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.
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.
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.
1. Derek Rivers (Youngstown State EDGE)*drafted 3rd Rd 83rd overall to the New England Patriots
Though Rivers was the second player off the board, he goes to the best situation. He has an excellent defensive coordinator in Matt Patricia, that will put Rivers in the best positions to succeed. He could go from Youngstown State to being a Super Bowl winner in one season.
2. Adam Shaheen (Division II Ashland TE) *drafted 2nd Rd 45th overall to the Chicago Bears
3. Julien Davenport (Bucknell OT) *drafted 4th Rd 130th overall to the Houston Texans
4. Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington WR) *drafted 3rd Rd 69th overall to the LA Rams
5. Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova DE) *drafted 2nd Rd 59th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs
6. Jordan Morgan (Division II Kutztown OG) *drafted 5th Rd 147th overall to the Chicago Bears
With a little polish and refining, Jordan can be an absolute steal. He shows promise as a mauling run blocker and will fight for starting time soon.
7. Corey Levin (UT Chattanooga OG) *drafted 6th Rd 217th overall to the Tennessee Titans
8. Lorenzo Jerome (Saint Francis FS) *Signed as UDFA with San Francisco 49ers
9. Brendan Langley (Lamar CB) *drafted 3rd Rd 101st overall to the Denver Broncos
10. Jessamen Dunker (Tennessee State OG) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Giants
11. Ezra Robinson (Tennessee State CB) *Signed as UDFA with the Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Javancy Jones (Jackson State LB) *Signed as UDFA with the Arizona Cardinals
Jones is a fierce competitor with a chance to stick on the Cardinal’s 53 man roster. He’s a versatile player, with a quick first step. Look for some splash plays to secure his spot.
13. Chad Williams (Grambling State WR) * drafted 3rd Rd 98th overall to the Arizona Cardinals
14. Keionta Davis (UT Chattanooga)
15. Roderick Henderson (Alabama State NT) *Signed as UDFA with the Tennessee Titans
The Titans can use a true nose tackle in a division that now has Leonard Fournette. Henderson is ridiculously athletic for his size and will make his presence known at camp.
16. Javarious Leamon (South Carolina State OT) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Jets
17. Kendrick Bourne (Eastern Washington WR) *Signed as UDFA with the San Francisco 49ers
18. Samson Ebukam (Eastern Washington EDGE)*drafted 4th Rd 125th overall to the LA Rams
19. Jylan Ware (Alabama State OT) *drafted 7th Rd 231st overall to the Oakland Raiders
HBCU Spirit of America Bowl standout Jylan Ware, is a great developmental prospect. With a little work, he can end up as as a starter.
20. Ethan Cooper (Division II IUP OG) *Signed as UDFA with the Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Munchak will turn Cooper into a Pro Bowl caliber player. Bold prediction? Maybe, but this marriage of athleticism and coaching talent bodes well for the Steelers.
21. Connor Harris (Division II Lindenwood LB) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Jets
22. Brad Seaton (Villanova OT) *drafted 7th Rd 236th overall to the Tennessee Titans
23. Grover Stewart (Albany DT) * drafted 4th Rd 144th to the Indianapolis Colts
24. Karter Schult (Northern Iowa DE) *Signed as UDFA with the Cleveland Browns
25. Cameron Lee (Illinois State OG) *Signed as UDFA with the New Orleans Saints
26. Erik Austell (Charleston Southern OG) *Signed as UDFA with the Denver Broncos
27. Winston Craig (Richmond DT) *Signed as UDFA with the Philadelphia Eagles
Craig is a great scheme fit here. He’s an exceptional pass rusher from the interior defensive line. He’s got a solid shot to make the 53 as well.
28. Avery Moss (Youngstown State DE) *drafted 5th Rd 167th to the New York Giants
29. Josh Thornton (Southern Utah CB) *Signed as UDFA with the Detroit Lions
30. Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T RB) *drafted 4th Rd 119th overall to the Chicago Bears
31. Nicholas Morrow (Division III Greenville SS) *Signed as UDFA with the Oakland Raiders
32. Folarin Orimolade (Dartmouth LB)
33. Jamal Agnew (San Diego CB) *drafted 5th Rd 165th overall to the Detroit Lions
34. Karel Hamilton (Samford WR)
35. Eric Saubert (Drake TE) *drafted 5th Rd 174th overall to the Atlanta Falcons
36. Alek Torgernsen (Penn QB)*Signed as UDFA with the Atlanta Falcons
37. Mitchell Kirsch (James Madison OG) *Signed as UDFA with the Chicago Bears
38. Whitney Richardson (Division II Lane DE)
39. Patrick Ricard (Maine DT) *Signed as UDFA with the Baltimore Ravens
40. Brandon Barnes (Alabama State TE) *Signed as UDFA with the Detroit Lions
41. David Jones (Richmond FS) *Signed as UDFA with the New England Patriots
42. Dylan Cole (Missouri State LB) *Signed as UDFA with the Houston Texans
43. Donald Payne (Stetson SS)
44. Xavier Coleman (Portland State CB) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Jets
45. Jack Nelson (Division II Winona State QB)
46. De’Angelo Henderson (Coastal Carolina RB) *drafted 6th Rd 203rd overall to the Denver Broncos
Henderson could end up as a work horse back for the Broncos. He has the talent to do so, he just needs the touches.
