The creation of the transfer portal, allowing student-athletes to more freely hop from school to school, has led to some storylines commonly reserved for NFL free agency. Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan will face his former team for the first time since transferring from Wisconsin in the offseason as the Irish look to remain unbeaten against the No. 18 Badgers.
Coan is one of several 2022 NFL Draft prospects to keep an eye on this weekend. Here's rundown of of all the top draft prospects in action:
LSU at Mississippi State
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
The bulk of LSU's high-level talent is found on the defensive side of the ball. Derek Stingley Jr. has established himself as the top prospect at his position. The Tigers have a lot of really good players, namely linebacker Mike Jones Jr., safety Todd Harris Jr. and edge rusher Ali Gaye, around him.
Fans should make an effort to get to know cornerback Eli Ricks and edge rusher B.J. Ojulari as well. Both are putting themselves in a position to be selected early in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross is an impressive prospect from both size and ability perspectives. He can earn a lot of money by winning individual matchups against LSU's aforementioned edge rushers. It is a deep offensive tackle class and leapfrogging one or two others would result in some additional padding for his pockets.
Cornerback Martin Emerson is a long prospect with limited ball production. Cornerback is another position that is hotly contested and Emerson is chief among them.
No. 12 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 Wisconsin
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. ET on FOX
Coan has thrown 8 touchdowns to 2 interceptions in three wins thus far for the Irish, and will try to continue that success against his former team. Coan led Wisconsin to a 10-4 record two years ago.
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton is the best prospect in the country right now. He has the size and instincts to make an impact from Day 1 if added to the right situation. The Irish seemingly funnel defensive line talent to the NFL of late and Isaiah Foskey is no exception. The sophomore from California has 3.5 sacks in three games.
The offensive line has always been the hallmark of Notre Dame football. Jarrett Patterson is right there alongside Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum and Arkansas' Ricky Stromberg as top center prospects. He is there to clear a path for one of college football's most dynamic runners -- Kyren Williams. Traditionally undersized, Williams does a good job of making opponents miss in space. Defenses have to account for him in the pass game as well.
Wisconsin does not have the same level of top tier talent. In fact, their most known prospects -- tight end Jake Ferguson and linebacker Jack Sanborn -- have been on the radar for a few years. The latter is more of a traditional linebacker in the sense that he is strong and physical, but does not possess elite mobility.
Rutgers at No. 19 Michigan
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Wide receiver Bo Melton has had at least six receptions in each game for the Scarlet Knights this season. Melton shows a little wiggle in space and is not afraid to make contested catches. Cornerback Avery Young is a fiery player with supreme versatility. In fact, he could easily play safety because of his physical nature and awareness.
Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson has taken the Big Ten by storm much in the same way that Kwity Paye did a year ago. Hutchinson has solidified his claim as a likely first round pick. The Michigan native has showcased an ability to use speed and strength en route to the quarterback. Defensive tackle Chris Hinton was a highly-regarded high school recruit that has shown flashes for the Wolverines. Will he be able to put it all together by season's end?
Daxton Hill is a defensive back that wears many hats in new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald's scheme. Hill was the source of a wildly intriguing recruiting battle between Alabama and Michigan. He teetered back and forth before settling on the Big Ten and is now one of their best players.
No. 7 Texas A&M at No. 16 Arkansas
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
Texas A&M has played one Power 5 opponent in three games and that was a narrow decision over Colorado. It is impossible to know whether or not the Aggies are contenders or pretenders. Quarterback Zach Calzada has a bevy of skill options at his disposal: tight end Jalen Wydermeyer and running back Isaiah Spiller are in conversation for best at their respective positions. Wide receiver Ainias Smith has gotten more exposure at the position this year after splitting time with the running backs in the past. He is elusive in open space.
The offensive line has Tennessee offensive tackle transfer Jahmir Jones on one side and sure-fire first round pick Kenyon Green on the other. At center, the Aggies have football's royal family. Luke Matthews is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. His brothers, Kevin, Jake and Mike also played for Texas A&M. Jake went on to become the No. 6 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. His uncle is Clay Matthews Jr., who has been robbed of a Hall of Fame induction to this point. His cousins, Clay and Casey, also played in the NFL. The former was a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and a six-time Pro Bowl selection with the Packers.
On defense, Texas A&M has one of the country's top interior rushers, DeMarvin Leal as well as young safety Demani Richardson. Leal leads the team with 2.5 sacks.
The work that Sam Pittman has done with the Arkansas football program is nothing short of impressive. The Razorbacks had eight combined wins in three seasons prior to Pittman's arrival. His first season ended with a 3-7 mark but the team has matched that win total in just three games this season. Their slimmest margin of victory was 19 points against Texas.
Wide receiver Treylon Burks has more than twice as many receptions as any other player on the roster. Outside of his 91-yard touchdown reception against Rice, his production has been contained to the line of scrimmage. His other 12 receptions have gone for 115 yards (9.58 YPC). Stromberg -- mentioned above in the Notre Dame preview -- is one of the top center prospects.
Safety Jalen Catalon is one of the most entertaining players in the nation. He is small, but high-octane. The Texas native is tied for eighth nationally with two interceptions. No player in college football has more than three currently.
West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC
West Virginia was able to pull off an upset win against Virginia Tech last week, but the Sooners are a much more daunting challenge. Oklahoma holds a sizable advantage in overall talent. Mountaineers defensive tackle Dante Stills is a good player with great size but teams are able to scheme against him.
Lincoln Riley's team has waves of talent and that creates one-on-one matchups on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Spencer Rattler has the colorful personality and creative style of play. He is handing off to running backs Eric Gray (one of three Tennessee transfers) and Kennedy Brooks. The nation's No. 1 wide receiver in 2019, Jadon Haselwood, is on the receiving end of his passes.
The Sooner's front seven is scary talented. Alex Grinch's defense had a versatile and rangy secondary last year that was able to fly around the field like banshees and make plays. Edge rushers Nik Bonitto and Isaiah Thomas book end defensive tackles Perrion Winfrey and Jalen Redmond. Thomas looks like he jumped off a page in a scouting handbook detailing how an edge rusher is supposed to look. If West Virginia running back Leddie Brown is fortunate enough to slip through the front line of defense then he embraces the displeasure of meeting linebacker Brian Asamoah at the second level.