College football notes & a new live stream

Before getting into the college football notes, check out our Seahawks season preview live stream below…

This weekend was my first opportunity to sit down and watch live college football (along with some YouTube streaming). Here are some notes and thoughts:

1. The top quarterbacks are massively overrated

It’s only one game but based on what I saw this week combined with my previous study from last year, I’m not buying into the consensus grading for Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler or North Carolina’s Sam Howell.

Neither player gives me the same feeling Zach Wilson did a year ago. They have their moments, of course. I’m not suggesting they’re totally hopeless. But if I was a fan of a team in the franchise quarterback market, I wouldn’t be looking at the 2022 draft for answers.

At least unless someone new emerges.

Rattler was the second best quarterback on the field on Saturday and was completely outshone by Tulane freshman Michael Pratt.

He finished with two interceptions but it should’ve been three. Rattler’s first pick was a terrible decision, lofting a floated deep ball into double coverage. It was beyond reckless. His second interception was thrown way off target and behind his wide open tight end.

There should’ve been a third. He threw another suicidal pass into thick coverage and just floated it into the air, begging to be picked off. The ref’s threw a flag for a DPI which was one of the worst calls you’ll ever see. The receiver was shoving the defender out of the play and his team mate jumped in to make the pick. If anything, it was OPI.

Rattler has physical tools and he’s very capable of extending plays. Yet to me he looks like a player who trusts his traits too much. He takes chances and gambles and that won’t cut it against pro opponents. Heck, it nearly cost Oklahoma a game against Tulane.

This was a trend early last season too. I’ve no doubt he’ll settle down as the weeks go on but for me there are big concerns about how he plays the game.

College players throw interceptions. They have bad games and make mistakes. There are different levels of error though. Opponents can make plays, you can be pressured, you can be forced into bad decisions.

Just chucking throws up into double coverage under no pressure? That’s different. Just thinking ‘ah f-it’ and lobbing one up? You can’t just do that. Having a play design where the TE is your first or second easy read and you throw it late and five yards behind him? Not good.

With Rattler, I just get the impression this is what he is. A toolsy player who takes chances. When the risks come off, great. When they don’t, we get a lazy, mistake-riddled performance like today that almost costs his team a game.

On the other hand, Pratt was poised, accurate, laid everything out for his team and almost pulled off the upset. He had great command of his offense and made the right decisions. He will be one to watch going forward.

Meanwhile, Howell and North Carolina were handily beaten by Virginia Tech on Friday. To me, Howell is a case of a player being elevated by internet scouts purely because he earned the starting role as a true freshman. It catches attention, people take notice. It’s assumed he must be something special but he’s not as good as some think.

He has a reasonable arm but he’s not elusive. He showed well on some quarterback keepers in this game but you’d never mistake him for a dynamic runner. There’s very little improvisation when the script breaks down.

I’m concerned about his accuracy and consistency. Too often he frets in the pocket under serious pressure and drops his eyes. I don’t think his tools are so good that you look beyond any of this.

To me he’s a fairly regular mid-round draft pick. At least with Rattler there’s the possibility of him working things out over time. Howell to me just appears pretty average.

Liberty’s quarterback Malik Willis is a very intriguing player and one to keep an eye on. There were a lot of flashy ‘wow’ plays on tape in 2020. There were also some ‘WTF’ moments and some serious technical issues he needs to address.

2. A safety worth a mention

Tulane’s Larry Brooks, take a bow. He delivered the toughest, most dynamic clean hit we’ve seen in years against Oklahoma. It was absolutely textbook — with superb striking range, power and it knocked an opponent out of the game.

Big hits are a thing of the past for the most part — and understandably so as the game transitions to a post-concussion-controversy era.

So it was such a delight to see Brooks deliver such a crushing blow — and that the refs acknowledged it by keeping the flags off the ground.

Furthermore, he also recovered an onside kick that gave Tulane an opportunity to win and he recovered a fumble which would’ve been crucial had it not been for the dumb flag on Rattler’s third pick.

Brooks is 6-0 and 200lbs and a junior. I’ll be keeping an eye out for him.

