Author: cagencantrell

#FCSFrenzy: Bayou Classic

@cagencantrell

Rivalry Week in college football is typically filled with the most anticipated games of the season for many collegiate programs. For many schools, the CFB Playoff isn’t within their horizon, so their respective game with their rival program is where all the chips are put into the middle of the table. Whether it’s “The Game”, the “Iron Bowl”, or the “Sunshine Showdown”; this particular week is where your season matters regardless of your record. In the FCS however, not as many rivalry games are as coveted as their FBS counterpart, except one matchup. The “Bayou Classic” held its 44th annual showdown yesterday in the heart of New Orleans, and anyone with a taste for deep rooted tradition or for the grand ol’ HBCUs were focused on this matchup. Grambling State (9-1) were looking to gain more momentum before their even bigger matchup next week with Alcorn State for the SWAC Championship. As for Southern U (7-3), this would be their final game of the season, and what would be a better way to cap it off than to recapture supremacy in the Classic after being defeated the previous two seasons by the Tigers.

RECAP:
The Southern Jaguars did not start off the ball game in the positive matter that they had probably hoped for. Sr. Quarterback Austin Howard threw an interception the opening play of the game to Ja’Terious Pouncy. This would exalt Grambling with the momentum that they would carry throughout the first half. Grambling’s quarterback, Devante Kincade had another impressive showing in this game as a dual threat in the air and on the ground. His only 2 touchdowns of the game came in the first half. First, on a 9 yard run off a speed option on the opening drive; and then later in the half on a scrambling 10 yard completion to running back Martez Carter. Carter had a stellar game himself, despite a fumble and a minor injury in the 2nd half, he put on a solid performance. He led the game with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground, along with the aforementioned receiving score in the first half. In the 2nd half, the Jaguars assembled an intriguing comeback by capitalizing on a couple key mistakes offensively by Grambling. Southern took their sole lead of the ball game here, 21-20 with 5 minutes remaining. Ultimately, Grambling would put away the game and win their third straight Bayou Classic with a final score of 31-20, improving to 10 wins on the season.

DYNAMIC DUO:
This game was truly the DeVante Kincade and Martez Carter co-hosted show, much like their entire careers at Grambling. These two players definitely have the flaws in their game to polish up if they are looking to see succees at the next level; but they were evidently the two most talented players on the field all evening. Kincade looked like an efficient dual threat QB prospect. He possesses dazzling arm talent and appeared to have a firm grasp of the offense and controlled the tempo of the game when on the field. What he’ll have to focus on for his NFL stock value to be draftable is his steadiness within the pocket. Like many dual threat QBs, the instinct to “run first” is evident whenever pocket pressure arises. Kincade will be a solid prospect to follow if he can maintain his poise, I can see him as a 5th-6th grade right now.

For Martez Carter, his potential  area of improvement is connected with his patience while carrying the football. Carter in this game was always looking for the home run play, and while that isn’t necessarily a major ding in his prospect evaluation, his focus needs to be shifted from a lateral to a vertical running mindset. Other than that, Carter was as advertised in this game. He is a thick bodied back who has all the physical and athletic tools to potentially be a dynamic impact in the NFL. I also see him as late round guy who will see a potential as a 3rd down asset for an NFL team next season.

Twitter: @CeeingTheDraft

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FCS Frenzy: Week 1 (Northern Iowa vs. #6 South Dakota)

•Cagen Cantrell

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.

Twitter: @CeeingtheDraft