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Keeping Up With the Collegiates - Opening Weekend

I used to not care for college football really at all. Never wanted to watch it, just wanted to watch the real pros play in the NFL. I still don't care much for college football, however, I watch it so that the NFL offseason becomes more bearable as I will know more about the players coming into it. So for that purpose I write this post. I hope to do this weekly after the games that I actually do watch to point out some of the players that stood out that might merit keeping an eye on as things move forward. This list is in no particular order, so rest easy there. And since the Cowboys want to take a best player available approach, I will try not to focus on just positions that we need. Obviously I don't get to watch every game, so feel free to use the comment section for your own homerisms to your favorite college team and/or Alma Mater, players that stood out to you (Archie, this definitely means you!), and even big hype players that we might need to pump the breaks on. Players not eligible for the draft will have an asterisk next to them, so lets see what they do over 2+ seasons. It's been a while since I have posted anything so lets get to it. Laides and Gentlemen, football is back!

1. Zach Mettenburger - QB - LSU
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Here is what I saw from Zach that I really liked. He looked pretty good throwing the football. TCU is a pretty good defense, last I checked, and he looked good against them. Not only that, but Cam Cameron has him operating as a pro-style QB. He takes snaps under center, runs play action passes and knows when to pull the ball down and run. I am always bugged by how college QBs tend to stare down the receiver they are going to, but it is rare I see a collegiate QB that doesn't. He seemed to make pretty good decisions with the football, but that can't be told until I can actually seem him go through the reads and progressions. He seems much improved from last year though.

2. La'el Collins - LOT - LSU
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This dude was straight blowing people off the line in the running game. I believe they even lined him up at guard in their goal line formation and they ran right behind him, and with good reason. Zach Mettenburger seemed to have a pretty clean pocket all night, so he must have done a pretty good job blocking his man on the left side. I did see him give up a sack, but the sack he did give up could be accredited to confusion on the protection. The defensive end crashed inside and the blitz came from the safety who came up and lined right on the line of scrimmage. So you could say he was asked to block two guys by himself, not possible. Could be a really good candidate for a right tackle spot if we got him, as I was seriously impressed with his run blocking.

3. Ego Ferguson - DT (3-tech?) - LSU
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He seemed to be lining up as the 3-technique on the four man fronts and was pretty disruptive the entire game. The fact that one of the first pictures I found of him was him jumping up in the air to knock down a pass also does a little to speak to his ability and athleticism. I will continue to keep my eye on this guy as a dominant 3-technique was a huge issue during the offseason and we didn't add anyone to play it, and we don't know what will happen with Hatch after the 2013 season ends. I couldn't find him on in the 3-man front of the nickel package though, so I don't know what to make of that yet, if anything.

4. Anthony Johnson - DT (1-tech?) - LSU
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Also very disruptive on the D-line for the Tigers. On the nickel three man fronts he seemed to play right over the center and lined up as the 1-tech on the 4-man fronts. He had a really nice play sniffing out a WR screen after practically plowing over the center before doing so. He didn't make the tackle, and probably wouldn't have from the replay, but the fact he sniffed it out and aw in coming and acted on it quickly was impressive. Last year it was the defensive ends that were the craze in LSU, now this year it is the defensive tackles.

5. Jason Verrett - CB - TCU
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This dude is one physical corner. I saw receivers running routes and this guy was on them so much he might as well have been the number on their jerseys. Time and time again I saw Mettenburger go at this guy and he would knock down the pass no matter where he was putting it. This guy definitely deserves some attention in the film room for draft prospect evaluation. Only a junior, so we will see what he decided after the season.

6. Christion Jones - WR - Alabama
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He scored 3 TDs in the game against VTech. The first was a punt return, the second was a kickoff return and the third was reception on a deep ball. Heaven help me, there aren't too many guys out there that can do all of that in the same game. He might be more of a special teamer, but the fact that he can also score on offense is an added bonus. We need a stud kick returner and if he can double as a punt returner, even better. And even better if he can play some offense as a backup as well. Isn't that kind of the dream come true right there? Keep an eye on this kid, he could be a hot topic in the off-season for kick returners.

7. Chuckie Keeton - QB - Utah State
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Played a heated rivalry game against Utah this weekend. These rivalries may dwindle a little over time as Utah is no longer in the same conference as BYU and Utah State. Even though Utah State didn't come away victorious, it wasn't because of junior QB Chuckie Keeton, a native of Houston, TX. All he did was go 31 of 40 (77.5%) for 314 yards and 2 TDs and tack on 85 yards on 15 carries (5.7 ypc) for 1 TD. That is a pretty respectable game for Keeton. The kid is regarded as a born leader as well. A good deal of hype is surrounding this kid so be on the lookout.

8. Vernon Adams - QB - Eastern Washington
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He is listed as a Freshman on the EWU website, however he was redshirted in 2011, something screwy going on there. He drew some comparisons from the broadcast crew to Russell Wilson (pump your breaks people) as he lead EWU to only the third upset of a ranked FBS team by an FCS team since 2000. His stat sheet reads the following: 23/30 (76.7%), 411 yds, 4 TD, 16 carries, 107 yds, 2 TD. EWU only punted once during the game.

Now, just for some fun, lets keep track of some of the players that made some plays around the nation playing somewhere outside of Texas that hail from the DFW area. I would assume most players in Texas are from somewhere in Texas. I only found one this weekend, but help me with this list and we will keep it going. These are especially players to watch for as they most likely grew up Cowboy fans and would love to wear the star. I would mark that as a plus in the character category on the scouting report.

1. #28 *Jalen Mills - CB - LSU via DeSoto, TX - 1 Interception, 1 PD, and 5 solo tackles against TCU.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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