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2023 Star Search: Week 4 College Football Standouts

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QB Standout

Jack Plummer, Louisville (21 att / 18 comp / 388 yds / 5 TD)

A 3-star recruit from Gilbert, Arizona, Jack Plummer is a composed and smooth quarterback who delivers pinpoint accurate passes to all areas of the field. His pocket management is smooth and effective, in the same style as a Carson Strong or Tom Brady, playing as if they have 360 vision as they slide and move to the pockets adjusting symmetry.

His high football IQ augments his moderate athleticism in Louisville's RPO play calling via subtle eye and head movement that freezes and forces defenders to commit. He demonstrates enough athleticism to gain positive yardage on the keep, or to advance the ball to sell the carry, all to abruptly halt and deliver an accurate "pop" pass to a target in the flat. It's in these details that he stands out as an intriguing prospect, where he shows a tremendous amount of polish.

Plummer's game is characterized by clean footwork, a smooth throwing motion, and a precise spiral as a consistently accurate passer at all distances. His strong play-action fakes and ability to adapt to changing pocket conformations are standout qualities that would stand at the top of any class.

At 6'5" and in the mold of a traditional pocket passer, a style of quarterbacking that's not in vogue these days, he is challenged by the fact that he may not possess the strongest velocity on certain throws, particularly to the sideline on outbreaking routes when throwing from the furthest hash - something I have made a note to study further as this season moves along.

He excels as a steady and accurate in-structure thrower, although his success may be influenced by the quality of his offensive line and supporting cast, which may otherwise present challenges to his game in less favorable circumstances. All in all, he's stringing together a great season in the absence of Malik Cunningham.

RB Standout

DJ Giddens, Kansas State (30 att / 207 yds / 4 TD)

Unranked as a recruit from Junction City, Kansas, standing at 6'1" and weighing 212 pounds, Giddens plays with a running style that is one you'll often see described as "one-cut," emphasizing efficiency and decision-making in real-time as they press the line of scrimmage. In other words, his running style relies on patience and vision while approaching the line of scrimmage, in order to identify and navigate through creases in the blocking front.

While Giddens may not possess top-tier breakaway speed, his value as a running back goes beyond pure sprinting. In this contest, he was a dependable player who excelled at answering the call to keep the offense on schedule. Although he can contribute as a pass-catching option from the backfield with reliable hands, he doesn't fit the traditional profile of a receiving back. However, with the right offensive system at the next level, he could become a valuable check-down option, particularly against smaller defensive backs.

Giddens' remarkable performance in Week 4 is a testament to his potential. As the former Big 12 Honorable Mention Freshman of the Year, he made a strong comeback after redshirting in 2021, culminating in him becoming the school's third-highest freshman rusher in history with a total of 518 yards by the end of 2022.

WR Standout

Luther Burden, Missouri (10 rec / 12 tgts / 177 yds / 0 TD)

Luther Burden III, a highly anticipated 5-star recruit hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, has been captivating audiences this season with his high-output performances for the Missouri Tigers. Standing at a compact 5'11" 208 lbs, he primarily operates as a slot receiver where his elite speed has been on full display during the past four weeks. What sets Burden apart is not just his speed but also his hands, showcased by his ability to secure low throws off the turf and excel in high-pointing targets.

Whether utilized in jet sweeps or as a key player in the RPO screen game, Burden's acceleration and stride are that of a gazelle, making him a threat to take any touch to the end zone. His lethality on the field is furthered by his nimble evasiveness and willingness to power through contact, making him a captivating blend of ballet-like grace and hard-nosed football determination. As Burden's star continues to rise, his name will undoubtedly be in the spotlight for seasons to come.

TE Standout

Luke Hasz, Arkansas (6 rec / 6 tgt / 116 yds / 2 TD)

Luke Hasz, a true freshman and a 4-star recruit from Bixby, Oklahoma, had a standout performance for the Arkansas Razorbacks in their challenging road matchup against LSU. This back-and-forth rivalry contest ultimately ended with LSU securing a walk-off field goal, but Hasz's contributions throughout the game were incredibly valuable to the Razorback's effort in this one.

Being a true freshman and thriving in a hostile SEC environment speaks volumes about Hasz's talent and potential. From his first catch in the game, where he displayed physicality, toughness, and exceptional concentration, to his final, Arkansas final touchdown reception, Hasz demonstrated that the transition to the higher level of competition has seamlessly been completed. His contributions against LSU this early in his college football career suggest a promising future ahead.


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