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When The Devy Breaks: Jermar Jefferson Is A Diamond In The Rough

When the Devy Breaks travels the college football landscape, keeping you up-to-date on last week’s results, previewing the big upcoming tilts, and providing updated devy rankings.

Aside from a few marginal upsets — Kentucky, N.C. State, and Fresno State  — Week 11 was mostly business as usual. Every team ranked in the top-five won by at least 20 points. Oklahoma and LSU however hard to work much harder, winning by a touchdown or less.

In other notable action, West Virginia handed TCU their worst loss this century, winning 47-10. If the Mountaineers avoid an upset this week at Oklahoma State, they will face Oklahoma the day after Thanksgiving in what should be one of the best games of 2018.

The upcoming Week 12 slate might not have the elite name cache we hope for but there are plenty of intriguing matchups. Cincinnati travels to UCF for a game with big-time bowl implications. Notre Dame tries to keep their playoff hopes alive against Syracuse in Yankee Stadium. And one of the hottest teams in the country, Iowa State, squares off with Texas in Austin.

RECAP

The Pitt Panthers have averaged 410 yards rushing per game over the last three weeks. RB Qadree Ollison is a big reason why, evidenced by his massive 16-235-3 performance against Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-2-inch, 225-pound senior has now secured his second season with at least 1,000 yards and 10 TDs while splitting time with another talented RB in Darrin Hall. As a freshman in 2015, Ollison posted a stellar 0.58 First-Year Workhorse Score while filling in for James Conner during his bout with leukemia. His size and age-adjusted production alone make him an intriguing 2019 prospect. If he tests well athletically, his stock will rise even higher, making him a potential draft day sleeper.

As the Stanford Cardinal have transitioned to a more pass-oriented offense this season, TE Colby Parkinson has emerged as a dynamic receiver with legitimate NFL appeal. With J.J. Arcega-Whiteside out last week against Oregon State, Parkinson exploded for 6-166-4. At 6 feet 7 inchees, 250 pounds, Parkinson has the requisite size. He’s also averaging 17.8 yards per catch this season, showing an explosive element to his game. He’s also been mega-efficient snagging 11 TDs on just 33 career receptions. Fellow TE Kaden Smith may ultimately have the higher ceiling, but Parkinson is certainly no slouch.

As the lead WR in Texas Tech’s prolific passing attack, Antoine Wesley ranks second nationally in yards receiving. And while that raw production has landed him on a short list for the Biletnikoff Award, his market share of the Red Raiders’ yards and TDs is equally impressive accounting for 35 percent. The 6-foot-5-inch, 200-pound junior has averaged a 9-161-1 line in his last 4 games including an 8-171-2 explosion against Texas last week. Wesley has been both efficient and explosive this season averaging 12 yards per target and is an interesting dynasty target picking up steam late in the season.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK

Expectations were relatively low for Oregon State heading into 2018. But RB Jermar Jefferson has given Beavers’ fans hope for the future. The 5-foot-11-inch, 215-pound freshman ranks eighth nationally in yards rushing per game serving as the focal point in the OSU offense. He’s also the 9th player since 2000 with at least 1,200 yards rushing, 12 TDs, and 20 receptions as a freshman. On Saturday, Jefferson will face one of his toughest tests of the season against a Washington run defense allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. The spot is horrendous for Oregon State as 33-point road underdogs, but how Jefferson performs against top competition is informative.

At 5 feet 7 inches, 185 pounds, North Texas RB DeAndre Torrey will likely never be a featured three-down back in the NFL. But his versatility is compelling. As one of just 13 players this century with at least 12 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD, and 1 kickoff return TD, Torrey is among fairly elite company. Granted his raw production is dwarfed but others in that cohort, we know that special teams contributions can ultimately propel fringe prospects to a 53-man roster spot. At the very least, Torrey is worth monitoring as a likely 2020 declaration. A matchup with a resurgent Florida Atlantic defense is next on deck.

Another undersized (5 feet 11 inches, 175 pounds) dynasty prospect hailing from the American Conference is Tulane WR Darnell Mooney. As a sophomore in 2017, Mooney posted a 0.32 Dominator Rating (DR), crossing the threshold shown to be predictive of future success. Through 10 games in 2018, Mooney has posted a whopping 0.55 DR, albeit in a run-heavy offensive scheme. Mooney is a prospect that will likely need a phenomenal pro-day/combine workout to get on the radar of NFL evaluators despite his dominance. His push for recognition continues against Houston on Thursday night.

Check out my updated devy rankings. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or the message boards to let me know what you think.

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