed big-play potential as well, averaging 17.1 yards per reception. He showcased his ability to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

    While his production has been hampered by poor quarterback play for a majority of his tenure at Miami, Jordan still has demonstrated that he is the total package at the tight end position.

    I’ve marveled about Jordan before, stating:

    “Jordan is an astounding seam threat, due to his rare blend of speed, size, and athleticism. When the ball is in his hands, he becomes a tough runner, consistently fighting for extra yards. When you watch tape on Jordan, you can see he is a natural pass-catcher, who can pluck the ball with ease. He is a brilliant and skilled route runner, who can transition in and out of breaks.”

    Brevin Jordan is a fringe Round 1 player that has the tools and athleticism to be one of the league’s most feared tight ends. Installing Jordan into a vertical passing attack, where he can consistently threaten the seam, would provide him the opportunity to become one of the most productive players at his position at the next level.

    Rashad Weaver, Defensive End, Pittsburgh (6’5″, 270 pounds, Redshirt Senior)

    After missing the 2019 season with an ACL injury, Pitt defensive end Rashad Weaver returns to the starling lineup for the Panthers. With his teammate Jaylen Twyman opting out of the 2020 season, Weaver will be afforded the opportunity to show that he is the leader of the unit.

    This past weekend, Weaver was an absolute monster, dominating the Syracuse offensive line to the tune of seven tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. Weaver is no stranger to sacking the quarterback, as he accounted for 6.5 sacks in 2018.

    Weaver’s play this weekend caught the eye of Tony Pauline, as Pauline states: “Despite missing 2019 with a knee injury, scouts graded Weaver as a potential top-100 prospect entering the season. He proved worthy of that grade, if not better, against Syracuse.

    In his first game back, Weaver posted seven tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. He was omnipresent in all facets of the game and was a constant nuisance for the SU offense. Continued productive play on the field, coupled with solid predraft workouts, will help Weaver snag a spot on the second day of the draft.”

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