This weekend was the official kickoff to my new collaboration here with Team Tyrant and Tyrant Scouting. Leading up to the FCS championship in December, Tyrant Scouting and myself will bringing you a weekly series entitled #FCSFrenzy. We will be tuning in on some key FCS matchups that will include some of the top upcoming prospects for this year’s NFL Draft.
For our first installment, we took a trip to the grand ol’ Hawkeye State. This week was a pivotal Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup between the host Northern Iowa and the No. 6 ranked team in the country South Dakota. UNI looked to make a third time a charm, as they were 2-0 in their previous matchups against top 10 programs this season, against South Dakota St and Youngstown respectively. The first half was a compelling offensive showdown, despite the scoreboard showing different. Even though not being able to put an excessive amount of points up on the scoreboard, UNI and USD countered each other’s field position all throughout the first two quarters with solid Quarterback to Tight End connections for both sides. Chris Streveler and Josh Hale connected for the lone South Dakota touchdown in the first half, while Eli Dunne and Briley Moore had their own connection going. USD lead UNI 16-13 at halftime. The second half is where one team elevated itself above another, especially late in the 4th quarter. Northern Iowa trailed for all but the three minutes of the ball game. Three costly turnovers by South Dakota (including a devastating pick 6 thrown by Chris Streveler) ultimately sealed the Coyotes fate. Northern Iowa yet again secured a victory in their home Dome, upsetting a top 10 team for a third time this season. The final score was: UNI 34- USD 29.
PROSPECTS OF THE DAY:
—Chris Streveler, QB, South Dakota:
The former Golden Gopher quarterback has had subtle NFL buzz around him all throughout this season, and this game against a fairly stout UNI defense showed no different. Streveler’s biggest strengths appear to be with his vision downfield and his elusiveness within the pocket. In this clip, you’ll see that Streveler excels in scanning the field, and then delivering a solid ball into tight windows . https://twitter.com/ceeingthedraft/status/926892279997935616. The 6’3”, 215 pound signal caller also showed fluidness in his pocket movement. While he doesn’t get cold feet when the pocket collapses, he still is aware of when to evade the pass pressure and get into open field while still keeping his eyes up for a target. My concerns will Streveler are his mechanics, though he was slightly hampered with a shoulder injury from the previous week, he still throws an awkward- half winded ball which at times appears to hurt his velocity for passes farther than 10-15 yards. While a hobbled Streveler faltered late in the game, he threw as many interceptions in the 4th quarter of this game (2) than he has combined in every other game this season. Efficiency is key for any FCS prospect, and Streveler has fit that bill with an impressive stat line of: 21 TDs, 4 INTs, 2718 yards, and a completion percentage of around 67% through 9 games. Streveler intrigued me this weekend, and could see him as a late round QB prospect down the road in the draft process
—Elijah Campbell, CB, No. Iowa
When evaluating a cornerback prospect, the trait that probably goes the most unrecognized is his aggression. When watching Campbell on Saturday, you could see that the aggression in his play style is what he prides himself on, and quite frankly might be the attribute that will set him apart. Campbell delivered several thunderous hits, played tight and instinctive coverage for much of the afternoon, and even forced two fumbles. Forced fumbles are definitely not an everyday cornerback stat, so that was definitely worth noting. Campbell’s play style is gritty, it is evident that coming downfield and making his presence felt is a goal of his every snap https://twitter.com/ceeingthedraft/status/926883155423797253 . While I believe he would excel at free safety, his 5’11″ and 190 pound frame might have NFL folks only view him as a potential nickel or even a special teams asset. That situation wouldn’t necessary be a detriment to Campbell, time will whether NFL teams take notice to him, but he’s definitely another prospect to keep an eye on and will no doubt find his way into an NFL training camp with consistent play.
—Rickey Neal, EDGE/OLB, No. Iowa
Neal is only a junior, but he was truly a treat to watch during Saturday’s game. Every snap, it appeared that Neal was either sniffing down the ball or tackling the ball carrier himself. The 6’2”, 240 pound disruptor ended the game with 7 tackles, 2.5 TFL, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Neal’s presence and leadership for the UNI defense transcends farther than the stat line. He singlehandedly was the reason for Chris Streveler’s 2nd half meltdown, by tallying nearly a dozen QB pressures throughout the afternoon. https://twitter.com/ceeingthedraft/status/926910949797216256 . The leader of sack totals in the MVFC proved that he is a force to be reckoned with for the next year and a half on the FCS level. I am officially labeling Rickey Neal as my small school #BRAND for 2019.