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When The Devy Breaks: Trey Sermon Has Untapped Potential

Welcome back to When The Devy Breaks, your weekly rundown of the college football landscape and how it affects your devy league rosters. Here are a few quick storylines from last weekend’s slate of action:

  • Auburn quarterback Bo Nix predictably struggled on the road against a talented and aggressive Florida Gators’ defense.
  • Washington once again fell short of expectations in a road game against a conference opponent, losing 23-13 against Stanford.
  • Michigan and Iowa punched each other in the face for 60 minutes, resulting in a 10-3 win for the Wolverines.
  • Oklahoma and Texas managed road wins against inferior opponents, dodging a dreaded trap game upset before this week’s Red River Shootout.

Week 7 is probably the best slate of games we’ve had this season. Marquee matchups between ranked opponents abound, along with a few under-the-radar candidates. But let’s dig a little deeper into the devy universe by discussing some lesser-known prospects primed to make moves in the upcoming weeks.

Stock Up

Re’Mahn Davis, RB, Temple

Davis is a great example of a true freshman running back making a strong impact in Year 1. The 5-foot-9-inch, 210-pound former three-star recruit has accounted for 57% of the Owls’ rushing yards and has added three receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Davis exploded for 157 rushing yards and a TD in a nationally-televised Thursday night game on the road against East Carolina.

It will be interesting to watch Davis over the next few years to track his development. If he builds on his impressive freshman season, he could become one of the better Group-of-Five RBs by the time he becomes draft eligible in 2022.

Bryant Koback, RB, Toledo

Koback is another Group-of-Five RB putting up prolific numbers. Last week against Western Michigan, the 205-pound redshirt sophomore put up 177 yards rushing while splitting carries with Shakif Seymour. Through five games, Koback is averaging 126 rushing yards per game and has scored six of Toledo’s eight RB rushing TDs. Even more impressively, he has achieved those lofty production totals despite earning only 55% of Toledo’s RB rush attempts.

However, Koback is not without his share of flaws. It’s unclear how athletic he is, and he does not meaningfully contribute as a pass-catcher. Through 17 career games, Koback has only logged four receptions. At this point, he’s an interesting devy proposition based on his rushing efficiency but is far from a top-flight prospect.

Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State

Purdy was terrific as a freshman last season and has continued his solid play through the first half of the 2019 season. In Week 6, we witnessed his full skill set on display against a stout TCU defense. He completed 79% of his passes for 247 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. He also added 102 yards and two more TDs on the ground.

Purdy isn’t draft eligible until 2021, but he could become a legitimate fantasy option at the next level if his college rushing production carries over against professional defenses.1 Add in his stellar passing efficiency through his first 15 games (10.1 adjusted yards per attempt) and Purdy could end up as a top-three QB prospect.

Stock Down

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Love has been hyped as a top-three QB prospect in the 2020 class. But after a disastrous Week 6 performance against LSU, we now know that Love has a low floor against high-end competition. Love completed 15 of his 30 pass attempts for 130 yards, no TDs, and three interceptions against the Tigers.

He has struggled to live up to his lofty preseason expectations, and it’s fair to question if Love’s development has regressed. Last year, he averaged 10.1 adjusted yards per attempt and threw 32 passing TDs with only six interceptions. Through five games this season, his adjusted yards per attempt has plummeted to 5.7, and he’s thrown six TDs versus eight interceptions.

One bad showing against a historically great defense in a hostile environment is excusable. But struggling against Mountain West opponents as a potential first-round draft pick is deeply concerning. It’s still premature to bail on Love as a devy asset, but fantasy owners should be closely monitoring his progress in hopes that he rebounds with a strong second-half finish.

Trade Target Of The Week

Trey Sermon, RB, Oklahoma

Usually when a 220-pound RB logs 25 career TDs, 34 receptions, and a 6.6 yards per touch average through his first 32 games, he generates national buzz. But instead, Sermon has remained one of the best-kept secrets in college football by playing second-fiddle to Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts in consecutive seasons.

Sermon is currently locked in a backfield committee and averages only 10.2 touches per game. As a result, he has yet to cross the 100-yard rushing mark in his five games this season. But, when Sermon has received a more substantial workload throughout his career, he has been very productive. In his eight career games with at least 15 carries, Sermon has averaged 109 rushing yards per game.

The combine will be crucial for Sermon. If he tests well, then he has a chance to be a Day 2 draft pick despite a deep and talented 2020 RB class.

Image Credit: David Stacy/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Trey Sermon.

  1. Purdy averages 33 rushing yards per game for his career.  (back)

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