You better be ready for a long wait for the only matchup of two top 25 teams in the country tonight when Arizona State takes on Stanford.
The only matchup of the day featuring ranked teams also features some of the most interesting front seven players in the country, perhaps some legitimate first round talent. Here are my top prospects for both teams in this game:
1. Will Sutton, DT
2. Carl Bradford, LB
3. Marion Grice, RB
1. Trent Murphy, DE/OLB
2. Shayne Skov, LB
3. Ed Reynolds, S
4. David Yankey, OG (JR)
The matchup between Will Sutton and David Yankey (however often it happens) is one that NFL scouts will be paying close attention to. Yankey is an underclassmen and at this point not considered likely to leave school early, but he may very well be the top offensive guard in the country, for sure in his class. Sutton has gotten off to a bit of a slow start this season, but last year, he and Carl Bradford were causing serious havoc for any and all offenses they played against. Through two games this season, they’ve combined for 1.5 tackles for loss and ZERO sacks. That’ll eventually change.
Here are a couple of scouting reports, one from each team, so you know what kind of work you’re getting in those full team previews.
1 RB Marion Grice (6’0″ 199 pounds, SENIOR) — Arizona State
Former junior college transfer who made a huge impact on the Sun Devils’ offense in his first year on campus. Only carried the ball 103 times but finished with 679 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also caught 41 passes for 425 yards and eight more scores. Finished with over 1,100 yards of total offense with 19 touchdowns and it’s pretty clear why when you turn on the highlight reel. Grice has excellent burst, and acceleration out of his cuts. He has good cutback vision and can take it to the second and third level in the blink of an eye. Has an incredible ability to make defenders miss, and has a nose for the end zone. This is a player I like more and more the more I watch him. He has that killer instinct as a runner, and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Big play threat who is just tapping into his enormous potential. He looks like he could have second or third round ability at this point.
25 RB Tyler Gaffney (6’1″ 225 pounds, SENIOR) — Stanford
Gaffney took the 2012 season off to play professional baseball after being drafted in the 24th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, a story which is beautifully captured in this article here on ESPN.com.
This is a big bodied back who has been very productive to start off his senior season with the Cardinal, and he’s putting himself on the NFL radar. His size combined with the fact that he fits perfectly in this Stanford offense will bode well for his NFL prospects as he should put together a big senior season.
Gaffney is a good one-cut runner who doesn’t have breakaway speed or elite agility like a LeSean McCoy, but he’s capable of getting big chunks of yards at a time and has a nose for the end zone. I like his NFL potential and he’ll be a value pick late.