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux has an injury

With a mediocre looking quarterback class in 2022, Oregon’s star pass rusher had a pretty clean route to being the #1 overall pick with a good season.

However, after an impressive start including an early sack…

…he left the game with an injury and re-emerged on the sideline wearing a walking boot.

It’s reportedly an ankle injury which isn’t good news.

Meanwhile another pass rusher had a bright start to the season. Ohio State’s Zach Harrison had a tremendous sack/fumble against Minnesota, leading to a scoop-and-score touchdown for impressive defensive tackle Haskell Garrett.

The pair have a chance to really elevate their stock this season.

Aidan Hutchinson (DE, Michigan) also started with four tackles and a sack against Western Michigan. Provided he can stay healthy, Hutchinson has every chance to be a high pick next year. He has everything — great athleticism, size, power and the nouse to work out a route to the quarterback. Terrific talent.

Buckeye receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson both were productive too. Olave had four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson recorded five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. On the score, Wilson created a country mile of separation on a 56-yard throw-and-catch.

That said, I have reservations about their testing speed. They will have productive seasons, no doubt. But if they test at the combine I wouldn’t expect the kind of times that will have scouts salivating. Wilson ran a 4.61 forty at SPARQ. Olave only managed a 4.73.

4. A pair of running backs to keep an eye on

Kenneth Walker is 5-10 and 210lbs. He transferred from Wake Forest to Michigan State and on his MSU debut ran for 264 yards against Northwestern.

He scoured four touchdowns and had 11.5 YPC.

Walker has the size Seattle likes, he ran with power and explosion and showed breakaway speed on a long run to start the game. He’s one to watch moving forward, although he didn’t test at SPARQ so I don’t have any numbers as an early gauge.

Last week I highlighted UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet as one to watch. In a big win against LSU he again impressed, running for 117 yards on just 11 carries and a score.

He’s working in a backfield rotation which limits his snaps but so far he’s making the most of his opportunities with a tough, physical running style. Tacklers bounce off him, he has great balance and quickness. He accelerates quickly to get through the gears and he appears to have good vision to read opportunities and the physical talent to take his chances.

He also had a 35-yard reception in the game.

I’m a big fan. He’s a Michigan transfer and a former four-star recruit. He’s originally from California and seems to be settling back in on the west coast. Take the opportunity to check him out when you get a chance.

5. Tight ends make an impression

Two of the leading TE’s for 2022 were productive albeit in losing efforts.

Cade Otton had eight catches for 82 yards in Washington’s embarrassing effort against Montana. It’s hard to think what UW’s offense would look like without Otton.

Jake Ferguson had nine catches for 52 yards as Wisconsin lost to Penn State. Ferguson made one incredible diving, one-handed catch.

Both players warrant close attention this year.

Iowa’s Sam La Porta is someone I haven’t studied closely yet but will do. He’s highly rated by many. He had five catches for 83 yards as Iowa hammered Indiana. He’s difficult to bring down and had one play by the right sideline where he broke two tackles and dodged another for a few extra YAC.

The play of the day by a tight end, however, goes to UCLA redshirt junior Greg Dulcich. He scored on a 75-yard run-and-catch where he dodged one open-field tackle, sprinted down the sideline and then hurdled another defender to fall into the end zone. He had two other impressive plays too. I’m intrigued to see more.

6. Something my wife said

The Louisville logo flashed onto the screen at one point on Saturday. My wife, who wasn’t initially watching the college football, spotted and laughed loudly.

“Look at that bird! With its teeth and its beak!’

I’d never noticed until now. Why the hell does it have teeth!??!

7. Quick-hitting thoughts

— I am not convinced Justyn Ross at Clemson is as good as the internet believes. He started the season with four catches for 26 yards as Clemson toiled and struggled against Georgia’s ferocious and creative pass rush. It was pleasing to see Jordan Davis standing out again for Georgia. He’s not just a huge, space-eating defensive tackle. He’s more athletic than people realise and he’s capable of dominating the interior. He’s one of the best players in college football.

