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After the last couple of weeks of writing this article, I'm making a real effort to keep this from being a Brock Bowers fan blog. I really should not spend too much time noting that he scored two more rushing touchdowns, including a 75-yard jet sweep that he took around the edge and outran the entire defense - again. We simply cannot devote this column to position-redefining tight end Brock Bowers each week.
Instead, let's take another look at Quinshon Judkins of Ole Miss. I've also discussed him in the two previous iterations of this article, but he keeps raising the bar for himself. It's worth revisiting that he's a 3-star true freshman that continues to outperform his former 5-star teammate and TCU transfer Zach Evans. On Saturday, he was handed the ball 27 times for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through four games, he's up to 429 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. He won't be eligible for the NFL until the 2025 draft, but he's showing early on why you should be paying attention to him right away.
Top Week 4 Performances
RB Jadyn Ott, Cal, Freshman - 19 carries for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns
What an unbelievable game for the true freshman from Chino, CA. PFF graded him at an incredible 99.1 (the second highest grade they've given a running back since 2014). He averaged more than 14 yards per carry and had touchdown runs of 73, 72, and 18. He's a sneaky long-strider for someone that only stands 6 feet tall but also has incredible leg drive, as evidenced on his shortest touchdown where it seemed the play was over around the 10-yard line, but he never stopped churning his feet. I was impressed with his field vision as he had no trouble identifying where the running lanes were and hitting them full speed. Following in the footsteps of Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Jahvid Best, he could be the next great back out of Cal.
WR Troy Franklin, Oregon, Sophomore - 5 receptions for 137 and a touchdown
Franklin was a consensus top 75 overall player and top 10 wide receiver in the 2021 class. After a quiet freshman season, he seems to have emerged as new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix's favorite target. At 6-foot-3 with great speed and after-the-catch ability, he's a big play waiting to happen. On Saturday, with Oregon in a back-and-forth brawl with Washington St., he stepped up when it mattered. Down by five points with a minute left, Nix found Franklin across the middle of the field. Franklin broke out of the initial tackle and sprinted in for the go-ahead touchdown. On the year, he has 20 catches for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns. Expect those numbers to grow at a faster pace as the chemistry with his quarterback increases.
WR JaCorey Brooks, Alabama, Sophomore - 6 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns
Rated as a five-star receiver by 247Sports in 2021, it's taken Brooks until the fourth game of his sophomore season to have his breakout game. Most of that can be attributed to Alabama's wide receiver room being absolutely packed with elite talent. While I don't expect that he will continue to see the full workload he received against Vanderbilt, he's certainly shown that he can capitalize on his opportunities. He doesn't jump off the screen with his athleticism, but he plays the position at a high level and is solid after the catch. His NFL Draft stock should continue to rise as he earns more opportunity in Alabama's high-powered passing game.
Who to Watch in Week 5
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