It’s great to have college football back and it’s even better to have SEC football returning to our televisions. Week 4 of the college football season didn’t disappoint, as we saw a few tremendous upsets. First, quarterback Skylar Thompson led Kansas State to a 38-35 upset victory over the No. 3-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Next, the Mike Leach-led Mississippi State Bulldogs went into Tigers Stadium and beat the reigning national champion LSU Tigers by the score of 44-34. While both of these games featured tremendous performances by top 2021 NFL Draft prospects, neither game featured any of our Week 4 college football top performers.
Before we jump into the top performers for Week 4 of the college football season, let’s take a look at some other notable performances.
K.J. Costello, Quarterback, Mississippi State
K.J. Costello is a legitimate Heisman contender in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. He put up monster numbers in Saturday’s Bulldogs victory over LSU. Costello threw for a staggering 623 yards and five touchdown passes. He possesses prototypical size for the position and an arm with a lot of juice. In a 2021 quarterback class that lacks depth, Costello is a name to watch on day two of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ventrell Miller, Linebacker, Florida
When you hear the names for top 2021 linebacker prospects, one name that needs to be added to the conversation is Florida’s Ventrell Miller. This Saturday, no linebacker in the nation played better football than Miller, who racked up an impressive 15 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack.
Terrace Marshall Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU
In a losing effort, Terrace Marshall Jr. was impressive, as he took full advantage of Ja’Marr Chase’s decision to opt-out of the college football season. Marshall hauled in eight receptions for 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In a deep 2021 wide receiver group, don’t sleep on Terrace Marshall Jr. as a round two pick in next April’s draft.
College Football Week 4 Top Performers
Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida (6’6″, 240 pounds)
Kyle Pitts and Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth are in a battle to determine who wins the title of “TE1” in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s early, but Pitts is currently in the lead after a sensational performance in Week 4.
The uber-athletic Pitts was unstoppable against Ole Miss this Saturday, hauling in eight passes for 170 yards and a mind-blowing four touchdowns, averaging a majestic 21.3 yards per reception. His explosiveness was fully on display early in the second half, as he blew by the Rebels defense for a 71-yard touchdown reception.
Pitts highlighted Tony Pauline’s top performers for Week 4, as Pauline stated: “Pitts was unstoppable and created mismatch nightmares for Ole Miss right from the get-go. He looks like a big power forward on the field, but he plays the tight end position like a receiver. To his credit, Pitts also looked better as a blocker. He possesses terrific upside, and if he continues to play productive football, Pitts will end up as a top-42 selection.”
When the dust settles, Pitts could be a legitimate top-15 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The type of speed and athleticism he brings is not common for the tight end position. He could flourish in a high-octane passing attack and blossom into one of the NFL’s most feared tight ends.
Kyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida (6’5″, 240 pounds)
After the “Big Three” quarterback prospects of the 2021 NFL Draft, a group consisting of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, the name to watch when it comes to 2021 quarterbacks is Florida’s Kyle Trask.
In Week 4, Trask was remarkable, completing 30 of 42 passes for 416 yards and a stunning six touchdown passes. Trask showcased his football savviness and arm talent in the Gators’ thrashing of Ole Miss. He and tight end Kyle Pitts have a special connection, and both players are poised for huge seasons.
Due to the law of supply and demand, Trask is going to get drafted higher way sooner than anticipated in 2021.
Richard LeCounte, Safety, Georgia (5’11”, 190 pounds)
The 2021 safety group is a lot of fun, but one name that tends to get lost in the shuffle is Georgia’s Richard LeCounte. The senior was brilliant this weekend, securing three tackles, two interceptions, and one pass defended. He showcased upper-echelon balls skills and displayed high football intelligence in Saturday’s performance.
I’ve raved about LeCounte before: “LeCounte is a monster in run support, utilizing his functional athleticism to make plays on the football sideline-to-sideline. He can deliver a blow and is a sound fundamental tackler. He isn’t afraid to mix it up and cover, as his athleticism and movement skills allow him to mirror tight ends. When you watch film on the Georgia defense, No. 2 stands out, as he plays like his hair is on fire.”
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that we hear Richard LeCounte’s name called on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft. He is a true plug-and-play option at the safety position, providing a player who knows his assignments and is ultra-dependable.
Patrick Jones III, EDGE, Pittsburgh (6’5″, 260 pounds)
While Miami’s Gregory Rousseau draws the headlines, the 2021 EDGE group largely lacks prominent names. One player that took advantage of this scenario in Week 4 is Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones III.
This past weekend, Jones III was a pass-rushing menace, terrorizing the Louisville offense to the tune of three sacks. Again quoting Tony Pauline, “Graded by some scouts as a potential top-45 pick, Jones finished the game with six tackles (three for loss), three sacks and one hurry. He was omnipresent for a Panthers defense that harassed Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham all day, holding him to just 107 yards on 9-of-21 passing.”
Don’t sleep on Jones III as a potential first-round pick in 2021, as the NFL is starved for game-changing pass-rushers and he has the tools to skyrocket up draft boards if he continues with these dominating performances.
Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama (5’10”, 182 pounds)
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is special, but don’t sleep on Jaylen Waddle being the best wide receiver in college football. The electric Waddle was dominant on Saturday, burning the Missouri defense for 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He could have done more damage, but Alabama had a comfortable lead and let their top players take a breather in the second half.
In addition to his astonishing speed, Waddle displayed toughness, strong hands, and an ability to locate the football. He is a dangerous home-run threat, who is a problem with the ball in his hands. While Missouri doesn’t present a stellar secondary, it was good for Waddle to show that he can be a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver in the Crimson tide passing attack.
As Nick Farabaugh projects in his recent mock draft, Waddle will certainly be a top-ten selection in 2021. He is one of the most electrifying players in college football and is a lethal big-play threat.