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College Football's best Players of Week 7 and a midseason All-American list
Who stood out the most in the first half of the season?
CBS Sports released a midseason All-Americans list and Pitt QB Kenny Pickett leads the way at the most important position. Pickett’s been a surprise entrant into the conversation as the top quarterback of the 2022 NFL Draft, though he still has a long way to go before he can solidify a concept like that one.
Pickett was on the radar prior to 2021 but he had never done anything nearly as good as the season he’s having right now. That’s fine, Joe Burrow and Zach Wilson are among many who can relate. He held off some decent competition to be ranked as the top QB in the nation on this list, but it’s nothing like some previous seasons and so his ranking must be taken with a grain of salt.
Sophomores on the list include RB Bijan Robinson, G/T Ikem Ekwonu, LB Will Anderson, and S Verone McKinley III. All players we discuss a lot here.
Thanks to our hard work here at Seaside Joe — me as a writer and you as a loyal reader who motivates me to keep going every week — none of the names on the all-american list are unfamiliar and many will be drafted in 2022.
Some of the most notable standouts are Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson, Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely, Purdue WR David Bell, USC WR Drake London, and Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner.
Walker has gone from a bit of an unknown to potentially the top running back in the 2022 class. Hutchinson wasn’t unknown, but he has vaulted himself into the top-10 conversation, if not top-5. Likely, London, and Gardner have also made cases to be the top prospects at their respective positions.
And David Bell just balls out every week for his entire career.
Those are a few names to consider for the entire season — here’s what happened that led to awards in Week 7.
NCAA Week 7
Freshman QB Caleb Williams of Oklahoma won the top award at his position but obviously is not draft eligible in 2022. It is not a good sign for Spencer Rattler though that his former backup is now the best QB on the team.
LSU RB Tyrion Davis-Price makes his debut at Seaside Joe in a major way: 287 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Florida. Davis-Price had 147 yards against Kentucky a week earlier and is over 1,000 yards and 5.6 YPC on the season. Former four-star recruit could declare in 2022.
PFF’s OL of the week: LT Tyler Smith (Tulsa), LG Ed Ingram (LSU), C John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota), RG O’Cyrus Torrence (Louisiana), RT Colby Ragland (UAB)
WR David Bell, Purdue - I almost put Bell in the first round of my mock but then kind of forgot about him because I don’t see a lot of people putting him in the first round. All the guy does is ball out. He had 11 catches for 240 yards against Iowa, the second-best defense in the nation, and it is his fourth game with over 120 yards in five tries this season. Bell has 679 yards in five games with four touchdowns. He had over 1,000 yards as a true freshman and eight touchdowns in six games last year. He’s just a baller, through and through. At Purdue!
RB Charles Williams, UNLV - This is his sixth college season. Williams had 221 rushing yards and 3 TD against Utah State.
WR Quentin Johnston, TCU - Had 185 yards and three TDs against Oklahoma’s generous defense.
WR Deven Thompkins, Utah State - 12 catches for 180 yards and 2 TDs against UNLV. I mention him a lot: four games over 120 yards and three games over 170 yards this year.
There were two familiar names on the defense (Kayvon Thibodeaux, George Karlaftis, two early first round picks) and a lot of new ones: DL Jalen Carter, DL Neil Farrell Jr, LB Leo Chenal, LB Bryce Gallagher, CB Coby Bryant, CB Mario Goodrich, S Jordan Battle, S Shaq Bond, “Flex” Corey Mayfield Jr.
S Jordan Battle, Alabama - Defensive player of the week had two interceptions against Mississippi State.
PFF’s play of the week is Michigan State QB Payton Thorne making a highlight catch:
QB Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky - We’ve talked a lot about Zappe this year. WKU did an incredible thing by bringing Houston Baptist’s offense up a level and then just destroying opposing pass defenses. Regardless of what we can say of their 2-4 record, Western Kentucky went from 19 points per game (115th in the country) to 41 points per game (9th in the country). Zappe has 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions and he’s had at least 3 TD in every game. Not mentioned is WR Jerreth Sterns, who caught 13 passes for 221 yards against Old Dominion this week. Sterns now has an insane 46 catches and 602 yards OVER THE LAST THREE GAMES.
RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati - 189 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Cincinnati can make the CFP with an undefeated season, probably.
RB Abram Smith, Baylor - 188 rushing yards and three touchdowns against BYU.
QB Cam Rising, Utah - Has won the award in back-to-back weeks. Pac-12 notes that six other players have won this award back-to-back, including Marcus Mariota.
RB Travis Dye, Oregon was among those nominated.
LB Devin Lloyd, Utah - We know that Lloyd is probably a first round pick in 2022.
Among those nominated for defense was Oregon LB Noah Sewell. He’s not draft eligible until 2023, but some are calling Sewell one of the top-5 or 10 players in the nation already and potentially a very early pick. Sewell won this week’s Freshman award.
C Nick Ford, Utah - Junior’s second career OL award. WSU OT Abe Lucas also nominated.
DL Brennan Jackson, WSU - First time mentioning Jackson, a junior with two such player of the week awards on his resume now. Jackson had six tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, and was considered generally disruptive all day. Kayvon Thibodeaux was also nominated, as well as ASU’s DE Tyler Johnson.
Players we know: QB Brennan Armstrong, RB Sean Tucker, WR Josh Downs.
Also this week…
WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia - seven catches for 124 yards vs Louisville.
OL Bobby Haskins, Virginia - Left tackle senior allowed zero pressures and seven pancake blocks.
DL Mandy Alonso, Virginia - Must have been a good day for the Cavs.
LB Cedric Gray, UNC - Sophomore had six tackles, one TFL, and two interceptions against Miami.
QB Matt Corral was honored alongside Tyrion Davis-Price. We know about Corral, we like Corral just fine, but I’m not that interested in him being a good runner with a decent arm. I’m looking for a player with a GREAT arm, then asking, “Cool, now does he run a bit?”
LB Will Anderson, Alabama - Destined to be drafted relatively early eventually. Had four sacks this weekend.
DL Colby Wooden, DL Jalen Carter, OL Kenyon Green, freshman TE Brock Bowers all mentioned. There’s much hype and anticipation around the future of Bowers:
The Big-12 Weekly awards are much shorter than everyone else. Note: Oklahoma State S Jason Taylor II won for defense. Taylor is not related to that other Jason Taylor you know for football.
AAC’s offensive player of the week was Jerome Ford. Defense went to Tula LB Justin Wright.
MAC players of the week includes Western Michigan QB Kaleb Eleby.
Just wanted to keep these articles around handy somewhere…
An article on Kirby Smart’s Georgia defense that I want to bookmark.
An article on the upcoming QB transfer portal carousel.
An article that ranks Grayson McCall as the third-best QB in college football.