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.
Under legendary defensive line coach Larry Johnson, the Ohio State Buckeyes have produced many defensive ends in the NFL. Next in that long lineage appears to be senior Tyreke Smith, who lived in the backfield on Sunday night against Penn State. The local star from Cleveland, Ohio racked up five tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble. However, the stat line does not do justice to the impact that Smith had on the game, repeatedly forcing Sean Clifford to throw the ball earlier than planned.
While injuries have hurt Smith’s production this season, he has shown growth when on the field. Despite being a senior, he is far from reaching his ceiling as a football player. Smith only started as a sophomore in high school. On his attitude for the final stretch of the season, he remarked, “Just enjoy your brothers and play as hard as you can. Play without regrets.” His attitude, production, and skill-set have made him a well-known commodity within the scouting community.
Big fourth-down stop. Tyreke Smith, who seemed to be in the backfield all night, creates sack opportunity for J.T. Tuimoloau. pic.twitter.com/0fMgxccO7P
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) November 1, 2021
There was little defense played in Provo, Utah this weekend as former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Virginia Cavaliers faced the Cougars. BYU won the game 49-66 and a combined 1322 yards were racked up by both teams. The standout player in the matchup was Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier who amassed 266 rushing yards and five touchdowns, doing his part to win what has been dubbed the ‘Bronco Bowl’.
Standing in at 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Allgeier possesses impressive size, which may have been why his coaches moved him to linebacker early on in his career. After back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, he has since proven that his most natural position is at running back. An unranked recruit out of high school who received zero scholarship offers, Allgeier has defeated all odds to become one of the better backs in college football.
“Tyler and I were talking and I just told him ‘you have to beat your goal from last year,’” Ester Allgeier told the Salt Lake Tribune. “So, if you rushed 1,000 yards, you have to beat that record this year. We just put up little goals and hopefully, he continues to hit those goals every game. That’s one thing I wanted to see, I want him to be kind of what Jamaal Williams [was]. Jamaal Williams came from Fontana. He made his name.”
Tyler Allgeier running all over the HOOS and tossing them to the ground pic.twitter.com/3sWAazFXY5
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) October 31, 2021
Another player who has found great success in his position change is Baylor running back Abram Smith. The senior was originally moved to linebacker for the 2020 season and started the final four games, all of which he led the Bears in tackles. In fact, he finished the season with 48 tackles, five for a loss, and a sack before making the move back to his former position before his 2021 campaign.
Instead of being a role player, Smith has won the starting job and is a workhorse for one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. During their come-from-behind win against Texas, Smith racked up 113 rushing yards, including a touchdown run where he broke free with a bodacious spin move, pushing his total to 898 rushing yards on the season. His teammate Jalen Pitre had high praise for Smith following the game, informing the assembled media, “He’s [Smith] the truth. He’s the standard. He’s always developing and finding new ways to get better.”
ABRAM SMITH SPIN CYCLE FOR SIX 🌪🌪 pic.twitter.com/fxpLO8JpIV
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 30, 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 9:00 am eastern time, as executive director Dane Vandernat joins Lorenz Leinweber on Sports Illustrated!