47. Krishawn Hogan ( Division II Marian WR) *Signed as UDFA with the Indianapolis Colts
48. Jerry Ugokwe (William & Mary OT) *Signed as UDFA with the Indianapolis Colts
49. Dante’ Blackmon (Kennesaw State CB)
50. Collin Bevins (Northwest Missouri State DT) *Signed as UDFA with the Arizona Cardinals
51. Khalid Abdullah (James Madison RB)
52. Paul Butler (Division II Cal TE)*Invited to Pittsburgh Steelers training camp
If Butler can channel his inner Heath Miller, he has a shot to stick with Pittsburgh. Butler is a solid run blocker and an underrated receiver.
53. JP Flynn (Montana State OG) *Signed as UDFA with the San Francisco 49ers
54. Donovan McCray (Grambling State DT/DE)
55. Zack Johnson (North Dakota State OG)
56. Tyler Williams (Central Arkansas CB)
57. Caleb Kidder (Montana DE) *Signed as UDFA with the Minnesota Vikings
58. Tyson Graham Jr (South Dakota LB/SS) *Invited to San Francisco 49ers training camp
Graham’s best fit here is probably as an in the box type SS. He is a sound tackler with good hands.
59. Christian Kuntz (Duquesne LB) *Signed as UDFA with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
60. Brady Gustafson (Montana QB)
61. Marquis Ragland (North Carolina A&T DT)
62. Antonio Pipkin (Division II Tiffin QB) *Signed as UDFA with the Arizona Cardinals
63. Sam Ekwonike (Coastal Carolina OG) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Giants
64. Billy Brown (Division II Shepherd TE)*Signed as UDFA with the Philadelphia Eagles
65. Lenard Tillery (Southern RB)
66. Garry Brown (Division II Cal WR)
67. Landon Lechler (North Dakota State OT) *Signed as UDFA with the Cincinnati Bengals
68. Damani Taylor (UT Martin DT)
69. Casey Deandrade (New Hampshire FS)
70. Alex Scearce (Coastal Carolina LB) *Signed as UDFA with the Chicago Bears
71. Frederick Henry-Ajuda (North Carolina Central EDGE)
72. Max Rich (Harvard OT) *Signed as UDFA with the New England Patriots
Rich is a poor man’s Nate Solder. Though not the same caliber player initially, he has potential to develop into a starter.
73. Jody Webb (Youngstown State RB)
74. Mark Spelman (Illinois State Center) *Signed as UDFA with the Chicago Bears
75. Brian Brown (Richmond WR) *Signed as UDFA with the Dallas Cowboys
76. Anthony Firsker (Harvard TE) *Signed as UDFA with the NY Jets
77. Stephen Evans (Division II North Alabama OG)
78. Marquis Smith (Savannah State LB)
79. Tyler Condit (New Haven LB/FB)
80. Jac’que Polite (Division II Winston Salem OT) *Signed as UDFA with the Buffalo Bills
81. AJ Wentland (Division II Mckendree LB)
82. Jared Holloway (Samford DT)
83. Ryan Radke (Division III Thiel WR)
84. Kedrick Harrison (Stephen F Austin DE)
85. Jordan Norris (NW Oklahoma State CB)
86. Anthony Warrum (Illinois State WR)
87. Connor Bozick (Delaware OG)
88. Lorin Winston (Grambling State DT)
89. Darien Anderson (Alcorn State LB)
90. Robert Tonyan Jr (Indiana State TE)*Signed as UDFA with the Detroit Lions
89. Jaylen Hill (Jacksonville State CB)
90. Leroy Alexander (Youngstown State FS)
91. Guy Stallworth (Grambling State SS)
92. Taylor Gadbois (Southeastern Louisiana OT)
93. Cass Weitl (Division II NW Missouri State DE)
94. Bryant Frazier (Division II Virginia State DT)
95. Josh Barge (Jacksonville State WR)
96. King Frazier (North Dakota State RB)
97. William Stanback ( Division II Virginia Union RB)