Future Hogs – Week 11: A look at college football players who could help the Washington Commanders

The top teams in the College Football Playoff picture continued their winning ways. Ohio State steamrolled Indiana, Michigan stymied Nebraska, Georgia closed the door on Mississippi State in the second half, and TCU squeaked by Texas. USC remains the Pac-12’s best shot at the playoff after Oregon and UCLA were upset. Clemson bounced back and kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over Louisville.

There are some interesting matchups on the penultimate weekend of the college football season. Michigan will face one of the best defenses in college football in Illinois. Clemson will go up against a Miami defense that had four interceptions last week against Georgia Tech. UCLA will be looking to end USC’s chances at the CFP.

Below is a list of players that stood out to me with their performances in Week 11. Let me know what you think and feel free to add players that you think could help the Commanders.

Kurtis Rourke, QB – Ohio

If you like small-school QB prospects, Kurtis Rourke is your guy. He has been a prolific passer for the Bobcats as he is in the top ten for most statistical categories in the NCAA. The redshirt junior is 6’5”, 216 lbs, has plenty of arm, and is an accurate passer who can fit passes into tight windows. Against Miami of Ohio, Rourke went 25 or 35 for 363 yards and three touchdowns.

Kendre Miller, RB – TCU

TCU is having an amazing season and Kendre Miller has been a big part of their success. The 6’0”, 220 lbs junior has had five consecutive 100-yard games using his blend of speed and power. He can also catch out the backfield and block. He had 128 yards and a touchdown in a win over Texas.

Josh Downs, WR – UNC

With Dyami Brown and Sam Howell on the team, why not add another talented player from UNC in Josh Downs. The wideout plays a lot like Jahan Dotson: he’s an excellent route runner that makes catches in traffic and has enough speed to threaten a defense vertically. The knock on him is he’s also a similar size to Dotson at only 5’10”, 175 lbs. The junior hauled in 11 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Draft him and change the team’s name to the Washington Tarmanders!

Sam LaPorta, TE – Iowa

Senior Sam LaPorta did not have his best outing in a win over Wisconsin, but he did lead his team with 48 yards on five catches. That isn’t an indictment on his ability and, if anything, speaks to the poor quarterback play of the Cyclones. I think LaPorta will be a significant contributor to an NFL team’s passing attack. At 6’4”, 249 lbs, he plays more like a big receiver, running precise routes, amassing YAC, and fighting through contact.

Christian Haynes, OG – UConn

UConn is bowl-eligible after a win over Liberty, the first time they have been bowl-eligible since 2015. The play of their offensive line has played a large role in the team’s success with Christian Haynes being one of its best players. The Bowie, Maryland, native is strong both with his punch and as a drive blocker. He can locate targets in space just as well as he anchors in the passing game. I think a year of strength and conditioning at the next level will give him the chance to be a reliable starter at the next level.

Bryan Bresee, DT – Clemson

It’s easy to see why Bryan Bresee is one of the top defensive tackles in the country and projects to be a high draft pick. He has a unique blend of speed that allows him to cross the face of the guard on a stunt and brute strength he uses to toss blockers aside. If the Commanders lose Daron Payne in the offseason, the third-year sophomore would make an excellent addition to the team. He had two total tackles, a sack and a pass deflection in a win over Louisville.

Carlton Martial, LB – Troy

Carlton Martial is an intriguing prospect. The fifth-year senior is incredibly productive, just breaking Luke Kuechly’s NCAA record for most career tackles (Kuechly did it in only three years.) However, this tackling machine is undersized for the position at only 5’9”, 210 lbs. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with instincts and hard-hitting. Could Martial come in and play special teams and be a Buffalo nickel candidate? I think so. He had 22 total tackles – six solo and 16 assisted – against Army.

MJ Devonshire, CB – Pittsburgh

Redshirt junior MJ Devonshire is one of two talented corners that play for the Panthers. He is at his best in zone coverage, keeping an eye on the QB and using an extra gear when the ball is in the air to make a play. In a win over Virginia, Devonshire had a pick six early in the game. After that, the Cavaliers rarely tested him. One big bonus: he’s also a talented punt returner.

Brian Branch, S – Alabama

Alabama barely got the win over Ole Miss and Brian Branch played a pivotal role in the win. He provided excellent coverage on the targeted receiver, allowing the Rebels’ last chance for a win to fall incomplete. The junior plays a variety of roles for the Crimson Tide, dropping into deep coverage and playing around the line of scrimmage. He finished his day with eight tackles, two for a loss, and a pass breakup. One big bonus: he has experience as a punt returner.

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