— Highly rated LSU pass rusher Ali Gaye also had a sack against UCLA, engaging with the right tackle and hand-fighting to disengage before finishing to the QB. Safety Eli Ricks is one to watch for the 2023 draft. He had four picks last season and had a good interception against UCLA — reading the play superbly. He has good size. One final note from this game — the commentator describing Caleb Johnson picking off Max Johnson as a ‘Johnson on Johnson crime’… was… interesting. At least he only called it a house call when Kayshon Boutte scored his second touchdown. Boutte, for what it’s worth, looks like a real talent. He had nine catches for 148 yards and three scores.

— It’s going to be an absolute precession for Alabama this season.

If you saw any prospects worth checking out this season jot their name down in the comments section. I have a few other games saved on my system to get into in the coming days.

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  1. TJ

    Michigan WR Ronnie Bell had one of the sweetest sideline catches I’ve ever seen (negated by penalty). He also had a nice TD reception a short time later. Unfortunately, he suffered a leg injury so wasn’t able to finish the game. I’m curious what type of prospect he will be if he is able to return from the injury.

    • TJ

      Update: Bell is out for the season.

  2. Paul Cook

    Caleb Williams, Oklahoma’s true freshman back up QB, may well be the better talent between him and Rattler. I think you’ve got to give Rattler a little more time. Riley is a very good QB coach, and Oklahoma is still working in a mostly new receiver corp from a talent standpoint.

    I don’t know why Oklahoma didn’t more consistently run the ball down Tulane’s throat, really strangle them and the clock with a more ball control game plan.

    Anyway…as far as a talent standpoint, I’m best concentrating on the Pac 12.

  3. Pugs1

    Ole Miss QB Matt Corral is worth checking out. Don’t know if you will have access to that game but they play the bird with teeth Monday night.

  4. cha

    Chris Simms does the NFC West preview and they take it by looking at over/under wins.

    Seahawks 10 wins – Simms takes the under. Why?

    -Offensive scheme won’t take division by storm
    -Duane Brown questions
    -Who are the corners?
    -Front 7? Bobby Wagner still great?
    -Depth at DL but who are you scared of?
    -RW carrying the team again

    Simms says Seahawks miss the playoffs this year.

    (starts at 4:15)

    • Big Mike

      ……….and Russ says buh bye

    • Ashish

      He has not mentioned about CB, LB. First time I will agree with other commenters. Unless PC and offense has surprise store for us.

    • Rob Staton

      All valid concerns

  5. Big Mike

    Really bummed about Thibodeaux. Despise Ohio St. and wanted Oregon to beat them. Don’t see it now.

  6. Ashish

    Rob, If you get time please check out Josh Downs #11 WR from NC.

  7. brendon light

    Glad to have you writing about college football prospects again! It’s gonna be a fun season!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these Georgia defensive lineman. The guy who is 6’6” and 350 is a beast!

  8. Big Mike

    Fire Jimmy Lake?
    UW got thoroughly outplayed. What an utter, complete and total embarrassment

    • Big Mike

      Outplayed by an FCS school that has been inferior to Eastern Washington in their own league for several years.

    • KD

      Dylan Morris is garbage. Put Sam Huard in and hope for the best.

    • STTBM

      Hubris! Jimmy Lake blew it! The kids from my home state, smaller, slower, less athletic than UWs fourth string opened up a can of whoopass!

      Hahaha! Eat it Seattle!

      Damn, I never thought Montana had a chance, but with that UW staff I guess anything is possible!

      Seattle media giving no credit to Montana. Sore Losers! Die Yuppie Scum lol!

      Seriously, way to go Montana! Go Cougs!

      • STTBM

        Apologies for getting carried away. I am not a UW hater, I like them and the Cougs. I’m not a fan of Montana’s coach either, he’s a scumbag. But I’m tired of the total disrespect given to Montana after they busted their assed and beat a vastly more talented team.

    • Denver Hawker

      Lake was supposed to be the big recruiter as well. Never thought he’d be a top Head Coach, but at least though he could bring in great talent- he’s had disappointing recruiting classes.

      Morris isn’t the problem, the offense has been vanilla. I stopped watching UW games almost 2 years ago and never looked back.

