The college football landscape is constantly changing and it makes keeping track of where the talent is a challenge. Ever the hot topic among football pundits and fans, the transfer portal has already proven beneficial for several players looking to show they can hack it against better competition (Jacob Cowing, UTEP to Arizona) or those looking for increased playing time to elevate their draft status (Jameson Williams, Ohio St to Alabama). With several coaching dominoes starting to fall before the start of October, it could open the doors for some of our favorite underclassmen to look around in the upcoming offseason. Could we see someone like Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen find a new home with the firing of Badger head coach Paul Chryst? Kansas head coach Lance Leipold is on everyone's hot board for the next big job opening. If he leaves Lawrence, would stud running back Devin Neal try to land a starting role elsewhere? Five-star Missouri freshman Luther Burden has already been the subject of transfer rumors after disappointing usage in the Tigers' offense thus far. While the NCAA tries to figure out how to legislate the portal, we need only keep our eyes focused on who produces when they're given the opportunity. Let's take a look at who made the most of Week 5.
Top Week 5 Performances
WR Xavier Worthy, Texas, Sophomore - 7 receptions for 119 and 2 touchdowns plus 1 passing touchdown
As the Longhorns await the return of starting quarterback Quinn Ewers, they're leaning heavily on their other stars to keep them running smoothly. Worthy has proven to be a dependable playmaker from the moment he stepped on campus. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with pure athleticism and the ability to separate from coverage. On Saturday, he made it happen as a receiver and even found time to throw a touchdown to teammate Ja'Tavion Sanders along the way. It's hard to know how he'll project at the next level, but guys like DeVonta Smith have already shown that you can still count on production from players with small frames if the talent is there.
QB Caleb Williams, USC, Sophomore - 27/37 for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns, 44 rushing yards and 1 touchdown
After a rough game in Week 4 against Oregon State, Williams needed a strong bounce-back performance. He delivered in a big way in a 42-25 victory over Arizona State. His game is just smooth and steady. He has the quickness to evade the pass rush to keep the play alive while keeping his eyes downfield to deliver a perfectly placed pass. It's beautiful to watch him in rhythm. Through five games, he boasts a 12-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go along with 144 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. At this point, it's hard to imagine anyone else being drafted with the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
QB Drake Maye, North Carolina, Freshman - 26/36 for 363 yards and 3 touchdowns, 73 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns
Drake Maye has been a revelation in 2022. After taking a year to learn behind Sam Howell, he's taken total control of the Tar Heel offense. They've scored no less than 35 points in any game this season and have eclipsed 55 twice. On Saturday, he accounted for five touchdowns as North Carolina took down Virginia Tech 41-10. While rocking a 19-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he's thrown for nearly 1600 yards and added 255 yards on the ground. He has all the tools to succeed at the next level and should continue to elevate his draft stock over the next season and a half.
- QB Jayden de Laura, Arizona, Soph - 33/46 for 484 yards and 6 touchdowns
- RB Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois, RS Soph - 30 carries for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns
- WR Jimmy Horn, South Florida, Soph - 8 receptions for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns
- TE Tanner Koziol, Ball State, Freshman - 7 receptions for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns
Who to Watch in Week 6
QB Jalen Milroe, Alabama, Redshirt Freshman
This entry comes with a bit of an asterisk. It hasn't yet been announced who will start for the Crimson Tide on Saturday after Heisman quarterback Bryce Young injured his shoulder last week against Arkansas. While filling in for Young, Jalen Milroe got off to a slow start, and the Razorbacks were able to shrink the lead to just five points. He responded on the following drive with a 77-yard scramble that led to a touchdown, and the Crimson Tide never looked back. If Milroe gets the start on Saturday against Texas A&M, he will have the opportunity to show why he was a consensus 4-star recruit in the 2021 class. It's not uncommon for college coaches to be coy about injury situations, so don't expect Nick Saban to name a starter until he absolutely has to. But all signs indicate Young will rest for another week, and Milroe will have a chance to stake his claim on the starting job for 2023. He definitely has the inside track.
WR Barion Brown, Kentucky, Freshman
The Nashville native caught my eye against Ole Miss last week because of how electric he is with the ball in his hands. I knew he was making some waves for the Wildcats early on, but the stats don't tell the whole story. Brown is going to be a star. Through five games, he only has 15 receptions for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he's also serving as their primary returner on special teams. His role within the offense will continue to increase as he grows more comfortable within it. I could see him filling the Wan'Dale Robinson role over the next couple of years.
Looking forward to a great Saturday of college football!
Continue reading this content with a 100% free Insider subscription.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, ESPN