The first Saturday of the season and the morning begins with two interesting inter-conference matchups with plenty of potential NFL talent.
The key players to watch in the Minnesota-Syracuse game currently on ESPN is Gopher wide receiver Eric Decker and Orange defensive tackle Arther Jones and wideout Mike Williams.
Jones, (#97) is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line. Despite missing some of the off-season conditioning due to a torn pectoral muscle, he enters the season as a legitimate first round prospect.
Despite the assertions of TV analysts, Minnesota WR Eric Decker (#7) is not currently viewed as a likely first round caliber prospect. He is, however, a valuable possession receiver with size (6-3, 215) and very good hands. He already has one long reception in this game and could be on the verge of a big season.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch, however, is Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams (#1). Williams was suspended last year due to academics, but scouts will quickly disregard that if he can prove his eye-popping athleticism remains. The 6-2, 215 pound receiver enters today's game with a streak of receiving touchdowns in 9 consecutive games... And with 32 seconds to go in the first quarter, he just extended that streak, catching much ballyhooed QB/PG Greg Paulus' first touchdown pass of his NCAA career.
On ESPN, a "slightly" less competitive game is being shown between Ohio State and Navy. Navy, as you might expect, doesn't offer much in terms of NFL prospects, though the Buckeyes more than make up for them.
Many of Ohio State's top prospects are underclassmen but their talented secondary is led by senior safety Anderson Russell (#21) and Kurt Coleman (#4). The Buckeyes seemingly always have talent along the defensive line and DE Lawrence Wilson (#87) has an opportunity for a breakout campaign after missing the second half of last year with a torn ACL. Playing opposite junior rising star Cameron Heyward (son of the late NFL standout Craig "Ironhead" Heyward). Versatile offensive lineman Jim Cordle (#64) is one to watch, as well.