      • KD

        Morris was consistently throwing behind receivers all day and ended up throwing 3 INTs. He may not be THE problem, but he is absolutely awful.

        • Denver Hawker

          Huard won’t be any different in that offense.

          • KD

            Maybe not, but “the system” didn’t make Morris throw behind his receivers. He did that all night. He has a weak arm, he makes bad throws.

            • Hawkdawg

              I don’t think his arm is weak. I think his head is weak now. He seemed tentative at best, downright intimidated at worst. A true regression from last year. He was up and down last year, but this game he was awful. Maybe not as bad as the much-touted OL, but bad.

      • McZ

        Come on, the dude plays behind a capable OL. He has the same set of receivers as Eason had.

        True, it was a complete meltdown of a game plan. No real idea what their play calling thought. “First game, keep it simple, will suffice for Montana”? This is a wrong idea.

        Udub is a program in need for a complete rework, and this since at least 2018.

        • Rob Staton

          Serious questions should be asked of the sporting department at the school.

          Because the football & basketball teams are a laughing stock.

          • Elmer

            The UW athletic director has failed to make good coaching hires. Questions should start at the top of the athletic department. Bad teams produce unhappy alumni, fewer donations.

          • McZ

            Yes, there have to be questions.

            The first big question is: why is a unproven freshmen QB not only playing, but having to carry this team, which he clearly couldn’t? This is an experience which can break a guy.

            Second question: AFAIK, high school coaches are guiding their talented players when it comes to make signings. With a dearth in quality signings, is is possible, those coaches are much better at judging Lake than Udub decision makers and fans?

        • BruceN

          At least for this game I thought they had 3 receivers out and lost another during the game (didn’t watch the game). But that’s far from their only issue.

    • Rob Staton

      A team going absolutely nowhere

  9. Big Mike

    Rob when you get up and if you have access to UCLA v LSU, check out Zach Charbonnet RB for the Bruins. Probably not a Seahawks fit physically, but has excellent vision and is quite slippery/good in tight spaces.

    • Rob Staton

      Wrote about him last week… and have added notes having now watched LSU vs UCLA.

      I’m a big fan.

  10. swedenhawk

    RB Kevin Harris from South Carolina seems intriguing. Led the SEC in rushing last season and has the size and running style the Seahawks covet. Unfortunately, he’s currently recovering from back surgery and it’s unclear when he’ll take the field next.

  11. Rob Staton

    I’ve updated the article with fresh notes on the later games

  12. McZ

    Aidan Hutchinson is a Top 5 pick, hands down. Not only did he collect 4 tackles plus a sack, on half a dozen occasions, he collapsed the OL into the passed. Simply ran the gap and took the big guys with him. Not sure about his speed around the edges. This is clearly not his game. He is more of a train wrecker guy.

    UGA was tremendous vs Clemson. Completely shut down one of the better offenses in CFB. That DL needs to get more attention.

    The best QB IMO was Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati. Need to watch more of him.

    The other dude was Michael Pratt, freshman QB for Tulane. He thoroughly outplayed Rattler for the whole game.

  13. Rob Staton

    The Seahawks have signed Blessuan Austin apparently

    Another corner

    • Big Mike

      Problem with this is that scraps still leave me hungry.

    • Mick

      Likely we won’t see him play for us. How about we stop wasting time with these moves and solve the Duane Brown situation?

      • Big Mike

        No need, you’re HOF QB staying on the team depends on it is all.

    • Poli

      We need Sherm. Or what’s left of him.

    • cha

      And guess what? They’ll be doing it all again next year. The only outside corner contracted for 2022 currently is Tre Brown.

      Jamal Adams better be amazing this year.

      • Big Mike

        You forgot to add “when he’s not missing games due to injury”.

    • Lewis

      Bless this mess

  14. TJ

    I will add UCF DE Big Kat Bryant to the list. He transferred from Auburn and looks the part.

  15. 40Uptown

    The “Churn” for talent continues @ CB. The consistent theme is a sticky, physical, more aggressive approach. This should be an interesting outcome with Adams’ aggressive style leading that group. 84 PFF grade in his rookie season, isn’t bad. They will be flying around that’s for sure.

