Each week, the scouting department at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will provide insight into some of the top prospect performances from around the nation! Be sure to keep up with our latest game announcements on Twitter @NFLPABowl.
Southeastern Louisiana senior signal-caller Cole Kelly continues to work his magic for the Lions with his methodical ways. His latest theatrics came at the mercy of Central Connecticut State, as the 2020 Walter Payton Award Winner threw for 444 yards and four touchdowns in week three. After a tumultuous start to his collegiate career at Arkansas, Kelly has found a rebirth playing back in his hometown state.
“They throw the ball 70 percent of the time, and obviously the quarterback (Cole Kelley) is the guy that makes it go. He’s surrounded by a plethora of skill players that are talented and there don’t seem to be a lot of mistakes on film at least,” said CCSU head coach Ryan McCarthy. “I had a chance to see him down in Arkansas for a few spring practices when he was a true freshman, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quarterback that big in person. He’s an impressive player, and he’s obviously big, but he can make things happen when things break down. He’s savvy enough to shovel the ball and get to his check downs. He has a really good understanding of where his guys are.”
One of the taller quarterback prospects eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft, Kelly is listed at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. Due to his combination of arm strength, scrambling and ability to improvise, he should earn a hard look at the next level.
WALTER. PAYTON. AWARD. WINNER
— Southeastern Football (@LionUpFootball) May 15, 2021
In following his former head coach at Boston College over to Colorado State, running back David Bailey has had a profound impact early on this season, as evidenced once again this past week. The workhorse back wore down the Toledo defense to the tune of 132 rushing yards on 30 carries. One of the more surprising elements of his overall game has been his receiving prowess out of the backfield. In fact, Bailey has made several key catches thus far, totaling 321 all-purpose yards through the first three games, with four touchdowns, including two rushing scores and two receiving touchdowns.
“He’s got pro hands,” Rams head coach Addazio said during his weekly press conference. “He’s a vacuum cleaner. He catches everything.” Similar sentiments were also echoed by Rams offensive coordinator Jon Budmayr. “He’s got elite hands, which you pair that with his speed and he’s actually a really good route runner,” Budmayr said. “He knows how to attack leverages and that part, so you’ve got to find a way to get him the ball. When he’s one of your playmakers and can do that and have that dynamic in the passing game, it adds value to him.” The old adage remains true, that the more you can do, the more valuable you are and Bailey should be viewed as such by the scouting community.
David Bailey transferred from Boston College to CSU to reunite with Steve Adazzio in 2021. He’s a big, powerful runner that showcases impressive ability in the open field. pic.twitter.com/XKxkij2H9L
— Jake Schwanitz (@JakeSchwanitz) August 25, 2021
The Appalachian State wide receiver corps is one of the most dangerous in the nation. Earlier this season, we discussed Mountaineers playmaker Thomas Hennigan. This week, we examine his counterpart Corey Sutton, who pairs with Hennigan like ‘Starsky and Hutch.’ After a short stint at Kansas State to begin his career, Sutton transferred to Appalachian State where he burst onto the scene, totaling 85 receptions for 1,374 yards during his first two seasons. A knee injury endured during the end of his 2019 campaign, which led to his decision to opt-out of the 2020 season, as he continued his rehab. Now appearing healthy and back at full strength, Sutton has flashed some of his old explosiveness, along with his crisp route running and knack for making plays in traffic.
“I haven’t had a full season except for 2018 here, but it’s 2021 now and I’m a whole different athlete right now,” Sutton explained. “It’s time to go out there and just let everything fall how it’s going to fall.” While scouts will be monitoring his durability, they’ll also be digging into his personal background, as his dad also played for the Mountaineers before getting picked up by the Chicago Bears, while his younger brother Coen, is also currently a wide receiver for the school.
Jacob Huesman’s 37-yard pass to Corey Sutton puts two App State receivers over 100 yards.
Malik Williams: 123
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) September 18, 2021
Versatile Louisville defensive back Qwynnterrio Cole has been an impact player for the Cardinals since his arrival from Alcorn State and pro scouts have taken notice. The two-time HBCU All-American has showcased a true nose for the ball, with impressive instincts and propensity for the interception.
“He’s done a really good job of just learning what we do and why,” said safeties coach Greg Gasparato. “The safeties are the quarterbacks of this defense. They’re going to make your calls, your split adjustments, your motion adjustments, all that’s on the back end. Understanding who’s in coverage with them, where their leverage needs to be, why they make certain calls in certain situations. That’s what he’s done a really, really good job of since he got here.”
Cole expects to be one of the top-caliber senior prospects due to his ability to play cornerback or safety and size. Plus, he is adept in man coverage against the pass and an effective open-field tackler against the run. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound defender has shown up constantly around the ball, recording 19 tackles through his first three games. Be sure to file his name come April.
Qwynnterrio Cole just saved Louisville from giving up a touchdown. Excellent play. pic.twitter.com/yw3DXdIKlu
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) September 18, 2021
West Virginia safety Alonzo Addae was up to his usual tricks again this past week, racking up 10 tackles, including a big sack during the Mountaineers’ upset victory over Virginia Tech. The graduate transfer from New Hampshire seems to have a much greater comfort level during his second season in Morgantown.
“I just have a much greater knowledge of this defense,” Addae explained earlier this season. “A lot of the formations, motions […] it was the first time I was seeing a lot of that stuff at game speed last year. Being able to have a year under my belt, I’m more comfortable with the defense and the people who surround me.”
Known to be a ferocious hitter who plays extremely smart, Addae was selected by the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL Draft in 2021 but decided to return to school. For the 2022 draft cycle, there’s a very good chance that he could hear his name called by an NFL team, should he continue to play at such a high level.
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) September 18, 2021
Meet the new FCS record holder for all-time field goals, James Madison kicker Ethan Ratke, who broke the previous mark held by Dan Carpenter of Montana (75) with three successful field goal conversions (44, 40 and 40 yards) during the Dukes win over Weber State. The CAA all-time scoring leader now has an outside chance to break the NCAA Division I record of 96 set by Zane Gonzalez of Arizona State.
“I’m just trying to think about getting through the first kick. And then getting to it as it comes,” Ratke said. “But it’s crazy to even think about. I’m just so fortunate to have gotten to this point in my career.” For his career, the senior is 78-of-91 on field goal attempts and placed a major emphasis on kicking for distance, along with his long ball accuracy, in an attempt to expand his max comfort range of mid-fifty yards. Playing on one of the FCS powerhouse programs such as JMU should benefit Ratke in his exposure to NFL teams, as he attempts to win scouts over with his consistency and ability to handle kickoff duties.
FIELD GOAL | Put it in the record book! Ethan Ratke ties all-time FCS records for field goals (75) and points by a kicker (413)!
— JMU Football (@JMUFootball) September 11, 2021
*For more insight on the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl process, including players who have caught our attention, be sure to tune in to ‘The State of Football’ every Thursday at 9:00am eastern time, as executive director Dane Vandernat joins Ric Serritella on Sports Illustrated!