Great news to start the weekend: the return of college football is now officially 2 weeks away. And if you’re not already totally amped for the season, well…
For starters, give this a try: College Football HYPE Video 2016.
Opening weekend is LOADED with marquee match-ups. Here’s your annual CFB primer highlighting the must-watch games of opening weekend along with our shortlist of some elite athletes who are well worth the price of admission (preferably in a suite) in 2016-17:
Wisconsin (21) vs. LSU (16) – Historic Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wisconsin – 9/3 Suites still available
Clemson (2) vs. Auburn – Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn, Alabama – 9/3
Oklahoma (5) vs. Houston (8) – NRG Stadium; Houston, Texas – 9/3 Suites still available
UCLA (23) vs. Texas A&M – Kyle Field; College Station, Texas – 9/3
USC vs. Alabama (1) – AT&T Stadium; Dallas, Texas – 9/3 Suites still available
Myles Garrett – DE, Texas A&M – 6’5 262
Evoking physical comparisons to Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, and Jadeveon Clowney, Texas A&M defensive end, Myles Garrett, is an elite talent with game-changing potential. Garrett is freakishly built and has the football IQ to match. He plays with impressive fluidity and a non-stop motor. Although only a junior, Garret has the complete skillset of a three-down defensive end who can rush the passer and stop the run. With room to bulk up, scouts anticipate Garrett can grow into another 10-15 lbs. of muscle before entering the NFL. Garrett has a markedly quick first step off the edge – perhaps the most important skill for a 4-3 defensive end. Although Garrett has been productive as an underclassman, he was overshadowed by the likes of former CFB defensive stars Jadaveon Clowney and Khalil Mack. Look for Garrett to be SEC Defensive POY and a legitimate top 5 pick come the 2017 NFL Draft.
Greg Ward JR – QB, Houston – 6’0 185
2,000 yard passer, 1,000 yard rusher and 38 combined touchdowns in 2015. Even if we told you he was the QB of the 8th ranked team in the country, not many people would guess it was Houston QB, Greg Ward Jr. Perhaps due to Ward’s unassuming demeanor or maybe his smaller stature, Ward Jr.’s talent has gone underappreciated. Ward Jr. is a true dual-threat. He can run and throw; he’s the modern athlete playing the quarterback position. Heck, put Ward Jr. at cornerback and he would probably be above-average. Ward Jr. has electric natural ability and, as a converted wide receiver, he is just now starting to feel comfortable reading defenses. Ward’s game should finally get national recognition this year as the Houston Cougars open the season ranked 8th in both the USA Today and Coaches polls.
OJ Howard – TE, Alabama – 6’6 245
OJ Howard’s production didn’t quite corroborate his physical attributes. Then the 2016 National Championship happened. Howard caught 8 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Howard is a fluid athlete with wide receiver speed in a tight end frame. He is rangy and explosive with strong hands. Howard has a tremendous catch radius. One more year of refined route running should cement him as a first round pick come next year’s draft. Howard, now a senior, will be a top offensive weapon for Alabama’s offense. You heard it here – this is the year Howard puts it all together as a 1,000 yard receiver and red zone touchdown machine.
Corey Clement – RB, Wisconsin – 5’10 228
Ron Dayne. Montee Ball. Melvin Gordon. Corey Clement? Clement was supposed to have his breakout season last year as a junior, but he struggled through injuries and missed plenty of games. While some expected Clement to declare for the NFL draft, he instead opted to return to Madison to attend to unfinished business. In a run-heavy offense, Clement will be the focal point. Running behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines, we think Clement is a legitimate Big Ten Offensive POY candidate and Heisman contender. Clement has the ideal frame to withstand running between the tackles while possessing enough burst to make defenders miss on the outside. Expect some huge games from Clement in 2016-17 as the Wisconsin running back tradition continues.