College Football Week 3: Team of the Week honors

Week 3 was a miraculous reminder of how great college football is. Picking players for our Week 3 Team of the Week was incredibly difficult.

First-Team Defense

Which defensive players made the first-team Team of the Week for Week 3?

EDGE: Drake Jackson, USC

Sparking what ended up being a rout, Drake Jackson‘s strip-sack late in the third quarter pushed the Trojans lead to 2 scores as USC never looked back. Jackson beat his lineman, crashing in on Jayden de Laura’s blindside, jarring the ball loose. Tuli Tuipulotu landed on the fumble, and USC went up 28-14.

Jackson finished the game with 4 total tackles, including the sack and a tackle for loss.

DI: Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma

You didn’t have to have an advanced football brain to see Redmond’s impact for Oklahoma against Nebraska on Saturday — you just had to watch the game. Redmond was in the backfield more than he wasn’t, single-handedly altering the Nebraska passing attack play after play.

He finished the game with 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, another QB hurry, but that was just the box score data. Redmond consistently pushed the pocket and found his way to QB Adrian Martinez even if he didn’t get credit for it.

DI: Trumane Bel II, UTSA

Not even a starter for the Roadrunners, Bell was unstoppable when he saw action against Middle Tennessee State. He recorded 2 sacks, a half tackle for loss, 2 QB hurries, but he did the most damage by forcing a fumble on QB Chase Cunningham. The fumble was scooped and returned for a touchdown by Lorenzo Dantzler to push UTSA’s lead to 24.

Bell is certainly in line for more action if he keeps playing as he did on Saturday.

EDGE: Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State

Kamara and the Rams’ defense limited Toledo to just 21 yards on the ground. As impressive as that is, Kamara was also a constant force in the backfield against the Rockets. He recorded 2.5 sacks, an additional QB hurry, and another tackle for loss.

Kamara could even be credited with more sacks as he was responsible for the majority of the havoc caused by Colorado State.

LB: Chad Muma, Wyoming

A common theme among our defensive players on the Team of the Week, you didn’t have to look far to see Muma in action for Wyoming this weekend. Stymying the Ball State offense for all four quarters, Muma led the charge for the Cowboys. He led the game with 10 solo tackles, 12 total tackles, and patrolled the middle of the field well.

This isn’t the first time Muma has landed on our Team of the Week. If he keeps up this level of play, we’ll certainly see him on this list some more.

LB: Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati

The noon slate’s marquee game did not disappoint when Cincinnati toppled Indiana. Beavers stole headlines from the quarterback battle as well with his level of play. Dominating from sideline to sideline, Beavers recorded 9 total tackles and recovered a fumble.

He also chipped in with a sack on a blitz, a tackle for loss, and made multiple plays on the ball in coverage that led to either incompletions or interceptions.

LB: Teddy Gallagher, Coastal Carolina

What more can you say about the Mullet Heard ‘Round the World? Gallagher proved once again to be one of the nation’s top linebackers against Buffalo. With multiple run stuffs and short-area coverage stops, Gallagher was integral in keeping the Bulls out of the end zone on several occasions.

CB: D.J. Graham, Oklahoma

The most notable play from the afternoon, Graham rocketed to the top play of the entire college football season when he intercepted Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez. Graham jumped a route fading to the sidelines and made an acrobatic one-handed interception that ultimately sealed the deal for the Sooners.

Graham had a few more plays on the ball and looked terrific in coverage and against the run.

CB: Ronald Williams, Michigan State

The Spartans pulled off the upset against Miami in spectacular fashion on Saturday, thanks in large part to their defensive efforts. Williams recorded 1 of their 2 interceptions and didn’t allow a touchdown in coverage nor any big plays. The Spartans improved to 3-0 and have to be looking for bigger things with how this defensive unit played.

CB: Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama

The game between Alabama and Florida was largely in hand for the Crimson Tide, despite the final score. Armour-Davis and the Alabama defense were a huge reason why, limiting the Gators to just 195 through the air. Armour-Davis recorded the lone takeaway of the game when he picked off Emory Jones.

The Alabama CB limited outside receivers to just 2 total catches after Florida’s receivers were dominant through their first two games.

S: Verone McKinley, Oregon

McKinley and Oregon’s defense were once again on display in Week 3. Except for this week, they got to do it against Stony Brook rather than Ohio State. Opponent aside, McKinley recorded 2 interceptions and multiple other plays in coverage worthy of his spot on our Team of the Week.

Rocketing up the list of top defensive backs in the country, McKinley is also proving his worth as a potential high NFL Draft pick at the same time.

S: Marquis Waters, Texas Tech

At one point, FIU led Texas Tech 7-0. In the blink of an eye, Waters took an interception 71 yards to the house to tie the game. The Red Raiders never looked back in their 33-point victory. Waters’ acrobatic and athletic pick-six was the spark necessary as the team rallied off 4 touchdown drives following his takeaway.

Waters finished the game with another play on the ball and didn’t let anything over the top. The longtime Duke Blue Devil has found himself a nice role within the Tech defense in 2021.

Flex: Jimmy Wyrick, Stanford

After making his debut against USC last week, Wyrick continued his impressive play against Vanderbilt in Week 3. Recording an interception and 2 pass breakups, the true freshman is starting to put together quite the résumé early in his career. Chipping in with 4 solo tackles for the second straight game, Wyrick is a name to know going forward.

The two-sport high school star looks primed and ready to dominate in college football.

Punter: Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

A perfect 4/4 — every punt Constantinou hit was nailed inside the New Mexico 20-yard line on Saturday. He averaged a healthy 45.5 yards per punt and had a long of 61. Constantinou did an impressive job of keeping the Lobos pinned all game.

Second-Team Defense

EDGE: Lorenzo Dantzler, UTSA
DI: Kendy Charles, Liberty
DI: Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
EDGE: Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
LB: Stefon Thompson, Syracuse
LB: Zack Woodard, UL Monroe
LB: Carlton Martial, Troy

CB: Quincy Riley, Middle Tennessee State
CB: Denzel Burke, Ohio State
CB: A.J. Hampton Jr., Northwestern
S: Malik Moore, BYU
S: Jaylan Foster, South Carolina
Flex: Caden McDonald, San Diego State
Punter: Ryan Stonehouse, Colorado State

Honorable Mention Defense

EDGE: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
DI: Julius Turner, Rutgers
DI: Greg Rose, Maryland
EDGE: BJ Ojulari, LSU
LB: Isaac Slade-Matautia, SMU
LB: Justin Rice, Utah State
LB: Jordan Cobbs, San Jose State

CB: Zyon Gilbert, FAU
CB: Jack Jones, Arizona State
CB: Rod Heard II, Northwestern
S: Calen Bullock, USC
S: Angelo Grose, Michigan State
Flex: Marquel Broughton, Army
Punter: Michael Turk, Oklahoma

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor