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.
Michigan has finally done it! For the first time since 2011, they beat Ohio State 42-27 in what was a memorable game in snowy Ann Arbor. The game that many hope will be a turning point in the Jim Harbaugh era was headlined by the Wolverines’ dominance in the trenches. Not only were they able to run the ball at will against the Buckeyes defense but also consistently got pressure on star quarterback CJ Stroud.
At the forefront of the defensive line’s effort was senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson who came back to Michigan in order to win the big game. He had three quarterback sacks and was in the backfield consistently, as Ohio State had no answers to his pass rush. After the game, Jim Harbaugh stated, “Aidan, his performance was also dominant, single-season sack record already, definitely should be a strong consideration for the Heisman trophy.” Few embody the culture that Harbaugh is building like Hutchinson who will lead the Wolverines into their Big10 title game showdown against Iowa on Saturday.
Aidan Hutchinson talked on-field after Michigan beat Ohio State to advance to the Big Ten championship pic.twitter.com/4lK7uT9GRV
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 27, 2021
Closing out their season with five consecutive victories, including the one over Oregon a week ago, the Utes have once again earned a Pac12 championship berth. In a home victory over Colorado, Utah’s run game was what led them to victory. Behind a big, physical offensive line, their lead rushers Tavion Thomas and TJ Pledger racked up 245 yards. Senior left tackle Bamidele Olaseni has come into his own and played a big part in Utah’s successful ground attack to end the season. At 6-foot-8 and 330 pounds, the former JUCO player possesses rare size, combined with excellent athleticism and he is just scratching the surface of what his potential might be.
Originally hailing from London, England, Olaseni was the ninth-rated JUCO offensive tackle in the nation, coming out of Garden City in 2019. After redshirting and then having an up and down 2020 campaign, he earned the starting left tackle early in 2021. “To be honest, the concept of college football’s offensive line is still crazy to me,” he said, “but it is what it is and I’m the type of person that doesn’t really actually like the spotlight.”
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) August 18, 2021
What could have been for the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night, as the team rallied around first-year head coach Bryan Harsin and almost pulled off the Iron Bowl upset over Alabama, losing in overtime. Despite the tough defeat, it was a strong defensive performance that put them in position to be within a chance of winning. Spearheaded by Roger McCreary, the Tigers only surrendered ten points in regulation, shutting out the Crimson Tide through three quarters.
The senior cornerback from Mobile, Alabama, deflected four passes and was all over Alabama’s star receivers right until the last play, where it was him who allowed the game-winning two-point conversion. Despite this, McCreary has been excellent all season and is expected to have his name called early in the NFL Draft. Auburn coaches describe him as a tough player, which is not something that is often said about cornerbacks.
🗣 ROGER MCCREARY IS A FIRST ROUND PICKpic.twitter.com/fzweo8EhHN
— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) November 27, 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!