    • Mick

      He’s 71.4 in first season 2019. You just have to wonder why they didn’t make these moves before camp.

      • 40Uptown It pays to be patient. They ended up getting him for nothing.

        • Mick

          OK that’s weird.

          • Mick

            And now that I read better the link you send, its 84.4 but only for weeks 10-13.

            • Bigsteviej

              As has been pointed out regarding that stretch:
              The Jets faced teams that went a combined 16-48 during these 4 games (NYG, Cincinnati, Washington and Oakland).

              • cha

                Hey quit slagging those teams.

                NYG came into Seattle and beat the Seahawks.

                And the Seahawks escaped Washington by the skin of their teeth.

                Clearly they’re powerhouses. They went toe to toe with a 12-4 #3 playoff seed.

                • Lewis

                  I know you are being facetious, but how does that compare to how our CBs fared against those teams last year? Maybe we shouldn’t be knocking the guy for playing well against weak opponents when our roster tends to play down to the level of competition.

                  • cha

                    People are rightfully concerned about the CB situation this year, but last year’s group was truly putrid. Blame the DL all you want, they just couldn’t even do some of the most basic things.

                    This year’s group will be better by default. How much better is the big question.

                  • Lewis

                    After last year, I’d settle for serviceable. We both know DL and secondary go hand in hand. Your description fits last year’s DL s as well. I certainly feel like that group can be better this year. Maybe they can make the CBs look good.

  16. 40Uptown

  17. Big Mike

    Quick comment on yesterday’s college football:

    Thank you UCLA!!! It was so nice to see a Pac-12 school FINALLY beat an SEC opponent. Been too long. And they didn’t just beat them, they physically whipped them in the 2nd half. Important too to give Ed Orgeron credit for bringing his team out west for the game. The rest of the shithead SEC won’t ever go outside of their region to play anyone.

    • Palatypus

      Had a houseful of unvaccinated New Orleans hurricane refugees for this. It was quite gratifying.

      • neil

        Two impressive wins for UCLA so far. they may be the big dog in the PAC 12 this year.

    • TomLPDX

      Big Mike, these games are set years in advance. Loved seeing UCLA beat LSU (because I hate LSU!)

  18. Justin Mullikin

    There are some players on that Georgia defense that would look great wearing a Seahawks Jersey.

  19. John

    So the blog has been talking about the lack of talent and depth at CB throughout the summer, and it just now twitter is catching up. lol

    • Big Mike

      Just like the d-line last year eh?

    • Rob Staton


      Same old, same old…

      • BobbyK

        Should we write the season obituary for either the Wild Card or Divisional Round when the Seahawks lose 28-13 and are physically dominated on both lines of scrimmage throughout the game?

        Then we can write the season recap about how great it was making the playoffs and how these are the “glory years” of Seahawks football?

  20. Duquesne Truther

    Wisconsin WR Danny Davis III

  21. Gohawks5151

    An interesting name to check out is DE/DL George Karlaftis from Purdue. Tortured my OSU Beavers yesterday. Powerful, disciplined, good hands. Cool background story too

  22. Sea Mode

    Maybe we’ve had enough of Miami RBs, but Cam’ron Harris caught my eye. He’s got nice vision and the extra gear to hit what he sees and run away, with solid build and enough bulk to bounce off the first tackler.

    Cam’Ron Harris Miami Hurricanes RB Highlights 2020-21 Season

  23. Ashish

    How about JOSEPH NGATA #10 WR 6-3 220 from Clemson. Was good in slot and outside.

  24. James Z

    Rob, loved the YouTube presentation and agree in spades with your assessment of PC as a once quality, but now ‘over the hill’ head coach. One more thing: yeah, Robbie, not addressing the center position in free agency or the draft was a major F.U.

  25. Palatypus

    1.) That was roughing the kicker by Florida State.
    2.) That was a fumble in overtime.

  26. Sea Mode

    Wow! Listed at 6-4, 220 and look at the ground he covers:

    S Kyle Hamilton, junior

    • Big Mike

      Perfect. Seattle can draft him and try to make him a CB.

