On Wednesday night, we got our first glance at a few college football sleepers in the FCS. Abilene Christian battled Georgia State in the first national primetime game of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a few under-the-radar guys to watch this year, you’ll find them on the Wildcats and Panthers.
Here’s a breakdown of a few guys to watch from both teams and the kind of performances they turned in on Wednesday night:
Nick Arbuckle, QB, Georgia State
Arbuckle, a JUCO transfer, made his first start in the FCS in the game against the Wildcats. Despite throwing two interceptions, the Junior QB couldn’t have done a better job under center. He showed poise, a strong arm, and quick decision-making as he led the offense to go 10-16 on 3rd-down conversions, and 2-2 on 4th down – an area the team struggled with last season.
A line of 31/47, 413 yards and 4 TDs would usually tell the story, but Arbuckle actually looked better than his line showed. He found the guys he needed to early and often, and seemed to have good rhythm and timing. It’s safe to say he’s the guy to lead this team to a successful season coming off of a winless 2013.
Krysten Hammon, RB, Georgia State
Hammon made his first college football start on Wednesday, and he didn’t disappoint. He carried the ball 13 times for 74 yards, and despite getting hurt at the beginning of the second quarter, he came back to finish strong and help the Panthers convert some key situations.
Hammon looked very shifty as he showed quickness throughout the game. He’s a guy to watch, as he could be one of the conference’s leading rushers as just a freshman.
Demarcus Thompson, WR, Abilene Christian
Get to know this name, because Thompson is going to get serious consideration from NFL teams.
While he currently projects as a late-round pick/UDFA, he could help his stock tremendously if he has games this season like he did on Wednesday. The Senior made several tough grabs, including a beautiful 42-yard catch and run that set up the Wildcats with great field position. His knowledge of the game is clearly there – something that shows when his natural skill takes over. His 9/156/0 line is enough to open eyes. When teams turn on the tape, they’ll be impressed with what they see.
Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
NOTE: Davis isn’t draft eligible this season, but he’s a name to watch moving forward. He’s the best receiver on this offense, and his long strides and 6’3″ height will help him get looks when he does become eligible.