Each week, the scouting department at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will examine some of the top performances in college football by potential pro prospects that we are keeping an eye on.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
Oklahoma senior running back Rhamondre Stevenson turned in another strong performance during the Sooners’ win over Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship. The bruising back finished with 97 rushing yards on 18 carries and chipped in an additional 36 receiving yards in what could possibly be his final game for the Crimson and Crème. A downhill runner, Stevenson weighs in at 240-plus pounds, can break off big chunks of yardage with his jump-cut ability and packs a powerful stiff arm. He’s also a capable pass-catcher out of the backfield, honing his overall skill-set this past season under Sooners running back coach DeMarco Murray. The Las Vegas native is no stranger to adversity, as he began his collegiate career at Cerritos College CC, which included a 2,111 rushing yard campaign as a sophomore. During his time at JUCO, he slept in the family garage apartment of a teammate and paid rent when he could by working a part-time job. While he is one of the bigger backs eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, Stevenson also owns one of the more intriguing paths to the pros.
Rhamondre Stevenson looking explosive. pic.twitter.com/Rdjg1bEMl0
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) December 19, 2020
Dedrick Mills, RB, Nebraska
Nebraska running back Dedrick Mills wanted to leave something for scouts to think about in the Cornhuskers’ season finale win over Rutgers. The senior went off for a career-high 191 rushing yards on 25 carries (his previous career high was 188 yards against Wisconsin in 2019). Mills began his career at Georgia Tech, rushing for 771 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman, before spending a season at Garden City CC (1,358 rush yards and 19 touchdowns). In 11 games at Nebraska, Mills has accumulated 1,141 yards and 13 touchdowns in 18 games; this despite battling through a knee injury for most of this season, causing him to miss three games. His production or toughness has never been a question. However, his opportunities have been limited and Mills will need to show that he can prove durable. If he can do so, his multi-use as a runner, receiver and blocker could have some appeal at the next level.
— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) November 16, 2019
Derrick Deese Jr., TE, San Jose State
The San Jose State Spartans have enjoyed an undefeated season (7-0), including their most recent victory over Boise State in the Mountain West Championship. While there have been several standouts on this team who have caught the attention of NFL scouts, one prospect who has flown under the radar is tight end Derrick Deese Jr., the son of Super Bowl Champion Derrick Deese Sr. (49ers). The Spartans pass-catcher saved his best for last, reeling in seven receptions for 76 receiving yards (matching his season-high), while adding his fourth touchdown of the season against the Broncos. Deese Jr. began his career at Golden West CC, where he was highly productive and immediately earned a starting job at San Jose State when he transferred as a junior. With his combination of length, athleticism and bloodlines, it would not be surprising to see an NFL team bring him into training camp for a look-see.
Put this catch from San Jose State’s Derrick Deese Jr. down as one of the best of 2020. pic.twitter.com/CwTGNswS3i
— Santa Baby (@Ben_Baby) November 7, 2020
Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Boston College senior linebacker Isaiah McDuffie has confirmed his decision to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. McDuffie bounced back from a season-ending knee injury he endured in 2019 to lead the Eagles with 107 tackles in 2020, including seven contests in which he registered double-digit tackles (career-high 16 tackles versus Notre Dame). The emotional leader of the defense earned his stripes on special teams as a freshman before taking over starting linebacker duties as a sophomore. McDuffie has been known to lay the lumber with some of his devastating hits and likes to wear his emotion on his sleeves. He chose Boston College over several other major programs, including Penn State, and coaches rave about his positive influence inside the locker room. His decision comes on the cusp of receiving his degree in applied psychology and human development in December.
— BC Football (@BCFootball) December 18, 2020
Antjuan Simmons, LB, Michigan State
Michigan State leader and team captain Antjuan Simmons has officially declared his intent for the upcoming draft after a stellar season in East Lansing. Simmons was in the middle of the new 4-2 5 defensive scheme implemented by head coach Mel Tucker this season. He led Michigan State with 75 tackles, to go with one sack, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries in seven games. Overall, the senior from Ann Arbor finished his Spartans career with a total of 230 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception. His best game came in their win over Michigan, as he made several key plays. The Spartans have had at least one player selected in 80 straight NFL drafts, the third-longest streak in the nation. Simmons will look to keep that streak alive.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) December 1, 2020
*Be sure to catch NFLPA Collegiate Bowl director of college recruiting Dane Vandernat this Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. ET on ‘The State of Football’ show live on @NFLDraftBible!