    • Rob Staton

      I have watched Hamilton.

      Firstly, I doubt he is 220 personally. He is long and wiry. I would think 210.

      Quickness and versatility are his strengths IMO. Covers ground quickly. Not a bit hitter or physical type. More of a glider who makes a lot of plays around the ball.

      • MarkinSeattle

        He weighed in at 218 at the start of fall camp, it isn’t an inflated number.

        • Rob Staton

          Which probably means he plays near the weight I suggested to be fair

  27. Sea Mode

    At the rate we’re going, wouldn’t be surprised if we tried to sign him too. Anyways, this should be fun.

    Jay Glazer
    · 5h

    49ers have agreed to terms with veteran free agent corner Josh Norman to bolster their secondary. @NFLonFOX

    Mike Garafolo

    Josh Norman can earn up to $2.5 million on this deal with the #49ers, source says. Had other interest as well. Gets a deal with a base value above the minimum.

  28. Chris W.

    Fun listen Rob and Robbie,

    Regarding if/when Carroll leaves, I wonder how soon Wilson will be behind him or vice versa. With the reports that Carroll stopped JS from trading Wilson to the bears and there’s previous trade rumors throughout the years it’d make things interesting.

    You said that the 2022 draft doesn’t have good top QB talent I’d be curious what JS would do.

    If the Seahawks do peter out near the end of the season and if the NY Giant’s flop I could see them trading their two 2022 1st round picks for Wilson with the look of getting a new coach. There is a strong possibility that those NY Giant 1st rounders could be both top 10 picks. One is there native and the other from da Bears.

  29. Tomas

    Excellent podcast, gentlemen, well done. I concur with Rob’s comments about PC: though nothing’s possible right now, it’s time – past time, actually, IMO – to retire Pete with honors. I’m less optimistic about this season than Rob, however; with no center, no proof yet that Gabe Jackson has much left – Raider fans seemed to feel his play was declining markedly – and questions abounding on the defensive side – I see a 10-7, 9-8 season on the horizon. Hope I’m way off.

    • Brik

      Of course Gabe Jackson’s play was declining. You keep losing season after season, it wears on the best players. That’s why Calvin Johnson retired when he was 29. Coming from Raiders fans means they want to reason with themselves that they didn’t lose anything special.

      I agree that there are a lot of unknowns, but you can say the same when we were going into the 2011 season. I prefer to be optimistic. We may not play as well as I would like, but I’d rather believe that we’re gonna win until proven otherwise.

      • Tomas

        Fair points, Brik.

  30. cha

    Intriguing. Might be a BBK or Barton level pickup, at least take BBK’s special teams spot.

    Tom Pelissero
    · 3h
    A surprise: The #Raiders are waiving linebacker Tanner Muse, source said.

    Muse was a third-round pick out of Clemson in 2020. Missed his entire rookie season because of a toe injury, but took starter reps throughout camp and was a core special teamer.

    • BobbyK

      Must be a personal type problem? Teams don’t generally give up on guys like that.

  31. Big Mike

    Just got done listening to Cowherd correctly wax philosophical about Nick Saban and how he has changed his way of doing things over the years going from a mostly defensive oriented approach with a conservative offense to a guy that embraced the fast paced offenses of the last decade. This despite the fact that he didn’t like it when it started be coming en vogue thanks to Chip Kelley and the coaches on the Air Raid coaching tree. Saban has adapted to the changes in the game, recruited high end QBs and speed at WR and flourished as a result. I contrast that with Pete Carroll who at the first sign of trouble last year reigned Russ in and went to his typical conservative approach and “coached up” a team that was utterly dominated at home by a team with a QB that had broken thumb on his throwing hand.

  32. Dan Micklethwaite

    Dulcich (UCLA TE) was soooooo fun to watch, looked like George Kittle out there with his agility and power (at least YAC… didn’t see his blocking)

  33. Julian Langdon

    Tyler Allgeier is a Running Back to watch. At 220lb he runs a self timed 4.4 40. BYU

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